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Showing posts from August, 2015

Until My Name is Known

Title:  Until My Name is Known (Tell of My Kingdom’s Glory #1) Author:  Sonya Contreras Pages:  267 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Bull Head Press My rating is 5! Jesus loved to tell stories to people and people loved to listen to them until some people turned away because what He offered they didn’t accept.  Now, centuries earlier, God did an amazing work when He took the Jewish people from captivity to a land they were to conquer and thrive in.  If you have ever read about the Exodus or seen the many versions of movies based on this historical event, then you are familiar with that story. Sonya Contreras utilizes storytelling, an historical event and a Biblical account to give us a novel that takes the reader back in time to the ancient world.  What made this novel different for me was the heart of the author and the unique approach to what we read in Exodus 1-15.  The novel doesn’t cover everything in the passage as it’s the first book in the series with a second book in the works titled…

Yesterday by Amanda Tru

Title:  Yesterday (Yesterday Series #1) Author:  Amanda Tru Pages:  198 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Sign of the Whale Books My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. I really was not quite sure how to explain my fascination with the story told by Amanda Tru.  There are many aspects to the novel such as time travel, a mystery, romance and the constant change of direction in the novel.  As I continued to read, I could tell the intensity of the tale was slowly escalating as well as some of the secret characteristics in a couple of the characters I sensed more than read in any description. I sensed there was a bigger story behind what I read; I am not sure if it was due to the intervention by a male character, who is a doctor befriending Hannah because she experiences time travel or if he really loved Hannah.  The antagonist in the story is easy to notice, but what devious evil plan might she have towards Hannah?  Hannah is the only character who travels in time and some of her actions later on begin t…

When Night Comes

Title:  When Night Comes Author:  Dan Walsh Pages:  346 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Bainbridge Press My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars. What a thriller!  I have read other works of Dan Walsh and enjoyed them too.  When I saw the cover of When Night Comes, I must say I was highly intrigued!  Then when I began reading, wow!  The story can be called mystery, thriller, suspense and high octane tension and all of that would be true!  Set in a small town, an upscale private college a student turns up dead, but one look at the victim and it is easy to see something weird is going on! The further I read the book the deeper the mystery became along with a higher body count.  The test subjects, though they didn’t know they were being sued, had dreams that were very lifelike.  In fact, they could recall everything they experienced no matter how horrifying, scary or weird it felt.  The only person who could attest to the drugs effect was a well-known author who was on campus to give some lectures on hi…

Not By Sight

Title:  Not By Sight Author:  Kate Breslin Pages:  384 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Bethany My rating is 5+ stars out of 5. Not by Sight is an exceptional piece of historical writing set during WWI in England with characters that are mesmerizing.  We are introduced to a young woman whose brother is in France fighting.  She despises those who are still at home enjoying life and wealth; her name is Grace Mabry.  Grace’s father owns a tea shop in London, but her mother has died.  Grace believes the only way to get others in the fight is to shame them by giving them a white feather.  Now, if you’re not aware of what the white feather stands for, it stands for cowardice.  This I learned by watching a 1939 movie called, The Four Feathers, which was remade in 2002. Grace attends a masquerade ball with her maid.  She is uninvited, but she will do what she believes will get the war over sooner and her brother home faster.  The man she sees and slips the feather to is a man named Jack and what occur…

Cold as Ice (A Kristen Conner Mystery #3)

Title:  Cold As Ice (A Kristen Conner Mystery #3) Author:  M.K. Gilroy Pages:  400 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Sydney Lane Press Kristen Conner is visiting her sister in New York City when she decides to take a very early morning job in Central Park in below freezing temperatures before her flight leaves for her return trip to Chicago.  Unfortunately, she stumbles upon a crime scene as the criminal is leaving it.  What follows is an eruption of violence by the Russian mafia in New York City with Kristen right in the middle of things.  She returns to Chicago, but with a protective detail surrounding her.  She is ordered to see the department’s counselor before she will be returned to active duty.  Also upon her return she learns of the murder of one of her neighbors in the old neighborhood where she grew up.  Her mom provides a clue to help the investigation, but seems nervous so Kristen moves in with her temporarily. Kristen’s love life is also in upheaval as her FBI semi-boyfriend keeps…
This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingCold as Ice Sydney Lane Press byM.K. Gilroy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mark won’t claim he has done it all in the world of publishing, but he has packed boxes, edited manuscripts, made sales calls, created marketing plans, directed design and illustration, started companies, consulted, agented the works of others, and written advertising and catalog copy. He’s authored, compiled, and ghost written books that have landed on an array of bestsellers lists and sold millions of copies. His first ghost writing project, The Wal-Mart Way, was done for Don Soderquist, Sam Walton’s longtime right-hand man.

