Monday, October 16, 2017

Vanishing Point (A Nikki Boyd Novel)


Title:  Vanishing Point (A Nikki Boyd Novel)

Author:  Lisa Harris

Pages:  307 (ARC)

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Most this novel takes place in the past with just the last quarter of the book taking place in the present day.  This story focuses on a serial killer that has left a string of dead girls, but no clues.  The first case occurs in 2002.  The task force is formed spearheaded by Garrett Addison and Jordan Lambert.  Time goes by and then another body is found or another girl is reported missing.  The count gets to six with the team no closer to finding the killer.  One of the missing girls is Nikki Boyd’s sister.  Garrett and Jordan have been dancing around their feelings for one another, but in the end, they both go their separate ways in 2006.  Garrett changes jobs while Jordan continues working for the FBI.

A decade passes with no missing girls and then the pattern starts up again.  A young girl’s body is found and Garrett and his old team are reunited to finally try to put an end to the killings.  Nikki is on this task force, but only on the perimeter.  The focus is still on Jordan and Garrett.  Another girl is thought to be taken and a member of the task force is shot.  Now, the killer has escalated to taking out members of the task force.  Jordan and Garrett are targets, but they have finally figured out who the killer is.  Can they catch the killer before the killer catches them?

I like the character of Nikki Boyd and her unfailing desire to find out the truth about what happened to her sister.  She has never given up searching for clues or digging through old case reports.  With the Angel Abductor cases back in the spotlight, Nikki now might get an answer to what happened to her sister all those years ago.  Jordan and Garrett are fairly typical law enforcement agents in their dedication, but they allow their careers and pride to keep them apart for years.  However, they both come to realize that God hasn’t abandoned them, especially in the heartbreaking difficulties of the victims of the Angel Abductor.  Lisa Harris always writes exciting, interesting and timely stories.  I can’t wait for the next one!

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, October 12, 2017

Blind Spot (Chesapeake Valor #3)


Title:  Blind Spot (Chesapeake Valor #3)

Author:  Dani Pettrey

Pages:  336

Year:  2017

Publisher:  BethanyHouse

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Declan Grey and Tanner Shaw will now be working together.  They have met before and gotten on each other’s nerves.  Now, they must work together to try to discover any information they can about a suspected terrorist plot that is to happen sometime, somewhere in Baltimore.  As they question people involved with transporting weapons and people involved in the plot, people begin to be silenced…permanently.  Tanner and Declan themselves become targets with their lives threatened.  While working the case, the two spend lots of time together and let their guard down.  They begin to see the real person beneath the work persona everyone else sees, and they begin to like each other more and more.

While trying to stop this plot that could kill thousands, Declan also learns that his old coach is suspected of embezzling money from his clients as he is a financial advisor.  This is the coach that brought the gang together and named them “The Pirates”.  The group holds Coach in great affection and can’t believe he is guilty.  Griffin and the rest of the gang get involved in this mystery.  Kate is still searching for Luke after seven long years apart.  She still loves him and refuses to give up her search, especially now that she has received word of a confirmed sighting of him.  Now, she just has to track his path, but at least she knows he is alive.  Why hasn’t he ever contacted her?

I couldn’t put the book down!  I was so involved in the story from beginning to end that read it in one day!  I loved the simultaneous mysteries that happen in this book.  It kept my interest easily as I was so eager to discover if the two mysteries were related somehow as well as to read of the different characters’ reactions.  I also liked that everyone from “The Pirates”, including their wife or girlfriend, was involved in one fashion or another in one of the two mysteries.  Tanner is one of my favorite characters as she can defend herself in a physical altercation, but she if filled with compassion and mercy for those who need help.  I also enjoyed how one member of the group could call and get help from another member without questions or excuses.  They were there for one another no matter what.  Terrorism is alive and well in this story and Declan and Tanner give their all to try to keep the U.S. safe.

