Thursday, June 30, 2016

Blindsided (Roads to Danger)

Title:  Blindsided (Roads to Danger)
Author:  Katy Lee
Pages:  220
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 4 stars.
Love Inspired Suspense novels are the perfect length of reading for people with not much time or in between other novels.  Each one is unique, faith-themed, and the action takes the reader from the first word till the conclusion of the book.
Who is the real Veronica Spencer is this tale?  She is known as a racecar driver and a victim who carries the burn scars every day.  She now finds herself kidnapped by nefarious people.  The group is trafficking girls and Veronica maybe next.  Once she escapes from their clutches you would think the danger would be over, but the suspense is just beginning!  The story in this novel started a little slow for me, perhaps it was because Katy Lee is a new author to me; I am not sure.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed the book once I got further into the plot and hope you will enjoy the novel as much as I did when it is released July 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.”

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Like a River From Its Course

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Title:  Like a River From Its Course
Author:  Kelli Stuart
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Kregel
My rating is 5+ stars.
When I think of WWII, it rarely enters my mind of how other lives in other nations were affected.   So as I started the novel from Kelli Stuart I simply was pulled into the lives of the characters based on her visit to the Ukraine in 2003.  There Kelli met a real people who lived through times of trial and heartache, learning to live again when the insanity of Hitler’s regime was finally over.
I love the way the author moved the story along by introducing four main characters each with their own chapter and dates.  As I read, I couldn’t put the book down because as a reader the author tells a compelling story that looks at the life of individuals in the scenes with the war as the backdrop.  There were many brave, courageous and daring people who faced life with raw honesty and in many ways counted the cost of their choices, doing whatever was required to stay alive.
Readers will read about a father and his daughter, a Nazi soldier who is but a boy, and a girl whose abusive father throws her out of his house to live amongst the wolves.  It touched my heart and wasn’t hard to mentally envision real people suffering for lack of the basic needs or from the abuse of either the German Army or the Red Army.
My heart and mind will long remember this novel because it is written about the humans we are, both the good and the evil.  I will remember the old woman character who teaches a young woman with a son how to be ready to face the world not by looking inward, but at what others are living with or through during the war. 
I will remember the love of parent s that lost their sons during the fighting and the depth of their grief described.  I will remember how at one point the parents who never had any training in or were taught about God are now seeking to see if He is indeed real.  Or the Jewish girl who knew she had to help another girl reach a new life before her captors might snuff out her life.
I hope you read this novel and share it with family and friends as well as visit the author’s website.  There you will read what she did while in the Ukraine and who she talked to.  I think how wonderful God gave her that moment to get their stories before they passed away as they left words of wisdom and a life with a testimony.  I pray we will all be as faithful to God even in our times of not understanding, grief or some other experience.  I pray too that we leave behind a legacy that will spur others to be courageous in the face of evil, be there for those who are downtrodden and teach others about the God we love and serve!

center>Like a River from Its Course Kelli Stuart


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.”

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Almost Like Being in Love (A Destination Wedding Novel)

Title:  Almost Like Being in Love (A Destination Wedding Novel)
Author:  Beth K. Vogt
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Howard Books
My rating is 5+ stars.
Have you ever read any of Beth’s novels?  With each one that I read, I find myself enjoying her stories more and more.  Almost Like Being in Love is very pulling on the heart as I found myself engaged in seeing if this tale would have a happy ending or if the author had other plans.
What sticks out most to me is the passionate message I saw throughout the book.  The message woven throughout the pages is about praying, waiting and listening for God to direct the steps of a character in the book.  Yet, it seemed to be that a couple of the main players in the book were learning that lesson and that the hardest part is waiting for God not just to make clear His direction, but also following through with what He directs.
The novel doesn’t have characters, personalities or lives all dressed and perfect; they are really mirrors of people in the real world.  People who are dealing with hard issues, past mistakes, repeated mistakes, and not evening knowing who they are apart from whomever they tied their identity to.  When two people date and consider marriage, in this novel are they doing it because they love each other and are willing to make the lifelong commitment before God?  Or are they just doing what their parents are expecting of them?
In her novel, Beth K. Vogt I think shows how we sometimes get upset when people speak truth to us. Even if we know it’s right, we don’t want to hear it.  The author did a great job showing how wrestling through various decisions and waiting on God can be at times gut-wrenching.  The ending I thought was very different and amazing, showing readers how right decisions aren’t always easy and some can come at a high cost.  All I can say is there is a magnificent story here as well as some truthful nuggets of wisdom tucked in the story.  I am so glad to have read it!

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.” 

Almost Like Being in Love (A Destination Wedding Novel)

Title:  Almost Like Being in Love (A Destination Wedding Novel)
Author:  Beth K. Vogt
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Howard Books
My rating is 5+ stars.
Have you ever read any of Beth’s novels?  With each one that I read, I find myself enjoying her stories more and more.  Almost Like Being in Love is very pulling on the heart as I found myself engaged in seeing if this tale would have a happy ending or if the author had other plans.
What sticks out most to me is the passionate message I saw throughout the book.  The message woven throughout the pages is about praying, waiting and listening for God to direct the steps of a character in the book.  Yet, it seemed to be that a couple of the main players in the book were learning that lesson and that the hardest part is waiting for God not just to make clear His direction, but also following through with what He directs.
The novel doesn’t have characters, personalities or lives all dressed and perfect; they are really mirrors of people in the real world.  People who are dealing with hard issues, past mistakes, repeated mistakes, and not evening knowing who they are apart from whomever they tied their identity to.  When two people date and consider marriage, in this novel are they doing it because they love each other and are willing to make the lifelong commitment before God?  Or are they just doing what their parents are expecting of them?
In her novel, Beth K. Vogt I think shows how we sometimes get upset when people speak truth to us. Even if we know it’s right, we don’t want to hear it.  The author did a great job showing how wrestling through various decisions and waiting on God can be at times gut-wrenching.  The ending I thought was very different and amazing, showing readers how right decisions aren’t always easy and some can come at a high cost.  All I can say is there is a magnificent story here as well as some truthful nuggets of wisdom tucked in the story.  I am so glad to have read it!

