Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Capitol K-9 Christmas (Love Inspired Suspense)


Title:  Capitol K-9 Unit Christmas (Protecting Abigail/Guarding Abigail)
Author:  Shirlee McCoy & Lenora Worth
Pages:  224
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 stars.
These books are such a treat to read, and I never get tired of Love Inspired books as the stories are of such variety plus the suspense keeps me reading for hours!  Here, in this special novel, are two short stories written by one of the authors listed above.  Both will keep you guessing as to how the mystery will end as well as any romance that is part of the tale.
I loved both of the stories as two K-9 officers are in each story with their own special assignment and love interest.  The trained dogs are something too as I imagine their training and the way they obey their handlers while also being sensitive to the women who are being protected from those who are seeking to kill them.
In Protecting Abigail readers will enjoy watching a traumatized woman face her past and the fear connected with it while discovering something about her husband’s past she never knew.  In Guarding Abigail, Washington’s elite ambassador has been assassinated and his daughter has now become a target.  Both of the women feel a deep sense of helplessness while others put their lives on the line to end the reign of terror someone is bringing into their lives.
Both are captivating and fast moving stories that will keep audiences up till they reach the conclusion!  Enjoy!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion.  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.”

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Deadly Secrets


Title:  Deadly Christmas Secrets (Mission:  Rescue)
Author:  Shirlee McCoy
Pages:  224
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 stars.
The main female character named Harper has withdrawn from a busy life after the murder of her sister and niece.  Harper purchases a nice cabin in the middle of nowhere and crafts pottery that becomes well known and sought after.  However, the name signed on the pottery could in no way lead anyone to her or so she thought.
One day an SUV pulls into her driveway and from that moment on Harper is on the run, being shot at, and doesn’t know who is the one responsible for threatening her life.  A new clue has popped up that seems to point to the fact that her niece is not dead, a hope that Harper has held onto since no body was ever found.
A man who shows up at her out-of-the-way cabin has unknowingly led the killers right to her front door.  Now, Logan must protect Harper while locating her niece and solving the cold case.  The closer they come to locating the niece, the higher the risk to Harper and those who are trying to protect her 24 hours a day.
Grab a blanket, a hot cup of chocolate and then spend a few hours feeling as if you are riding a rollercoaster as both solving the case and the budding romance between Lucas and Harper will take you for a ride.  I really enjoyed this story, finishing the book in record time.  These Love Inspired Suspense novels make a wonderful gift for the readers in your family or circle of friends!

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.” 

Monday, December 28, 2015

High Caliber Holiday





Title:  High-Caliber Holiday (First Responders #3)
Author:  Susan Sleeman
Pages:  224
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5+ stars.
First, let me share that there are six books in the series.  Here are the dates of release I found on Amazon:
A six member, elite First Response Squad- including two negotiators, a bomb tech, a sniper, an EMT, and a team leader.
Book 1 - Silent Night Standoff - Nov/2014
Book 2 - Explosive Alliance - May/2015
Book 3 - High-Caliber Holiday - Nov/2015
Book 4 - Emergency Response - May/2016
Book 5 - Firestorm* - August/2016
Book 6 - Deadly Rescue* - Dec/2016
If you’re like me, you want to read the whole series.  The advantage of these books is you can read one or all of them and still really enjoy them.  This is the first time I have found such helpful information on Amazon and I am grateful!  These books don’t take long to read and you can share them with family or friends by either giving them their own copies or by word of mouth. 
When I read High-Caliber Holiday, I was hooked as the tension starts from page one and goes all the way to the end of the novel.  The sniper on the team is Brady who is finding his next shot hard to take due to a prior action shot taken in another situation involving another former servicemen.  When he does he becomes entangled in the life of a young woman named Morgan whose response to be a captive and now finding herself with a slight wound but free tears at sniper Brady’s heart.
When Morgan returns home she finds that someone has been there, leaving roses and a note, but no sign of forced entrance.  Morgan and Brady have pasts that they each try to tell themselves will prohibit them from having any hope of romance.  As you read, not only does the tension between the two people become heightened, but so does the mystery as Morgan’s life is unraveling and threatened constantly!
I can’t wait to read more from this series!  I love these Love Inspired suspense novels and look forward to seeing what comes from other authors as well as Susan’s First Responders books!  Care to join me?
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.” 

Winchester 1886 by William W. & J. A. Johnstone


Title:  Winchester 1886
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  384
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5 stars.
The Old West brings to mind a raw, unbroken and lawless time in history.  What draws readers of all ages to books that capture the imagination and heart of audiences?  For me, it is the stories that bring to life both fictional and historical characters along with the lawless and the lawful.  It also is a timeframe to get lost in where daily living was treacherous and it took hard work to eke out a living with families under threat from various people or diseases.
Most of all I love westerns that are well written and tell stories without describing gruesome details, leaving that to the imagination of readers.  In this novel, I have to say the Johnstones outdid themselves!  Here is tale that has a variety of storylines such as a family of lawmen who passed down their convictions from generation to generation.  The plot also has readers following this special rifle to see if it arrives to its final destination safely or if it is stolen and used for nefarious reasons.
Authors that write with such knowledge along with a great imagination are authors to go back to again and again as they bring more wonderful tales to enjoy.  The Johnstones excel at this and have for years.  I hope you will read their wonderful books too.  My next book to enjoy will be Winchester 1887.  Look up the authors’ website and consider joining their book club so you can receive their newest books every month for a whole year!  Plus, they provide a book list so readers can locate books in the multiple series that are available!  Join me in the old west and get ready for action, adventure and suspense!
So mount up, gear up and let’s ride!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion.  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.”