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 Time to Stand


Title:  A Time to Stand

Author:  Robert Whitlow

Pages:  416

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

This is a riveting page-turner that packs a punch of truth and faith set in a tale that could easily be taken from newspaper headlines of today!  Robert Whitlow’s novels have been a favorite of mine for many years and I look forward to whatever he writes.  This novel really puts the bar high, setting this novel apart from his other works.  Why?  The author takes readers behind possible headlines and society issues to learn and consider the way individuals are impacted by violence, job loss, work politics and how we can live out our faith.  The living out of an individual’s faith on both sides of the case involving a police action shooting in the story shows just how tough it can really be.

What Robert Whitlow also shares in the book is a powerful way to bridge two opposing sides in a way that glorifies God.  Adisa is the main female character who is a lawyer and a brilliant one, too.  She cares for the aunt who raised her and her sister, who now requires aid in her later years of life.  Reggie is a pastor who leads a congregation and at one point in the novel comes face-to-face with what he believes and how powerful forgiveness can be.

Officer Nelson and his wife go through some troubled times, financial demands and an uncertain future.  Each character in the book must come face-to-face with the prejudices they carry in their heart in a very truthful manner that is very difficult.  I think the novel points out how quickly people judge or decide a matter before all the facts are in or known. 

Read Robert Whitlow’s newest gripping, heart-pounding adventure set in a rural town as it will really touch your heart like it did mine!

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, October 11, 2017

Gathering the Threads (A Novel: The Amish of Summer Grove #3)


Title:  Gathering the Threads (A Novel: The Amish of Summer Grove #3)

Author:  Cindy Woodsmall

Pages:  352

Year:  2017

Publisher:  WaterBrook

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The series begins with Ties that Bind followed by Fraying at the Edge before concluding with this book.  I highly suggest reading the books in order as the story develops on many fronts with differing characters plus it is quite enthralling to read.  I found myself caught up in the story of Arianna and Skylar’s predicament as well as how it was impacting the community and families.

The author did a wonderful job by including a recap of the story from the first two books in the series to help remind readers what has occurred in the plot up to this point.  I found including that very helpful, especially when time has elapsed between books for those who are voracious readers to be reminded of what happened as well as who the players are in the story.

The author really kept me suspended as I kept reading to try and learn what the final decision for Ariana was going to be.  I really found the story intriguing as the main two characters Ariana and Skylar throughout the series were on a journey of discovering who they were and what they wanted to do with their lives even in the midst of trying circumstances.

 Grab the books and then be prepared to sit and be engaged in the story from start to finish.  Then, consider sharing the books or gifting copies of the books to other readers 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.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Fraying at the Edge (Summer Grove #2)


Title:  Fraying at the Edge (Summer Grove #2)

Author:  Cindy Woodsmall

Pages:  352

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Waterbrook Press

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The first novel in the series is titled, Ties that Bind, which introduces us to two families from different worlds, the Amish one and the English one.  Two women brought up in different societies with polar-opposite type parents, expectations, understanding of the world and so much more.  Through each chapter the questions of the soul and heart for Skylar and Ariana get deeper, more complex and without quick resolution.

Skylar is learning not to live dependent on drugs and learning who she is without them as well as who she is on the inside.  What is Skylar made for and what is in her future?  Those seem to be just a couple of the questions Skylar has ruminating within her.  Ariana is glad to see the cafĂ© booming, but no longer is sure of who she is when she notices herself acting, thinking and talking differently when she returns to Summer Grove.

The author masterfully shows there aren’t so many clear-cut answers as there are questions within the heart of each woman.  Ariana is also questioning what she believes and how that is lived outside the Amish community’s control.  Skylar wants nothing to do with anyone who seems controlling whether God, Isaac or her other dad.

I cannot wait to read the final book to see how this tension is brought to conclusion!  I highly recommend this faith filled series that handles real life issues that affect our heart, mind and soul.