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, June 27, 2016

From This Moment

Title:  From This Moment
Author:  Elizabeth Camden
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 4 stars.
Romulus White seems to have it all together.  He is handsome, has a sense of style and is the owner of a very successful scientific magazine.  However, just like all of us, what is on the outside hides the insecurities and vulnerabilities on the inside.  He has been after Stella West to join his magazine staff with her extraordinary artistic skills for over three years.  She has repeatedly turned him down, saying her future is in London.  Then, he discovers that she is in Boston working as a stenographer.  What made her leave London?
Stella West has come to Boston to find her sister’s murderer.  She has taken a job at the very place and in the very department where her sister worked.  Her sister, Gwendolyn, had discovered some dealing under the table and feared for her life.  She told one person of her findings, but Stella only has his initials.  Stella is fierce and determined in her search for the killer.  She just can’t believe her sister accidentally drowned as the medical examiner has determined.  She was an excellent swimmer and wouldn’t have drowned in only five feet of water.  In the course of her investigation, she has offended people with her aggressive manner.  She meets Romulus and realizes he has the connections she needs to further discover what happened to her sister.  In exchange, she agrees to do some work for his magazine.  The attraction between them sends sparks and the repartee between them clever and witty. 
I found it interesting that this story had more of a mystery element than other past books by this author, which I enjoyed.  There was still romance present, but the mystery seemed to be more prominent.  I loved the interaction between Stella and Romulus.  They saw faults in each other as well as themselves and called each other out on them, but in a sarcastic or humorous manner.  Clyde and Evelyn and their relationship made for a good, solid sub story.  I would have liked for the faith element or faith journey to be more central to the story.  I did like the historical setting and the information about the first subway in the United States.  This is another well-done historical story from Elizabeth Camden.

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, June 25, 2016

The Tenth Plague

Title:  The Tenth Plague
Author:  Adam Blumer
Pages:  448
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Kirkdale Press
My rating is 5 stars.
After completing adoption papers and legal matters, Marc and Gillian decide to take up a friend’s invitation to a free weekend at a resort.  However, as Marc and Gillian pull into the resort parking lot it looks like a circus with cameras, TV news and a man using a bullhorn to speak to the crowd.  A group of translators are also at the lodge working on a new translation of the Bible that might be the cause of chaos, but why would that cause such uproar?
Along with that action, a person or persons seems bent on tormenting the resort guests with recreating the ten plagues of Egypt from the Old Testament.  At least that is what is thought until a couple of people show up dead and the mystery thickens!
The author uses fictional places and events, weaving into the story some of America’s history.  Plus Marc is a pastor who longs to reunite with his father, but is shut out for reasons you will discover as you read the story.  I thought the suspense would not let up and it didn’t!  It seemed as though the writer kept increasing the climax and tension while occasionally adding a twist of the plot to keep me glued to the book for hours!
This is a great thriller that readers can sink their teeth into and not be disappointed!  The ending was packed with a very meaningful and truthful message about God, forgiveness and new beginnings.  I hope you will take time to read the book and perhaps share it with family, friends and even get your local library to get a copy so many more can enjoy this rich tale!

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, June 24, 2016

Faith (Quaker Brides #3)

Title:  Faith (Quaker Brides #3)
Author:  Lyn Cote
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 stars.
Faith Cathwell has one main goal when she volunteers to be a nurse during the Civil War and that goal is to find her best friend Shiloh.  Shiloh is a free woman of color who was kidnapped five years before the war broke out and taken back to the South and sold as a slave.  Faith, along with Shiloh’s sister Honoree, searched when and where they were able to do so, but were limited by fear for their lives as Faith is an abolitionist Quaker and Honoree is a free woman of color.  Neither woman is safe alone in the South.  They see their chance to get geographically closer to the South by volunteering their services to the Union as nurses, so they find themselves serving in an army hospital very close to the battles.  They face disrespect and derision from many soldiers and doctors, but not all of them.  Faith meets Colonel Devlin Knight when he comes to her asking her to tend his wounded cousin.  He initially neglects to mention that his cousin is a Confederate soldier.
In return for her help, Devlin agrees to help her search for Shiloh.  As they spend time together on occasion, both begin to quickly fall in love.  However, Devlin keeps a slave and just knows he is going to die in this war.  Faith cannot tolerate slavery and doesn’t understand how Devlin can fight for the North, but still own a slave.  Despite their attraction to each other, they don’t see how there is a future for them.  Faith’s deep religious holdings are foreign to Devlin as he has distanced himself from God.  This is another obstacle for them to overcome.  As the war rages on the battlefield, so does the struggle within each of their hearts.
I have thoroughly enjoyed each story in the Quaker Brides Series and encourage readers to get all three books.  Each book can be a standalone story, but there are references to the prior stories.  If you are like me and like to do things in order, then start with book one so you can get the background and history from the get go.  I liked the setting and found reading about the Quakers very interesting.  The romance in each story was clean, and I found the fortitude of these Quaker women amidst persecution and the struggles of life two hundred years ago or more was inspiring.  The author has done her research, which made the story come alive for me as well as teach me something about this time period.  I can’t wait to see what Lyn writes next!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above is my opinion only.  I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Rediscovering God in America (3rd Edition)