Saturday, December 26, 2015

: Yuletide Fugitive Threat (Bounty Hunters)

Title:  Yuletide Fugitive Threat (Bounty Hunters)
Author:  Sandra Robbins
Pages:  224
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 stars.
Fugitive at Large and Fugitive Trackdown are the two previous books in the Bounty Hunters series.  The members of the Knight Agency are bounty hunters hired by various people to locate and capture those who have not returned to court after posting bail.  In Sandra’s third book, we meet a young woman who lost her husband a couple of months ago and is being harassed by a mysterious man who wants “it”.  However, Mia has no knowledge of what the dangerous man is referring to and her life is in danger.  When Mia is confronted by the mysterious man and a knife is placed at her throat, she is able to momentarily blind him giving her a chance to jump in her car and flee.
Mia is not sure who she can trust and is especially fearful since her husband abused her and kept her under his thumb through fear and manipulation.  So Mia shows up on the porch step of the one man she believes she can trust, but is also one man who will want nothing to do with her.  His name is Lucas and he works for the Knight Agency.
Lucas is used to danger, having served as a Navy SEAL before becoming part of the Knight Agency.  Lucas learns about her case and while she rests, he begins to see if there is a verified threat to her life.  When he learns there is, he is willing to help her but keeps her at a distance because he doesn’t want Mia to break his heart again.
Put your seatbelt on before starting the book because the heart-pumping action just doesn’t let up.  I have read the other novels in the Bounty Hunter series and highly recommend the books!

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.”

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Texas Hill Country Christmas by William W. & J. A. Johnstone

Title:  A Texas Hill Country Christmas
Author:  Willliam W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5+ stars.
Each year a new Christmas novel is released by the Johnstones that includes some of their most beloved characters.  Each Christmas novel stands alone and the previous ones are A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas and A Frontier Christmas.  Now we can add to the Christmas themed novels this year’s story, A Texas Hill Country Christmas.
Each year I have read the newest book, enjoyed it and shared my review with you.  For me, this year’s novel is my favorite one thus far with the Jenson family members coming together in several ways that really is genius!  The year is 1975 and a descendant of the Jenson family sits down to tell yet another story of her ancestors to the youngest generation about the “old, old days”.  So, Helen Sievers begins to talk about Smoke, Matt, Ace, Chance and other Jenson members and their family adventures.  This is a new way for readers to learn about the Jenson’s adventures and I loved it!  In my mind, I could see the youngsters sitting on the floor at her feet waiting for the tale to begin.  The tale wove together the main Jenson men and how they eventually run across paths that place them together, but each one has traveled a totally different looking road.
The action and adventure really is gripping, causing readers to not let down their guard or set the novel aside.  How the author kept all the details and multitude of plot lines straight is beyond me, but the ending was worth its weight in gold!  If you like action, adventure, intrigue, old west, rugged and unsettled lands that’s just part of what will keep you reading the Johnstone westerns for a long time!
As stated above, each of the Christmas novels is a standalone but really readers will love each Christmas tale for years to come!  They would make a really great gift for any western fans or book worms in any family!
Merry Christmas to the Johnstone clan cannot wait to see what novels will come out from the book club in 2016!

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.” 

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Frontier Christmas by William W. & J.A. Johnstone

Title:  A Frontier Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  416
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Pinnacle
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Frontier-Christmas-William-W-Johnstone/dp/0786033606/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414913498&sr=1-1&keywords=a+frontier+christmas
This is a simply heartwarming story set in the west with characters that I am familiar with, being a fan of Johnstone books.  However, whether you are familiar with the characters or authors matters not as readers will be engrossed not just in the budding romance between Meagan and Duff, but the action with increasing tension will keep you glued to the book!  A Frontier Christmas is the fourth book in the series Western Christmas Stories that also includes A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas and A Big Sky Christmas.  Each book can be read as a standalone or grab all four and be prepared to be entertained for hours!
The Johnstone’s Western Christmas Stories will capture your imagination, heart and emotions that run a wide range with each book.  A Frontier Christmas tells the story of small towns preparing for Christmas and coming together to fight against those who would trade life-giving medicine for money when one town is quarantined with diphtheria.  The small town has but one doctor who runs from one bedside to another in a race to save lives.  When Duff learns who the men are who have taken the medication, he enlists the help of old friends Smoke & Matt Jensen along with his ranch partner Elmer.
When I began reading, I instantly fell in love with the characters and the story because I love westerns!  Even if someone is not a fan of westerns these Christmas tales remind us of what is most important along with sacrificial giving without a second thought in order to save lives.  Readers need to remember there are a couple of swear words sprinkled lightly in the book, but hardly noticeable with a story so stunning and fast moving as shared here for the audience.  Many other western writers have come before and left stories for generations to enjoy long after they are gone; the Johnstones are no different.
I hope you read all four wonderful tales in this series and share them with others who love the world of imagination sparked by a good book!
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, December 23, 2015

A Big Sky Christmas by WIlliam W. & J. A. Johnstone

Title:  A Big Sky Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  416
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Pinnacle
J. A. Johnstone has authored, The Big Sky Christmas, with as much heart as the previous tales titled, A Rocky Mountain Christmas and Lone Star Christmas.  Each novel is thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable with a mix of adventure and romance.  Here, in the latest Christmas book, A Big Sky Christmas, readers are introduced to characters with a true moral or spiritual compass and others with evil intent along with a host of surprises in the story line.
In the fictional tale, Johnstone uses flashback as a way to tell the story of a set of elderly twins and their experiences growing up on a wagon train bound for Montana.  McAllister is a mountain man whose years were originally filled with locating those who took the life of his beloved wife Katie.  When a brawl causes the original wagon master to sit this trip out, McAllister feels duty-bound to lead them safely to their new homesteads before the harsh winter snows begin.
Each page is filled with action, adventure, danger, romance and more that will keep the audience entertained for hours in the setting of the Old West.  Time flew by as I kept reading and seeing the novel’s climax build then come to a place of resolution when all of a sudden the story took off again on another fight to live through more perilous moments.
It was easy to form the picture of the story in my mind.  At times, I felt like I was watching the action play out through the eyes of one player or another.  The risk pioneers took to start new homesteads and raise families is something that intrigues my imagination for hours on end.  I thought it was a brilliant stroke of the author’s pen when an unexpected character from another of the western series appears here in the story.
The gift of family, faith and friends through life’s adventures was the main theme of the whole novel.  Banding together to care for each other, to fight to stay alive and learning new skills for life on the prairie were other added pieces of the tale that kept me reading well into the wee hours of the morning.  No matter when you read this novel, I guarantee it will be time well spent.  I also suggest reading the other two Christmas novels mentioned above as they are unique unto themselves.
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

