Friday, September 30, 2016

Certain Jeopardy

Title:  Certain Jeopardy
Author:  Captain Jeff Struecker with Alton Gansky
Pages:  381
Year:  2009
Publisher:  B&H Publishing Group
My rating is 5 stars.
Sgt. Major Eric Moyer is in charge of a six-man team of Special Operative soldiers who are sent on a mission to stop a nuclear scientist from being transported to Iran at all costs.  Upon arriving in-country in Venezuela, they soon discover their mission to be more complicated than they originally thought.  They travel undercover as businessmen so as to thwart some of the crooked people in the government who have kidnapped the nuclear scientist.
Eric and his team put their plan into action, but encounter obstacle after obstacle.  Each time they seem to have a problem solved, another arises to take its’ place.  With boots on the ground, the team meets the bad guys head on with guns blazing!  There are car chases, gun fights, helicopters and submarines that kept the story moving at a quick pace.  Readers will read about these elite soldiers in action and the difficult decisions they must make.  They keep their mission goal constantly in mind, and their loyalty never falters.
I don’t know much about the military, but I do know a great book when I read one!  This story has suspense; lots of tension-filled, action-packed scenes to keep readers turning pages from page one until the end!  The soldiers in this story will stop at nothing to accomplish their mission and are loyal to their fellow soldiers and the United States at the cost of their lives.  Even though they are serving their country, they still have the same struggles of everyday life at home.  I liked that touch as it made these men realistic.  Thank you to those who serve our country or who have served our country by putting their lives on the line day in and day out to keep our country safe.  I can’t wait to read Blaze of Glory to see what the next mission is for these men of valor!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  The above represents my opinion only.  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, September 29, 2016

The Epistles of James, Peter, and Jude (Vol. #2)

Title:  The Epistles of James, Peter, and Jude (Vol. #2)
Author:  Trina Bresser Matous
Pages:  80
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5 stars.
Unlike other study guides I have reviewed, used and read, Trina Bresser Matous’s stands out from the others.  Why?  One can merely peruse the pages or quickly scan the pages to see how much time of study and prayer the author puts into what she presents to seekers.  Her first volume covers the writings of Paul’s letters in the New Testament, which is no easy feat!
There is an introduction into the particular letter a person is studying followed by chapter by chapter of Background, Overview, and Insights that includes a couple of questions.  The way it is presented seems to spark the interest of the student, hoping that this is merely a jump off into deeper delving into the Word of God.
Trina’s two books can be used either by an individual, between friends, or a group of people.  However, one chooses to utilize the study, I guarantee you will learn, grow and desire to go deeper into the Word if your soul yearns for more spiritual food.

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, September 28, 2016

Deathwatch by V. B. Tenney

Title:  Deathwatch
Author:  V.B. Tenery
Pages:  294
Year:  2016
Publisher:  CreateSpace
My rating is 4 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org
Commander Grey Hamilton, also known as Lord Amherst, though he tries to downplay his title, is a former serviceman in the navy of Great Britain.  He was injured in a battle at sea and forced to retire from active military service.  With his keen mind he was put to work for MI6.  He is awakened in the middle of the night as a dead body has been found.  The body is of a cryptanalyst, which is someone who tries to decode coded messages sent by Germans during WWII.  It is Grey’s job to discover if the cryptanalyst gave up any information to her murderer regarding Great Britain’s coding device before she was killed, so he has to find her murderer.
Grace Sullivan is the daughter of a wealthy American man who has offered her service as a cryptanalyst to Great Britain to help in their war efforts against Germany.  She is the one who discovered the body of her best friend, Jacky Vidal.  Grace is determined to be part of the investigation and once an attempt is made on her life, Grey reluctantly consents.  He must find the murderer and determine what he/she knows about the decoding device.  If Jacky told him/her about the device, it will now be worthless as the Germans will know about it and change their codes.  Great Britain will no longer be able to crack their codes, causing untold loss of life of British soldiers.
I thought the plot quick-paced and interesting with a good mystery to keep this reader’s interest.  There was also a romance and interesting information on what life was like for those living in London during the war.  I liked the characters of Grace and the fact that she was a genius who offered her intelligence to Great Britain to help save lives decoding German messages even though she was American and the United States was not involved in the war at the time the story takes place.  I also liked that she had nerve to stand up to Grey and put him in his place.  Grey also was able to take her set-down, admit she was right and apologize to her.  Fans of mysteries as well as WWII will enjoy the setting and storyline of this novel. 
The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/.  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Mattie's Pledge