Title:  Rediscovering God in America (3rd Edition)
Author:  Newt & Callista Gingrich
Pages:  192
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Center Street
My rating is 5 stars.
Most of Americans are aware of the battles of expressions of faith and other threats to our Constitutional freedoms.  Perhaps for too long we have depended on schools, churches and other institutions to continue teaching as well as promoting citizenship.  Times have certainly changed since I grew up when I recited the Pledge of Allegiance or sing our National Anthem before my school day began.  Today, most kids don’t.
I believe we as Americans need to take into our hands the task to pass down to the next generation the history of America, both the good and the bad of her history.  Here is a book that provides such an aid to teach, talk and remind ourselves and coming generations what the foundations of America are regardless of what learning institutions, church or other social groups we are part of.  In fact, this is a book that historians would love and even young children can view the pictures and begin to grow the heart of a strong citizen.
Many have paid the ultimate sacrifice along with many still serving to protect our country from all enemies, both foreign and domestic.  If we don’t share our nation’s true history, there is a gap in the heart and minds of Americans that goes unfilled that perhaps makes them unaware of whom, as a nation, we really are and what is at stake if we remain silent.
So I heartily ask that readers obtain a copy for their own personal library and consider giving a copy to friends or other family members as a gift.  We can ill afford to not look at what our foundation for this country is and help in whatever way we can to build up that foundation for future generations!  People will find it is a quick read, full of information and one that helps us to remember those who have gone before us and left us a rich legacy and nation!

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, June 22, 2016

Messenger by Moonlight

Title:  Messenger by Moonlight
Author:  Stephanie Grace Whitson
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Faith Words
My rating is 4 stars.
This is a nice, gentle tale of a young woman who works for The Pony Express.  She is not a rider, but a cook at one of the stations that the riders rode into as well as stagecoaches stopping in.  Annie’s job is to feed the riders, passengers and stagecoach drivers.  She didn’t want to come west, but her two brothers volunteered her for the job of cook without her knowledge.  Her brothers are going to be riders for The Pony Express to earn money to help make her dream of a home come to fruition, so her options were to go with them or be left behind, alone in a new town of St. Jo, Missouri.  She and her brothers had been evicted from the family farm after their father’s death.  Unbeknownst to them, he had big gambling debts and the only way to satisfy them was to sell the farm.  They decided to try to big city of St. Jo for a brighter future.  When they hit town, they quickly learn of a good paying job with a startup company and gain employment for all three siblings.
Upon arriving at the station, Annie has a rough start as the station owner, George Mason, doesn’t seem to like her.  She burns food, uses too much food and doesn’t know where any supplies are kept.  Her brothers seem to thrive at their jobs, but Annie is miserable.  She doesn’t give up and over time she gains the interest of a soldier at a nearby fort.  She also learns her way around the kitchen and shows George she is a good cook.  Annie and George slowly form a friendship.  When a crisis hits, Annie always turns to the little Scripture she was taught by her mother and then to some Scripture passages one of her brother has highlighted for her.
I really enjoyed the Author’s Note after the conclusion of the story.  I found it interesting what her research did and did not turn up about The Pony Express and the role of women in the west.  They had such a difficult life with daily struggles just to survive.  I liked Annie’s brother Emmet, who always pointed Annie to Scripture or reminded her of God’s character when she needed it most.  He was such an encourager and steady, positive influence on her.  This was my first book from this author, and I look forward to reading more of her works.  Won’t you 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.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

All Summer Long (Follow Your Heart Series #2)

Title:  All Summer Long (Follow Your Heart Series #2)
Author:  Melody Carlson
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
The story Melody Carlson shares with us is both light-hearted and thought provoking!  The two main characters I paid most attention to were Tia D’Amico and Leo Parker.  Tia is a chef who takes a job to cook on a boat for her Aunt Julie and Uncle Roland.  For her, this is a new experience and a new adventure that she throws herself into 100%.  Part of the reason is that she hopes by moving out her father will remarry and be happy.
Leo is the one to pick Tia up at the airport and shares with her that he is the captain of the boat.  What makes the story really interesting is these two characters have a shared past that Tia is hoping to reignite.  However, when she arrives in San Francisco her heart and world are turned upside down by the news Leo shares.
I really enjoyed the book as the story had characters that added a plethora of flavors to the tale developing around the lives of Tia and Leo.  I could easily imagine some of the scenes as the author created the pictures via words that enhanced the novel.  Sometimes the interaction between various characters would cause me to smile or laugh.  There were a few times the novel’s scenes were somewhat sad, but nothing that made me cry as to me it highlighted the reality of life’s ups and downs.
It won’t take a reader long to devour the story and look for the next tale from Melody in the series, which will be available the summer of 2017.  Readers can enjoy a small sample of the coming novel at the end of this 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.”

Monday, June 20, 2016

Sea Rose Lane (Hope Harbor #2)

Title:  Sea Rose Lane (Hope Harbor #2)
Author:  Irene Hannon
Pages:  368
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
In the novel, a main character must decide whether to pursue his lifelong dreams while looking for a new job after a recent layoff.  Eric returns to Hope Harbor after his layoff to spend some time with his widowed father in the home he grew up in.  However, when he pulls up to the house, he gets the shock of his life!  Yet, there is more that is going to challenge Eric as his time in Hope Harbor lengthens.
BJ is working hard at building her architecture business in Hope Harbor as well as volunteering hours at Helping Hands.  BJ has a tender heart that has come from some of her harder life experiences.  BJ is also assisting the local high school with its set making for production of a play and time is running out for her to complete her work.
Let me tell you there is much more to the novel than the two characters I share a little bit about plus some descriptions of beautiful scenes!  I really enjoyed getting lost for a couple of hours in Harbor Hope and the characters that live there as they interact and share their stories.  Each one of them has an experience or more than one which touch the heart of readers like me.
Besides the romance theme, there is faith, trust, risk and believing God.  There are times when I smiled or laughed out loud like the sea Lion Casper, who is a hoot!  Irene Hannon has written a couple different series and her writing engages the whole person the moment one starts reading.  I hope you enjoy this novel and make sure to read book one in the Hope Harbor Series!