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Rocky Moountain Christmas by William W. & J. A. Johnstone

Title:  A Rocky Mountain Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Kensington
A Rocky Mountain Christmas is the latest in Johnstone’s writing repertoire, taking place during the Christmas holidays.  Some of the characters from the previous book, A Lone Star Christmas, continue to develop in this story.  Here, the story enlarges to include a corrupt judge and a rancher accused of murder being taken on a train to go to jail along with another convict.
Rebecca is now an older woman, but was 6 years old at the time of a train accident that would change her life forever.  She was the daughter of a senator and his wife.  Her parents were going to a speaking engagement when an avalanche changed every passenger’s plans.  Rebecca is now being approached for an interview before her flight leaves.  The only reason she agrees to participate in the interview is due to a delay in her flight.  Her only condition for the interview is that she be allowed to tell her story without interruption.  She begins by telling how she came to be on the train.
Luke had been a sailor until an inheritance changed all that.  Matt is going to spend Christmas with people who have been like family to him.  Jenny used to be a hostess on the Mississippi River when her life changed in more ways than she ever saw coming.  Luke, Matt, and Jenny are on the same train that is stranded at the top of a mountain pass due to an avalanche begun by a single gunshot.  Who made the mistake of not thinking before firing their weapon during a heavy snowstorm?
The use of flashback makes the novel really intriguing.  I was so absorbed in the adventure I forgot about the flashback until the very end of the book!  There are many stories going on at the same time, but not where it would make things too hard to follow for a reader.  In fact, the more strands added, the deeper the plot.
There are a few curse words sprinkled over the course of the story, but not so much as to distract the reader or become the focus of the story.  Sometimes when I read books, it seems like the author writes it with the intent to shock the reader by using foul language.  One thing I appreciate about Johnstone’s novels is that isn’t the case at all.  I believe storytellers can hone their art to such a fine point that they would actually be able to tell an excellent tale and not use any foul language.
The Seeking with all Yur Heart blog exists for two main reasons:  First, it exists to help readers locate excellent novels that truly entertain without the “extra” stuff added.  Second, it exists to encourage authors in writing tales that entertain readers without the use of negative modern day verbiage or sexual content in the book.
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

Monday, December 21, 2015

Until the Dawn

Title:  Until the Dawn
Author:  Elizabeth Camden
Pages:  348
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Bethany House
Sophie van Riijn is 26 years old, has been engaged three times and finds herself at the mercy of a cranky homeowner.  She has spent most of her life at the local estate of a wealthy family who abandoned the mansion sixty years prior.  Her town is in desperate need of a financial means to support itself, so they have started a tourism business with the mansion as the center piece.  The grandson of the owner arrives on the scene and is filled with anger at how his family home has been used.  He has returned to the family home at the request of his grandfather to tear down the house.
Sophie intends to find out why the house is to be destroyed as well as champion her hometown as the site for a weather station.  She has volunteered for the last nine years to collect weather information daily and telegraph it to Washington, D.C.  She feels a sense of purpose and responsibility in this role.  Now, her purpose and livelihood are in grave danger of being destroyed.  Surely she can convince the grouchy grandson to stop the demolition or at least delay it until she can figure out a way to save it.
Elizabeth Camden has a God-given talent for writing wonderful historical romance novels.  Each of her novels is a standalone stories filled with God-centered characters.  In this story, Sophie van Riijn lives her life looking for the blessings God gives her each day.  She is hope-filled, optimistic and grounded in her faith.  She lives each day, showing people the love God has shown her.  She might be a fictional character, but the way she lives her life is not and is something to be emulated.  She shows a wonderful example of compassion, mercy and love to those who are hurting and not always nice to her.  What a great example for me!  Don’t miss this wonderful story!!
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.”

A Lone Star Christmas by William W & J. A. Johnstone

Title:  A Lone Star Christmas
Author:  William W. Johnstone
Pages:  336
Year:  2011
Publisher:  Pinnacle
Since I was a little girl, westerns have been the one genre I knew I could best use to identify who I was.  Whether it was watching westerns on TV, a movie, reading non-fiction as well as fiction, I always wanted to know more about the West with a passion.  Recently, with my sons having become men, I joined the NRA, took a class, and bought my first firearm.  I am also a member of SASS.  Even though I don’t attend anything, I learn a lot from this group.  I knew a few western writers growing up though because of my Nana I knew more about Louis L’Amour and his books.  Growing up and watching my parents get her the latest novel or seeing her read those books are memories I will always remember.  When Nana died, I was blessed with her entire collection of westerns that included a few Luke Short books and some others.  It wasn’t until earlier this year that I came across the name of William W. Johnstone.  You can go to his website to learn more about the author, books, and book club. (http://www.williamjohnstone.net/index1.html)
Every author of any genre has a unique way of telling a story.  The western genre encompasses a whole lot of territory.  What I like best in this author’s writings is the depth of the story and the painstaking time taken to place details in a scene.  There is some cussing in the novels, but no sexual content whatsoever.  There is romance though as well as gunfights.  Deeper still is the portrayal of the cowboy’s code of being willing to place his life on the line for another, taking care of matters of law and justice, or even seeing to family matters.  Yet, even what I have listed fails to encompass the western genre.  I can only say the novels are worth the time to read.
A Lone Star Christmas was released in 2011, and this year A Rocky Mountain Christmas has been released.  In the near future, I will be reading and reviewing this work of fiction as well.  I have no doubt that it will be as excellent as its predecessor.
There is so much enjoyment in the pages of this novel.  It would be hard to put words on paper to adequately describe everything, so here is a very short summary.  Remember there are a few cuss words interspersed in the story.  Rebecca is the daughter of a wealthy rancher in Texas.  She doesn’t know her birth mother.  Who was she?  With love on the line and questions to be answered, Becca leaves the ranch without anyone’s knowledge.  Tom is running from a memory he never wants to rehash in his heart or mind.  Leaving his former life behind, he sets out on a train for the west, ending up in Texas.  His knowledge and experience as a cowboy become apparent very quickly, but there is no turning back now.

