Friday, March 31, 2017

Of Moose and Men


Title:  Of Moose and Men

Author:  Torry Martin & Doug Peterson

Pages:  224

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Harvest House Publishing

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This book is about the hilarious misadventures of Torry Martin and his friend Rob in the beautiful but dangerous state of Alaska.  I say dangerous, but only because of the bears and other predators that live in the wilderness.  In each hilarious misadventure that Torry reiterates, he finds God working in mysterious ways.  For this hippie, his trials work to make his spiritual life stronger in his walk with God, which is an inspiration to all of us (however hilarious).

I would recommend this book to others for its clean humor and insights that God can use anyone, even a misfit like Torry Martin to use his gifts to inspire others to find God.  At the end of each chapter, he makes some excellent points such as at the end of the final chapter he states that Jesus doesn’t promise an easy life once you have accepted Him, but things are easier to bear knowing we will be with Him in the end.  I like also how he writes this book with a wonderful sense of humor.  I hope others who read this book not only read it for a good laugh, but also find the spiritual insights the author(s) give that in the midst of life’s craziness our Heavenly Father is always with us.

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, March 30, 2017

Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2)


Title:  Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2)

Author:  Dani Pettrey

Pages:  348

Year:  2017

Publisher:  BethanyHouse

My rating is 4 stars.

Parker Mitchell misses Avery Tate more and more every day.  Six months ago she left his employment and his life because their relationship became more personal and he couldn’t wholeheartedly commit to her.  His first love, Jenna, was murdered several years ago and he hasn’t been able to move on in his personal life.  Her killer was never caught and Parker feels he failed to protect her.  He cares for Avery, but knows she needs someone who can give her 100%.  Out of the blue she calls him, needing his expertise as a crime scene processor.  Everyone in the business knows he is the best and as Avery used to work as his crime scene photographer, she knows it too.  Parker hopes Avery is back in his life for a lot longer than this case as he spends more and more time with her, trying to help her.

Avery Tate’s best friend, Skylar, is missing.  She posed for a bizarre photograph for a gallery showing, but evidence in the photograph leads Avery to think Skylar is dead.  She calls the best in the business to come look at the photograph and Skylar’s trailer to process them.  The best being the man she has given her heart to, Parker Mitchell.  She and Skylar grew up together and had a past riddled with alcohol, drugs and petty crime, but eight years ago Avery became a Christian and has never looked back.  She totally turned her life around.  Unfortunately, Skylar has not.  Avery desperately wants to find out where Skylar is and try again to get her out of her seedy lifestyle.  Parker and Avery embark on an investigation with the help of Charm City Investigations, which includes their friends Griffin, Finlay, Kate, Tanner and Declan.  Their search leads them after an obsessed man, his girlfriend, some college kids who were in Skylar’s trailer as well as some other people from Avery’s past.

While this story definitely had moments of tension and suspense, I felt that Declan and Tanner were too much in the story.  They took the focus sometimes off of Avery and Parker.  I know the third book in the series is to focus on Declan and Tanner, but having them appear so often in this story dimmed my enjoyment somewhat.  I was glad to see Griffin and Finlay make appearances in the story, and since their story was told in book one, I was okay with them being in the story.  I did really like how Avery and Parker both prayed and kept each other accountable in their relationship with God.  God was definitely a part in their relationship, drawing them together and strengthening them.  I look forward to book three being released in October 2017 titled, Blind Spot.  Also, check out Dani’s other great series set in Alaska called Alaskan Courage.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Guest Review of The Shack


Title:  The Shack

Author:  Wm. Paul Young                                                                           

Pages:  272

Year:  2007

Publisher:  Hachette-Windblown Media



The Shack, a novel by Wm. Paul Young, is a story about Mack, a man who is suffering over the loss of his youngest daughter and the guilt that haunts him. Apparently, God has invited Mack to the very place where his daughter died a tragic death. Mack wonders if the invitation is a cruel joke or if God really did send the invitation. Mack cautiously accepts, and heads into the woods where the shack is located, and he finds a world that is both familiar and, at the same time, strange.