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, June 18, 2016

Sins of the Past (Novella Collection)

Title:  Sins of the Past (Novella Collection)
Author:  Dee Henderson, Dani  Pettrey, Lynette Eason
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating is 5+ stars.
There are three stories each one written by an author listed above: Missing (Dee Henderson), Shadowed (Dani Pettrey), and Blackout (Lynette Eason).  The stories are not tied together and be prepared for them to each totally engage you the moment reading them begins!  In Missing a former Chicago police Officer returns from to help locate his mother who has been missing for hours without a clue!  In Shadowed Libby is in Alaska for a competition swim when she meets Ben McKenna while on a whale sighting tour.  However, not only do they sight whales but a body too and Libby knows the person!  Finally in Blackout a woman who in her earlier life ran away to meet a boyfriend only to somehow become entangled in a murder and theft.  The hard part is she has no memory of that fatal night and her life depends on remembering!
Each of the stories was worth the wait for me though it was hard as I anticipated each author’s story telling ability to keep me turning pages till I finished the book!  If you like suspense and surprise endings or thrills while figuring out how the culprit will be discovered then this collection is for you!  The action, adventure and faith woven throughout the tales are exciting to say the least!  You won’t soon forget the fun you had reading the book and I know I will eventually be rereading them sometime down through the years!  I will also be sharing the book with friends or family who want to read good books, perhaps you will too!

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, June 17, 2016

In A Killer’s Sights (Smoky Mountain Secrets)

Title:  In A Killer’s Sights (Smoky Mountain Secrets)
Author:  Sandra Robbins
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5+ stars.
Be prepped before opening the book that the moment you do the story sucks you in powerfully!  A recovering alcoholic and former police officer runs a dude ranch with his grandfather in the Smoky Mountains.  While normally the dude ranch along with the smoky mountains make for a  peaceful area and enjoyable time for various activites, the tourists life is taken an abrupt turn.
 No one’s life is more unsettled than a photographer, Gwen, when she happens upon the scene of a body being dumped into the river while on location for a news station’s upcoming documentary.  Gwen’s life is now in peril and more so is the past she has kept from one of the ranch owners for five years!  Sandra Robbins writes a powerfully moving story of love, loss and living with a strong faith theme running concurrent in the book.
Love Inspired Suspense tales can be read in a matter of hours and shared with family and friends.  For me with all the yuck on the TV I so enjoy much more a good book!  The novels written are so much better to engage one’s imagination than anything seen on the television everyday!  So grab a cold drink, curl up and enjoy a few hours in the Smoky Mountains with Sandra Robbins newest tale, In a Killer’s Sights!

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, June 16, 2016

There Will Be Stars

Title:  There Will Be Stars
Author:  Billy Coffey
Pages:  416
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 4 stars.
I have read most of the author’s novels to date with the exception of a couple.  In reading his stories, I have come to realize there is a spiritual message that may not be apparent or quickly seen until toward the end of the story.  Here is story that actually takes place a few years after the novel, In the Heart of the Dark Wood.  At first, it took me a while to remember just who some of the characters were and the story from the other book.
There is a flavor of mystery here when a character that is known as the town drunk, named Bobby Barnes, is in an accident and believes he is now in heaven.  Though Bobby is aware he doesn’t deserve to be there what catches him off guard is to be talking to other people from the town of Mattingly.  Plus Bobby sees his two young twin sons, talks to them and more, believing they are real and alive.  Yet are they?
So much more occurs in the book than I am really able to describe to you.  All I can really say is that it is a story worth taking time to read and enjoy.  At times I thought I knew exactly how the story was going to play out or how it was going to end, but the author sure likes to throw in twists and turns that bring a moment of pause to see how a scene will really develop.
From the first page till the end, the novel engaged all of me, and my heart was touched in various scenes sometimes causing me to react with anger at a character or sadness and even a laugh every now and again.  There is one use of a cuss word by town drunk Bobby Barnes though it is not the “f” bomb.  I was disappointed when a sexual scene occurred even though it isn’t in detail or described erotically, but to show how some people use others in this manner.  I wanted to let you be aware in case something like what I just described might bother you readers.  When I came upon it, at first it caught me off guard and in all honesty I would have liked to have not seen that in the novel at all.

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, June 15, 2016

A Flight of Arrows (The Pathfinders #2)


Title:  A Flight of Arrows (The Pathfinders #2)
Author:  Lori Benton
Pages:  390
Year:  2016
Publisher:  WaterBrook Press
My rating is 5 stars.
This second book in the series begins right where book one, The Wood’s Edge, ends.  I recommend reading book one first so you can get to know the characters, setting, storyline and time period.  After learning his entire life has been a lie, William Aubrey leaves his home and family, feeling betrayed, angry and hurt to join the British forces to fight against the colonists in what will become the Revolutionary War.  He joins the same division that will be attacking his own Native American family as well as the family whom raised him.  What will he do now?  He can’t desert as he has given his oath, right?
Two Hawks and Anna are still in love, but face many obstacles.  Lydia still loves Reginald, but has been shut out of his heart.  Reginald has shut everyone out, except maybe his daughter Anna.  He has received forgiveness from Stone Thrower and Good Voice over his actions twenty years ago, but he won’t let himself receive God’s forgiveness.  There are many other happenings in this interesting tale, but they are best enjoyed when read for yourselves!
The Native American family in this story heard the word of God from a missionary and took it to heart.  The manner in which they act and react when faced with continued disappointment in the search for their missing son that has been going on for almost twenty years as well as their interactions with others shows their willingness to extend mercy, grace, forgiveness and one even makes the ultimate sacrifice.  What great examples!  The characters of Lydia and eventually Anna also demonstrate these traits, although readers will see Anna struggle with hurt, pride, rebellion and more.  Readers will see the emotional struggles between various relationships all while the rebel Americans face invasion by the British, who are threatening their way of life as well as their very lives.  The research and talent of the author really showed as that really brought the story and characters to life for me.  I found reading about this time in American history interesting, and the story kept my attention from beginning until end.  Kudos to you for a great story, Lori!

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.”

