Sunday, August 31, 2014

Aloha Rose

Title:  Aloha Rose (Quilts of Love Series)
Author:  Lisa Carter
Pages:  247
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Abingdon
Kai Barnes is an ex-soldier, living in Hawaii.  He has retired from the military, suffering from PTSD.  He lives on the family ranch and is trying desperately to get the family out of debt.  The last thing he needs is to play tour guide to a young woman who may or may not be related to his foster family.  Kai is very protective of his family and wonders exactly what this woman is up to.  He finds her to be stubborn, compassionate, feisty, and pretty and maybe someone he could love, if he was looking for love, which he most definitely is not!
Laney Carrigan was left on the doorstep of her adoptive parents’ home when she was just a few months old and wrapped in a quilt with Hawaiian flowers on it.  Her father posts the picture on the internet and the next day a response is received.  So Laney flies to Hawaii to meet her birth family.  She doesn’t expect a tall, dark and handsome cowboy to pick her up at the airport or to have him be so suspicious of her and arrogant.  After spending more time with Kai, she discovers another side of this cowboy.  She didn’t come to Hawaii looking for romance, but she can’t control what she feels for him.  Laney has always longed to feel accepted for who she is and her Hawaiian family appears to makes this a reality.  She knows her adoptive parents loved her and she had a good life, but to her there always seemed to be something missing.  Is this family really where she belongs now permanently?  What about her job?
This story showcases two people who are searching to find a place to belong.  Kai has a wonderful life with his foster family, but still clings to guilt and fear from his past that he lets determine his future.  Laney struggles with feelings from what she views as the abandonment of her birth mother, even though she loves her adoptive family.  Both characters must face their fears and realize to Whom they really belong to and Who holds them in the palm of His hand.  The romance between Kai and Laney has great chemistry and humor.  I loved the one-liners and teasing comments that abound in the story.  I look forward to reading more stories by this author.  Please pick up a copy of this easy-to-read story and enjoy an escape to Hawaii for a tropical romance!
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, August 30, 2014

Path to Freeedom

Title:  Path of Freedom (Quilts of Love Series)
Author:  Jennifer Hudson Taylor
Pages:  228
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
Flore Saferight is an 18-year-old Quaker midwife who has been asked to go on a mission.  The mission could be dangerous as it involves transporting slaves from a slave-holding state to a free state.  Her sister will accompany her, but to her distress, her childhood nemesis, Bruce Millikan, has also been asked to go along.  Flora wants to follow God’s will, but does it have to involve the one person she can’t stand to be around?  Flora initially refuses the mission, but is encouraged to pray about it.  She does and is convicted that she must go.  She reluctantly agrees to go and sets out on a journey that will change her life.
Bruce Millikan has grown up and changed from the bully he was as a young boy.  He sincerely regrets his teasing of Flora when they were children, but doubts she will ever let go of her grudge against him.  He seems to always put his foot in his mouth when having a conversation with her.  He wants her to know that his feelings for her have grown into something more than friendship.  His Quaker roots have led him on some missions to free slaves and this mission proves to continue his passion.  He only hopes that he can survive having Flora along without saying something he can’t take back or repair.  His future with Flora he commits to God, but he sure hopes God grants his wish.
I normally am not a fan of quilt-themed fictional stories, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  I liked the Quaker influence, the well-defined characters and the importance of faith in God presented.  The romance between the two lead characters was great and I loved their teasing interactions.  I definitely will consider reading more books in this series.  This one was short and easy to read, so don’t miss it!
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, August 29, 2014

God's Not Dead Movie Review



Title:  God is Not Dead
Format:  DVD
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Pure Flix Entertainment
For awhile now we have been hearing about the movie God is Not Dead, which now many can view at home via rental or DVD.  I visited the movie’s website, listening to the clips of various interviews with those who played a role in the movie.  As I listened, I didn’t sense either way whether I would agree with the movie or not because He isn’t dead, He is risen!  Then, I came upon a FaceBook posting from Answers in Genesis by Dr. Georgia Purdom on August 5th 2014.  After reading her post, I watched the movie last night.
There are some reasons I enjoyed the movie such as the realistic settings various parts of the movie portrayed.  Some people are out to discredit Christians any way they can while others mock or quickly push aside a belief in God as a crutch.  One female character gets shocking health related news.  The professor is angry at God and cannot understand how He let his mother die when he begged Him to let her live.  Now, the main focus is a pre-law college student refusing to sign a piece of paper which the class is assigned to do after they write just three words, “God is dead.”  Since the student, Josh, refuses to sign the paper, he is challenged by his professor to prove otherwise and from then on Josh works at studying and preparing to prove his point.
A couple of things bothered me about the movie, too.  One was the how the character Josh felt he had to defend God.  So exactly how does a finite being defend the Infinite?  Yes, we are to be ready in season and out to give an answer to those who ask for the reason we have hope, but that is different than defending God.  Second, was how Creationism wasn’t used as a way of showing just how awesome God is; He spoke creation into being.  Josh’s stance was that he used evolution and the Big Bang plus God as a way to show how God creates, which then takes off to other areas of discussion.
I ask that people discerningly watch the movie, go back to the Word of God and understand that God spoke all things into being.  Go back to the original language and see how He spoke and in an instant what He spoke was created.  Please prayerfully consider this well-written presentation of why people should not accept God plus anything else man can invent to minimize God.  Here is the link https://answersingenesis.org/reviews/movies/gods-not-dead-revisited/   Let us remember that God cannot lie and His Word is the absolute Truth from cover to cover.  Be a regular feeder of the Word, discern what you read or hear no matter the source.  Let God’s Word be our sole standard!
My rating is 2 stars for the movie.