Essentially, Mack has an encounter with God, who manifests as a theophany of three individuals. There have been some books and reviews written that question the theology portrayed in the novel; however, the focus of the story is not on theology. The focus is on relationship between God and one particular man who needs his soul to be healed from guilt and loss. Some might find it blasphemous that God the Father, known informally in the story as Papa, appears as a woman. The dialogue clearly states that God is neither male nor female, and Papa appears to Mack as a woman because that is more comforting to Mack and what he is going through. In addition, the story alludes to Mack having a very broken relationship with his earthly father, so it makes sense that God would appear as a women to help Mack feel more comfortable. Papa later appears as an elderly man because at the time, Mack needs a father figure. Jesus appears as authentically Jewish in appearance, and the Holy Spirit appears as a female who seems to flutter around just as the wind would do. This appearance is also consistent with the Spirit being compared to the wind. Although there is much speculation on how God might appear physically and communicate to a human being in this tale, I don’t see any contradiction to how he has revealed himself in Scripture, which must be the standard that we judge theological positions. Critics also need to remember that this is a work of fiction and not a theological dissertation.

Overall, The Shack is a wonderful story of God’s loving relationship within the three persons of the Trinity as well as love for individuals. The story’s focus on relationship, love, loss, grief, forgiveness, brokenness, and healing make this novel one of the best Christian novels that I have read in several months. I highly recommend the book, and I look forward to seeing the movie.

My rating is 5.

Guest review by Cleve Johnson

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter@lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457


Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Romans 9 study @ 7pm EST

Legacy of Deer Run


Title:  Legacy of Deer Run

Author:  Elaine Marie Cooper

Pages:  277

Year:  2012, 2016

Publisher:  CrossRiver

My rating is 4 stars.

This is the third and final book in the Deer Run Series.  This story centers on Daniel Lowe, Sr., his son Daniel Lowe, Jr. and his daughter Polly Lowe.  There are some other minor storylines as well, but these three are the main ones.  The year is 1800, and there is still fear that England will retaliate for their loss in 1776, so the armory in Springfield, Massachusetts is operating at full capacity.  There is also a shaky relationship with France to take into consideration as well.

Dan Jr. or Danny has left Deer Run to work in the armory in Springfield.  He overhears two men talking in what he thinks is French, so he reports this to his supervisor.  Unfortunately, it is dark outside when he makes this discovery and that conceals the identity of the two men.  Soon after accidents begin happening, putting Dan Jr. in the line of fire.  He also has made the acquaintance of the lovely Susannah Dobbins, who is the daughter of a local merchant newly moved to the area.  Dan Jr. doesn’t think she will take a second look at him due to their differences in social status.

Polly Lowe has fallen in love.  Unfortunately, the man is the son of her father’s bitter enemy and her father forbids her from continuing the relationship.  She rebels, but soon the man leaves the area, taking Polly’s heart along with him and leaving Polly in dire straits.  Dan Sr. is convicted of his bitterness and begs forgiveness from his enemy and his daughter.  However, Polly’s situation causes a rift in the community and her heart still longs for her love.  Dan Jr. has an idea to solve the situation, so his plan is put into action.  But has his plan, if successful, been implemented too late?

There were a couple of instances that were a little too “earthy”, as the author calls some of the more physical aspects of the story, for me, but otherwise I enjoyed the story.  I liked reading about this time in history and how the people dressed, talked, worked and survived in a sometimes very harsh environment with not many, if any, conveniences.  They had to work very hard every day.  I know I would not have made a good colonial woman!  I treasured the respect and protectiveness the men had for the women in their lives.  I also liked the big families in the story and how they managed and interacted with one another.  I hope Ms. Cooper continues to write books set in this time period as I will be sure to read them!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Her Secret (The Amish of Hart County #1)


Title:  Her Secret (The Amish of Hart County #1)

Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray

Pages:  272

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Avon Inspire

My rating is 4 stars.

Hannah Hilty is a 20-year-old Amish woman who is the victim of a stalker.  She and her family are forced to quit their jobs, leave their friends and move to a different state and different Amish community to flee this stalker.  The local police were not too responsive to the Hilty family’s reporting of the stalker, so no legal action was taken.  Hannah is now afraid to leave her new home.  Her two younger, teenage siblings blame Hannah for making them move and leave all their friends.  Hannah’s mother is forced to take a job outside the home and they are now living in a much smaller house.  The whole family is in upheaval.  This family secret is kept from the new Amish community, and there are other secrets the Hilty family is keeping as well.

