Showing posts from July, 2015

Thriving in Babylon

Title:  Thriving in Babylon Author:  Larry Osborne Pages:  224 Year:  2015 Publisher:  David C. Cook My rating is 4 out of 5 stars. Read any newspaper, listen or watch TV and it doesn’t take anyone too long to realize that our society has gone through a major decline.  People are hopeless.  Some are applauding actions or remarks that not too distant in the past would not have found an audience.  Babylon in our society seems to be growing by leaps and bounds.  Read the Old Testament passages referring to Babylon to help you understand the reference to life today in America. I have noticed an increase in books referring to Babylon and some of them are quite good; others are not.  Larry Osborne has written a book with a subtitle, “Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture.”  He is referring to characteristics of a man from ancient times, a young Jewish man who was exiled to Babylon centuries ago.  While Daniel underwent intense training in many subjects, the main lesson…

Irene Hannon's: Hope Harbor

Title:  Hope Harbor Author:  Irene Hannon Pages:  352 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. Irene Hannon’s latest novel, Hope Harbor really captured my heart from the word go!  The male lead character is Michael and he has come to Hope Harbor to hopefully gain some peace in his troubled heart and soul.  At his first stop, he runs into problems with his motel reservation and then he knocks a young lady off her bike by accident as he is crossing the street.  He faces the young lady named Tracy, apologizing and thinking this is the end of their meeting, but alas it isn’t so! As I discovered reading the tale of forgiveness, redemption, hope and new beginnings, my heart was captured by both the tough times some of the characters had gone through.  One of the characters named Charley runs a little food business right by the beach, selling fish tacos.  While they don’t sound pleasant to me because I don’t like fish, this Charley is a real friendly small town guy. Tra…

Empires End by Jerry Jenkins

Title:  Empire’s End Author:  Jerry B. Jenkins Pages:  336 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Worthy My rating is 5+ stars out of 5. Anyone who is familiar with the Bible will enjoy reading a novelization of the man Paul and his life.  Those who haven’t read the Bible may find this novel of vast interest and willing to be open to the Gospel that is clearly shared multiple times in the book.  What I really enjoyed was how it made Paul seem that he was a man to whom God spoke and through whom He gave us portions of the written Word we have in the New Testament today. It was curious to consider what pain, suffering, longings, joys and trails he lived through and with while traveling all across the land.  The variety of people he spoke to who both accepted his message and those who wanted nothing to do with the offer of salvation, especially through Paul’s speaking.  In the novel, it reminded me of how human Paul was and to not place him upon a pedestal, but to worship God alone. The book begins an…

Direct Hit

Title:  Direct Hit (The Blitz Detective #1) Author:  Mike Hollow Pages:  320 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Lion Fiction (Kregel Publications) Inspector John Jago is in his forties and has been in his current occupation for a little more than twenty years.  He has a new partner that he is training, young Peter Cradock.  The year is 1940 and the war with Germany has accelerated.  The beginning of the bombing campaign enacted on London takes place in this story.  During one of the bombing raids, the inspector and his protégé are called to the scene of a murder.  They find identification on the body, but while waiting for the police surgeon to arrive at the scene, another bomb is launched landing directly on the crime scene, obliterating any evidence including the dead body! As the inspector and his partner investigate the crime, asking questions of those who knew the victim, they uncover other criminal activities.  The road to justice for the victim is full of twists and turns and plenty of d…

Fallen Sky

Title:  Fallen Angel Author:  Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky Pages:  381 Year:  2011 Publisher:  B & H Publishing Group Special Ops leader Eric Moyer and his team are en route to their respective homes aboard an airplane when they receive a call mid-air from their commander.  They soon are informed they are being re-routed and sent on another mission.  This particular mission is extremely dangerous and there will be no help available once the team is in country.  They are tasked with retrieving a fallen satellite with very sensitive information with a secondary mission of rescuing a captured Special Ops team if possible. While on mission, Sergeant Major Eric Moyer receives terrible news from home that could potentially compromise him during this urgent mission.  While having to deal with the situation at home emotionally, he also must keep his head on straight to keep his team safe while fighting off special ops teams from China and an armed Russian group who are also afte…

"For Such a Time as This"