Ranch hands’ lifestyles, forged friendships, and a cattle drive through the winter are just a few of the happenings that take place.  With a make or break deal to try a different breed of cattle, Big Ben sends his team of seven people to meet the train and drive the 2,500 head of cattle home through sandstorms, a blizzard, attempted murder, and cattle rustling.  Will the cattle make it to their new home?  On top of that, Big Ben wants everyone home for Christmas.  Maria just wants her baby safely delivered at the ranch.  Exactly what does occur on the cattle drive, before the drive, and months later that changes the lives of the characters?  Interested in reading this yet?  I sure hope so.  You will be missing a great adventure if you pass up this novel!
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

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Christmas Bodyguard by Margaret Daley


Title:  Christmas Bodyguard (Guardians Inc.)
Author:  Margaret Daley
Pages:  224
Year:  2010
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5+ stars.
I was quickly drawn into the story which starts with a father teaching his daughter to drive.  Then, fasten your seatbelt as the story takes off!  Slade is a man who started his own business and is raising his daughter alone after the death of his wife five years earlier.  Now, it seems there is someone with nefarious intent to bring real harm to Abby, Slade’s daughter, or is the real target the father?
Once you start reading the book you will become so engrossed in the high tension and captivating turn of events, you won’t want to put the book down until you reach the last page!  I couldn’t believe how fast the story moves.  It almost felt like a slow roller coaster that then surprises the riders by picking up the pace which is off the scale.
Then the author introduces the personal bodyguards hired for both the daughter and the father which brings a whole new aspect to the tale.  Try as they might a couple of the characters are finding themselves strongly attracted to each other when they least expect this to occur.  While the book is five years old, the story is solid and riveting!  Don’t miss reading the book that will take you on an adventure with twists and turns you might not see coming!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion.  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.” 

Stand Off at Christmas


Title:  Stand Off At Christmas (Alaskan Search & Rescue)
Author:  Margaret Daley
Pages:  224
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 stars.
Margaret Daley is a wonderful author whose novels I have found to be outstanding.  You can expect in this small novel to be drawn in by the unexpected murder of an aunt, local people being suspected of illegal drug activities and a developing romance between a K-9 Officer named Jake and Rachel who works in the fishery accounting office.
A couple of times throughout the book I had thought I discovered who was involved or masterminded the drug cartel’s activity in Port Aurora.  However, Margaret’s knack for throwing in false leads will keep the reader turning pages until the conclusion proved to lead me to follow some red herrings.  All the mystery begins when Rachel’s aunt calls her to come into work on her day off because she must talk to her immediately.  When Rachel arrives, her aunt seems to be scared and unwilling to open up about what is on her mind.
When Rachel is almost killed and then injured a couple of times, Nate becomes her protector whether she is willing to have one or not.  Unbeknownst to either character someone is watching them and is making it very hard to live life without constant danger riding on Rachel’s coattails.
Like other Love Inspired Suspense novels, the book is not too long, but the fictional tale inside will keep you reading until the culprit is revealed!

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.” 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Beyond the Mask Movie

Title:  Beyond the Mask DVD
Director:  Chad Burns
Year:  2015
Studio:  Anderson Digital
My rating is 5 stars.
The movie is historically based, but with a fantasized turn.  It’s about an assassin working for the East India Trading Company.  He is double-crossed right after his final assignment and is forced to go into hiding.  While he is in hiding, he meets a woman named Charlotte.  She opens the door to a new life of peace and gives him an opportunity to know God.  He finds romance with Charlotte.  However, Charlotte’s uncle is a criminal mastermind leading the Company with a plot set for Philadelphia during the War for Independence on the eve of signing the Declaration for Independence.
The movie was good.  It actually took certain historical events and gave them a fantasized turn that gave the movie a little bit more fictional action that was enjoyable and entertaining.  It also had few Christian lessons about redemption and forgiveness.  It depicts a man who tries to earn forgiveness from God, but learns that it is freely given.   The man also learns God takes away our sins and turns them into something beautiful that honors Him.  The movie also leaves an opening for a sequel.
I would recommend this movie to others because it shows that no matter how ugly sin is and no matter how hard the road to redemption can be, with God’s help anything is possible.  The action and interesting plot will keep audiences glued to their seats.  There were certain elements in the story that were fiction in nature and not necessarily accurate.  Like for example the use of a 1700s sniper precision rifle, which such weapons weren’t in use until the mid-1800s near the time of the American Civil War.  But other than little things like that, the movie was good and I think it sends a good message about finding God in a life of sin.  So for those looking for a good Christian movie to watch that is action packed, has a good message and is historically based, then this is the movie to watch:  Beyond the Mask.
Guest Review written by Timothy Johnson

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.” 