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, August 28, 2014

With Every Breath

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

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Miracle in Dry Season


Title:  Miracle in a Dry Season
Author:  Sarah Loudin Thomas
Pages:  304
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany
For me, the novel was hard to get caught up in at first, partly because I like to try and figure out where the author is leading a reader, especially a new author.  Part of the reason it seemed to take awhile for me to get lost in the story was having just buried my father earlier in the week.  Once I got further into the tale, it took hold of my heart and I stayed up all night reading till I finished the whole book.
The tale reminded me of many biblical teachings such as a prophet is told to marry a harlot to show Israel in a real way what God was working in the hearts of His people.  Later on in the book, I saw themes of complete forgiveness, discerning the real intentions of a person, and reconciliation.  Perla is a woman who sinned and as a result had a child out of wedlock.  Because the gossip was so hard on her family, she moved in with her aunt and uncle in another town to start fresh.  However, as time goes by it seems the judgment of people along with gossip is ruining any opportunity Perla has to serve and live in the town.
Caswell is a single man living in the town when Perla moves in the house with her relatives.  He hears the gossip and finds himself failing to withhold judgment.  Caswell and his father have a strained relationship, but both love woodworking and seeing the beauty of a finished product.  As Caswell seeks the Lord for direction through prayer, it seems to him as though the Lord is silent.  As the town is on the verge of starvation due to a prolonged drought, the same drought seems to be what is happening to people’s spiritual life.  What will it take for rain to fall from the skies to refresh their crops?  What is the answer to refreshing their parched souls?
Readers will get caught up in the activity such as the panting of the town’s souls for God, relationships that need reconciliation along with hearts that need mending.  Characters seem like ordinary everyday people, searching for the strength and reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when the temptation to quit is pulling the people of the town apart.  Please don’t miss reading a novel that will challenge your views, grab your heart and turning pages long after the sun goes down.
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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Here to Stay

Title:  Here to Stay
Author:  Melissa Tagg
Pages:  368
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bethany
Readers are going to enjoy the contrasting lessons two main characters represent in this tale, one is Blake and the other is Autumn.  The place is Whisper Shores, Michigan, a small town that relies heavily on tourist seasons to run their respective lodging places.  Blake and Autumn’s families have had a long standing feud that only grew in intensity when tragedy struck, inflicting pain in both families.  Now Autumn is handed her families’ inn to run all on her own, but her heart yearns to travel to other countries and experience adventure.  Blake isn’t welcomed warmly when he returns after a long absence, but the man that returns is not the same man who left.  Blake was sure God led him to return home, but after a while he isn’t so certain.
I really enjoyed this novel that so eloquently shows the contrasting nature that really resides in the human race.  The characters, Autumn and Blake, are each dealing with issues of the heart that run deep and trying not to let the family feud dictate their actions.  Autumn is a caring, compassionate and at times a strong-headed woman who wants to get the inn on solid financial footing before she goes to fulfill her lifelong dream of working in France.  She believes God has brought a gentleman from France to buy her inn where she can leave the daily managing to others.  Blake is wrought with grief and guilt over losing his brother years earlier.  Once he relished the nickname Blaze for it accurately described his wild and daring adventures, now it only seems to hammer blame into his heart.
When I finished reading, I thought how well the author portrayed our nature to quickly judge, bringing further hurt to others.  There is also the way the characters in love are finding their way to love enough to let go and in the interim each finds that it isn’t the adventure that fulfills them, but the sharing of it with another.  The novel is filled with adventure, romance, laughter, faith and more than my mere words can convey!  So grab a copy, read it, enjoy the book and perhaps share it with a friend for a journey shared is so much more fun.
My rating is 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from the author via www.bookfun.org

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

Monday, August 25, 2014

Bess Crawford mystery: A Duty to the Dead

Title:  A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford Mystery #1)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  329
Year:  2009
Publisher:  William Morrow
Bess Crawford is a young nurse, serving the wounded British soldiers of WWI.  One soldier, upon realizing he was dying, has entrusted her with a message to be delivered in person to his brother after the soldier’s death.  Bess has been putting off this trip, but after her hospital ship is sunk and she abandons ship, she comes to terms with the fact that she is avoiding her duty and is honor-bound to deliver the soldier’s message.  She arrives at Owlhurst, delivers the message to the soldier’s brother, but soon discovers there is much more to the message than she was told.  She begins to delve into the past of the soldier’s family to see justice done.  While at Owlhurst, her nursing skills are put to use on more than one patient.  Bess is always ready to lend a hand with her practical skills, but runs into a brick wall when she tries to unearth the truth.
Time after time, she is told to leave the past in the past and not bring up painful memories.  Bess knows her duty and believes that the soldier wanted to set things right.  Bess now takes up that mantle.  She wants to make things right in his stead.  The more questions she asks, the more tangled the web of lies becomes.  Time begins to run out as Bess knows her ship-out orders will be arriving any day and the truth is still hampered in the past.  Will the real murderer get away with yet another murder like he/she has over the last 14 years?
I absolutely loved this novel!  I liked the characters, the plot and the tension-filled moments that led up to the revelation of the killer.  I couldn’t put the book down!  I don’t know much about WWI nurses, but I enjoyed learning some about their service lives.  I admire Bess’ sense of seeing justice done no matter the cost to her.  This is a great start to the series and will keep readers entertained throughout.  I can’t wait to dive into the second book in the series, An Impartial Witness.
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