Isaac Troyer is unsure what to think of his new neighbors, the Hiltys.  Their oldest daughter never leaves home alone and then very rarely.  He jokingly calls her The Recluse.  He is a 22-year-old Amish man who works in the family woodshop.  He runs into Hannah one day while she has bravely decided to take a walk alone.  The impression he makes on her he knows is unfavorable.  A couple of days later he apologizes as well as lets her know that he knows her stalker history.  The begin to form a tentative friendship.  Isaac feels protective of Hannah and senses her fear of trusting others.  Hannah feels safe with Isaac and begins to live again.  However, her newfound freedom is threatened by her sister who unknowingly tells Hannah’s secret to the wrong person.

I thought this was a good story to introduce the series and it kept me flipping pages quickly.  The story is easy to read and I read it in one sitting.  The romance between these two young Amish people is gentle, slow and tender.  The mystery/thriller aspect of the story set in Amish country is a new twist for me and I liked that aspect especially.  Readers can see the multiple secrets the Hilty family keeps from each other that create much dissension and disunity within the family, which added realism to the story.  I’m looking forward to book two in the series and to what mystery the author will weave into the tale!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Mercy at Midnight


Title:  Mercy at Midnight

Author:  Sylvia Bambola

Pages:  408

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Heritage Publishing House

My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.

My introduction into the author’s writing style was when I read her novel, The Daughters of Jim Farrell a year ago or so.  When Mercy at Midnight came out, I knew I had to read the book.  Why?  I found Sylvia’s stories well-crafted.  She deals with issues head on and tells a heart-gripping story right from the start!  There are other books by this author I have yet to read, but they are in my reading pile or list to enjoy very soon!

Mercy at Midnight weaves together threads of homelessness and redemption right alongside action, danger and mystery.  The main character is a pastor named Jonathan who is a prayer warrior, tries very earnestly to obey the Spirit’s leading even when he doesn’t understand the why of it and yet his struggles are transparent to Jonathan.  The female lead is a news reporter named Cynthia who has a nose for a story, and this one she is on right now might cost her more than she thinks if she isn’t careful.

Jonathan’s past plays a role in who he is today in the story and opening a homeless shelter was the last thing he wanted to do.  Some of his actions in the book reminded me of the ways God used Old Testament prophets to bring his message in a very real in your face kind of way.  Cynthia’s past influenced her decisions to erect walls around her heart, but with her latest undercover experience she just might find her walls slowly coming down.

Throughout the book I read and loved some of the background characters whose personalities were unique.  I loved the possible budding romance between the pastor and reporter and the way the book ended was great as it leaves to the imagination of readers in a way.  I cannot wait to see what Sylva brings to her readers in 2017 because her books are engrossing, entertaining and enrapture the heart of readers.  Please read Mercy at Midnight and see if she doesn’t soon become one of your favorite authors and you find yourself reading her other fantastic novels!

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, March 24, 2017

Our Man in Charleston (Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South)


Title:  Our Man in Charleston (Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South)

Author:  Charles Dickey

Pages:  400

Year:  2015

Publisher:  Crown

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

The Civil War is just one historical event that continues to fascinate me as a reader.  The author does a magnificent job of detailing the ins and outs of what occurred in our nation at a time when chaos reigned.  I am continuously learning so much about what was going on at a time when many people even knew where their next meal was coming from.

The author packs so much information into his book that it really causes the reader to become engrossed with the intrigue that happened off the battlefield.  As I read I was humbled as I learned of events that never entered my thinking before.  Of course, today many people are even on a higher alert for those who are observing them or interested in what their activities may be.

What the author shares never before entered my mind as a possibility at a time we look back on as perhaps being centered on the battlefield.  Some of the nefarious transactions weren’t easy to read such as the way some viewed lives as of little to no value, no caring what happened to them even when separating loved ones.

There are some real historical figures readers will learn about who were brave and worked diligently behind the scenes to improve life for all.  The nonfictional book is one that lovers of history will want on their shelves to share with others for generations.  Here is a great book that will make a great gift for the lover of history, the Civil War or secret agents!