In early 2012 he put on a new hat as a fiction author. His debut novel, Cuts Like a Knife, was released in April 2012 and was met with rave reviews from USA Today, Fresh Fiction, Publishers Weekly, and other leading national reviewers. His second novel, Every Breath You Take, second in the Kristen Conner Mystery Series, released in Fall 2012 …

Every Breath You Take (Kristen Conner Mystery #2)

Title:  Every Breath You Take (A Kristen Conner Mystery #2) Author:  M. K. Gilroy Pages:  365 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Worthy Publishing In this second book of the Kristen Conner series, Kristen returns from a temporary leave of absence spent in an FBI training center.  She arrives in Chicago expecting a little love and recognition from her co-workers and boss for a job well done when she singlehandedly took down a serial killer.  She barely receives acknowledgement that she is back.  She is immediately plunged into another high profile murder case.  A billionaire’s eldest son is brutally murdered with a hammer to the head several times.  What soon comes to light is a high end prostitution service exclusively for the rich.  The madam in charge of the escort service is a suspect for the murder, but events unfold that change that.  As part of the investigation, Kristen infiltrates the escort service as one of the escorts. As the investigation proceeds, Kristen’s personal life takes an u…

Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream #1)

Title:  Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream #1) Author:  Susan Anne Mason Pages:  384 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Bethany My rating is 5+ stars out of 5. Maybe the tale drew me into the pages as the central figures are an Irish family or maybe because it was set in the year 1911, thus a historical setting.  Either way Susan Anne Mason has crafted a novel that draws on the hearts of the readers keeping them turning pages until the story ends, at least until the sequel coming in 2016! Irish Meadows is the family estate where horses are bred, trained, cared for and rode to prepare them to be horses ready for racing.  The family living on Irish Meadows is the O’Leary family who work hard, love much, face trials with determination and occasionally get into spats.  The Irish during this time period and before were not looked upon with anything but hatred, and people were unwilling to hire them to work.  When, in the book, the state of New York bans racing, the demise of Irish Meadows appears on th…

One Voice in a Chorus

One voice in a chorus…. When I felt the Lord’s hand on me to write something other than reviews, to be honest it scared me. Why? Well, for one reason, it is definitely outside my comfort zone. Two, in the realm of social media where literally thousands of people share their thoughts, pictures or any number of vast possibilities I wondered who would take time to read my thoughts. Have you ever been to Niagara Falls? I personally have never visited, however, over the years some have shared their experience with me. I can only imagine the sound of the water cascading down to the bottom, which has been clocked one time as going as fast as 68 miles per hour! Then, I think of all the molecules that are present at any one moment and it amazes me. Yet God can hear but one small voice in the chorus of millions who cry out to Him at anytime from anywhere. A couple of weeks ago I shared about Esther in “For Such a Time as This”. Esther was a queen, who was an unknown Jew within her sphere of life b…

Those Jenson Boys!

Title:  Those Jenson Boys! Author:  William W. & J. A. Johnstone Pages:  336 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Pinnacle My rating is 5 stars out of 5. Westerns...what is it about these books that tend to arrest the attention of a person and then draw them into history?  I like westerns because of the action, adventure and characters of the genre.  There are some authors who don’t merit my attention or time, but the Johnstones do!  Why?  Well, one reason is the craft of writing a good story was passed down from one generation to another.  Second, there is usually a minimal amount of cussing with no sexual stuff.  Finally, the most important factor is the author’s ability to weave a great story! In Those Jenson Boys! readers are introduced to the sons of Luke Jenson.  These boys, Ace and Chance, are very different from each other, but very closely knit brothers.  The Jensons know their family history, stick by each other through all situations and they know how the other one will more than likely re…

Cuts Like a Knife

Title:  Cuts Like a Knife (A Kristen Conner Mystery #1) Author:  M. K. Gilroy Pages:  410 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Worthy Publishing Kristen Conner has anger issues; just ask her family and friends!  She is a detective with the Chicago Police Department, lives alone and goes to church.  Now, she has been assigned a new case.  There has been a grisly murder of a woman by means of a knife.  The manner of the murder has alerted the FBI, which then sends a task force to work in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department.  This may be the work of a serial killer who has used the same method of murder in several other cities, then goes underground for a little while and pops back up in another city months or even years later.  Chicago could be the sixth city where the killer has struck.  Another body is soon discovered killed in the same manner.  Another thing in common in all the murders is that the killer never leaves any evidence, so the task force has very little to investigate. As …