Title:  Mattie’s Pledge (Journey to Pleasant Valley #2)
Author:  Jan Drexler
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
The Journey to Pleasant Valley series begins with Hannah’s Choice and coming in summer 2017 will continue; there is a sneak peek at the end of this novel.  The title for the third novel hasn’t been revealed, but I guarantee you don’t want to pass up reading such intriguing books!  In Hannah’s Choice, we meet the Yoder family and watch as they endure family tragedy along with Hannah courting and the father’s decision to travel west to Indiana.
Here the main focus is Mattie Shrock and the intense internal war waging within between the pull to go to the Pacific Coast for adventure or being content with what Jacob Yoder is offering.  Mattie places her heart and eventually her life in danger when the various wagon trains traveling west run afoul of the nefarious intensions of the Bates brothers.
While the Amish are pacifists in their views, a couple of the young men are sorely tried to maintain their beliefs when danger dogs their journey constantly.  Unlike other Amish stories I have read these characters want to be in a community without influence by Mennonites, Brethren or the Englishers.
I enjoyed the books because of the strong family base of the community.  The family works together, eats together, prays together and for the most part stays together during various trials.  The author allows her characters to examine their beliefs without making simple answers out of complex issues.  Whether it is the community or individual, readers will see both sides of Amish life, even when a character chooses not to become part of the community.
I enjoy reading good stories that allow for a shade of reality to touch the fictional story.  There aren’t platitudes given where complex struggles are occurring and time is given for the struggle to come to a conclusion.  Mattie is such an example of that.  No matter how much other characters wanted to help her come to what they considered the right decision, they had to give her freedom to explore and reach a place of peace in her heat in her own timeframe.  I wait with excitement book three, and I hope you read the first two if you haven’t already before then!

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.”

Hannah's Choice

Title:  Hannah’s Choice (Journey to Pleasant Prairie #1)
Author:  Jan Drexler
Pages:  400
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
I read the book when it first released in January of 2016 and enjoyed it very much.  When I just finished reading it again in preparation for reading book two in the series, I was reminded how truly complex and intriguing is the story.  Readers will come to a shrinking Amish village in Pennsylvania where a family must choose whether to stay or move westward to Indiana.  The reasons for contemplating a move for the father of the Yoder family is that he sees the world becoming more of a threat to his children remaining in the Amish faith.
Hannah is the oldest and her friend since childhood has been Adam, whose family farms near them.  However, when Adam’s family becomes Mennonite Hannah’s continuing friendship becomes a concern to her parents.  On top of that, unknown to her parents Adam along with his family is aiding in the Underground Railroad.  Hannah has been asked by Adam more than once to assist in getting the “packages” to safety, putting her life in danger as readers will soon find out.
Hannah’s mother is suffering from depression when she loses her three youngest children to diphtheria, which causes Hannah to assume more care for the remaining siblings.  I thought the author did a very tender job of dealing with this issue, and how it can affect the whole family.  It was especially touching to see how the family cared for the mother while the family for the most part remained a unit.  They do have one sibling who leaves the community and secretly gets married which brings more tragedy to the Yoder clan.
Throughout the novel the author shows how family and faith can really be two intertwined threads of strength, especially when tragedy strikes.  The author doesn’t rush her characters into healing, but shows how it does take time to recover from deep sorrow.  I also found it quite realistic when a child goes outside of expectations how hard it can be on the family, especially when the wayward person refuses to bend or come home.
The novel is a truly touching and moving book that readers will find keeps them turning pages for hours.  The book lays great groundwork for the second book, Mattie’s Pledge!

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.”

When Love Arrives

Title:  When Love Arrives (A Novel: Misty Willow #2)
Author: Johnnie Alexander
Pages:  368
Year: 2016
Publisher: Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
Johnnie Alexander has crafted a heart touching sequel to the first novel in the series titled “Where She Belongs” where the story line begins.  In book one we meet Shelby recently widowed with two little girls and her move to Misty willows. Also there is a young man named A.J. who through various seasons of his relationship with Shelby as it comes to an exciting and wonderful conclusion.  There are other characters and happenings in the book; one character who takes the center stage in book 2 is A.J.’s cousin Brett.
Brett at first is a love and leave ‘em kind of man used to having money to spare and no cares about how he treats others until his life becomes more complicated by unforeseen changes.  Brett’s self-centered personality begins to change as he wonders if he will ever get to see his son and meets a single woman named Dani.  What he doesn’t know is what ties the two of them together and when he learns about the event he sets out on a course he never has explored.
Johnnie Alexander weaves a very believable drama with faith issues that I believe most readers will be able to identify with in some way .  Dani’s past surfaces little by little in the story as well as her original intent on facing Brett.  I really enjoyed reading how hearts, minds and souls were touched and changed from the beginning of the book till the end.  Seeing how some characters had to reach the very bottom of their lives before they would reach out for help, or acknowledge their need for God struck me as pretty real.
Coming in Summer of 2017 there will bea 3rd book in this series though the title has been revealed at the end of the book a teaser is included for interested readers.  I hope you enjoy both books before the 3rd one is released so you can follow the plot, understand some of the characters personal histories as they are revealed.  Romance, faith, family seemed to be the three main threads of the books I wonder what you will see when you enjoy them?  Enjoy the journey of discovering faith and love n the Misty Willows 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.” 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Catching Heat (Cold Justice Case #3)