For Such A Time as This… In the Old Testament, there is book named after a woman who is in the lineage of Christ, the book of Esther.  Esther was a Jewish woman who was taken from her home against her will to have an opportunity to become queen.  One night with the king would determine if this Jewish woman would be crowned queen over a nation, a nation that wasn’t Israel.  During her time as queen a threat arose that was aimed at wiping out all Jewish people.  Her uncle challenged her to not hide and think because she was queen she would be exempt from the threat.  Here is a portion of chapter 4:12-16 (NIV): 12 When Esther’s words were reported to Mordecai,13 he sent back this answer: “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silentat this time, reliefand deliverancefor the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish.  And who knows but that you have come to your royal positi…

Refining Fire

Title:  Refining Fire (Seattle Brides #2) Author:  Tracie Peterson Pages:  320 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Bethany My rating is 5 stars. Tracie Peterson is a favorite author of mine from way back when I read her series of stories set in Alaska.  There is romance in Refining Fire, but what is more captivating is the faith exhibited by one young woman named Abrianna.  Abrianna could be referred to as a spit-fire of a woman, who has deep convictions based on the Word of God.  Now occasionally she gets herself into trouble, but her impulsiveness at times brings out the desire to act in the hearts of others. Militine Scott is a young lady who lives at the Madison Bridal School with no living relatives.  She is woman fraught with nightmares and questions.  Militine is afraid to get near any one person for fear of being hurt, but especially men due to the abuse she suffered at the hands of her earthly father.  Militine seems like her character is a little bit skeptic with a whole lot of seeking…

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Title:  Crazy Little Thing Called Love Author:  Beth K. Vogt Pages:  368 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Howard My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars. “No man is an island” and for that matter neither is a woman.  In this book, you’ll discover the richness relationships can bring and the pain too.  At the beginning of each chapter is a quote, some of which will truly tug your heart maybe causing you to pause before reading further as happened with me. I started the book on a late afternoon and read till the very end early in the morning hours.  What types of stories keep you reading?  Sometimes for me it’s the draw of a favorite author, or wondering what story lies behind the cover, or maybe even a continuation of a pervious novel published.  I am not sure that I can pinpoint one reason for staying up reading till the last page in Crazy Little Thing Called Love other than it was magnetic. The main two characters rush off during their high school spring break to get married on the spur of the moment…

Trail by Twelve

Title:  Trial by Twelve (Murder in the Mountains #2) Author:  Heather Day Gilbert Pages:  275 Year:  2015 Publisher:  WoodHaven Press Heather Day Gilbert has written another winner!  I recently read the first book in this series, Miranda Warning, and loved it so I was really excited to buy the second book in the series to see if the mystery and adventure would continue at the same high level.  I was not disappointed! This story takes place about 1-1/2 to 2 years after the first book.  Tess Spencer is now working part-time at a health spa to help pay off her husband’s law school loans.  Her employer has decided she wants to put in an outdoor pool at the health spa so a construction firm begins digging and soon makes a grisly discovery…a human bone.  A homicide detective is called in as it is soon discovered that there are multiple victims and they have not died natural deaths even though they did die some time ago.  The detective has heard about how Tess solved her first mystery and a…


Title:  Falcon (The Quite Professionals #3) Author:  Ronie Kendig Pages:  350 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press Salvatore Russo or Sal or Falcon as he is known to his brothers in arms on the Special Forces Team stationed in Afghanistan is angry at the world it would seem.  However, his anger is really directed at one person, Cassie Walker.  Underneath the anger though are shame, guilt and anger at himself.  He chooses to deal with his feelings in an unhealthy way, one that could get him discharged if discovered.  He has always been intense and any mission failures seen as person failures.  He is driven and completely loyal to his team.  Now that Cassie is on the scene he seems more distracted.  With a mole leaking sensitive information to an enemy, Daniel Jin, and further attempts on the lives of fellow soldiers, Falcon needs his focus more than ever.  But Cassie reveals something she has kept from him for four years and Falcon isn’t sure how he is supposed to deal with this n…