Sunday, August 24, 2014

In the President's Service: Fatal Addiction

Title:  In the President’s Service Series, Book #4:  Fatal Addiction
Author:  Ace Collins
Format:  eBook
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Elk Lake Publishing
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from the author via www.bookfun.org
Readers are introduced to one of the main characters, Helen Meeker, in the first book of the series In the President’s Service: A Date with Death.  Set in the beginning of WWII, Helen Meeker returns after audiences are introduced to her in the novel, The Yellow Packard.  Helen is woman who works inside the FBI, but also has direct access to FDR as she fights to uncover the multilayered threats to the President and her country.
In this installment, Helen’s survival of a sure demise has caught the enemy off balance.  As Helen contemplates her latest action packed detail, more questions arise.  With assistance, Meeker is able to contact local servicemen to help locate and destroy a U-Boat that is just off the coast of Texas.  Action begins to heighten as Meeker returns to her team to pull all their information together.  Alister Fister  thought he was super intelligent and a god, his body begins to withdrawal from  the drug which caused his body to heal almost immediately.  He begins looking for the man who began the treatments to find out what is going on, but what he discovers rocks Alister’s world and shows a bigger threat to the nation than even Hitler’s regime.
I can say this is an awesome suspense-filled series that is craftily written, keeping readers hungering for the next book in the series.  Just when I thought I knew how all was going to work out Ace Collins introduces a twist in the plot that throws a wrench in trying to solve the mystery he is building.  Ace Collins is like a master builder introducing characters, action, suspense and surprises that kept me reading till the end of each tale.
My rating is 5 stars. 
The series should be read in order as each is a continuation from the previous book, for those new to In the President’s Service Series the order is as follows:

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, August 23, 2014

Counterfeit Lies By Bob Hamer & Oliver North

Title:  Counterfeit Lies
Author:  Oliver North & Bob Hamer
Pages:  336
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Threshold Editions
A couple months back I decided to read a novel written by Bob Hamer called Targets Down.  I ran across the author and his writings while a friend and I looked for novels to read.  Most of the time we are asked to review books for authors or publishing companies, but I felt drawn to read this one.  Both authors have military experience and have gone to great pains to research the latest tale, although most of those who helped couldn’t be named.  When I finished the book, I was reminded how we can be encouraged by the many unknown men and women who live lives on the edge in order to protect this nation.  To them I say thank you and God Bless!
There is so much I could share about the suspense-filled, military, political and mysterious elements that are part and parcel of this tale.  On one hand there is an undercover agent named Jake who has infiltrated a market thought to be about buying and selling many counterfeit products, but it grows into more than either Jake o r the FBI hierarchy are aware.  When the undercover agent gets deeper into dark recesses of the crime syndicate, the tension escalates.  The tension becomes even more palpable when the bureau threatens to pull Jake off the street and operation because of the pressure passed down from other government leaders.
If I say too much it might ruin your enjoyment of discovery as you journey with Jake to uncover the leaders of two rival gangs who run Korea town in L. A.  There is more to the story than just taking down the bad guys such as when Jake wrestles with orders that are contrary to the moral compass within his heart.  Jake is still healing from losing his wife a year earlier and therefore his relationship with the Lord is just becoming alive again when this operation becomes extremely dangerous.
The tale is fast-paced and action-filled from the word go!  I found it hard to put the book down even to give my eyes a rest as I wanted to see how the authors unwound the many layers of the action.  I wanted to find out who the real string-puller was in the story and if he/she was actually calling the shots or if it was one of the characters I was introduced to earlier in the story.  If you love this type of genre where all aspects of action include the political and military side along with a great thrill ride, you won’t want to miss this novel!
I highly recommend Counterfeit Lies and am more than glad I bought it to read.  I’m sure you will be too!
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

Friday, August 22, 2014

Tracy Higley's latest novel: Awakening!

Title:  Awakening
Author:  Tracy Higley
Pages:  366
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Stonewater Press
Fabulous!  Readers will quickly become engaged in the story of a young woman name Kallie who has worked hard to earn a position at a museum with her specialty in Minoan history.  Judith, her boss, is a woman who pushes Kallie to become more than just a woman who hides behind her desk.  Add in the mysterious male character of Demitri who asks her to go on a trip searching for a relic that might unlock the language of ancient peoples.
Kallie has been seeing a psychiatrist because of her blackouts and her repressed past, which at times causes problems in her life.  When Kallie begins to journal, she writes a story from the perspective of a character she has named Chloe who lived with her family as a princess on an ancient island.  This is such an engaging tale that includes questions of faith, seeking to understand oneself and romance.  Danger is always lurking around the corner as Kallie travels with a team of people that Demitri has organized.
The audience will read of many travels to various places around the globe, interacting in dangerous liaisons all for the search of a relic.  At times, lives are in peril and at other times there is a faint feeling of being watched, but for what purpose?  When I began the book, it took me a chapter or two to capture the idea how the tale was going to go when I have been used to Tracy’s Biblical/Historical novels.  Awakening is vastly different from those and quite refreshing.
There are moments I am read of the adventure in the present time with a glance into the past.  I wondered who the villain in the story was and would they be caught in time to prevent loss of life.  When a friend and I first heard of the novel and when I realized it was going to be published differently, we couldn’t wait until the book was ready.  One of the biggest blessings for us was to know Tracy was releasing both the hard copy and electronic copy on the same day.  We usually have to wait for some time to pass between published works electronically before they become available in print.  I hope Tracy takes this path again in publishing her works, because not everyone can or does want to read a book as an eBook.
Thanks for this awesome adventure Tracy; it was beyond all my hopes or expectations!
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, August 21, 2014