Title:  Catching Heat (Cold Justice Case #3)
Author:  Janice Cantore
Pages:  432
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5+ stars.
Readers meet Detective Abby Hart in the opening novel of the series, Burning Proof.  In the novel, the stage is set for the mystery of a fire where Abby’s parents and another man lost their lives.  Abby is saved from death by the cook when two officers unblock the back door.  The author then takes readers into the background of Abby and other characters’ lives in the second story titled, Drawing Fire.  In each book, there is suspense, a case that is a mystery unsolved for two decades and perhaps a budding romance between Abby with a local P. I., Michael Murphy.
What adds tension to the storyline is the addition of suspicion of the Governor’s possible connection to the cold case known as The Triple Seven murders.  I loved how Janice Cantore added various characters or twists and turns into the plot that surprised me and added new direction in the novel.  Sometimes the leads would turn into false leads and only raise questions by the reader, heightening the interest in how the author was going to bring the various plots together.
I enjoyed how the author brings to the forefront the internal struggle Abby has between revenge and justice.  The struggle highlights a deeper issue of the heart that of whether Abby will trust the Lord with the final outcome or push for her own results.  I don’t think there is a person alive who hasn’t struggled with trusting God, especially when the outcome is not seen clearly, quickly or ever.  Abby’s character shows perseverance too even when obstacles or trials are in her path.
All three novels in this series are tied together so reading them sequentially is helpful to understanding all that is happening in the story.  Janice Cantore knows how to mix adventure, danger and faith issues with some romance in stories that kept my attention and left me wanting more.  I hope you will become a fan of her books as I look forward to what flows out of her pen 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.”

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Raven (Coffey & Hill #2)

Title:  The Raven (Coffey & Hill #2)
Author:  Mike Nappa
Pages:  432
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 3 stars.
Trudi Coffey has a case to work on with her ex-husband, Samuel Hill.  He is now a detective with the Atlanta PD and has arrested a gang member who mentions a nebulous nefarious event known as Nevermore.  The gangbanger knows nothing more, but Samuel feels compelled to investigate what could be a potential terrorist threat to Atlanta.  He makes contact with an old acquaintance, Mama Bliss, who knows everything about a portion of the city as well as keeps many secrets.  He asks her to put out feelers about this Nevermore plot.  After a few days, she tells him it must be a hoax as everyone she has asked has never heard of it.  Samuel and Trudi both feel in their guts that there is something more going on, but are stymied on how to proceed.
Meanwhile, Trudi has a new admirer, The Raven.  He is a street magician; make that deception specialist, who picks pockets sometimes to pay his rent.  He steals the wallet of a powerful politician and learns what it means to feel real pain.  He thinks Trudi is gorgeous, but she thinks he is too young for her.  She tries to advise him to get help from Samuel, but that doesn’t happen.  The Raven stumbles across Nevermore, discovers what it is and how it is to be carried out.
After reading the first novel in this series, Annabel Lee, and absolutely loving it, I was eager to read book two.  However, this second book didn’t live up to my expectations.  There wasn’t near the action in book two that there was in book one.  Trudi and Samuel are almost afterthoughts; their mystery solving skills aren’t really shown.  There is some slight mention of faith in regards to Trudi, but Samuel claims to be an agnostic.  I hope in future books in this series the faith avenue is explored more.  I did like the development in the relationship between Trudi and Samuel.  Overall, I just didn’t get connected to this story.  I do plan to continue reading the series as sometimes a particular book just doesn’t fit a particular reader at certain time in his/her life.  I’m eager to read book three in the series as this author does write well.  If I could rate this with half stars, I would rate it 3.5 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.”

Blood & Justice: P.I. Mystery Series (A Jake & Anne Lincoln Thriller #1)

Title:  Blood & Justice:  P.I. Mystery Series (A Jake & Anne Lincoln Thriller #1)
Author:  Rayven T. Hill
Pages:  304
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Ray of Joy Publishing
My rating is 5 stars.
While perusing online outlets for new authors I haven’t read or books being promoted various ways that looked interesting, I came across this series.  Now, the author is on book # 11, which is to come out soon and I hope in print form.  I thought it would be prudent to begin where the characters’ stories begin.  Blood and Justice introduces us to a husband and wife team who become private investigators just starting out and while they begin with small tasks their lives and business are about to blossom!
Jeremy is our antagonist in the story, and the author does a great job showing us his story with the use of flashbacks.  We learn how he was raised, who his parents were and their story as it impacts Jeremy.  We also learn how Jeremy views some people who deserve what he dishes out and why he calls it justice.
Anne and Jake have a son named Matty who loves to wrestle with his Dad and do other interactive activities with him.  Anne seems to be the one whose strength is administrating, organizing and getting a general sense of people.  Jake is a hands-on kind of guy who interacts more with the police and prefers being on the move, doing anything to help solve the case rather than being cooped up in an office.
When a young girl named Jenny goes missing and the police have exhausted all possible leads, a detective sends the mother to his friends the Lincolns.  Hank, the detective, is good friends with the Lincolns and helps in any way he can to get Jenny back home to her mother alive.  While doing that, Hank begins to fall for Jenny’s mom, Amelia.