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

When You Come Home (The True Story of a Soldier’s Heroism & His Wife’s Sacrifice)

Title:  When You Come Home (The True Story of a Soldier’s Heroism & His Wife’s Sacrifice)
Author:  Nancy Cavin Pitts
Pages:  224
Year:  2011
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5 stars.
Yes, it is a hard book to read as it really lets us see what one soldier’s wife endured during WWII.  I felt compelled to read the book and allow my heart to travel the journey of the life of Mr. & Mrs. Raymond Kelley.  Back then there was no easy or quick way to connect soldiers with their loved ones back home.  The most heartbreaking response to a knock on the door was when a loved one received a Western Union telegram telling them about their soldier.
Mrs. Kelley was a young wife who looked forward to many years growing old with her new husband, Raymond, prior to the breaking out of war.  Unfortunately, she didn’t get that desire.  In a very transparent way, her daughter shares the life her mother lived including both the joy and the sorrows.  We see how one woman had to rebuild her life after she lost her husband and her journey through grief.
I think many could benefit from reading her story and being reminded of the cost paid for what we enjoy in America today.  While Mrs. Kelley did remarry some time later, gave birth to a daughter and lived to an older age, we can be taught much from her love story.  We get a peek into the private moments of this lady’s heart, travels to visit her soldier and a life after tragedy.  I think it is by no means an accident that it is Memorial weekend when I am reading this book, for isn’t it a time to remember what others have done and continue to do for America today?
A lump in my throat was there at times, a smile at other times.  I found it interesting how she and another widow felt when the war was over.  It never occurred to me what they might have felt or thought as most just remember the rejoicing in the streets.  There is a time to sit and remember those who went before us; those who have passed on the mantle for us to carry the light of God and to take the fight for our nation to our generation.  Will we?

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, June 13, 2016

Fields of the Fatherless (Based on a True Story)

Title:  Fields of the Fatherless (Based on a True Story)
Author:  Elaine Marie Cooper
Pages:  140
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5 stars.
While the novel may be considered one for the YA audience, let me tell you adults will really be enthralled with reading about the time of 1775.  The Revolutionary War is the setting of the tale and each chapter begins with a quote from the journal of the real Betsy Russell!  The book has won awards and is a great way to teach, remind and encourage readers of all ages to remember the cost of freedom.
However, it goes deeper than that.  Betsy is a woman of faith who finds herself immersed in the brutality of fighting between the Minutemen and the British.  When her faith is tested due to heartbreak followed by being asked to render aid to the enemy, Betsy must decide if she will live out her faith with deeds.  The cost of rendering aid to the enemy might brand her as a Tory, but that is not what concerns Betsy the most as readers will discover.
Novels such as these remind us where our nation began and how it brought freedom with such a high cost.  We are reminded that without God we can endure trials but don’t see other people as God sees and loves them.  Furthermore, the novel reminds all that people took a stand for God in their times of fiery trials for our nation.  Can we not but do the same?
I highly recommend spending a few hours getting lost in the tale then learning about the real woman and the mark her family left that can still be seen today!

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, June 11, 2016

The Dog that Whispered Author: Jim Kraus

Title:  The Dog that Whispered
Author:  Jim Kraus
Pages:  336
Year:  2016
Publisher:  FaithWords
My rating is 5 stars.
I read another novel by Jim Kraus titled, The Dog that Saved Stewart College and really enjoyed the story, so when I saw The Dog that Whispered I knew what awaited a reader…a good novel.  As I kept reading the book, it quickly became apparent that there was more to the story than the titled suggested.  Of course, that is what makes a book fun for me, the joy of discovering the tale!
The Dog that Whispered really brings to readers through humor and the main character being an animal, a tail (pun intended) with a mystery.  Gretna is a senior citizen whose only child is a son who is a professor at a college.  He is unmarried and Gretna wants grandchildren so when she sees a commercial to adopt dogs she decides that is exactly what her son needs.  Wilson can’t disagree with his mother more and even more so when Gretna suggests that the dog she named Thurman can talk.
What follows is a moving story of a man who served his country and returned a broken man and his unwillingness to disclose what he did while serving that burdens his heart.  Wilson is a man whose past keeps his heart bound in unforgiveness and feelings of being unlovable.  There is much more to the book for readers to enjoy revealed by the author’s novel.  It really touched my heart greatly and made me even more thankful for those who served and have come home in need of love, healing and restoration.
I hope you will read Jim’s novel as there is more in the book than I shared in my review here.  I look forward to whatever the author shares in his next publication.

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, June 10, 2016

Dawn at Emberwilde (Treasures of Surrey #2)

Title:  Dawn at Emberwilde (Treasures of Surrey #2)
Author:  Sarah E. Ladd
Pages:  343
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 4 stars.
While living and working a Fellsworth School, Isabel Creston has accepted her lot in life.  She is the guardian of her younger half-sister, Lizzie and hopes to soon obtain a position as governess to provide for them both.  She has been at Fellsworth since the age of seven when her mother did and her father remarried.  So when she is called to the superintendent’s office, she expects a scolding for disobeying the rules (again).  She is shocked to discover that an unknown wealthy aunt is offering to take Isabel into her home and family and provide for her.  Isabel and Lizzie travel to her aunt’s estate, leaving behind all they have known.
Once settled into their new life, Isabel begins to discover that what she thought she knew about her past may not be true.  Who can she believe?  Is the forest on the grounds of the estate haunted or is there something nefarious going on?  She also catches the eye of two men who begin to pay her attention.  She never expected to love, marry or have a family of her own.  Now she has two prospects, but are they what they present themselves to be?
After a slow start, the last 100 pages or so really wrapped things up nicely.  There was mystery, romance, and a few faith-filled moments to make an overall good story.  I liked the details of the clothing and setting/scenery.  The Regency time period is one of my favorite to read about.  Isabel’s love and dedication to the care of her much younger half-sister, Lizzie, was nice to see.  I liked Lizzie’s character and enjoyed her scenes in the story.  As I mentioned, it took a while for me to get drawn into the story as I would have liked a little more action to take place in the first 200 pages.  Isabel’s character stayed true to how God made her and didn’t change who she was or let wealth change her to be someone she was not.  This book can be read as a standalone without reading the first book in the series, The Curiosity Keeper.