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, March 23, 2017

Grace & The Preacher

Title:  Grace & The Preacher
Author:  Kim Vogel Sawyer
Pages:  352
Year:  2017
Publisher:  WaterBrook
My rating 4 out of 5 stars.
Romance, history, fiction and in a sense a couple of unusual characters…what a story!  The female character is Grace who is postmistress and being pressured to settle for less than what her heart desires.  Theo, with a past he regrets and can’t seem to get far enough away from, feels as though it’s right on his heels!  Well, in one sense, it is as those who went to jail are bent on making him pay as they brand him a coward for failing to do one thing.
I have read a variety of Kim’s books and for the most part enjoyed them a lot; this one seemed to move a little slow at the beginning.  The dragging out of the meeting between Grace and Theo caused me to lose interest at first.  I knew they were the focus of the novel, but there was no suspense to keep me in the pages like her other novels.
I love historical fiction with a little romance but also with some action, adventure, mystery and/or just something to make the story pop off the page.  Unfortunately, for me, this one just didn’t pop.  I will still read other Kim Vogel Sawyer books because her novels always have a strong theme of faith throughout the story.  I hope that the next novel the author presents has more action, adventure or mystery that helps me stay up to finish the book long into the night!
So, read the book as it does progress after some chapters.  It might not seem slow at first to you like it did for me.  While we wait to see what she presents next, read her other stories as they were very enjoyable!

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, March 22, 2017

They Danced On (The Darlings #3)


Title:  They Danced On (The Darlings #3)

Author:  Carrie Armstrong Gardner

Pages:  400

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Tyndale

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

The other two novels in the series are titled, All Right Here followed by Better All the Time by the same author.  I didn’t read the other novels prior to reading They Danced On.  However, for me, it was still a very potent story being told by the author.  The Darling family has had its share of trials; the characters deal with life issues just like other families.  The book in some ways was hard to read because I could identify strongly with the matriarch of the family named Jane who was wrestling with many trials one being her youngest moving out.  Jane wasn’t ready for the empty nest period of her life, especially with her husband’s ALS struggles.

One of the Darlings daughters is named Laura and was struggling with alcohol while another daughter just got married and leaves to work as a missionary with her new husband.  Jane begins to wrestle with what her future is going to be when all she has been identified with is being a mother, wife and taking care of the home.  Now, as she looks down the road, she isn’t sure what she will be doing with her time or what is God’s purpose for her in this season and more.

I could identify with Jane as my family will be going through some good changes next year and I am thankful so far our health is good.  Like Jane, I look to the Lord and believe He has a job for me to do and that my identity is in Him and not earthly titles.  Other readers may understand some of the siblings’ issues or marital stuff that occurs.  I loved how Jane and her husband, Leander, walked together through the tough season of his decline due to ALS.  The author doesn’t spell out in detail what happens, but focuses the readers on the faith of the various family members as well as how strength from being a family unit helps as they walk through life experiences.

Personally, I wouldn’t recommend reading this during the holidays if readers have suffered with someone who has ALS or a long term illness or a recent loved one passing.  Whenever people choose to read this novel and perhaps the prior two, I believe they will come away as I did with hope.  For with God we can walk through the various trials and come out with a closer relationship 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.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Break, no study tonight!


Hide and Seek


Title:  Hide and Seek

Author:  Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky

Pages:  369

Year:  2012

Publisher:  B&H Publishing Group

My rating is 5 stars.

J.J. Bartley has been assigned his first special ops mission as team leader, and boy does it turn out to be a doozy!  He and his team are tasked with finding a missing daughter of the current president of Kyrgyzstan and a female American Foreign Affairs Officer who has been trained by the Army with an impressive set of survival skills.  They are on the run as the president’s daughter barely escaped being kidnapped as riots plague the city of Bishkek.  The attempt was thwarted by Amelia Lennon, the Foreign Affairs Officer.  As they are in survival mode, Amelia leaves coded messages behind for a hoped for rescue team.  However, they must keep moving as the kidnappers are hot on their trail.  With the political unrest that has cut phone lines and cell towers, communication is almost impossible.

J.J. and his team are following Amelia’s clues, but soon realize they are also being hunted.  Armed men with military training are tracking J.J. and the team.  Using drone technology, the team eventually finds Amelia and the president’s daughter, but they are on the verge of being taken hostage.  J.J. and his team are too far away to make it in time to stop the attack as they are seemingly trapped on a roof top by a team of armed men.  How can the get out of this?  Can Amelia somehow stop the kidnapping a second time?

These four books have been such a pleasure to read.  The action and life situations are very realistic and get readers involved from beginning to end.  The characters on the special ops team are likeable and with the reading of each book become more and more like visiting familiar faces.  My favorite character is J.J.  He is a Christian in the military where there aren’t a lot of other Christians.  He doesn’t beat his fellow soldiers over the head with his beliefs, but he isn’t afraid to stand up for his values either.  The team knows where he stands and respects him, some even asking for prayer occasionally.  J.J. doesn’t enjoy having to kill, but knows that it is sometimes necessary to stop evil men from doing evil deeds.  Thank you to the authors for showing the military to this reader who has not had much experience or knowledge of that arena.  Thank you to our men and women who sacrifice daily for our country!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Devoted Defender (Danger in the Deep South #2)


Title:  Devoted Defender (Danger in the Deep South #2)

Author:  Rachel Dylan

Pages:  192

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Create space

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

This series starts with the first book titled, Lethal Action where the focus is on two characters named Gabe and a lawyer named Hope.  The action takes place in a small town named Maxwell and Gabe is undercover working there, but I won’t reveal more so you can enjoy the books mystery and suspense when you read it.