So all in all it is a great story.  There is no sex or foul language, just a good murder mystery with interesting characters!  I cannot wait to read the next book titled, Cold Justice!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Barbara Bush & Brad Meltzer Full Storytime #9

Passing through Perfect

Title:  Passing Through Perfect
Author:  Bette Lee Crosby
Pages:  252
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Bent Pine
My rating is 4 stars.
One attribute about Bette Lee Crosby’s novels is that she allows her characters to explore a variety of lifelike experiences, and her characters are really well crafted.  A book such as this is fun to get engaged in and then look at the clock only to learn so much time has passed with the conclusion of the tale right around the corner.
As a reader it was quite easy to enter the time era in which the story is placed along with the ups and downs, joys and sorrows experienced by the main character named Benjamin.  Sometimes, because of the era and the issues of that era, it reminded me of a movie I love to watch with Cuba Gooding, Jr. titled, Men of Honor.  While the movie was based on an actual person and his life story, the book seemed just as realistic even though it was fiction.
The only part that was hard for me was the switching between various characters points of view within a paragraph’s space or two.  I think the point of view of one character from another needed some spacing to help readers learn the characters view point before moving forward.  In the trilogy, I would have to say Jubilee’s Journey was my favorite as it is based loosely on Loretta Lynn’s though I can’t remember how much so enjoy it for what it is.
When I read reviews of people on book sites, I can always count on reading some well-informed ones and others that let me know a person liked or disliked a novel.  The more Bette Lee Crosby writes, the better she gets.  Some of her books I liked and others not so much; yet, an author can’t write a #1 bestseller all the time.   Enjoy the story as that is what authors like to do, entertain and sometimes educate the readers.  I like reading various authors and stories.  If you do to, you might like this book as well as Jubilee’s Journey.

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, September 21, 2016

Within the Candles Glow

Title:  Within the Candles Glow
Author:  Karen Campbell Prough
Pages:  265
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Firefly Southern Fiction
My rating is 5+ stars.
If you’re a reader or movie watcher for instance and a sequel comes along, have you ever discovered the sequel to be the best yet?  Well, here is an example of such a sequel that was top notch following the first book The Girl Called Ella Dessa.  The story and characters we meet in the first book come back a few years later in the sequel and are still living in the cove.  Within the Candles Glow really was quite interesting and engaged me from the beginning till I turned the last page.
The main character is Ella Dessa who has scares from a panther attack as a young girl, but that is just what is seen.  Now, as a budding woman, she is wondering if any man would or could love her with the internal scars besides the external ones.  There is a man who shows up during a church picnic named Josh and while most are wary of him Ella isn’t, but maybe she should be as readers will see in the book.
I loved the McKnapp family who are close knit and love each other, but aren’t without their hardships or inner family strife.  Yet, what this family comes away with far outshines and outlasts the losses, trials and tests that any family learns to overcome.  The family’s faith is exemplified many times and when their hearts are raw or struggling with the truth of the heart in certain instances when it isn’t pretty especially shows courage.  How?  They learn that stating it as it really is brings a freedom to the heart and soul of the character.  They also show how God is more than able to transform the inner person and draw them closer to Himself.
I have no idea what the author plans for her next book, but I can say that I will be watching for it with eager anticipation!

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 Girl Called Ella Dessa

Title:  The Girl Called Ella Dessa
Author: Karen Campbell Prough
Pages:  300
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Firefly Southern Fiction
My rating is 5 stars.
The year is 1836 and the setting is Beckler’s Cove where people live in small logged homes and day-to-day survival is a premium.  Ella Dessa is the main female character who loves her mother and is abused by her father.  When her mother is getting ready to give birth, Ella Dessa is expected to handle it all alone as her father leaves the home till the babe is born.  From there on, the life Ella Dessa knew is about to be radically challenged many times over.
At the start of the novel, she is a preteen whose family is very poor.  Now she is all alone and expected to stay in the cove without even her father.  When Ella begins to read the Bible, a letter falls out and the letter contains a surprise Ella can’t ignore.  She isn’t sure how it will change her life.
Other families in the cove struggle too and so far Ella knows only one family that shows love like she has never known in her home.  Ella eventually goes to live with a woman who needs help raising and caring for her brood of children and Ella’s loving, compassionate heart ministers to the woman Velma who is single-handedly holding down the home.
The sequel to the novel, Within the Candles Glow, continues to share with us Ellla’s story and I cannot wait to begin the book!  Ella is on the precipice of womanhood and without her mother isn’t sure what will be coming, but she knows that God is with her and He is good.  Her heart, I believe, is molded by her own harsh experiences and her faith is growing too, even though she isn’t sure what to do with the secrets her mother kept from her.  I look forward to Ella’s story continuing and reading more about her life in Beckler’s Cove.  I hope 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, September 20, 2016

Exalting Jesus in Ecclesiastes (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary)

Title:  Exalting Jesus in Ecclesiastes (Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary) 

Author:  Dr. Daniel L. Akin & Jonathan Akin Ph. D.
Pages:  288
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Holman Reference
My rating is 4 stars.
The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes is packed with much wisdom and visuals that can be unpacked to be able to understand and apply in our daily lives.  The commentary is another helpful aid in studying the writing of Solomon’s wisdom gained from all he saw or did in his lifetime.  The authors use a little too many references or summations based on music or movies.  I prefer understanding the historical timeframe, ancient people and religious society at the time Solomon was alive.
There is much I can and did appreciate in what the authors shared along with the questions at the end of the chapters that would help for small group or personal use.  While it’s true the authors mainly wrote to help pastors teach Biblical truths, let’s not forget that we are all called to be Bereans and can use the commentary too.
While there aren’t many chapters in Ecclesiastes, which were added later, there is much wisdom that we can learn in 12 chapters.  I hope you spend time seeing Jesus in the Book of Ecclesiastes and come away changed because of having spent time with Him!