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck



Title:  The Wedding Chapel
Author:  Rachel Hauck
Pages:  384
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 4 stars.
The Wedding Chapel novel is a very honest, impressive and transparent story of how secrets can be very disruptive to a family for years.  However, that isn’t the whole story as readers will enjoy how the characters realize that to move forward from their brokenness to wholeness can happen only when they surrender everything to the Lord.  The characters have to be willing to let go of pain, lies, anger, false beliefs and more in order to be fully embraced by God’s truth.
At first, the novel started slow for me.  It was hard to understand why so many thought it was wonderful.  Yet, there was a sense for me that I was missing something or I had yet to discover what made the book enjoyed by others.  So I continued to read how two sisters weren’t close because one let her past consume her with so much pain from her life growing up that it turned into disillusioned memories.  Those memories kept her living only for herself and competing with her sister for a man’s love at all costs.
Part of the story was how a young man was rejected by his birth father after losing his mother and then finding himself in the foster care system.  This male character had both good and bad memories that he lived by.  When he got married, his assumptions were staring him in the face.  It was at that moment he had to choose which fork in the road he was going to travel down.
I haven’t named which of the fictional characters did what because that is part of the novel which draws reader’s attention.  When I reached the conclusion, the author didn’t just put a pretty bow on it and wrap up the tale all nice and neat.  There was rawness in the story to remind us that redemption, forgiveness, and restoration are work and take time.  Also, some of the closure from the past that was negative wasn’t able to happen, and readers will understand why as they read.  There is truth in that some people live without being able to confront a person about the actions or words they said, so how does one move forward without the baggage of the past?
All I can say is I enjoyed reading The Wedding Chapel and becoming familiar with the characters, their lives, hearts, tears, joy and faith.  This is a well-written, thought-provoking, and enjoyable with short chapters to help the story move at a fast clip sometimes alternating the current events with flashbacks into the past.

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.”

Holiday on the Run (Love Inspired Suspense)


Title:  Holiday on the Run (SWAT: Top Cops)
Author:  Laura Scott
Pages:  224
Year:  December 2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 stars.
One of the reasons I read these books is because the stories are rich, faith is a component of the book and there definitely is suspense.  Secondly, no two books are the same!  In the novel, we meet Melissa who disappeared shortly after high school graduation because she witnessed a murder.  Her father would never divulge her whereabouts or request she come see him until he is days from dying due to cancer.  Her father wanted to see his daughter one more time along with the grandchild he has never laid eyes on!
When Melissa dares to go to the hospital, her life and the life of her daughter is in constant jeopardy.  Nate who is an off duty officer is entering a mall to purchase Christmas gifts when he spots Melissa someone he knew in high school. Nate calls out to Melissa who begins running.  Nate is attempting to catch up with her until he realizes two other men  are closing in to catch Melissa.
The novel was really high-tension reading from start to finish.  Melissa is constantly on the run and she thinks she can take care of herself and her daughter as she has for five years.  How the plot brings the high school sweethearts together after ten years has passed was spell-binding.  
I hope you enjoy the surprise suspects and those who should have been arrested years ago as much as I did.  As the past comes into the present for both of the two main characters, Melissa and Nate, so too does the danger increase exponentially!

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.” 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Submerged (Love Inspired Suspense)


Title:  Submerged (Mountain Cove)
Author:  Elizabeth Goodard
Pages:  224
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Love Inspired
My rating is 5 stars.
There are three other Mountain Cove novels which are Buried, Untraceable and Backfire.  While each can be read as a standalone book, reading them in order helps as the characters are tied together from Buried and ending with Submerged.
In Submerged, readers will encounter two brokenhearted individuals, one is a dentist named Cobie McBride and the other is Adam Warren who Cobie blames for her brother’s death.  The cove is the last place Cobie wants to go, but is hoping for some closure after losing her brother when he went in the cave.  While there, she is attacked and almost loses her life.  As she runs, trying to find a place to lose her pursuer, she comes to the edge of a cliff.  Cobie hears the attacker gaining ground, looks at the water and…  Okay you’ll have to read the book to see what Cobie does as well as find out why her life is now in constant danger.  Adam refuses to leave her side and vows to protect her, but can he really keep her safe or alive?  I loved the tension in the book, both within the two main characters and what sparks of romance might be reigniting.  There is lots of adventure, drama, mystery and faith woven in the novel to keep the reader’s attention from start to finish.
I hope you will enjoy the novels of the Mountain Cove series and share them with family and friends!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Mountain Midwife


Title:  The Mountain Midwife
Author:  Laurie Alice Eakes
Pages:  352
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 5 stars.
Laurie Alice Eakes is a new author to me and I loved the main characters, Ashley along with Hunter.  Ashley is a descendent of women in her family’s line who practice midwifery.  Ashley is also a nurse who would love to be able to seek a doctorate in order to bring better care to the women she serves.  Hunter is an engineer who has traveled all over the world as he loves being outside rather than being in an office.
The way the author brings these two characters together was brilliant as in the middle of the night Ashley is disturbed by a woman needing her help bringing her baby safely into the world.  Ashley is concerned and prepared to take the young woman and her “husband” to the hospital as after the safe delivery the woman begins to hemorrhage.  Both the man and woman along with the baby disappear while two trucks attempt to run down Ashley.
When Hunter’s picture is flashed across the TV worldwide as a hero, he finds getting back to the USA and home without being accosted by news people a hard task.  Though he would love to get some sleep Hunter is asked to come to his parents’ house where he confronts them regarding his true parentage. When he speaks with them, it sets him off to locate the truth as to where or whom is birth mother might really be as well as the father.
The mystery kept me up until I finished the book.  I wanted to see how the author would wrap up the plot she introduces and builds throughout the whole story.  The characters reveal the internal issues they face as they seek to help or find the truth as to where Hunter was born.  While in the pursuit, a romance begins to builds between the two main characters.  It was also fun to reach the end of the tale to see if some of the questions I had about what happened to secondary characters were answered.
I hope you will read and enjoy this story plus consider giving the book to friends or family this holiday season so they can be captivated by a great novel!

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.” 