Masterpiece Marriage

Title:  Masterpiece Marriage Author:  Gina Weldon Pages:  224 (including discussion questions and excerpt from the next book in the series) Year:  2014 Publisher:  Abingdon Press This book in the Quilts of Love series is set in 1891 and takes place mostly in the city of Belle Haven, Virginia.  The two main characters are Zenus Dane and Mary Varrs.  They both like routine, schedules and doing things their way, which they feel is the correct way.  However, Zenus says repeatedly that he can make adjustments and is more flexible now.  Mary Varrs fails to see the evidence of this adjustability.  Zenus is the owner of a textile mill in Philadelphia that has been flooded.  All his fabric has been ruined in his eyes until he decides to cut the fabric up and sell the scraps with a design as a quilt kit.  The only fly in the ointment is he needs to get his nationally famous quilter aunt to create an original design for him.  He travels Belle Haven to get what he thinks he wants. Mary Varrs is …

A Bride at Last

Title:  A Bride at Last Author:  Melissa Jagears Pages:  368 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Bethany House Silas Jonesy is a farmer who arrives at his estranged wife’s request to give her aid when he discovers she has died.  She left him ten years ago and he hadn’t heard from her at all until her letter of a few weeks prior.  She also left him with a son, Anthony, he knew nothing about.  However, there is another man in the picture who seems to think Anthony is his son.  Before the question of paternity can be resolved, Anthony runs away.  He seems particularly close to his teacher, Kate Dawson.  Kate and Silas search endlessly for Anthony and appear to draw close over the weeks of searching for him.  Silas wants a future with Kate, but will he be enough for her?  Everyone he has known has never wanted him for any length of time and left him all alone.  Will Kate run from him too? Kate Dawson works as a teacher in Breton, Missouri.  She has been supporting Anthony and his mother on her meage…

A Heart's Promise (Journey of the Hear tSeries #5)

Title:  A Heart’s Promise (A Journey of the Heart Series #5) Author:  Colleen Coble Pages:  112 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. The climax in the story of life in the wilderness in the late 1800’s is simply spell-binding!  We find a nemesis or two from earlier installments making reappearances with nothing in mind but destroying the future plans of another lady and cavalry officer.  Emmie is the central female character in this book as she now lives with her past secret from her friends in fear of rejection. We also see how life is for Sarah and Rand who along with Jacob and his very pregnant wife Amelia.  There is also a surprise for readers who thought an earlier character was written into the fading sun, but appears here with a gift in tow.  Next month the final installment in “A Journey of the Heart” series will be released and we’ll get to read the exciting conclusion to the characters, setting and tale we’ve come to love.
Disclosure of Mater…
This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

No Safe Harbor

Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2012)


Elizabeth Ludwig


Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Rocket, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies (co-authored with Janelle Mowery), earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year Award. This book was followed in 2009 by I'll be Home for Christmas, part of the Christmas anthology collection, Christmas Homecoming.

In 2011, her second mystery, Died in the Wool (co-authored with Janelle Mowery) was nominated for a Carol Award. In 2012, the popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series released from Bethany House Publishers. Books one and two, No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, respectively, earned 4 Stars from the RT Book Reviews. Book three, Tide and Tempest, received top honors with 4 1/2 Stars.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending confe…

Balm of Gilead

Title:  Balm of Gilead (Healing Grace #3) Author:  Adina Senft Pages:  320 Year:  2015 Publisher:  FaithWords My rating is 5 stars out of 5. Each novel in the series, Herb of Grace, Keys of Heaven and the final one Balm of Gilead are stupendous!  The main character is Sarah Yoder who is widowed when her husband is trampled by a bull he kept on their farm.  Now Sarah is on a journey of healing and discovery of what gifts the Lord has given to her and how that impacts the family. In the final book, Sarah continues to learn healing by using herbs.  A man has moved into an Amish home that was bequeathed to him by his aunt and it is just over a small hill by Sarah’s home.  The only problem is Henry had left the Amish ways behind years ago, but his needs put Sarah in his path repeatedly.  The fun in reading the story is how each character discovers who they are which then must be followed by choosing to be Amish or become English. While readers could read the novel by itself and for sure e…

Beyond the Ashes

Title:  Beyond the Ashes (The Golden Gate Chronicles #2) Author:  Karen Barnett Pages:  316 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Abingdon Press Dr. Gerald Larkspur is one of the earliest doctors involved in cancer research and treating patients with experimental means.  As of yet, he has had no success in curing any of his patients, including his own cousin.  While still grieving the death of his young cousin, he continues his research with the help of his young partner and protégé, Robert King.  Robert’s story is told in book one of the series, Out of the Ruins.  After the earthquake, which affected everyone in the city, Gerald has opened his home to his mother, Robert, his cousin’s family and soon Robert’s sister.  He always wanted a full house, but thought it would be with his own wife and children.  He doesn’t regret his decision, but it is difficult to find a place to be alone for just a little while. Ruby Marshall is a young widow with nurses training.  She lost her husband two years ago an…