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 Fifth Column (The Blitz Detective #2)

Title:  The Fifth Column (The Blitz Detective #2)
Author:  Mike Hollow
Pages:  326
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
My rating is 4 stars.
Detective Inspector Jago and Detective Constable Cradock are called to the scene of a recent bombing where the body of a young woman is found.  The strange thing is that when the men charged with helping clear the area after a bombing tell Jago that when they cleared the area there was no body, but when they returned to the scene to finish up, there she was.  Jago must identify the woman as there is no identification on the body, then notify the next of kin and track down a killer.
There seems to be another mystery as well with missing parts from a company that is working on secret projects for the government.  It just so happens that once the woman is identified, it is also discovered that she works for the company that is losing inventory.  Jago must determine if the two mysteries are related.  If they are, does that narrow the field of possible killers?  If not, then he has got two mysteries to solve.  He also begins to realize he misses Miss Appleton, an American reporter stationed in London to report on different aspects of the war.
I enjoyed reading about life in 1940’s London during WWII almost as much as the mystery!  I was able to predict the outcome, but the journey to get there was certainly worth the time.  I was pleased with the beginning of a romance for D.I. Jago.  D.C. Cradock provides good support and some comic relief to the serious demeanor of Jago.  Jago also takes Cradock under his wing, teaching him how to follow clues and analyze suspects’ reactions.  I look forward to the third book in the series to see what Jago and Cradock are investigating next and at what point in the war the story takes place. 

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.”

While My Child is Away (My Prayers for When We are Apart)

Title:  While My Child is Away (My Prayers for When We are Apart)
Author:  Edie Melson
Pages:  240
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Worthy
My rating is 5 stars.
When my sons were born, I knew that someday they would leave the nest and go wherever the Lord led them.  Now, with one son having flown and another on the verge, I have been wondering how I can become a more effective prayer warrior.  I don’t think a mom’s job is ever done because her heart is always bound and poured into the lives of her children.  Plus, the more one sees, hears or experiences in today’s society, the greater the spiritual battle seems for the hearts of this generation.
Therefore, what an aid is While My Child is Away to parents even grandparents in praying for their grown children/grandchildren.  The book is also a devotional that helps anyone who uses it to see how God worked in another family and to take courage or receive hope.  Sometimes there are words of wisdom shared on the page and other times a Scripture verse.
Maybe readers can consider using this book in a small group to help encourage each other going through the season when children are leaving home.  There is power in prayer and I believe we gather strength when we pray together.  If you use this in your private time with the Lord, you will be helped also in knowing what to pray for and/or maybe how to pray for the young adult facing the world.  Now more than ever we need to be praying for our children to stay the course, walk closely with the Lord and be able to stand firm when the adversary comes against them.

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, September 19, 2016

Forever Gentlemen by Roland Colton

Title:  Forever Gentleman
Author:  Roland Colton
Pages:  480
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Anaphora Literary Press
My rating is 5 stars.
The first piece of information I found interesting was who the author is; he is a man of many talents and gifts.  I believe his attention to detail as a classical pianist and attorney shaped his ability to tell a riveting story with such detail.  I found it quite intriguing that the main character in the story is a male named Nathan Sinclair and readers will be able to see the humanness built into his life, personality and experiences.
I love historical fiction and this type of book is a first for me as I usually prefer the Old West.  However, occasionally I love to break out of the mold so to speak and try something new.  Here is where I did just that and I am grateful to the author for his story.  The tale from page one reaches out and pulls the readers back to the Victorian era not simply as a romantic story, but more so with the mystery and suspense that coexisted along with Nathan looking for his heart’s true delight.
The settings were so well-described I could forget about the present and get lost in the descriptions of the history, the places, and the other characters in the plot.  I believe another reason the author does an excellent job is his frequent travels to France where he engages in a different culture, one he is familiar with.  Due to Roland’s love of classical music and architecture, art and French language, he brings all those experiences into the novel in such a way that readers will feel like they traveled back in time to witness both the good and bad of the Victorian era.
I was enthralled by the suspense and mystery aspects of the novel while at the same time being somewhat intimated by the length of the book at first.  However, that became secondary and eventually totally faded the deeper I explored the work of fiction that Roland crafted so very well.  I doubt the story would have been as captivating if the author hadn’t taken the time to set the scenes, craft depth into his characters or include the detail in his scenes.  In our day when people are in a hurry or want instant, this is one historical novel that never drags or loses the attention of the audience.  It’s a rich piece of history that includes many facets, and readers will be more than delighted to have taken time to enjoy the rich 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.”

Meet Author Roland Colton of ForeverGentleman




Forever Gentleman by Roland Colton
ISBN: 978-1681142296
Publisher: Anaphora Literary Press
Release Date: July 11, 2016
$29.99      
www.amazon.com
www.rolandcolton.com
www.anaphoraliterary.com




Frequently Asked Questions
  
1. At the beginning of Forever Gentleman, struggling architect and pianist, Nathan Sinclair, encounters the glamourous and beautiful heiress, Jocelyn Charlesworth. What draws Nathan to Jocelyn, and how does she respond to him when they first meet?