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, June 9, 2016

Fear is Louder than Words Author: Linda S. Glaz

Title:  Fear is Louder than Words
Author:  Linda S. Glaz
Pages:  281
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publications of the Carolinas
My rating is 5+ stars.
This is an edge of your seat kind of story!  Here is a woman named Rachelle; she is a talk show host who has no family but those she works with at the radio station.  Rachelle gets fan mail and some of it really scares the living daylights out of her, but she tries really hard not to let fear control her life since losing her parents and brother years earlier.
Yet, in a moment when Rachelle least expects it she is viciously attacked though rescued by a pro hockey player named Ed before the attacker could complete his goal.  Rachelle’s injuries are bad and her nightmares seem so real, but are they all nightmares?  Ed believes that because he has saved her he is now responsible for her safety.
One of the many stories Rachelle pursues brings her face to face with a doctor who is helping women have babies whose IQs are exceptionally high and boy are they talented.  At first, it seems to Rachelle that it is all amazing work this doctor is doing, and she hopes her attacker will no longer follow her around, stalking or calling her.  Rachelle could never have been more wrong in her life.
On top of all this, her friendship with Ed may be morphing into a romance, but both have pasts that put them in a quandary.  Ed’s father has a temper and Ed does too, which is seen by many when he is on the ice.  When he meets Rachelle, his heart is deeply moved.  Ed wants to become a different man because of what he sees in Rachelle, but she is afraid that Ed is just like another boyfriend she once knew.
At times, when I was reading, my nerves felt on edge as I could almost feel Rachelle’s fear.  Her determination not to let her life be dictated by fear eventually becomes a reality as she learns to lean upon God again and open her heart to His love.  As she learns to trust God and see how He works in her life, she opens her heart to risk loving Ed and spending a lifetime with him.  Read the book to see how it works out along with what other people in the story were dealing with and if they decided to hand over their lives into the hands of God!

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, June 8, 2016

Fatal Transaction Author: W. Richard Lawrence

Title:  Fatal Transaction
Author:  W. Richard Lawrence
Pages:  322
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5+ stars.
Whew!  What a novel filled with suspense, twists, turns and danger along with a man who’s an evil narcissist!  Readers meet a young woman who is a brilliant computer wizard whose life has been anything but glamorous.  While Sara may seem to have gumption and a fearless attitude towards her boss underneath she is scared and sick of being so!  Plus, the man she works for is a man who thinks only of himself and his main source of control is having others fear him.
This evil man has people he has bought to make sure he is never caught stealing millions of dollars from credit card companies.  When he is through with an employee, let’s just say there is no severance benefit package anyone can see.  Sara, after being beaten for disobeying this narcissist, is rescued by a man named Derry Conway.  He believes God has brought him into her life and has with all his heart devoted his life to protecting her from further harm if at all possible.
As readers go further into the suspense-filled thriller they will see just how real evil is and how God can do more than we can ask or think.  Because of Sara’s past she is afraid to trust Derry or his FBI friend Lamar even though they both assure her of their care.  However, Sara just thinks it’s a smoke screen and eventually she is going to be hurt, dead or caught by the FBI as they close in on the credit card scamming ring.
I stayed up late reading this book because I so wanted to see how the author was going to bring it to a conclusion.  The neat part about the ending is that there seems like there could be a sequel if the author chooses.  Otherwise, I look forward to another great book from him eventually as he has gained a new fan in this reviewer!

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.”

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Friendly Revenge

Title:  Friendly Revenge
Author:  James Pence                                                                                 
Pages:  172
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Mountainview Books, LLC
My rating is 5.
Palmer Keene is miserable because he left his friends, his dog, and his whole life behind when his father was hired to pastor a church in another state.  Palmer hates where he lives and doesn’t have any friends even though the school principal’s daughter Cassie continually tries to reach out to the young PK.  However, one day, Palmer is chased by three bullies and cornered in an alley when Chad, a kid from the wrong side of the tracks, comes to Palmer’s rescue.  Palmer now has a friend, but is Chad the friend he claims to be?
Palmer gets in trouble, but he is innocent.  He has been framed for a crime he didn’t commit, but the reasons behind those who set him up go beyond just bullying the new kid.  Cassie sticks up for Palmer even when some members of his church want to use the incident as an excuse to fire his father. 
James Pence’s Friendly Revenge deals with issues involving bullying, friendship, parent-child relationships and conflicts, unjust treatment, lack of compassion, anger, church politics, and forgiveness.  The story is true-to-life and the characters are realistic.  All the events in Pence’s story could, and probably have happened.  Although there are several themes present, I believe the main theme is that forgiveness is more powerful than hate.  I think that this is a good story for teens to help them see what hate and revenge can lead to as well as how God’s forgiveness, as shown through his people, can heal hard hearts and bring hope to the downtrodden.  Also, the justice of God will catch up with those who purpose to do wrong to others is another message that this book shows.
Although Friendly Revenge is a YA novel, it is a very good and enjoyable read for those of us who are young at heart.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
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


Kill Devil Author: Mike Dellosso




Title:  Kill Devil
Author:  Mike Dellosso                                                                                
Pages:  402
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale House
My rating is 5.

Jed Patrick thought that Centralia was behind him.  He and his family had moved on and changed their identities to start a new life, but there were those in high places that found them.  With his wife and daughter threatened, Jed was put in a position to commit an unthinkable and desperate act, but what choice did he have if he was to save his family?  In this sequel to Mike Dellosso’s Centralia, Kill Devil proves to be even more suspenseful and action-packed than the first novel.  And this time, the stakes are higher as the protagonist is manipulated through mind control by a rogue CIA agent who has plans to undermine everything that America stands for.