The Last Heiress

Title:  The Last Heiress Author:  Mary Ellis Pages:  352 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers Amanda Dunn is tasked with saving the family business and fortune when her father is too ill to travel to the United States to negotiate a contract to supply their British textile mills with cotton from the South.  However, there is one little thing going on that hampers her efforts…the Civil War.  The President of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis, has made it illegal to trade with England until England acknowledges and supports the Confederacy.  Also, Amanda has difficulty getting the businessmen in Wilmington, North Carolina to take her seriously.  After all, she is just a woman and really has no place in the business world.  However, Nate Cooper, owner of a local greengrocer’s store seems different.  He listens to her and takes her opinions seriously. As time goes on, Nate and Amanda spend more time together, but are just going to be friends due to their differences in social …

Someday Home by Lauraine Snelling

Title:  Someday Home Author:  Lauraine Snelling Pages:  368 Year:  2015 Publisher:  FaithWords My rating is 5 stars out of 5. One of the best characteristics about Lauraine Snelling’s books is that each one is an adventure of the heart for the reader!  What the author presents is usually a heart-touching story that resounds within the soul of anyone who opens her books.  Someday Home takes on various issues of women in different circumstances in life.  I loved it, especially because the women were middle-aged women.  The house they came to live in was owned by Lyn who recently lost her husband suddenly.  Now, two years later, she is going through menopause and looking for ways to experience new adventures. Then there is Judith who is an only child, and whose father frankly was a mean man.  Now Judith must leave her home and begin to find her way in life without being kept at her father’s beck and call.  Last, but not least there is Angela who celebrates her 25th anniversary with her …

Day of Atonement

Title:  Day of Atonement (A Novel of the Maccabean Revolt) Author:  David DeSilva Pages:  320 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Kregel My rating is 5 out of 5 stars! Many people know or heard of the yearly Day of Atonement, but how many know of the Maccabean war?  In the Protestant Bible, we don’t include the apocryphal books of the Maccabees as they aren’t considered inspired Scriptural, but if you read them as containing history your heart will be challenged.  The author takes readers back to that historical period where the people of Israel stood up and fought back in order to restore their God-given temple along with living according to their covenant with God. You might consider reading the historical account before the novel so as to really appreciate and be touched by these brave people: Reading what actually occurred will help you be able to distinguish fact from fiction.  As I read, I wasn’t too drawn into the story becau…

To Capture Her Heart

Title:  To Capture Her Heart (The Southold Chronicles Book #2) Author:  Rebecca Demarino Pages:  352 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 4 stars out of 5. There are some characters originally introduced to readers in book one of the series, A Place in His Heart, that are in the sequel.  Of course, new characters are in the story of book two, which takes place in the late 1600’s; the era has a fascinating and rich history that is woven in the story.  The timing of the story shows tension between various people groups, different belief systems, and yet in some of the homes there are daily prayer and Scripture reading as a family. Life is precarious and a day-to-day existence is the norm, and danger from warring Native American tribes brings some action into the story.  Included also is the war in England with the Dutch, which is now at an end, and the Southold community is expected to begin living in peace with their neighbors.  Some intermarriages between people from different…

To Win Her Heart

Title:  A Place in His Heart (The Southold Chronicles Book #1) Author:  Rebecca DeMarino Pages:  336 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5 stars. The story is set in the mid 1600’s, first in London, then to the new land eventually called America. In that era, arranged marriages were common place. Mary is the youngest daughter of a widower who is attempting to arrange a marriage he feels would benefit her in the long run. The eldest sister, Elizabeth, is already married with children and often helps their father understand the heart of a woman due to the fact that the mother is deceased. Earlier in the year a local baker with two small sons also became a widower and considered marrying again mainly for the benefit of his sons. Soon, it is arranged that Mary will marry Barney and begin a new life together, one that would eventually see them crossing the ocean due to religious persecution by the Church of England. Throughout the book I was captivated by the sometimes tense interactions b…