Although he has no expectation of an introduction, Nathan is intrigued enough to see if Ms. Charlesworth’s beauty is as extraordinary as the Sunday Times portrays it. Despite his protestations, the mistress of the estate insists on introducing Nathan to Jocelyn.  Once he observes her beauty firsthand, an intoxication of senses sweeps over him—never before has he seen a woman of such unimaginable beauty. Jocelyn’s reaction to Nathan is one of boredom, having endured countless stares from past star-struck suitors. She toys with him, looking for any opportunity to end the interview. Once she believes him to be a common servant, she rebukes him publicly, appalled that a servant would have the audacity to seek her acquaintance.

2. Nathan also meets the simple and plain social worker, Regina Lancaster. What’s special about Regina, and why does Nathan feel such a deep connection to her?

Though her outward appearance is ordinary, Nathan initially feels a strong attraction to Regina’s eyes and senses a kindred spirit.  Her dark brown eyes convey a journey through unspeakable tragedy, resulting in a deep appreciation for life and depth of character. Nathan is also attracted to Regina’s modesty, simplicity and inner beauty, qualities he admired in his mother. Once he learns of Regina’s selfless service to London orphans, he wonders if any man could possibly be worthy of her.

3. Music plays an important role in the story and in Nathan’s life. How do the musical elements in the novel tie together the themes in Forever Gentleman?

Nathan’s life has been steeped in music since his operatic mother gave birth to him. His pianistic bravado opens the door of London Society, and he becomes comfortable in a world far different than his humble abode. The music in Forever Gentleman accompanies the story as a soundtrack does a movie, enhancing both drama and mood. Women are attracted to Nathan’s musical genius, fostering love and romance in the story.

4. The Victorian Era was a time of contradictory wealth and poverty, along with great change, in England. What drew you to write a story set in this time period in history?

I’ve always been intrigued by a world where great beauty and brilliance could exist in the midst of poverty and misery.  While writing the story, I imagined what it would have been like to have lived in both worlds, as does Nathan in the story.  Also interesting is the sanitation miracle that occurred in the 1860’s, pulling London literally out of the squalor and stench of rotting pipes and sewer overflow into a world free of cholera and other dread diseases. And I wanted the timing of my story to coincide with the advent of the modern piano and creation of some of my favorite compositions.


5. How would you describe your writing process? And can you tell us about some of the research you did when you were writing Forever Gentleman?

My writing recipe involves equal amounts of struggle and ease. Sometimes the words flow in abundance; other times, I labor over every word in a sentence. I try not to let my writing get in the way of the story, and my goal was to have the reader lose himself or herself in Victorian London.  Many hundreds of hours were spent in research in my attempt to evoke the sights, sounds and smells of that bygone time. I strove for authenticity in events and venues, including authentic references to concerts, plays, performers and other events depicted in the book. I wanted to capture the times as they were, which is no small task when we live in a world far removed from that melancholy era.

6. Are you working on another novel? If so, what can you tell us about it?


Yes, I’m writing a new novel that highlights another passion of mine—my love for the sport of baseball. The book begins in 1911, highlighting the exploits of the wonder of the baseball world, Ty Cobb. Using newspaper reports from the time, the reader experiences some of the most incredible sports feats ever accomplished, usually thanks to the genius and skill of Mr. Cobb. After the opening chapters, a hit-and-run accident victim is discovered in modern times (with a face damaged beyond recognition), who purports to be Ty Cobb, mysteriously transported into the future. As the plot continues, this mystery man eventually shows exceptional baseball talent and ultimately plays a brand of baseball unlike anything in modern times, turning the sports world on its head. Is it possible that this baseball ace is truly Ty Cobb, or is it some imposter who has taken upon his attributes?  Only time will tell.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

This Road We Traveled

Title:  This Road We Traveled
Author:  Jane Kirkpatrick
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
If ever a novel were to remind us of the hardships endured by early settlers heading west and the high price paid to establish a new land, here is the novel that excels in doing so!  While it is a fictional story set in the mid-1800s about families traveling the Oregon Trail and their encounters, at the end of the book the author shares what was factual in the story.  For me this book caused me to slow down and become entangled in the journey of the Brown family.
The matriarch of the Brown family is a woman named Tabby, who is by her own admission sometimes sharp-tongued and not one to sit down and watch life go by.  No, Tabby, even though she has a limp from a childhood accident, continues to ask the Lord what He has for her to do.  Once she discovers His will, nothing and no one can stop her.  Readers will become amazed at the way Tabby perseveres and at her heart of love for her family as well as orphans.
History is so captivating because there is so much revealed and remembered and then shared in ways that help to challenge us to press on in our lives as we reflect on those who have gone before us.  What was accomplished by the early settlers, and sometimes the heartaches that tore at their hearts and souls, is simply beyond words of expression.  Here is a work if fiction that challenges us to never “retire”, but to ask the Lord what He would have us do while we are here.
I believe Jane Kirkpatrick shares an exceptional tale that will touch readers’ hearts and souls while causing us to perhaps rethink our plans by asking the Lord for His plan, and then be about whatever He would have us do.  Thanks, Jane for writing a very moving novel.  I hope many read it and share it with people they know.

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.”

Notre Dame vs Michigan State


Playing at 7:30 pm                vs.