Through Deep Waters

Title:  Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) Author:  Sarah Sundin Pages:  384 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell My rating is 5+ stars out of 5. Wings of the Nightingale Series contained the first novels by this author that I read, and I lost a lot of sleep thoroughly getting lost in those stories.  Now, Waves of Freedom starts her new blockbuster series set in the era of WWII.  The setting is the Boston Naval Yard where ships were being built, but tensions between groups whose view of war was vastly polar worked on the docks together with tensions running high.  Mary was the secretary at the naval yard and she loved being out of the limelight, supporting others' dreams never imagining romance to be a part of her life. Jim is an Ensign in the Navy fresh out of the academy who prefers letting whatever way the wind blew direct his naval career.  Jim’s viewpoint stems from an accident as a young boy when he dared to let one of his sisters follow himself and his brothers into the woods, wh…

The Greenfield Legacy

Title:  The Greenfield Legacy (A Novel) Authors:  Meredith Resce, Amanda Deed, Paula Vince, Rose Dee Pages:  258 Year:  2012 Publisher:  Even Before Publishing My rating is 4 stars out of 5. What a roller coaster of emotions as the plot thickens around a family torn apart at one time by bitterness and fear.  By the end of the novel the brilliance of weaving such a captivating and heart rending novel was just amazing.  It starts with a father denying his daughter, Mattie, marriage to a man she loves as he envisioned her marrying someone he considered a more equal partner. When Mattie learns her boyfriend is going to Vietnam, their time together results in a child being born.  While that alone was tough, it was even tougher being forced to let the baby be adopted without Mattie having held her.  Then, as readers continue on, they will learn both the history of the family and how Mattie now lives her life guarding her heart from any type of love for fear of being hurt again. Legacy is t…

A Sapphire Season

Title:  A Sapphire Season Author:  Lynn Morris Pages:  359 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Faith Words Mirabella and Giles have been best friends all their lives.  Good or bad Giles has always been by her side to make things better.  This year, when they both turn 22, they and two friends have decided to attend the Season in London.  Mirabella has decided that she will become betrothed before the Season is over.  She and her best female friend Josephine begin making the social rounds at various balls and dinners.  Privately, Mirabella has a list of potential men that she will entertain the thought of them perhaps being a good match for her. As the Season progresses and one man, then another fall off her list, Mirabella begins to notice that Giles is not spending as much time with her as usual.  In fact, he has been spending most of his time in the company of one of Mirabella’s friends.  Mirabella is down to the last man on her list of potential suitors when she makes a stunning discovery.  …

Trial Run: Fault Lines

Title:  Trial Run (Fault Lines #1) Author:  Thomas Locke                                                                                     Pages:  385 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell Rating:  3 out of 5 stars.  Thomas Locke, also known as Davis Bunn, has written many award-winning novels which I have thoroughly enjoyed.  In this latest venture, he tackles the techno-thriller genre with a well-researched novel that deals with teams of people who try to unlock the mind and project themselves to other places and other realities. Locke’s novel was difficult to read, not because of his superior writing ability as much as my interest level and understanding in the areas of quantum mechanics and psychology; however, the dialogue between characters was wonderfully constructed.  What I liked most about the novel was the short chapters with frequent scene changes and the amount of dialogue to advance the story.  What I think could be improved upon is the different settings, which seemed to be lack…

Remembering My Father

Yesteryear I hear the laughter that no longer rings aloud. I see in my mind’s eye the loved one who is but a memory. I grieve for what can no longer be recaptured. Though at times I sure wish I could return to yesteryear and live the days again, I doubt I ever really thought those days would never come again. Life just seems to keep on going. Then, one day I looked back down the road with longing in my heart and a tear going down my face, I realized I couldn’t truly relive the moments of laughter, parties, games, sibling stuff and getting ready for Dad to come home. They will forever live in my heart and I will remember the late night math tutoring after you just got home from work, Throwing me pop flies until you needed to go inside and love on the woman of your dreams, The encouragement to always do better and more important be a better person, The laughter around the dinner table, especially with extended family there, The times on the back porch as you grilled even when snow was flying, Your …

Through Deep Waters by Sarah Sundin

Title:  Through Waters Deep (Waves of Freedom #1) Author:  Sarah Sundin Pages:  375 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell Mary Stirling is a secretary at the Boston Naval Yard in 1941.  She loves her job and is comfortable being “invisible” or behind the scene.  She never wants to draw attention to herself as she is fearful of experiencing pride, which can lead to humiliating events.  Mary knows this from her past when she experienced such humiliation from firsthand knowledge.  She runs into an old friend from high school, Jim, who has just arrived in town, having recently graduated from the Naval Academy.  Mary agrees to show him around Boston and they both indulge their love of history.  While spending time together, they also encourage one another.  Mary discusses the strange happenings at the naval yard with Jim as she diligently records conversations as she overhears them.  She is determined to solve the case and bring the saboteur to justice. Jim Avery is new to town and to the Navy. …