In Perfect Time by Sarah Sundin


Title:  In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale Book #3)
Author:  Sarah Sundin                 www.sarahsundin.com
Pages:  416
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Revell
This trilogy begins with book one titled, With Every Letter followed by book two, On Distant Shores and concludes with In Perfect Time.  Each novel focuses on a group of nurses who help take care of the sick and injured that are being evacuated to other hospitals.  Through these works of fiction the author brings to light the lives, work and heroics of women nurses during WWII.  To learn more, please visit www.legendsofflightnurses.org
In the final book, Kay is highlighted as she begins to think about her future once the war has come to an end.  Her desire to be a chief nurse is thwarted when she is confronted by her lack of leadership, both on the field of war and off.  Kay begins to rethink her life when Roger Cooper shares his heart and testimony about his walk with the Lord.  Throughout the story readers will enjoy the tension between Kay and Cooper, wondering how in the world they might have a budding romance.  Surviving months in hiding from the enemy, flying in less than desirous weather conditions while providing medical care and trying to grasp the Truth of God’s love for her is a lot for Kay to handle.  Cooper has his past held tightly to his vest until he shares it with Kay so she will understand the depth and breadth of His love.
The audience will see themes of love, redemption and choosing to believe Him or their past.  The truth shown is that while not all peoples’ pasts are filled with wonderful memories, God can take the memories and use them for His glory.  I loved how parents are shown for the humans they are even when at times it just isn’t pretty.  Words can hurt no matter who they come from, and the characters had to choose whether to believe God or the past lies that kept playing inside their minds.  I thought it wonderful how when God changes us it matter little whether others see the changes in us or not, but we are changed because of what He has done for us.  I thank the women who served in WWII in many capacities whose stories have been shared for generations to read, learn from and follow in their footsteps.  I know the author had to end the series where she did and well done it is too!  However, I will miss reading more about these characters yet look forward to what comes next from the pen of this amazing writer!
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, August 20, 2014

Saving Amelia

Title:  Saving Amelie
Author:  Cathy Gohlke
Pages:  464
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Tyndale
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from the author via www.bookfun.org
If I could show the author my thoughts on the novel in an action, it would be to stand and applaud.  Seriously, I have read many books over the last couple of years along with a friend of mine and very few of the novels were less than what we hoped.  Some of the novels we read were pretty much okay, nothing bad, but not above a 3 star rating.  Here is one of those rare gems that left me breathless.
What steals my breath during the story that takes place during WWII in Germany is the reminder of how heartless the whole belief system was that Hitler promoted.  The evil words and actions were not as pronounced at first so many people in the tale didn’t see a problem with the ideology pervading their lives.  Yet, as time goes on, more characters in the book begin to realize that what was excused early on as nonthreatening is revealed for what it truly is…lives that are seen as having no value are eliminated.
Rachael’s father is a eugenics scientist working with the German government at first to find a cure for tuberculosis.  The trips he took to visit other scientists in Germany every two years were just a normal part of her life, but before leaving New York Rachael had decided that this was the last trip she would make with her father.  Lea lives in Germany and is married to a talented woodcarver.  She, too, has to visit the Institutes’ doctors every two years with each visit becoming more emotionally traumatic.  As readers continue to unravel the mystery surrounding the Institute and its research, what becomes known changes more than just Lea’s life, but that of her twin sister, too.
There is more to the book than I can write in this review, but I can guarantee you don’t want to pass up this historical, well-researched tale.  It isn’t just a historical tale, but one enriched with true historical people and how their life lessons need to be examined in the light of the present.  I enjoyed the book more than I can say and appreciate the depth of research the author, along with her family, put into the writing.  Don’t pass up reading Saving Amelie!
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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Last Witness by Glenn Meade

Title:  The Last Witness
Author:  Glenn Meade
Pages:  432
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Howard Books
When I began reading this latest work of fiction by Glenn Meade, there came a time in the novel I wasn’t so sure I wanted to read further.  However, after reading the author’s note, realizing it wasn’t just fiction but also based a nameless woman’s experience, I felt compelled to keep on turning the pages.  The farther along I got in the work, the more I had to sit back and ask myself why I never knew anything like this was happening.  I was in college at the time this story takes place, but I don’t remember the events placed on a time line shared before readers ever get to the writing.  So I asked myself, ”Why don’t I remember any of these events or the brutality of what transpired overseas in beginning of the 1990s?” While there can be multiple reasons why I don’t remember, there is one question that still stirs my heart, “Were Americans ever aware of these atrocities?”  I have no answer for that one, but what I do know is I am thankful that the nameless woman shared her story with Glenn Meade.  I am thankful that the author wrote some of the story in this book as fact and other parts are just purely fiction with no ties to actual events.
In the beginning of the story, I came across a statement that was profound:  “Because if the world never learns from the lessons of its history, then it is condemned forever to repeat the sins of the past.” (pg 6). The novel centers on the ethnic cleansing and war that took place in the Yugoslav regions of Crotia, Slovenia and Bosnia.  While at first it was hard for me to read, as I pressed on, a mystery started springing up, the action began taking off and before I knew it I was lost in the story.
What the novel shares is a story of hope and redemption beyond the darkest days, both for many citizens and a young couple in love.  However, what we are introduced to at first is a woman named Carla who is in a therapist’s office, coming to terms with her husband’s recent death and recurring nightmares.  The dreams are of a people she doesn’t know, events she doesn’t remember and so begins her journey of discovery.  Throughout the novel I was reminded that there are people who choose to love and others who choose to hate.  The choice that is made then directs the actions the person takes, and the repercussions of that choice can have negative or positive effects on people for years.
The Last Witness will stir your heart, emotions and mind perhaps in a way few fictional books have before.  It is amazing to read this historical novel that happened not too long ago in history and we would be wise to remember what happened so as not to repeat it.  I cannot recommend this book high enough.  It will stay on my shelf for years to come, and I hope you will grab a copy to read and perhaps one to share with a friend.
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, August 18, 2014