Gone without a Trace

Title:  Gone Without a Trace (Logan Point #3) Author:  Patricia Bradley Pages:  329 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell Alex Jennings is a private investigator who has just been handed his first case to work solo.  He has been assigned the task of finding a wealthy man’s granddaughter who has gone missing.  Alex is also dealing with his own wealthy grandfather who wants him to take the bar exam to become a lawyer.  Alex likes being a PI as well as a flying instructor and has no intention of ever becoming a lawyer.  As Alex investigates his case, he discovers many similarities to another missing woman’s case.  This woman’s cousin, Livy Reynolds, is a homicide detective.  She has been unsuccessful in finding her missing cousin, but agrees with Alex that the two cases bear looking into together. Livy Reynolds has decided to take a leave of absence from her job as a detective so as to concentrate on finding her missing cousin.  She initially thinks of Alex as just a PI and kind of beneath her…

Patterns of Evidence

Title:  Patterns of Evidence Studio:  Thinking Man Films Website: Year:  2015 My rating is 5+ stars out of 5. First, I have to say that normally I am not one to watch a documentary; I learn best usually via printed material.  However, for whatever purpose, God really led me to sit down and watch the DVD from beginning to end.  There aren’t enough words to express how astounding and encouraging it made me feel at the end.  I knew that Timothy P. Mahoney was a seeker when he made this film.  He was honest enough to say he really didn’t want to have anything to do with making a film.  What kept him going on were the thoughts and questions that continued to stir up his heart and mind and without these answers he wouldn’t be able to walk away.  For me, that is the Spirit of God working on his heart. I continued to be astounded by how Timothy traveled to various places to interview individuals and to look at or read documents or books that have been a…


Title:  Blessing (Quaker Brides #2) Author:  Lyn Cote Pages:  378 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. Blessing Brightman is a young, wealthy, Quaker widow who runs an orphanage, helps the Underground Railroad and is active in the women’s suffrage movement.  She was married at 18 and quickly discovered her husband was not the charming man who courted her.  She was widowed six years later with her husband dying under suspicious circumstances according to some.  She meets Gerard Ramsay at a suffragist meeting and they clash, but he intrigues her and challenges her.  They have more contact with one another as Gerard’s cousin and Blessing’s best friend are courting.  They have stimulating conversations and soon Blessing fears she has lost her heart to this man even though he isn’t a Quaker. Gerard Ramsay comes to Cincinnati to talk some sense into his cousin regarding infatuation with a young woman.  He plans to warn him of the dangers of marriage.  Gerard has no plans …

Letters from My Father's Murderer by Laurie Coombs

Title:  Letters from My Father’s Murderer Author:  Laurie A. Coombs Pages:  232 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Kregel My rating is 4 stars out of 5. As I read the book, I was reminded of the recent tragedy in South Carolina and how the decision of one person can change so many lives in the blink of an eye.  I am awed by how Laurie is so transparent in her journey to forgive the man who took her father’s life.  Her book I am sure doesn’t share all that happened, but there is enough to give readers a glimpse into the aftermath of a life taken, and another forever behind bars. Laurie shares how God led her to begin communicating with her father’s killer and how she thought if her questions were answered, she would have peace.  What Laurie learned and shares is what truly brought her peace.  I admire her husband who gave her time to work through the grief, pain and more throughout the years after her father’s death. When I read, it was easy to see how only God could make a way to bring two totally diffe…

Logos: A Novel of Christianity's Origins written by John Neelemen

Title:  Logos:  A Novel of Christianity’s Origin Author:  John Neeleman                                                                             Pages:  424 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Homebound Publications
John Neeleman’s novel Logos:  A Novel of Christianity’s Origin follows the life of a priest of the Pharisee sect of Judaism named Jacob ben Aaron.  The story covers several years leading up to the Jewish Wars, including the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in A.D. 70 and beyond.  Several historical characters and events are present in the story to help the novel move along; however, it must be clear that this is a work of fiction and should not be considered the truth of what actually occurred except for those events that can be verified by historical evidence. Although the novel appears to be well researched, the ending would be considered at worst blasphemous to devout Christian believers and at best extremely poor theology.  The ending strongly indicates that the Gospe…