On Shifting Sands

Title: On Shifting Sand Author:  Allison Pittman Pages:  416 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Tyndale Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. The story is told from the main female character named Nola who lives in Oklahoma with her husband Russ and two young children.   As I began reading I remembered a movie I watched which depicted quite realistically the Dust Bowl conditions of the land many years ago.  The Dust Bowl is used as a setting by the author to depict both a physical as well as spiritual realities of what life is like without care, watering, proper stewardship and more.  Nola is struggling as a ministers wife feeling like she is always second to the needs of those in the church.  After each storm the people of the small town would gather at the church to pray as well as count heads to see if any people were missing. As time goes on not only does the town population diminish but so does the heart of Nola.  When she is at her lowest point she rationalizes her choice to commit a sin which leads …

Among the Fair Magnolias

Title:  Among the Fair Magnolias (Four Southern Love Stories) Author:  Tamara Alexander, Dorothy Love, Shelley Gray, Elizabeth Musser Pages:  384 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 out of 5 stars. A Heart so Trueby Dorothy Love The setting is 1860 in South Carolina during the summertime.  What most fascinated me was the interplay between a father and daughter at odds with whom she was to marry.  Abigail Clayton always shows a spirit of adventure even when pushing the boundaries of propriety.  Abigail’s mother usually a quiet and submissive wife must now choose to remain so or speak in support of Abigail.  I truly enjoyed the tale that had romance as well as action, mystery and beautifully described scenery. To Mend a Dreamby Tamara Alexandra A fascinating and captivating story!  Savannah is a seamstress in Nashville, Tennessee during the year 1870.  Though the War Between the States has been over for a few years Savannah still misses the brothers and father she lost in the wa…

The Ticket by Debra Coleman Jeter

Title:  The Ticket Author:  Debra Coleman Jeter Pages:  205 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Tray is a 14-year-old girl who sees herself as tall, skinny, bony and ugly, but her Gram sees her as exceptional.  Tray’s mother has mental problems and spends most of her days in bed suffering from deep depression, so Tray is left to depend on her grandmother or Gram to raise her.  Gram is always quoting from the Bible or some cliché that Tray feels never fits the moment until she stops to think about it and realizes Gram is almost always right.  Gram lives with Tray, Tray’s mother and Trays’ father.  Tray’s father works a lot and is not home very much.  When he arrives home, he is usually very tired and irritable.  He really doesn’t know Tray well and doesn’t show her much attention. One evening her father receives a phone call telling him he has the winning lottery ticket.  Her father can hardly believe it.  Someone gave him the ticket as a gift, and he hasn’t…

A Heart’s Home (Journey of the Heart Series Book #6)

Title:  A Heart’s Home (Journey of the Heart Series Book #6) Author:  Collen Coble Pages:  112 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Thomas Nelson My rating is 5 stars out of 5. The series is now complete with the last installment titled, “A Heart’s Home”.  The order in which to read the books is:  “A Heart’s Disguise”, “A Heart’s Obsession”, “A Heart’s Danger”, “A Heart’s Betrayal” and “A Heart’s Promise”.  The story is completed, but not in the way I had expected it to in some ways and in other ways it ended happily.  I think the author does a wonderful job describing the harshness of life on the plain along with the danger of sicknesses that can end a young life as well as an older one.  Now the families are together and heading out to start homesteading in land open to new people, but away from land given to the various Indian tribes. As with all life, there are times when there is sadness and times of happiness which the author wove well in each book.  There is faith that kept the folks in th…

Have a Rest filled Sunday

Let us rejoice and be glad in it!

See you Monday!

The Camelot Conspiracy

Title:  The Camelot Conspiracy Author:  Diane and David Munson Pages:  344 Year:  2009 Publisher:  Micah House Media There are two storylines going on at the same time with this complex plot.  One involves illegal drug smuggling and the other involves illegal information gathering.  The story takes readers from Washington, D.C. to Michigan as well as overseas.  There are other subplots going on as well that tie together at the end of the story nicely.  There are reappearances of characters Eva Montana and Griff Topping from the prior two books as well as investigative reporter Kat Kowicki. This story centers on Kat Kowicki and her crusade to take down Senator Lars Zorn, as well as uncovering new information on John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Kat also gets a love interest in this story in the form of Detective Jack McKenna.  It is Jack’s father, a retired Chicago policeman, who provides Kat with new information that was covered up at the time of Kennedy’s assassination.  The plot is…