Friday, September 16, 2016

Jubilee’s Journey (Wyattsville Series #2)

Title:  Jubilee’s Journey (Wyattsville Series #2)
Author:  Bette Lee Crosby
Pages:  300
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Bent Pine Publishing
My rating is 4-1/2 stars.
When you look up the novel to purchase and read, you might notice that there is a prior book titled, Spare Change.  According to the author, if you’re going to read Passing through Perfect, which is the 3rd book in the series, it is important to read the 2nd book first.  I was reminded when I started Spare Change that some novels just aren’t conducive to a reader.  However, that doesn’t mean all books by that author aren’t worth reading as I discovered.
If you remember Loretta Lynn along with the movie that gave fans a glimpse into her life, A Coal Miner’s Daughter released in 1988, you’re going to enjoy Jubilee’s Journey.  I did because it starts with the opening scene of two people falling in love (Benjamin & Ruth) and then due to life events beyond their control the father works in a coal mine.  Benjamin promised his father he wouldn’t follow in his steps, but events forced on him brought about doing the exact opposite.
First the children, Paul and Jubilee, lose their mom but not before she extracts a promise from Paul.  Then, years later their father is killed in a mining accident and years before that Paul’s father made him promise not to go into the mine.  Now Paul is faced with either breaking his promise or having to leave the cabin because it belongs to the mining company.  Paul packs up some precious items and holding his sister’s hand begins a journey with nothing being certain.
The author then throws in a life-changing event that sets both Paul and Jubilee on a difficult journey.  The tale is a very heart-gripping one along with a suspenseful thread woven in the book.  If you look at the picture of the little girl on cover, I wouldn’t be surprised if you found her to be just a cutie like I did!  Then, reading the tale with that picture of her in your mind really draws you further into the happenings that bring both joy and sorrow but overall hope.  Out of the disasters in life or even setbacks we don’t always know or see how God can bring forth good, but He does as you’ll read Jubilee’s Journey.
While there are no sexual descriptions or innuendoes anywhere in the book, there are sprinkled in the pages a cuss word here or there.  However, I didn’t let that distract me from the story as a whole.  I hope authors continue to understand and perhaps write books that are free from these words because the story stands brightly without them!

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 Lesson in Love & Murder (Herringford & Watts Mysteries #2)

Title:  A Lesson in Love & Murder (Herringford & Watts Mysteries #2)
Author:  Rachel McMillan
Pages:  217
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers
My rating is 5 stars.
Merinda Herringford and Jemima DeLuca, formerly Jemima Watts, are hired by a Royal Mountie, Benny, to find his cousin.  The said cousin is suspected of bombing some trolley cars in a couple of cities during rallies of people trying to gain support for equality among social classes, genders, etc.  Merinda and Jem soon don their disguises as men to seek clues.  They also face more danger to their lives in this case than in any other.  Jasper Forth is once again at their sides, but finds himself in competition with the Royal Mountie for Merinda’s attention.  Jasper has been waiting patiently for Merinda to use that deductive reasoning she extols and see how much he cares for her.  Merinda has never allowed herself to feel much emotion, has never intended to get married and can’t understand why she becomes so flummoxed when Benny is around.
Ray DeLuca is facing his own problems.  His wife continues to show her independence and put herself in danger.  His sister calls from Chicago in need again.  Her husband has continued to drink and gamble away any money they have, leaving them broke and starving.  Ray rushes off to Chicago, leaving Jem only a brief note.  While there, he makes a discovery that could link the crimes of Toronto to a nefarious plot in Chicago.  He knows he has got a gem of a story, but there is great danger too.  Can Merinda and Jem find Benny’s cousin before more innocent people are killed?

Oh, how I enjoyed this book!  I read book one when it was released and found it pretty good, but I wasn’t too sure about the character of Merinda Herringford and wasn’t sure if I would read another book in the series.  I had the opportunity to read this second book in the series and am so thankful I did.  Merinda’s character was much more developed in this novel and I came to understand her better.  She is constantly searching for something.  Jem knows that only God will be the answer to her search, but Merinda at this point has no interest in God.  The relationship between Jem and Ray faces some struggles, which I thought realistic.  I hope to see further mention of faith in future stories and can’t wait to see what mystery and adventure these two, independent, Toronto gals are embroiled in next!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Looming Storm (Guest Review)

Title:  Black Friday
Author:  William W.  Johnstone
Pages:  384
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Pinnacle
My rating is 5 stars.
What a captivating and heart-pumping novel about a fictional terrorist attack in a mall in the USA.  While this was totally fictional it brings to the forefront why we must stay vigilant of America’s enemies.  The story takes readers into various characters’ lives that will soon become entangled while shopping at stores the day after Thanksgiving.  The action really seemed realistic and so did the cost of fighting those who were attempting to take out many lives.
One of the reasons I love Johnstone novels is the American patriotism that is so clear and touching throughout the story.  The characters that unknowingly met and united against the terrorists ranged from a wheelchair bound vet from WWII to a young man who had no direction in life but trouble.  Another character was a vet who had served three tours overseas before being injured and having an honorary discharge.
I thought the interagency fighting between various government people was intriguing and perhaps a reflection that sometimes politics becomes the focus instead of pooling resources to fight.  The story also included people who lived in America, yet sold their patriotism and souls for money.  If novels that describe the loss of life and the threat danger bother you, please still read the book.  Why?  I believe the author focuses on the best of America and Americans overall.  I believe the portrayal of everyday people coming together to fight tyranny is exactly spot on!