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Navy Seal Noel

Title:  Navy SEAL Noel (Men of Valor)
Author:  Liz Johnson
Pages:  224
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 stars.
There are three novels in the Men of Valor series starting with A Promise to Protect, followed by SEAL Under Siege and ending with Navy SEAL Noel.  One of the reasons I love these stories is the fast-paced adventure tucked within the covers.  Another reason is each tale includes romance and more importantly the faith element intertwined with various trials characters are facing.
Here you’ll meet a daughter of a commanding officer who has been kidnapped because of the toxin she knows how to develop and dispense.  Since sending in a team wouldn’t fly by the brass, her father asks a former friend of hers, currently a SEAL by the name of Will, to go in alone and rescue Jess.  What you’ll enjoy is reading how their pasts play a part in the present circumstances and whether or not Jess is able to trust Will or escape without his help.
The author brings forth twists and turns in the story that will keep readers tuned in to the book until the conclusion!  I hope you will consider reading Navy SEAL Noel and other Love Inspired Suspense books and perhaps give some to family and friends who love to read a good story.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion.  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.” 

By The River


Title:  By The River
Author:  Jennie Hansen
Pages:  221
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.
This story begins with a chilling discovery by the main character, Kira Paxton, while she is out jogging.  Then everything seems to spiral out of control.  She becomes the target of an unknown shooter while getting into her car in the mall parking lot.  Her home is vandalized.  She receives a phone call threatening her life.  More happens in the story, but she resists moving back in with her wealthy father who is overly protective to say the least.  She is 24 years old, but she thinks her father still sees her as a little girl.  She also has to deal with an over-protective brother as well.  She gets saddled with her brother’s dog, Jasper, more often than she would like and he tends to chew up her shoes with great frequency.
Ford Kettering is out jogging when he hears a woman screaming.  He races to her rescue.  Ford and Kira soon form a friendship, but is Ford the nice guy he appears to be?  He soon becomes a suspect of the local police detective investigating a homicide case as the victim is one of the students from his high school where he is a teacher.  As Kira and Ford’s relationship blossoms, the threats to Kira grow as well.  Can the culprit be discovered before it is too late?
The book had some really great tension-filled moments and I liked Ford’s character.  In my opinion, there were a few too many scenes with Jasper as well as her dealings with her overprotective brother and father.  After everything that Kira endured, I thought the big reveal at the end was a bit of a let-down.  The story has no cursing and lots of suspense.  There is some LDS content, but nothing preachy.
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.”

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Codist (The Aaron Chronicles #1)


Title:  The Codist (The Aaron Chronicles #1)
Author:  Eric E. Walker
Pages:  373
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Tate Publishing
My rating is 5+ stars.
Before I share with you my view of this novel, let me say I hope the author plans on sharing more of his writings of this nature!  Eric Walker weaves a compelling tale that pulls the reader into the action between two school friends.  One of them is Jacob.  He is of Jewish descent and has dual citizenship in Israel and the United States.  Yet more important than that is the special gift he has to put seemingly erratic pieces of information together like a puzzle.
The other young man in the friendship is brilliant in the science field and is able to study DNA, looking for a common piece that only those of Jewish descent contain in their blood.  Hakeem, along with four of his friends, is handpicked to become the leaders in the Muslim world.  Yet, when he takes his own path by disobeying the leaders in Iran, his life drastically changes!
I have never before read such a novel that contains so much Biblical, Temple and the High Priest history.  The multitude of layers in the intelligence community astounds me still, along with a special group of people preparing to build the third Temple.  The characters became almost lifelike as I got so emotionally invested in the book.
If what is shared in the story about the history of the descendents of Abraham, Israel and Ishmael is true, I learned a lot.  Even so, I want to learn about these ancient peoples’ descendents and what, if anything, the Bible says about a third Temple.  Throughout the book readers will be reminded to focus on the Middle East, about those who are trying to wipe out God’s chosen people today.  Not once did I get lost in the storyline, but only drawn deeper into the action as if I were actually there observing it.
Again, I hope and pray the author writes more novels such as this as I am hoping it draws readers to enjoy the tale as well as pray for Israel!  I visited the website listed on the last page of the book in hopes of seeing any news on a possible sequel, but so far there isn’t any news.  Perhaps there will be in 2016 because this was just the best of the best in whatever genre it would be placed!  It is simply outstanding, and you don’t want to miss reading the book!

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.” 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Whispers in the Reading Room (The Chicago World’s Fair Mystery #3)

Title:  Whispers in the Reading Room (The Chicago World’s Fair Mystery #3)
Author:  Shelley Gray
Pages:  352
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 5 stars.
Whispers in the Reading Room is a wonderful tale about people coming to realize that they are needed, valued, loved and redeemable.  The previous books in the series are most enjoyable so please don’t pass them up.  First in the series is The Secrets of Sloane House followed by Deception on Sable Hill.  Characters introduced to us in the first tale come back in the following books though not all of them.
Author Shelley Gray has woven an excellent series set in Chicago with the adventure and action of the World’s Fair going on in the background.  Readers will meet seedy characters and characters that show us courage, faith, love and hope.  In Whispers in the Reading Room, we meet a librarian named Lydia who is never satisfied by reading one book so she constantly reads all types and genres.  Lydia is living her life through the fictional characters she meets because her real life brings her reminders of never measuring up to the demands of the times or her mother.
Sebastian’s past is one he left behind, reinventing himself in order to appear as a gentleman.  While he wasn’t born into the upper class, he begins to visit the reading room to immerse himself in the various words of wisdom, knowledge and for the love of escaping his present dark reality.  For a time he feels he can ignore reality and no longer have to guard his words, actions or appearance.  Yet, both Lydia and Sebastian along with two helpful servants come to realize that they are better by being with the one they love than pushing them away.  Above all one or two minor characters realize that looking for other people to fill a sacred place in our hearts can be filled only by God.
I can relate to both Sebastian and Lydia’s love of reading for a variety of reasons, and I appreciate those who share their stories with us.  When I come across a person who isn’t a reader by choice, it breaks my heart as there is so much to enjoy if one would but open a book.  I hope you will enjoy the three books Shelley Gray has written and then consider sharing them with someone else. 
Have you heard the saying that “things learned are caught rather than taught”?  It’s true because the love I have of reading was instilled in me as my mother had my siblings and I reading whether we were in school or not.  During the summer we would go to our rooms to read instead of napping.  Reading is an adventure just waiting for you to enjoy!