A Family for Christmas

Title:  A Family for Christmas (Texas Grooms #3)
Author:  Winnie Griggs
Pages:  220
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Love Inspired Historical
Chance Dawson thinks he has the next greatest invention for the housewife.  He has taken a loan out from the bank to make his dream come true.  Now he has learned that his father has taken partial ownership in the bank that holds his loan and is coming to town to check up on his investment as Chance sees it.  Chance has always felt like the black sheep of the family and not capable of living up to his father’s expectations.  He has forged a new life for himself in Turnabout, Texas and considers it his home.  He has taken an interest in Eve Pickering and her young friend Leo.  He has offered them a place to stay with his widow friend Dotty moving in as a chaperone for propriety’s sake.  He sees some of his own insecurities in her and longs to show her how to have some fun in life and not work all the time.  Chance thinks she just might be the woman for him, but what will happen if she discovers his secret?
Eve Pickering is traveling to Tyler, Texas to take a job as an apprentice in a milliner’s shop after her grandmother exiles her from her home in Arkansas.  While on the train, she meets a 10-year-old boy name Leo who turns out to be a stowaway.  He is thrown off the train in Turnabout and Eve just can’t leave him to fend for himself.  She meets Chance and accepts his offer of shelter, temporarily in her mind.  Once she finds a home for Leo, she can go to Tyler and take up her job as her grandmother has told her to.  Chance shows her she can think for herself and her life is her own and not her grandmother’s.  She admires Chance as a gentleman and grows to love him, but what will he think of her when she tells him her secret?
Both Chance and Eve have insecurities instilled in them since childhood that have shaped how they interact with others.  They both have adapted to avoid talking about their past, but when confronted with their feelings for one another, can they let themselves be vulnerable?  This was a sweet love story that was easy to read and good for an afternoon’s entertainment.  The ending is predictable, but the journey to get there is enjoyable and stress free.  I’ve enjoyed this entire series thus far and look forward to the fourth book to round out the series.
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

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Bride Next Door (Texas Grooms #2)

Title:  The Bride Next Door (Texas Grooms #2)
Author:  Winnie Griggs
Pages:  280
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Harlequin Love Inspired Historical
Everett Fulton longs to return to the big city.  He was a reporter in Philadelphia, but was fired from his job due to Everett’s reporting on a fictitious story that had devastating consequences as Everett didn’t perform due diligence in confirming his sources information.  Everett is now in Turnabout, Texas, publishing a small town gazette twice a week.  His stories are much more mundane in his eyes and he has put out the word in some of the bigger cities that he is interested in employment as a reporter.  Everett is a stickler for propriety and neatness.  He never lets his guard down and doesn’t like to talk about his childhood.  His new next door neighbor, Daisy Johnson, sometimes tries his patient and sometimes irritates him, but the more time he spends in her company, the more his attraction for her grows.  She has a strong faith that he misses when they are apart.  She is definitely not the type of wife he would have pictured himself with, but maybe she is just the wife he needs, even though he doesn’t know it.
Daisy Johnson dreams of opening up a restaurant in Turnabout and making the town her permanent home.  She wants a husband and a family as well.  Everett Fulton is surely not the man God has in mind for her.  They could not be more opposite.  She is an optimist and he is a pessimist, though he would call himself a realist.  Daisy works hard to make her dream of a restaurant come true.  She saves her money, does multiple jobs to earn that money and does so with a cheerful disposition.  Somehow she begins to imagine a future with Everett in it, but knows his relationship with God is not where it should be.
I loved Daisy’s character.  She prayed so honestly and earnestly in all situations.  She lived her faith every day and always tried to see the positive in all people and situations.  She had a generous and caring heart and thought of others before herself.  These are traits we can all strive to weave into our own lives.  I also liked how Everett finally learned to put the needs of others ahead of his own dreams and how honoring God and building a relationship with Him would bear fruit.  This is a gentle romance that can be read in a day.  The third book in the series, A Family for Christmas, will be reviewed here shortly.
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

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Handpicked Husband (Texas Groom #1)

Title:  Handpicked Husband (Texas Grooms #1)
Author:  Winnie Griggs
Pages:  282
Year:  2012 (previously published in 2005 as Lady’s Choice by Dorchester Publishing)
Publisher:  Harlequin Love Inspired Historical
Regina Nash is faced with a choice.  She either marries one of the three men her grandfather sent as suitors or she loses her nephew.  Her grandfather thinks she needs to have a husband in order to raise a child as well as to look after her.  She is living in the small town of Turnabout, Texas while her grandfather resides in Philadelphia.  She wants nothing to do with marriage and likes her independent life just the way it is.  However, she will do whatever it takes to keep her nephew so she reluctantly signs the contract brought by her father’s man, Adam Barr.  Too bad Adam isn’t putting himself forward as a potential suitor as she thinks he would make a good father.  She has known Adam for about seven years and had a crush on him when she was a teenager.  Now, she has a strategy mapped out that will hopefully discourage the suitors to return to the East Coast and leave her in peace.
Adam Barr wants nothing more than for this three-week trial to be over.  He is anxious to get back to Philadelphia to clear his name.  He was wrongly convicted of embezzlement and spent six years in jail.  He knows who the guilty party is, but he must find proof before making any accusations.  He lost everything as a result of his imprisonment…his law practice, his home, his fiancée.  He wants nothing to do with Regina Nash and her husband quandary, but he owes Judge Madison, Regina’s grandfather, as he is the only man in Philadelphia to stand by him throughout his legal troubles, still believing him innocent of the charges.  Adam admires Regina’s spirit and dedication to her nephew, but he will uphold the contract no matter what as he gave the Judge his word.  However, Regina’s decision must be made in two weeks and what she decides throws everyone for a curve.
Reading this book was a great way to spend my Saturday afternoon.  The plot was not complicated, the characters were likeable and the outcome a forgone conclusion, but I sure enjoyed the journey getting to the end.  This is a light historical romance with a Christian theme, which I endorse wholeheartedly.  The next book in the series is titled, The Bride Next Door, and I will be reading and reviewing that book soon on this blog.  This is a feel-good romance that will leave readers smiling at the end.
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