Ties that Bind (The Amish of Summer Grove #1)


Title: Ties that Bind (The Amish of Summer Grove #1)

Author:  Cindy Woodsmall

Pages:  352

Year:  2015

Publisher:  WaterBrook Press

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

In Ties That Bind, readers meet with a surprising start that ends up entwining two families.  One family is the Brennemans who are Amish and at the midwife’s clinic giving birth to a set of twins, a boy and a girl.  Also, there at the clinic is a woman named Brandi who is an English woman who unexpectedly went into labor and needed help, eventually ending up at the local hospital.  Sounds like a quiet beginning to the tale until you learn other details such as they were giving birth at the time the clinic caught on fire!

Twenty years go by and the Amish mother, Lovina, who has had some doubts whether her daughter was hers or Brandi’s finds herself caught up in a mystery due to the blanket she was working on when her babies were born.  What follows is an ever-deepening story not just of Ariana or Skylar’s possible mix up, but the ripple effects that bring about surprising changes and challenges!

What has been happening besides this mystery is that Amish families are quietly leaving the community without notice to anyone.  No one is sure who is helping the families leave or if there is someone helping them gain a new identity and foundation in the English world.  I am really drawn into the series as the mystery widens, characters are finding that they need to truly search their heart and just how strong the ties of family and faith are or aren’t.

The tale really gripped my heart and kept me turning pages because I wanted to see how the families were handling their challenges and how the Amish community was coping with a person or persons they named the Nightcrawler.  Currently, I am reading the sequel, Fraying at the Edge, which is even more exciting than book one!  Then, I will read the third and final novel of the series, Gathering Threads and share my views of these two books with you as well!

Friday, October 6, 2017

If We Make It Home (A Novel of Faith and Survival in the Oregon Wilderness)


Title:  If We Make It Home (A Novel of Faith and Survival in the Oregon Wilderness)

Author:  Christina Suzann Nelson

Pages:  272

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Here is a powerful story about four women who were college buds.  When they left college, they let their relationships fade.  Now, decades later, they come back for a reunion that holds surprises and life lessons they will never forget, that is if they live through it.  Each of the four women is unique and different in personality, life experiences and more.  Hope used to own a small coffee shop on the campus, but her daughter does now.  Ireland is a college professor who is asked to take sabbatical.   Jenna, whose triplets have left the nest, and she has no idea what to do with herself except to stay inside the house and eat.  Finally, Vicky by all appearances is successful, has a wonderful husband and family.  However, appearances can be deceiving.

Ireland, Jenna and Vicky, together with a quirky guide they aren’t too sure about, travel into the wilderness on a survival tour.  What happens is that everything goes wrong, everyone’s life is in peril, and they have no clue where they are or if they will live to see tomorrow or their families.  But, what this adventure also does is strip them of everything, and reveals to them the pain, hurt and cry of their hearts they have long buried or forgotten.

I was drawn into this book with each page I read and the author slowly revealed each woman’s story and their heart’s deepest longings.  These ladies must relearn how to depend on each other, be truthful to themselves and each other about their hearts and lives.  Either they band together or their lives just might be forfeit.  One might think that once they are out of the wilderness all will be fine, but don’t be fooled into that kind of conclusion.  The author does an amazing job of keeping the tension of the tale going until the very end and then reveals the outcome of their trials.

You’ll read and see if these ladies and their lives are changed or whether they go on as if nothing happened.  For me, this is a book of the year and I plan on it being in my personal library to revisit sometime in the future.  I hope you grab a copy and perhaps tell others what a wonderful and powerful story lies within the pages!

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, October 5, 2017

Jeremy Camp: The Answer




                                                                                                                                                                                       Title:  The Answer CD
Author:  Jeremy Camp
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Sparrow
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
The Answer was a very enjoyable CD to listen to.  Its central theme is looking to God and trusting in Him throughout life’s struggles and roadblocks.  We all experience misery, loss, pain, and sometimes we have trouble looking in the right places for answers to questions like, “Why did this happen?  Why did I lose someone that I love?  Who can I turn to in this time of grief?”
We all have questions like that and too often we turn to the addictions of this world in an effort to fill that hole in our hearts.  Jeremy Camp’s song, The Answer, is about turning to Jesus when we feel alone in the midst of our suffering and hurt.  We may not always understand why these things happen, but we have a choice.  We can either give up on life or we can do something about it.  It first begins by trusting in God and letting Him lead the way.  All we have to do is put our faith in Him.
I would recommend this CD to others because of its spiritually uplifting music and the hope that it can give others for eternal life with God after death.  Jeremy Camp has done a wonderful job once again.  I hope you enjoy 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.”
 Word Of Life Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrX2tGgADu0




Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Lady Jane Disappears


Title:  Lady Jane Disappears

Author:  Joanna Davidson Politano

Pages:  416

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Revell

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Aurelie Harcourt is a young woman who has an uncanny way of telling stories that entertain and teach at the same time.  Aurelie learned that from her father who she stayed with in debtor’s prison because she had nowhere else to go.  Aurelie had her father’s family, who she eventually had to stay with after her father’s demise in prison.  However, she finds herself not only a stranger among family, but undesired as well.

The author weaves a very heart-gripping story of this young woman’s desire to find out what happened to her mother while trying to “fit in” to the family when they don’t even want her in the house.  The other members in the house may or may not really be who they appear to be, especially regarding the woman they look at as an intruder.

As Aurelie walks throughout the mansion, she comes across a room that has clues in it as to who her mother may have been, but where or what happened to her is what Aurelie wants to know most of all.  The character that kept me guessing as to his true identity and inner character was Silas Rotherham.  At times in the story he appeared as a protagonist while at other times it was like he was someone totally different.  Either way, I can share with you that the ending will really surprise you!  As I read, I felt like I was reading a story within a story and I found that a fascinating aspect of the book.

In the back of the book for those who want to know, the author gives us a sneak peek into the next tale she will share with her audience.  I don’t know the title or when it will be released, but I will be watching for it with excitement to see if it is as excellent a story as Lady Jane Disappears!

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, October 3, 2017

Jesus the Jewish Theologian


Title:  Jesus the Jewish Theologian

Author:  Brad H. Young

Pages:  344

Year:  1993

Publisher:  Baker Academic

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

In searching for a deeper understanding of Yeshua, the Bible, and its Jewish flavor, I enjoyed another of the author’s books so I thought this one might be just as helpful in my searching.  I can say that without exception it really helped me understand in new ways who Jesus was and is, the Jewish listeners of the first century and a deeper understanding of the words of scripture.

Some of what Brad shared were new insights that broadened my view and deepened my understanding of what Jesus spoke.  For me, it also helped remove some of my western thoughts to put the Bible back into its historical context as well as how the listeners would have understood what Jesus said.  Of course, in some ways the author includes conjecture or assumptions as to what someone thought, but those I just read and took them as his opinion not necessarily as fact.

What made the book most enjoyable was discussing it with a friend; it was fun to see what each of us thought, understood, agreed with or disagreed with, and at times what challenged our long-standing views.  I love books that challenge me to think, rethink and be able to defend why I believe what I do or be willing to adopt new views based on what I am learning.  One of the gifts my parents bestowed upon me was a love of learning.  What Jesus bestowed on me was a love to draw nearer to Him.

I highly recommend Brad’s book for a book club, Sunday school class, small group, or just for a person to read alone.  Just know that it will challenge you, excite you, ignite a fire for more understanding of the Master Jesus we follow!

Dani Pettrey's Novel Blind Spot is now here!


Hey friends! Today is the day! It’s the official launch of Blind Spot, the third book in Dani Pettrey’s best-selling Chesapeake Valor series. Suspense, romance, beloved characters, good vs. evil -- this book has it all. If you’ve been following Declan in the Chesapeake Valor series, then today is the day to pick up the third book and find out what happens next. If this is the first you’ve heard of it, you’re not going to want to miss this riveting story of crisis, tension, and justice. Start the series today and read it all the way through! Then come talk to me after







Monday, October 2, 2017

My son Allen and his new bride Brittany! I've got a daughter now! Yay!


Introducing for the first time Mr. & Mrs. Allen Edward Johnson



Brittany gave to me on the night of rehearsal!