Mike Dellosso’s second suspense thriller revolving around former Army Ranger Jed Patrick continues the adventure and suspenseful mystery that made the first book, Centralia, so well received.  The characters are realistic and well-developed.  The story is superbly written.  And the action is fast-paced.  It was hard to put this book down once I started reading.  Not all sequels live up to the first book of a series, but that is definitely not the case with Kill Devil.  Dellosso nails it and drives it home with an exciting resolution that leads Jed and his family into a new life.  Although the novel ends with the dismantling of the Centralia project, the arrest of people in high positions, and the promise of a new life for Jed and his family, I wouldn’t be surprised if a third Jed Patrick book would be available in the near future.  If fact, I will disappointed if Delloso doesn’t write another in this series.  I highly recommend this novel and look forward to more by this author.

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, June 6, 2016

Exalting Jesus in Philippians (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)

Title:  Exalting Jesus in Philippians (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)
Author:  Tony Merida, etc.
Pages:  288
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Holman Reference
My rating is 5 stars.
These commentaries are written to expound Biblical truth and provide questions that help people think or meditate on what they are studying.  I found that the questions can be answered via journal, used in a small group setting or to elicit deeper examination of the text.  I reviewed another commentary by these publishers that focused on 1 & 2 Kings that revealed to me Jesus in the Old Testament in a way I never say Him before!
Here in Philippians the authors go in smaller amounts of verses as the book of Philippians is only four chapters in length.  Sometimes as I am reading the commentary after reading the Scripture portion in my Bible, I get antsy.  As I pondered why, it became clear that in our instant society it really takes a decision to be still and know God.  There isn’t anything instant in our walk with the Lord; it takes a person who decides to have the self-control to study, read or meditate on Scripture when other people or life is knocking on his/her door.
It is my sincerest desire to know him deeper, point others to Him and above all glorify Him with my life.  There is no short cut or formula in this relationship with God because it is a relationship not a nonliving activity to check off daily.  I appreciate the author’s insights, questions and encouragement to grow in my knowledge of Him which in turn helps grow my prayer life, loving others, and more.  I want to continue to do so until I take my last breath here on earth and my first in heaven.  How about you?

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.”

Medical Judgment

Title:  Medical Judgment
Author:  Richard L. Mabry, M. D.
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Abingdon Press
My rating is 5 stars.
In the latest novel from author and Dr. Richard Mabry, audiences are going to be pulled very quickly into a suspenseful thriller!  Dr. Sarah Gordon is still recovering from losing her husband and daughter in a car accident, but still stays busy as an E.R. physician.  While trying to grieve and learn what her new normal is, she is being slowly terrorized by an as yet known assailant.  Sarah is receiving scary phone calls and her house has been broken into which leaves her feeling violated.
On top of all this, she has two men who are interested in her and attend her church too.  Sarah has only recently returned to church.  While the unknown perp has yet to be caught, Dr. Gordon decides she has had enough and takes action.  Sarah doesn’t want to be leaning on anyone else and doesn’t want to live in constant fear, so she puts into place some  measures that help her feel more secure.  But does it work or has she only succeeded in agitating whoever is behind these scare tactics?
For me, this was one of the best books the author has written!  I loved how he has the main character, Dr. Gordon, take measures to be protected as well as being able to protect herself, if necessary.  I loved how the author shows the doctor still working through her grief and being very transparent about she feels toward God.  Readers will sense at times they may know who the culprit is terrorizing the doctor and at other times perhaps not quite so sure.
The ending was great and since I don’t want to ruin it for anyone who has yet to read the story, I won’t reveal any spoilers.  Let me just say that this mystery has faith, suspense, and action that will keep people turning pages till they reach the conclusion!  The novel is written with heart and will draw audiences into the book emotionally as well as mentally, especially when another man is introduced into Dr. Gordon’s circle of acquaintances.


Medical Judgment Richard Mabry



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, June 5, 2016

The Midwife’s Dilemma (At Home in Trinity #3)



Title:  The Midwife’s Dilemma (At Home in Trinity #3)
Author:  Delia Parr
Pages:  320
Year: 2016
Publisher:  Bethany
My rating is 5+ stars.
The whole At Home in Trinity series is a wonderful story about a young widow raising two children on her own, being a midwife and then as her children become grown enters a new season of her life.  As the final novel is here the hard part was reading the book knowing it was the end of the series I thoroughly enjoyed.  The author does an outstanding job of showing how as our children grow and we grow older sometimes life gets tough and it has blessings too.
For Martha in the final installment her body is now taking longer to gets it strength back when she is out n bad weather and helping many women or children.  Martha seems to be fighting the heartache that growing older can bring as people move away from her town, her children marry, and her heart longs for a more peaceful daily life.  While Martha has enjoyed the calling she senses that a new season of life for her is on the horizon but giving up her calling proves a difficult task.
There is so much happening in the story I cannot wait for you to read and discover all the nuances of the story line.  The characters for me seemed very life like and I hated to see the ending of the series come to fruition.  Martha has a very close walk with the Lord though during this season of transition she is truly struggling to believe God or trust Him.  For me that is a real wrestling match some women may face as new seasons of life come and go.
It isn’t only the change is seasons that was very realistic but the changing landscape of friendships too.  Some of them were very hard for Widow Cade and others weren’t, Martha was a true reflection on even good changes can bring about some melancholy.  The ending was fantastic and a real surprise so I won’t reveal it to you other than to say it brilliant the away the author wraps up life for characters we know well in the town of Trinity.  I wonder where she will take her readers next?

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.” 