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Bouquet of Love


Title:  A Bouquet of Love (Weddings by Design #4)
Author:  Janice Thompson
Pages:  352
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Revell
As tough as it is for authors to say good-bye to characters they have come to know so well when writing a series, this is one series that is hard for me to close as well.  From the first book through the last I have fallen in love with the characters, themes and wonderful laughter that bursts out when I come across a funny scene in the novels.  Here is the sequence of reading the previous stories in the series:  Weddings by Design, Icing on the Cake and The Dream Dress before ending the series with A Bouquet of Love.
Here the main character is Cassia Poppas a young Greek woman who loves Julie Garland movies and music.  When she is moved from California to Texas as her Dad makes a major decision to move the family without consulting anyone, all she can see at first is what she left behind.  The family opens a restaurant featuring Greek food directly across from a successful pizza store.  Now, the two head men of each restaurant business begin feuding and that begins to tear the families apart.  Will the women of each family, Italians on one side of the street and Greeks on the other, find a way to help mend the differences?
There were times as I was reading when I just burst out loud laughing, causing my family to wonder what I was laughing about.  These novels mix laughter, life and faith into well woven tales that encourage, enlighten the heart and entertain till you’re done with the book.  The author shares at the end of the book what her personal trials have been recently and how God used her time of writing to meet the need of her hurting heart.
Regardless of what one is going through sometimes reading a fictional tale helps calm the heart and wraps a comforting blanket around the reader’s soul.  Enjoy laughing, drying tears and sharing the stories with your families and friends!
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, August 14, 2014

Enemies Among Us by Bob Hamer

Title:  Enemies Among Us (A Thriller)
Author:  Bob Hamer
Pages:  323
Year:  2010
Publisher:  Fidelis
Enemies Among Us is the third novel for me to review from the pen of Bob Hamer.  Recently, I reviewed Counterfeit Lies, which he coauthored with Oliver North published in June 2014.  The more I read of this genre from various authors, who have had real life experiences in the field, the more grateful I become for the work many men and women do to keep Americans safe.  Not only have those who are on the front lines fighting to keep Americans safe but their families as well, so again my thanks to those who serve and their families!
The tale takes place in Los Angeles where undercover FBI agent Matt Hogan is on the front lines fighting to track down terrorists who are making plans to bring about destruction and death.  Matt is volunteering at a clinic that helps care for children brought to the United States for medical assistance unavailable overseas.  Matt is attempting to seek proof that the clinic is a front for financing terrorism, but so far he has found nothing.  Matt’s wife is a second grade teacher with a student whose father owns a small grocery store.  While visiting her student once Caitlin accidently witnesses a questionable transaction.  Once away from the store Caitlin passes on her information to Matt and from there the story starts to build.
Veteran undercover FBI agent and author Bob Hamer tells a gripping tale of the war on terrorism within the United States of America.  The story builds in suspense and action while also showing the spiritual and emotional battle the main character, Matt Hogan, is going through inside.  I found it very interesting that what helped Matt stay grounded was his wife’s beliefs, actions and prayers.  Profoundly put forth as well is the understanding of the Middle Eastern beliefs and lifestyles that are different, which I enjoyed understanding the people and faith more.  There is action, adventure, faith, compassion and more.  Readers will be tuning into the action, engrossed in the story and probably losing track of time as I did!  Don’t miss reading another wonderful writing from Bob Hamer.  I will be watching for more!
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


Prelude for a Lord

Title:  Prelude for a Lord
Author:  Camille Elliot
Pages:  343
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Zondervan
Bayard Terralton, Lord Dommick, has returned from war against Napoleon, but the fighting inside him continues.  He suffers from what today is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  He travels to Bath, England to protect his sister from an unwanted suitor and to ensure her reputation is intact before she has her first season in London in the spring.  Two of his three best friends travel with him, with the third still fighting Napoleon.  The four friends form a musical quartet that became famous before the war with Napoleon.  While escorting his sister to social events in Bath, he encounters Lady Alethea Sutherton.  At first he thinks she looks familiar, but can’t remember her specifically.  She soon sets him straight, but also needs his help tracing the provenance of her violin as someone is trying to steal it from her.  If Bay can solve the mystery, his family’s reputation will be restored.
Lady Alethea Sutherton has been forced from her home after her brother’s death and the title going to a cousin.  She has been hurt physically or emotionally by most of the people in her life with the exception of her half-sister and her neighbor in the country, a woman who taught her the love of music and especially the love of playing the violin.  This playing of the violin is not socially acceptable so Alethea is shunned by society.  Her father never had any use for a daughter and her brother was just going to sell her off in marriage to one of his friends before he unexpectedly died.  She has always felt alone and ostracized.  She has given up on God as he has let her be hurt so many times.  She trusts no man, but has a special disdain for Lord Dommick.  She met him 11 years previous after one of his concerts where he declared women had no place playing the violin.  Now, seeing him again, the old resentment is in full force.  However, she can’t alienate him too much as she needs his help finding information on her violin.  Things take a more dangerous turn as the story plays out.
With great skill, the author uses words to make the music come alive in the pages of this wonderful book.  My heart was stirred as I read about how the music was played, how it was received by listeners and how the joy of it infiltrated the heart.  I have always enjoyed Regency era books and this one will definitely be on my “keeper” shelf.  As I closed the book after reading the last page, my thought was that this was a truly great book that I enjoyed immensely.  The characters are deftly presented so readers can connect with them and care what happens to them.  The plot is unique to me, involving a mysterious violin.  There was a classic romance, but yet poignant and touching.  Faith was well-woven into the latter portion of the story.  I hope there are more of these attention-capturing Regency stories from this author.  I can’t wait for more!
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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Creston Mapes new novel: Sky Zone