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.” 

Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor


Title:  Shadows of Ladenbrooke Manor
Author:  Melanie Dobson
Pages:  339
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Howard Books
Heather Toulson travels to England from her home in Oregon to clean out her parent’s house in preparation for selling it.  She discovers some drawings made by her sister and begins asking questions about her.  While growing up, Heather never really received any definitive answers about her sister and how she died.  Heather wants to tie up loose ends as she doesn’t intend to ever return to England.  However, while she asks her questions, she runs into an old boyfriend.
Maggie Doyle is the matriarch of the family.  She seems to live in fear of abandonment as her parents died during WWII and she was sent to live with a foster family.  She seeks affirmation and love, but from the wrong source.  She makes a decision that will change her life and the lives of those in her immediate circle.  Her daughter, Libby, is unlike other children and presents challenges as she grows up as people don’t consider her “normal”.  Maggie loves her daughter fiercely, but her husband Walter keeps Libby at a distance initially.  As times goes on, Maggie again makes another decision based on fear with heart-breaking results for Heather.
This story alternates between the 1950s and the present day in England.  I enjoyed the story for the most part, but what I found not realistic was that all three women characters in the story made the same choice with the same result.  There were plenty of secrets in the story that kept it interesting, but I would have liked more action as in Ms. Dobson’s previous book, Chateau of Secrets, which I really liked.  There was a lot of deception taking place among many characters and choices made out of love or fear with far-reaching consequences.  Walter was the best character in the book and I really liked how toward the end of his life he tried his best to take care of Libby, teaching her about God.
My rating is 4 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Puzzle Pieces by Puzzle Pieces (A Haggerty Mystery)



Title:  Puzzle Pieces (A Haggerty Mystery #9)
Author:  Betsy Brannon Green
Pages:  309
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.
Presley (yes, as in Elvis) DeGraff is a young lawyer running for her life.  She has escaped a mental hospital with the clothes on her back and her driver’s license.  Her parents died two years ago and left Presley all their money, which was a lot.  Presley was raised with very few friends and spent most of her free time with her parents.  When a handsome lawyer arrives at the law firm where she works and pays attention to her, she falls in love with him and accepts his marriage proposal.  He slowly weasels control from her of her considerable assets and eventually has her declared incompetent so he could steal her money!  She travels from Columbus, Ohio to the small town of Haggerty, Georgia where her great Aunt Violet has a small law practice.  She is desperate for a place to hide until she can figure out what to do Presley shows up on Aunt Violet’s doorstep.
While staying with Aunt Violet, Presley meets a host of unforgettable characters.  While preparing for a large garden to be planted, a skeleton is discovered in Aunt Violet’s backyard.  Presley wants to find out the identity of the skeleton and the killer, but will she be around long enough to find out?  Presley has become enamored of the town’s local tow driver, who happens to be an ex-NFL star.  They form a friendship, but Presley is afraid to take the next step in the relationship as she doesn’t want to put Mac or anyone else in danger from her ex-fiancĂ©, who she fears will track her down.  What can she do?
Overall, this was an easy book to read.  There was not much tension in the story after the opening scene, clean language, and a real down home feeling to it.  The pace was slow and the focus seemed to me to be more on the main character, her issues and the developing relationships she has with some of the town folk rather than solving the murder.  I wish I would have known this book was part of a series so I could have read some of the other prior books for background on some of the characters.  I felt as if I was missing something between some of the characters and their relationships/friendships with one another.  However, the author definitely has a sense of humor that came shining through in several of the characters, Miss Eugenia and her sister Annabelle in particular.  They were two of my favorites!  I also loved how Aunt Violet welcomed Presley with open arms and no questions…unconditional love.  This book will fill the bill for a rainy afternoon’s entertainment for sure!
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.” 

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Traitor's Heir

Title:  The Traitor’s Heir (The Knight of Eldaran #1)
Author:  Anna Thayer
Pages:  544
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Kregel
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 
The Traitor’s Heir was a good book.  It is about a man named Eamon Goodman whose highest ambition is to serve the Master of the River Realm.  However, soon after he has sworn his allegiance to the Master, he discovers that not everything is as it seems.  A voice enters his mind and goads him to do evil for the Master’s glory.  Joining the Gauntlet or army of the River Realm means serving the Master and fulfilling his duty whatever the cost against the Realm’s enemies, but when he is captured by these enemies, he is brought to the true King of the Realm.  This King opens Eamon’s eyes to a new way of serving something bigger than him.  Eamon agrees and swears a new oath to the King.  He is then sent to the Kingdom’s capital to spy for the King, but once inside he is exposed to temptations of power and lust for high born women sworn to the Master.  In his struggles, Eamon wonders which master he is going to betray for “a man cannot serve two masters.”
There were things that I liked about the book and things that I didn’t like.  What I liked about the book was that it has some Christian elements to the story and it shows what Christians go through in this world for even though they are Christians they are still human.  There will always be temptation, so whether we give in or stand our ground is our choice.  Eamon represents one such Christian who is struggling to serve the true King and yet the power of temptation is very strong.  Without the help of the power of the King’s Grace, Eamon will fall. What I also liked about the book is that it shows a man trying to be an example of light in a world of darkness.  I also enjoyed some of the fantasy elements in the book that reminded me of The Lord of The Rings.
What I didn’t like about the book is that it has some language and sexual content.  Fortunately, the language didn’t involve the F-word.  The sexual content wasn’t totally explicit or graphic, which was good.  I do get the reasoning behind this as it shows how people who don’t believe in God or people who have said they believe in God but have walked away from their faith in Him behave in this world.  They follow the ways of sin and not that of God.
So I liked the book a lot and I would recommend this book to others.