The wrist "thingy" I wore at the wedding!

Yep, well done son with class :-)



The Christmas Blessing


Title:  The Christmas Blessing

Author:  Melody Carlson

Pages:  167

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

The story is set in November 1944, beginning in California, but mostly taking place in Montana.  Amelia Richards finds herself in trouble.  Her welcome has worn out with her roommate, and Amelia has decided that it is time for her seven-week old infant son to meet his grandparents.  The problem is that his grandparents do not know of her existence let alone his.  She met and fell in love with James Barclay in the span of a few days.  He is in the U.S. Navy.  They were planning on getting married when he was unexpectedly ordered to return to his ship.  They never had a chance to get married or tell his parents of their engagement.

A couple of months after James ships out, Amelia finds herself “in the family way”.  She writes James, but receives no response.  After a few more months, she discovers his plane has been shot down and he has been declared dead.  She has the baby, but soon finds she can’t support herself and the baby.  She decides to go to James’ parents to forge a family connection.  She hopes to get a job in their small town in Montana, so she moves there.  She becomes desperate as she runs out of money and must make a difficult decision.  She makes the choice she thinks James would want, but now what is she supposed to do?  Throughout her life, she has kept her faith in God that her grandmother has instilled in her.  Can she keep her faith in the midst of emotional grief?

This is a heart-warming tale that will enrich the holiday season; however, it can be read and enjoyed any time of the year.  Amelia’s faith gives her the strength to make tough decisions.  She grieves the death of her fiancĂ© and now she is raising a child as a single mother, which is not easy in any time.  She is a wonderful and loving mother who puts her child’s needs above her own.  The story has a “feel good” quality that I have come to know and enjoy in Melody’s Christmas stories.  They are ones to treasure and savor!

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 30, 2017

ND vs Miami (Ohio)

Take it to 'em Irish!



Today is the day our son marries his lovely bride!

Today is the day Allen Edward  Johnson joins in marriage to Brittany Christian forever and ever! A movie themed wedding.....



September 30th 2017

We love you kids, God Bless you both on your special day!




Thursday, September 28, 2017

We'll be back with more reviews after the wedding

Tonight we gather to practice and prepare for the joining of Allen and Brittany to take place on Saturday the 30th of September!


Love you both!
Mom & Dad

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Crown of Souls (The Tox Files #2)


Title:  Crown of Souls (The Tox Files #2)

Author:  Ronie Kendig

Pages:  480

Year:  2017

Publisher:  BethanyHouse

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Cole Russell commands a secret Special Forces unit that currently is on leave when Cole is shot by a sniper bullet.  There is something unique about the bullet that leads to a familiar shooter.  Cole and his unit are then hot on the trail of one of their own.  Cole seems to be two steps behind his former friend, Alec King, and the bodies and violence are escalating.  They discover that as Alec seems to be wearing an ancient crown, he becomes more and more deranged as well as more powerful.  He wants Cole to joint his fight as he insists they are the same type of soldier.  Cole recognizes feeling some of the same things Alec does and thinks about joining up with him.  His girlfriend and deception expert, Haven, has other ideas and continues telling Cole what a different man he is than Alec.  Cole still battles feeling guilty and unworthy of Haven’s love and respect.  Can he save others from Alec’s evil climactic event as well as himself or will he live up to his nickname and prove toxic?

Wow!  What a riveting story that captivated me from cover to cover.  I love these types of stories that combine elements of danger, adventure, mystery, romance, faith, archeology and history.  I also like the military aspect of the story where readers see soldiers willing to give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives to serve and protect our freedom and our country.  Thank you to those who have in the past or are currently serving in the military!  The writing is top notch and will draw readers in from page one.  The search for truth and justice is one many can relate to and get involved with; I know I sure did and loved it!  There were some questions left unanswered at the end of the story, so I’m anxiously awaiting book three in the series.  Thank you, Ronie, for another great adventure!