I loved, too, the thought that while some characters lost their lives in the fight, in the end more were saved because of the bravery of others.  I hope this reminds you of those lost on 9/11 because they were brave and saved lives by paying the highest cost.  Those who survived 9/11 need to know we will never forget and I for one will never forget this novel as it reflects the best of America and Americans!  God Bless the Johnstones for writing a great novel and God Bless America!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas

Title:  Finding Father Christmas & Engaging Father Christmas
Author:  Robin Jones Gunn
Pages:  352
Year:  2016
Publisher:  FaithWords
My rating is 5 stars.
Miranda is the main character in both stories whose home life is anything but ideal, but she learns to go with the flow.  However, when her mother dies during a practice run of a play she starred in, Miranda goes to live with an older woman.  Again, within a few years this woman passes away, but before she does her faith in Christ becomes a reality and impacts Miranda’s heart.  There is a hole in Miranda’s heart as she never could get the name of her father from her mother until she discovers a birth certificate and a small portrait.
Miranda eventually leaves the life she built for herself to fly to England in order to locate her father with the hopes of meeting him.  What happens when she gets there starts an adventure that includes meeting unusual people who reach out to her, offering her their hearth and heart.  Though when some learn her mother’s identity, Miranda isn’t sure she will be embraced by the family.  Through it all, God reveals Himself.  Miranda believes her heavenly Father’s presence gives her the strength and courage to embark on a course that will change her future and might bring the desires of her heart to reality.
I found these two stories to be enchanting as well as heart-touching.  I know a third book is coming out this October titled, Kissing Father Christmas and I look forward to enjoying that novel too!  The author does a great job describing England’s unique language, traditions, and love of tea!  I found my heart warmed by the various characters and their faith, even when it included some struggles and trials.  I found it easy to picture the cozy tea shop and the warmth of the fire in the hearth as people would come in from the cold.  I look forward to enjoying more of the character’s story of romance, family and faith in the coming year.

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, September 13, 2016

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer

Title:  The Long Journey to Jake Palmer
Author:  James L. Rubart
Pages:  400
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
My rating is 5 stars.
I just finished this novel and it is an exceptional book that really touched my heart and had a powerful spiritual message inside!  The main character is a man named Jake Palmer who has broken places in the soul that seem to spur his work and company titled, Read Your Label, Inc.  One night after a long flight on his way home he makes a decision that without knowing it is going to radically change his future.
The message to me in the book is how we all have scarred places in our souls and we try to mask or hide them in many ways.  In the book, I was reminded that sometimes adults forget to believe the impossible or that God is able to do more than we think or ask.  We, as humans, tend to believe whatever lies some people speak, think or we may act differently toward those who are perceived as anything but “normal”.
I loved the author’s use of C. S. Lewis’ books in The Chronicles of Narnia to get across his heart’s meaning regarding deeper spiritual truths.  Plus I enjoyed how the main character was made aware of the spiritual warfare that surrounds real people daily.  Jake Palmer learns how to be real while no longer hiding his scars even knowing people may or may not accept, love or embrace him.
Overall, I think this is the kind of novel that can encourage, excite, engage and lead many to the Person who loves them the most…Jesus!

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, September 12, 2016

Paul’s Letters to the Early Church (Christian Living Bible Study Series)

Title:  Paul’s Letters to the Early Church (Christian Living Bible Study Series)
Author:  Trina Bresser Matous
Pages:  326
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Lighthouse of the Carolinas Publishing
My rating is 5 stars.
One of the best aspects of the study is it doesn’t center on any particular version, but just plainly being in the Bible!  I approach a study by reading the whole book or letter before going chapter by chapter with the author.  The format is such that the author gives information introducing the various letters Paul wrote that help participants understand before studying the particular book and chapter.  Then, the author takes the student chapter by chapter with relevant information and helps bring it to a point where it can then be applied to the individual student’s life.
There are a couple of questions after each chapter is studied that can be used in a group setting or for an individual.  I think the author creates a great foundation to start a study of each of Paul’s writings, but it is springboard for further study.  The study is a great book to spend time in along with meditation in His Word and what he speaks to each person’s heart.
The author has a study for The Epistles of James, Peter and Jude which I hope to review very soon.  All I can say is these are studies that students and followers of Jesus will not want to do without!  Grab a copy and consider asking some family or friends maybe even neighbors to come and discuss various aspects of these letters in the Bible!

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, September 10, 2016

The Christmas Angel Project

Title:  The Christmas Angel Project
Author:  Melody Carlson
Pages:  176
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 stars.
The story is not the usual perky or cute type of tale published for the holidays.  However, it is a very touching book and I highly recommend it!  What starts out as a book group with five women becomes a group of four women trying to regroup after the loss of one of the ladies who the other four leaned on.  From there evolves a tale of how God works in the hearts and lives of these four women that not only changes them, but impacts others too.
The book begins to be filled with hope as the women come in contact with what was left for each of them by their former leader who went home to be with the Lord.  Each of the four women really becomes a different person from the inside out, and the people they come in contact with and what happens grabs my heart.  I think it’s an excellent book too as we are reminded that not everyone has the best of holidays, and how God can uplift the heart in the darkest hours when we look outward instead of being totally inward focused.
Well done Melody!

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.”