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.” 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary #3)

Title:  Rising Darkness (Finding Sanctuary #3)
Author:  Nancy Mehl
Pages:  308
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Bethany House
While it is possible to read this book and enjoy it as a stand-alone, I would recommend reading the books from Nancy Mehl’s other series, The Road to Kingdom, to get the background story on Sophie Wittenbauer, the main character in Rising Darkness.  Each book in the two series is a pleasure to read and readers will not be disappointed.
Sophie’s return to a Mennonite-based community leads her to face her past, a past she has tried her best to escape and keep buried in the deepest reaches of her mind and heart.  She has turned her life around and made something of herself.  She is now a reporter for a St. Louis newspaper and is after a story that will make her famous if she succeeds.
She arrives in Sanctuary, Missouri only to be constantly reminded of her former life, growing up in the Mennonite community in Kingdom, Missouri.  Sanctuary is not as conservative as Kingdom, but there are some Mennonites present.  She has arrived in town using a false name and story as a ruse to search for clues to the identity of a man who robbed an armored car, killing the guards in the process.  What she doesn’t expect to find is Jonathon Wiese, a man she fell in love with when she lived in Kingdom, who now is the pastor of the local church.  She tries to avoid him as she is afraid he will recognize her even though she has lost a lot of weight and cut her hair.  Her heart still belongs to him, but he is a pastor now and she thinks he surely wouldn’t want to be around someone like her.  As she continues her research, she begins to receive threatening notes and is hit on the head by an unknown assailant.  Jonathan wants to keep her safe, but he also wants Sophie to see God never left her in the past and won’t leave her in the future.  Can Sophie unmask a thief and a murderer?  Can she trust God again?
The story is fast-paced and is a quick read as the action will keep readers turning pages rapidly to discover what happens next in the story.  I really liked the focus on God’s loving us no matter what we have done, that He sees Christ when he looks at His followers.  He doesn’t see us as unworthy of His love.  He doesn’t see all the rotten things we have done.  Jesus paid the cost; He took the punishment we deserve.  Thanks Nancy for such a good series!  I can’t wait to read what this author writes next!
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.” 

Tabitha (Girls From the Mountain #1)

Title:  Tabitha (Girls From the Mountain #1)
Author:  Vikki Kestell
Pages:  278
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Faith Filled Fiction
My rating is 5+ stars.
Author Vikki Kestell has written a story that readers will be able to identify with as well as be so captivated as to stay up reading until the wee hours of the night.  Tabitha’s story takes place between Stolen and Lost Are Found in the Prairie Heritage series; however, I have yet to read the Prairie Heritage series.  You can read Tabitha and follow the heart-tugging story without a problem as I have done.
Tabitha’s story takes place before and during WW I in Colorado in a house where women who are lost can be cared for, loved on and taught about Christ.  The women have come from slavery to prostitution, suffering many hard things that Vikki alludes to but doesn’t go into intricate detail.  The novel reflects the best story and truth we all need to know, which is that we can be redeemed.  Hope can be restored, hearts can be healed and women can learn how to take care of homes and learn a profession if they so choose.  For Tabitha, she chose nursing.
Reconciliation with the Lord is just awesome, but the women are encouraged to be reconciled to their families as well.  The reality reflected in the tale is how hard it is to forgive those who have hurt them in the harshest of ways.  They have to choose to walk through being reconciled to people and forgive their captors so that their souls aren’t held in captivity by unforgiveness.
I plan on reading the Prairie Series as soon as possible because Vikki writes with a heart of love and faith.  Vikki’s characters are those we can identify with in some way and therefore readers are touched with the hope written in the book.  Women will be caught up in the character of the matriarch named Rose who loves each woman so dearly.  Rose also reflects to us how we can pray and how hard it can be to release those we love to the care of the Lord even when it is hard to let them fly from the nest.
Now I haven’t shared with you all that the story of Tabitha holds.  All I can say is don’t miss out on such a heart-gripping tale!  Love as Christ loves us all.  What a powerful message!

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.” 

Colts vs Steelers


Friday, December 4, 2015

The Miracle Worker (A Christmas Tale) DVD


Title:  Miracle Maker (A Christmas Tale)
Studio:  Covenant Communications Inc.
Year:  2015
My rating is 5 stars.
Miracle Maker (A Christmas Tale) is movie that tells the story of how hope can be restored in peoples’ lives when they open their hearts.  Each character’s life reflected in different ways how believing outside the box we put God in can affect us so much that we look up.  In each situation, the false beliefs had to be let go in order for truth to come in the hearts of each person’s life.
Some of the movie was really cute such as one little girl who tends to speak her mind sometimes to the embarrassment of parents; yet, who also is able to rally other children to confront a man.  This man is living with the loss of his wife years prior and then choosing to distance himself from others.  He is touched by the bravery of this little girl.  Whether loss of loved ones, job, hunger and other life experiences that burdened the hearts of the town folks, being at the end of their own abilities viewers can see God transform people.  To me that is the miracle this movie reflects most of all that God can and does make a major difference in our lives and He is reflected in our speech actions and life.  While the miracle maker is believed to be a man who shows up in a town, the true miracle worker is the Creator of heaven and earth.  The movie is a family friendly drama which lasts 90 minutes and is one to watch again and again.
So in light of all the traumatic events that have happened around the world, this is one movie that will lighten the hearts and restore the hope of all who view the DVD.  Consider giving this DVD to family or friends or anyone you know who might need some encouragement this year.  Enjoy the Christmas tale and don’t forget to read about the best miracle, Jesus Christ, who came to save the world.

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.”