The Midwife’s Choice (At Home in Trinity #2)

Title:  The Midwife’s Choice (At Home in Trinity #2)
Author:  Delia Parr
Pages:  336
Year:  2015
Publisher:  
My rating is 5 stars.
The series begins with the first novel titled, The Midwife’s Tale where readers are taken back to earlier days when doctors were few and reliance upon midwives was greater.  Here continues the story of Widow Martha Cade, practicing her care of women in the town of Trinity.  Martha is reunited with her daughter Virginia and has some decisions before her that will impact her future and that of her practice.
Martha is faced with caring for a woman who lost a baby in childbirth only to be in need of more serious care when days later she is brought to the widow’s place after being beaten by her husband.  The women of the town begin to band together as changes take place in laws and people coming or going from Trinity.  Plus Thomas the mayor of Trinity is showing quite an interest in Widow Cade and offering her a future that may include a home.
I am really enjoying each novel Delia Parr writes set in the town of Trinity and about being a midwife.  I find each story engaging and touching with the themes woven throughout the book.  Sometimes I even forget these are fictional books or tales as they seem very lifelike!  I look forward to reading book three titled The Midwife’s Dilemma and may peek at some of the other books written by Delia!

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, June 3, 2016

The Beautiful Thread (The Hawk & the Dove #8)

Title:  The Beautiful Thread (The Hawk & the Dove #8)
Author:  Penelope Wilcock
Pages:  208
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
My rating is 4 stars.
The focus on this eighth book in this series is again William du Bulmer and Abbot John.  This time, however, the drama is not on William’s love life, but Abbot John’s.  St. Alcuin’s is to host a big wedding.  As a result, Father Conradus, who is in charge of the kitchen, needs extra help with all the food preparations.  It is suggested that he notify his mother to have her come and help.  This being done, she agrees and soon arrives at St. Alcuin’s.  Abbot John immediately feels comfortable in her presence and wants to spend more time with her under the guise of showing her around the monastery and other excuses.  Some of the other monks immediately notice the change in their abbot’s attitude toward this woman.  Will St. Alcuin’s lose another man to a woman?
The other situation going on in the story is a visit from one of the higher ups in the monastic hierarchy.  His visit happens to coincide with all the wedding plans and incoming guests, so tension is running high among the monks as they try to get everything ready for both events.  Bishop Eric inspects St. Alcuin’s property, grills the novitiates and applauds the food from the kitchen.  Then he hears from his assistant that William de Bulmer has been seen at St. Alcuin’s.  Bishop Eric now is on a manhunt for William to bring charges against him, excommunicate him and then execute him!  Can William escape the noose a second time?
As always, this book portrays these monks with great care in their vulnerability, transparency and humanness.  They strive to be Christ like, but sometimes fail just like us.  They ask for forgiveness, try to do better and sometimes succeed just like us.  I really liked the idea of the beautiful thread revealed in this story; it really hit home what I can do to be more like Christ in my treatment of others.  I am so looking forward to the final book in the series, A Day and a Life, due to be released in September 2016 to see what the monks are up to next!

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.”

The Valley of Dry Bones

Title:  The Valley of Dry Bones
Author:  Jerry B. Jenkins
Pages:  336
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Worthy
My rating is 5 stars.
The blessing of reading books is letting your imagination take you places that bring adventure, faith and entertainment!  With so much junk on TV, books truly are a great source to replace the garbage with great tales from various authors and genres.  Jerry Jenkins shares with us a novel that reminded me of catastrophe movies set in California, notching up the tension with people choosing to stay to bring others the gospel even when a mass exodus has occurred.
The little group lives underground and faces not only challenges of eking out daily sustenance, but also evading enemies who would love to discover their well-hidden home.  The story has characters that are faithful to the calling of following Christ, some who are sure where they are with God and others who are against them because of their message about God.
The small band of people eventually must chose a new leader and God is way ahead of them on that one!  Readers will enjoy seeing how Ezekiel Thorpe responds to God’s voice and directions when to him and the others he lives with it seems to make no sense and even very dangerous.  The lies told by those who are against them get so blown out of proportion that the government is hunting them and plans on arresting them!  How is this small group without any modern conveniences like internet, phones or anything else supposed to get the truth out?
With some internal struggles and external pressures, readers will not want to put the book down until the read the very last page.  The novel reflects the courage it takes to listen and obey God no matter what anyone thinks or says.  There is also learning to reach out to others in a multitude of ways that are concrete along with sharing the hope found in Jesus!  While it is listed as an end times novel, I never really got that sense at all while reading the book.  I came away more with how God can use those willing to open their hearts to Him, lay down their lives for Him and reach out to those God brings to you to share the message of Jesus with.  What an exceptional novel Jerry Jenkins has written and one that deserves reading and sharing with those who just love a good story!

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, June 2, 2016

The Breath of Peace (The Hawk & the Dove #7)

Title:  The Breath of Peace (The Hawk & the Dove #7)
Author:  Penelope Wilcock
Pages:  208
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
My rating is 4 stars.
This seventh book in The Hawk and the Dove Series finds William de Bulmer as a husband to Madeleine for a little over a year.  Their married life started out wonderful, but now they seem to squabble all the time and they are both tired of it.  William thinks he is a failure as a husband as he can’t seem to do anything right, but spending thirty years as a monk has hardly prepared him for life outside the monastery.  Madeleine seems to find fault with everything he does and isn’t shy about telling him so!
Abbot John, Madeleine’s brother, is in a quandary.  His cellarer has died and he has no one to fill the position.  William was in training for the same when he was a monk, but after he left the monastery to marry Madeleine no one took his place as assistant.  So Abbot John contacts William to see if he can bring their account books up to date and check on the status of all things financial for the monastery and train a replacement.  Oh and by the way did William have any ideas on who might fill the position?  William is grateful for the respite away from Madeleine, whom he still deeply loves, but can’t seem to find a peaceful way to live with.  Upon William’s return home, Madeleine makes her own journey to see her brother, seeking marital counsel.
A beautiful picture of marital life is explained by Abbot John using scripture.  That was my favorite part of the book.  I also liked how transparent William has become, even though he doesn’t like it.  What a change from when readers first met him!  I would have liked to have spent more time with the familiar monks at the monastery than this story did, but that is just a personal preference.  Abbot John is growing in his role as leader of this quiet community that inspires peace in both Madeleine and William.  His advice and spiritual insight is spot on in the story.  I’m looking forward to book eight, so stay tuned for more of the monastic life at St. Alcuin’s!

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.”