Title:  Sky Zone (Crittendon Files #3)
Author:  Creston Mapes
Pages:  444
Year:  2014
Publisher:  David C. Cook
Jack Crittendon is in a bind.  He is working part-time on the security force at the local athletic arena.  He desperately needs a full-time job as his wife is 8 months pregnant with their third child.  She has had to go back to work full-time to support them after his job as a reporter at a local newspaper ended when the newspaper folded.  He has made friends with one of the security crew, Brian Shakespeare, who is a former Marine and now is obsessed with preparing for an imminent terrorist attack.  He tries to get Jack interested in this, but Jack is hesitant to respond favorably.  They are both working one night as the arena is hosting a presidential hopeful candidate’s speech as well as a Christian music star.
While getting the schedule for the evening’s events from his boss, the crew is alerted to a possible security breach.  This occurs shortly before the event is scheduled to open to the public and both the senator and musician want the event to go forth.  After that, the story takes off like a shot and keeps the thrills notched up until the end.
There are stories within stories that keep this story going nonstop from beginning to end.  I couldn’t put the book down!  This is the best book that I have read by Mr. Mapes to date.  There is enough suspense, action, plot twists, and energy to satisfy the most ardent adrenaline aficionado!  I have read all the Crittendon Files to date and I enjoyed revisiting Jack and Pam and their family as well as being introduced to a great new character in Brian Shakespeare.  I hope he shows up in other of the Crittendon Files.  I am waiting eagerly for the next book in the series and hope I don’t have to wait too long!  Great job Creston!
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, August 12, 2014

Down and Dead in Even

Title:  Down & Dead in Even (Down & Dead, Inc. Book #2)
Author:  Vicki Hinze
Pages:  52 (electronic)
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Magnolia Leaf Press
I became hooked on this author’s series when the first novel came out titled, Down and Dead in Dixie, which I found to be completely enthralling!  As I checked the author’s website, I saw this short story was coming out soon.  When it became available, I purchased it.  I am not a fan of electronic reading for a couple reasons:  (1) My eyes aren’t able to read for long on any device; (2) I think it unwise to be dependent on a device, and (3) I love the feel of a book in my hands that is always available to read.
In this very short story, readers are introduced to a set of twins who have very different lives and personalities.  Christine is a strong independent woman, successful and single; she is able to face any situation straight up, speaking whatever is on her mind.  Caroline is trapped in an abusive marriage; she has tried unsuccessfully many times to leave her husband only to be brought back and made to pay for leaving.  Finally, Caroline has had enough and with Christine’s help she begins her journey to freedom, safety and healing.
For me, the first novel had so much more tension and adventure whereas this one had a modicum of it.  I think it could have become a much more developed book.  However, I did enjoy Vicki’s tale and the tie-in she makes with the first novel in the series with a few characters from Down and Dead in Dixie.  Readers will appreciate perhaps that it is a fast story and I guarantee you will be left anticipating the next installment in the Down and Dead Series.
My rating is 4 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, August 11, 2014

A False Mirror

Title:  A False Mirror (Inspector Ian Rutledge #9)
Author:  Charles Todd
Pages:  371
Year:  2007
Publisher:  William Morrow
Inspector Rutledge travels to the small town of Hampton Regis in this ninth story in the series.  He is pulled off of an active case at the request of a former soldier Rutledge served with during WWI.  This soldier is now in a spot of trouble, having taken his former fiancée hostage.  He will only talk to Inspector Rutledge with his demands.  Inspector Rutledge races to town to prevent any further trouble only to find himself face-to-face with a soldier who Ian feels let his fellow soldiers down.  Ian has never particularly liked Stephen Mallory, but won’t convict him of a crime without proof.  Mallory demands Rutledge find the evidence to prove him innocent before he will let Felicity go.  Felicity is now married to someone else, but Mallory has moved to Hampton Regis to be near her.  He has been known to watch her house, even though he thinks he is doing this discreetly.
Ian begins to look for evidence of who could have attacked Felicity’s husband, Matthew Hamilton, and left him for dead.  Most of the town thinks Mallory is guilty, including the local police inspector.  He prods Ian to find Mallory guilty and not protect him just because they served in the war together.  Ian refuses to be bullied into making a false accusation.  Then, Matthew goes missing and no one can find him.  Did someone take him from the doctor’s clinic while he was too weak to protest?  Did he leave on his own, but with a confused mind?   Where would he go?  Who would harbor him?  The same day he is discovered missing, a dead body is discovered.  Also, Felicity and her maid are still being kept hostage while Ian investigates.  Soon another body is discovered and things look worse for Mallory, but Ian refuses to bow to public opinion and continues to search for the truth.
This is another fine mystery that kept me guessing until the last few pages.  I had it narrowed down to two suspects, but once again I chose the wrong one!  I admire Ian’s doggedness in searching for the truth.  He keeps digging and digging at the most remote piece of evidence or keeps going back over the same ground until something new comes to light.  Readers should know that there are some swear words in this book.  I thought the hostage situation involving Stephen Mallory, Felicity Hamilton and Nan Weekes went on so long it became unbelievable.  I still enjoyed the story and look forward to reading what mystery Ian is out to solve in book #10.
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