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 26, 2017

The Jefferson Key


Title:  The Jefferson Key

Author:  Steve Berry

Pages:  480

Year:  2011

Publisher:  Ballantine Books

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Each book I read of Steve Berry’s is for me a lesson in the nuance of historical events and people.  While the book is a work of fiction, at the end he kindly separates the facts from the fiction of his work.  I am constantly amazed at the number of events that have escaped my notice or memory that make the novels all the more captivating to me from start to finish.

Cotton Malone reappears here to help locate his boss Stephanie and hopefully take down a rogue intelligence boss who is using her power for her own self-advancement.  On top of this situation, the current U.S. President must deal with what is known as the Commonwealth, an organization that has existed from over 150 years and consider themselves beyond the reach of the law.  Yet, one President put a kink in the Commonwealth’s dreams when a cipher was created and considered unbreakable.  However, two pages of the Commonwealth’s document is missing and if they are found before the good guys get a hold of them, these pirates will be unstoppable.

What seems like unlinked presidential assassinations may not be true and what else may the Commonwealth have done or is doing to undermine the Constitution?  Steve Berry’s book is compelling reading from the beginning.  The tension is constantly climbing, reaching an unprecedented height near the end that will keep readers on the edge of their seat and up late at night reading!  If you love a really good book to get lost in for a while, look no further because Steve Berry gives readers what they want and more!

Crisis Shot (The Line of Duty #1)


Title:  Crisis Shot (The Line of Duty #1)

Author:  Janice Cantore

Pages:  432

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Tyndale

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

In the first book of a new series for the author, we meet a young policewoman who is a commander working in Long Beach when she becomes involved in a police shooting.  Tess is a second-generation police officer whose father died years prior in the line of duty.  Throughout the novel, what entertained me was reading Tess’s various rules she has collected over the years from her dad’s wisdom and her learning experience.

Now, due to the press and a certain blogger who is out to smear Tess’s reputation, Tess must find a police job elsewhere.  But who would hire someone with all the bad press and think Tess capable of doing a good job?  When Tess relocates reluctantly to what seems like a peaceful and low-key town without problems, quickly morphs into something totally different than Tess expected!

I have read most of Janice’s books over the years and each one is not just entertaining, but also a journey in faith for the characters in law enforcement.  In this story, there is a pastor who is a humble man who even when suffering terrible heartache who is right there ministering to people he knows.  I fell in love with this character as he faces some heart-rending trials, and though he hurts like any other human being he still reaches out.  When others in the town learn of how he is hurting, they come from everywhere to support him in his time of need.  A true picture of people being the hands, heart and feet of the Messiah in action.

I highly recommend if you haven’t read any of Janice’s books that you grab an opportunity to do so and get ready for the next installment in the series coming out probably in 2018!

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 25, 2017

Christmas Captive (Love Inspired Suspense)


Title:  Christmas Captive (Love Inspired Suspense)

Author:  Liz Johnson

Pages:  224

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Christmas Captive is the 6th book in the Men of Valor series from Love Inspired.  The other titles are:  A Promise to Protect, SEAL Under Siege, Navy Seal Noel, Navy SEAL Security, and Hazardous Holiday all written by Liz Johnson.  Like her other works of fiction, this story is attention-grabbing and heart-pounding action throughout the whole book!

A special wedding is about to take place on a ship that carries only the wedding party.  When trouble breaks out, the only ones prepared are the terrorists.  Though the maid of honor is a DEA agent named Amy Delgado and the best man is a SEAL named Jordan Somerton, no one on the cruise is prepared for the danger.  What makes the now unforeseen mission tougher is that army and Jordan have a past that they either must put behind them or allow to keep them from rescuing a little kidnapped girl and catch those responsible.

Each book is a standalone and very entertaining to read.  Whether one has a little or a lot of time, these books are worth reading and sharing with family and friends!