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Blind Sight

Title:  Blind Sight
Author:  James H. Pence
Pages:  404
Year:  2003
Publisher:  Tyndale
Thomas Kent is a former pastor, who has given up on life as well as God.  He lost his family in a tragic accident and now just wants to die.  He receives an enigmatic email followed by a very brief phone call with a pleading message to its listener.  Thomas decides he will obey the message from an old acquaintance and heads for the airport to pick up the package as requested.  What he realizes once he arrives at the airport amidst rapidly declining weather is that the package is two children.  Why would his college acquaintance send his children to Thomas?  Thomas has so much guilt and grief about his family’s accident he doesn’t want to deal with these young, 10-year-old, twin children.  As soon as he leaves the airport building, someone approaches the children and tries to take them.  Thomas thwarts that move and soon his world as he has known it is turned upside down.
He discovers someone really is after the children and he must protect them until he gets them to their mother.  He made a pledge while in a Christian group in college to help any member of the group when they faced dire situations.  This one certainly qualifies.  Someone is out to kill these children and he soon learns since he has helped them, he is on the hit list too.  Their mother, Justine, has been in hiding for three years as she tried to expose the religious cult she worked for, which is the same cult that is after the children, as frauds among many other illegal crimes.  How are they even going to find her?  Justine’s husband has sacrificed everything to get his children to safety.  Did he make a wise choice in choosing Thomas?  Thomas is just an ousted pastor.  How can he possibly protect these children from trained mercenaries?  Where is God in all of this?  Thomas has been angry with God for two years.  He rails at God again for allowing innocent children to be hurt.  Can he see God at work in this situation and find his way back to God or will he drown in his bitterness and sorrow? 
Wow!  This action-packed, adrenaline-pumping book grabbed my attention from page one and didn’t let go until the climactic end!  I highly recommend this suspense thriller.  The chapters are short, which keeps the tension ramped up.  The characters are well-defined, and I could relate to them so I was able to easily get involved in the story.  The story is well-written and I thought believable.  I am definitely going to read some of this author’s other books and will review them here.  Don’t miss this great read!
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, August 9, 2014

Dead Man's Rule


Title:  Dead Man’s Rule
Author:  Rick Acker
Pages:  314
Year:  2005
Publisher:  Kregel Publications
Ben Corbin is a young attorney who has left a big name law firm to start his own practice.  He has been in business six months and has discovered he has no trouble attracting clients, but he does have trouble collecting his fees from them.  He is in the middle of prepping for a trial when a former client recommends him to Dr. Ivanovsky, a former Russian biological scientist.  The good doctor has paid $5000 to a certain small-time Russian drug dealer for the contents of said drug dealer’s brother’s safe deposit box.  The drug dealer’s brother is dead, but used to work for the CIA and KGB as well as smuggling on the side.  The doctor tries to get into the safe deposit box, but the band won’t let him as the necessary paperwork isn’t signed, transferring ownership.  Dr. Ivanovsky tries to get this from the drug dealer, but now the drug dealer won’t sign and claims he was never paid any money.  He now plans to sell the box to someone else for a great deal more money.
Dr. Ivanovsky presents his case to Ben.  Ben tells him he will probably spend more in legal fees than the $5000 he paid for the box and probably the contents of the box as well.  The doctor is adamant that he wishes to proceed with suing the drug dealer.  As the case progresses, things begin to look good for Ben and the doctor and then they have a setback.  This happens time and again.  Ben wishes he never would have taken the case.  Ben also suspects that what is in the box is far more valuable than some jewelry, which is what the doctor initially claims is in the box.  Soon people connected to the case begin to die or disappear.  Can Ben win this case?  At what cost?  What is the cost, not only to him, if he loses?
This was a good book, but not a great book.  There was a little too much legalese for me that bogged down a few parts of the book.  I did like how the author wove Christianity into the plot as well as the theme of trusting God in all situations and not ourselves.  There were some tension-filled moments for sure and a few suspenseful ones too.  I think the threat of biological warfare is very well depicted in the story and that the average person is oblivious to that threat.  I will be reading more of this author’s books and would recommend this one for those who like legal suspense.
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

Friday, August 8, 2014

In Perfect Time


Title:  In Perfect Time (Wings of the Nightingale #3)
Author:  Sarah Sundin
Pages:  410
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Revell
Roger Cooper has his life lined up.  He is going to put in his 1000 flight hours required by the Army during WWII, return stateside and audition as a drummer for a big band.  He is a good drummer and practices whenever he has time between missions.  He thinks the only two reasons to date are to have fun, which can lead to trouble, or to lead to marriage, which he isn’t interested in right now.  So when Kay Jobson shows an interest in him, he doesn’t reciprocate.  That kind of woman is looking for fun, the kind of fun he isn’t going to participate in.  However, during a vulnerable moment, Roger sees himself in Kay as she searches for truth.  He gives her his treasured Bible and a friendship begins.  Over the course of the next several months, they serve together on some flights and have some deep conversations.  Their friendship develops into love as Roger sees the new Kay, but he still rejects her love while struggling with what he should do with his life after the war.
Kay Jobson has lots of boyfriends.  She uses her relationships to control men and she likes that, being in control.  She uses these men, leading to believe something more will develop between them, but when things take a more intimate or serious turn, she dumps the man.  Her life is filled with worthless pursuits until she begins talking to Roger Cooper.  She begins to read his Bible and discovers the lies her father told her all her life.  She treasures her friendship with Roger, but wants more from him.  She pursues him only to be rejected.  With her heart broken, she applies herself to getting a recommendation from her commanding officer to the chief nurse training program.  She has managed to change her personal life by severing all ties with any boyfriends and conducting herself by the Book, but now she has to foster a sense of unity among her flight group of nurses and they are different as night and day.
Both Kay and Roger struggle with a past where their parents repeatedly told them how worthless they were.  Kay, especially, has been misled by her earthly father.  He told her the Bible said she was unredeemable and wouldn’t let her read the Bible for herself to keep her from discovering the truth.  She struggles with the fact that God values her greatly, that she does have worth and does matter to Him even if she matters to no one else.  The power of words to hurt or heal is portrayed vividly in this story.  Roger still falls prey to thinking he isn’t good enough for Kay, that she deserves better, even though he has been a Christian for a while.  These struggles are realistically depicted in the book against the backdrop of a war and add depth to the characters.  I enjoyed the romance between the two that was rife with humor, tension and pain.  I am sorry to see the series end, but look forward to more from this wonderful author.
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