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Dark Heart (Dinah Harris Mystery #4)


Title:  The Dark Heart (Dinah Harris Mystery #4)

Author:  Julie Cave

Pages:  276

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Master Books

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Dinah Harris is visiting an old FBI friend, Elise Jones, who is now a detective in a small town.  While in town, a body of a junkie is discovered.  She has been strangled, but evidence is also found that she might not be who everyone thought she was.  Dinah acts as a consultant on the case with Elise heading up the investigation.  The many hours of leg work, phone calls and research begin to find the culprit.  Evidence leads to the local town pastor as having had contact with the drug addict.  Dinah soon discovers he had known the addict while he was in college 20 years before.  Then, another woman’s body is also found strangled.  She had worked a series of temporary jobs, but was known to move around a lot and not settle down.  She, too, was also known to the pastor from his college days.  She has multiple passports and social security numbers just like those found in the addict’s apartment.  What do these three people have in common?

While Dinah and Elise work long hours to gather information and question potential witnesses or culprits, Elise’s 15-year-old daughter is in her sophomore year in school.  She is a good student, but most of the other kids think she is a nerd.  Her best friend and only friend is the local pastor’s daughter.  As Elise continues to question the pastor as she thinks he is hiding something, the friendship between her daughter and his daughter shows signs of tension.  Stretched to the breaking point, the friendship snaps.  Now, Chloe is truly alone and doesn’t know where to turn.

This is not just a murder mystery, but a powerful story about racial injustice and bullying.  These are two terrible acts that are prevalent in our society today.  The bullies in the story are extremely cruel and hateful to someone who is different.  They commit a terrible crime that has devastating results.  The perpetrators of racial injustice in the past are now reaping the consequences of their actions with some dying while another faces the past.  The author does a masterful job of storytelling that drew me in to the tale immediately and pulled my heartstrings with Chloe’s story.  This is a book that plunges to deep depths of sorrow for some and regret for others.  There is hope in the end, but at a high cost.  I got completely involved in the story, letting my emotions ride along with those of some of the characters in the story.  I look forward to Dinah’s next mystery!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home


Title:  Bringing Maggie Home

Author:  Kim Vogel Sawyer

Pages:  337 (ARC)

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Waterbrook

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

This is one of those novels that tells a story through flashes of memories in the past with a return to the present day.  The three main characters are Hazel, Margaret Diane, and Meghan.  They are three generations of family.  Hazel is the grandmother, Diane her daughter and Meghan her granddaughter.  Every summer Meghan would spend several weeks with her grandmother, but now that she is a grown woman she hasn’t seen her for a few years.  Due to a car accident in which Meghan broke her ankle and needs to take time off from work to recuperate, so she decides to spend the time with her grandmother.  When she arrives at her grandmother’s door, she is surprised (not happily) to find her mother there with her four dogs!  Diane and Hazel have a very contentious relationship.  They love each other, but they don’t get along.  Their arguments put Meghan in the middle, feeling like she must choose a side.  She is not looking forward to her weeks of recovery with both in the same small house.

As a gift for her grandmother’s eightieth birthday, Meghan wants to put together a scrapbook of Hazel’s life, including Diane and Meghan.  She discovers some old photos that bring to light painful, but bittersweet memories for Hazel.  A traumatic event from her past has shaped her whole life and that of her relationship with Diane.  This in turn affected how as a single mother Diane raised Meghan.  The ripple effect of trauma is evident, but Hazel has God in her life.  Does she really trust Him?  Diane has rebelled against just about everything her mother imparted to her growing up, so she is far from God.  Meghan listens to her grandmother talk about God and wants to know more.  In the midst of the personal turmoil each woman is feeling, the past makes itself known.  What will each do with it?

The dynamics of the relationship between these three women was interesting to read about.  Meghan job as a cold case detective is perfect for what her grandmother has experienced.  Hazel has an intense desire to find the truth and Meghan longs to help her beloved grandmother find peace.  Hazel longs for healed relationship with her daughter and for them both to know the Lord.  The emotions are heartfelt and the characters easy to get involved with.  This was a different type of story than I’ve read from this author in the past as I’m fond of her historical romances.  I liked reading about how one event affected the lives of so many people and their reactions to 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.”