Now, in the sequel, Devoted Defender, Caleb, who is the local Chief of Police, becomes entangled in a web where someone is out to take Annie’s life because she witnessed a crime.  Annie was originally from Florida and worked hard to become a chef.  She was working for a family in Atlanta where the crime occurred.  Now, being on the run, she ends up in Maxwell and before too long Annie and Caleb are dodging bullets and unsure who to trust.

The author is planning a third novel in this series and I cannot wait as it focuses on another character we meet in book one and see again in this story.  The stories weave tension and action right from page one all the way to the end, including a touch of romance.  What I love about the stories besides the suspense, action and such is that the characters are not perfect.  The characters are crafted to include brokenness, faith, fear, love and more humanlike qualities and personalities so it is really easy to connect with them in the book.

I hope you read soon Lethal Action & Devoted Defender before the third book is released; I guarantee you will soon become lost in the pages!

Lethal Action (Danger in the Deep South #1)


Title:  Lethal Action (Danger in the Deep South #1)

Author:  Rachel Dylan

Pages:  224

Year:  2015

Publisher:  Create Space Independent

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Rachel Dylan is a new author to me.  I saw her novella when perusing an online bookstore and saw too that she has written a few Love Inspired Suspense novels.  On top of being a lawyer, she writes novels whose central character is a lawyer and a strong-headed one!

Attorney Hope Finch worked hard to get where she is as an attorney with a top law firm in New York and hopes to make partner within a few years.  Hope had a very rough upbringing that she used to not only help her work through the tough rigors of academia and work, but also she built a wall around her heart for protection.  The wall was due to an ex-boyfriend who betrayed her trust and therefore Hope decided she would be married to her job so she keeps other people out of her life.  Of course that was before she met Gabe.  The way she meets him doesn’t exactly instill the number one trait she looks for in a person and that is trust.

When Hope travels to a small town for a case, Hope figures her work long hours have finally paid off.  However, that all goes south when people start coming after her to do her physical harm in order to find out what she knows about a computer chip in her possession or is it?

With tense moments, some well-placed humorous scenes, Rachel keep readers such as myself entertained all the way till the end of the book.  The twists and turns in the plot kept me guessing as to who the powerful antagonists were and how Gabe was going to keep Hope alive.  Hope doesn’t rely on anyone but herself in all areas of her life and her facing danger head on makes protecting her rather daunting.  The next installment is titled, Devoted Defender with a third and final book to be added to the series in the near future.  So watch for Rachel’s novels and then enjoy the well-crafted high suspense tales within the covers of her books!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

A Heart felt response to a post/article


A Few Thoughts about a recent article posted on FaceBook by Matt Walsh.  Here is the article for you to read that includes peoples’ comments: http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/matt-walsh-our-modern-opinions-are-irrelevant-gods-word-is-not-up-for-a-vote/#comments

First, let me say that I was awakened throughout the night with thoughts pouring through my heart and mind that prompted me to pray, asking God if I were to respond to the article in any way, shape or form.  When I awoke with thoughts still overflowing from my heart, I knew I was to obey Him and write what I believe He spoke to me.  Let me preface what I am about to say with the thought that just like all other people; I am human.  I don’t claim anything about myself as being special or above others.  Also, I am an ardent follower of Yeshua, the Messiah, known also as Jesus, and that I love immersing myself in His Word and studying it constantly.

Second, with the times we live in, I believe that followers of Jesus must immerse themselves in studying His Word more and more each day instead of the two-minute devotions or others like them that don’t deepen or teach people to study the Word for themselves.  Granted it is easier to read what others have gleaned from the Word, but it doesn’t make a person grow in their walk with God to the depth God wants.

Third, we need to be more discerning about what we hear, see and read.  Don’t take anyone’s word at face value.  Instead, compare their comments with the Bible alongside as the only infallible source.  Also, do your own research into whatever the topic may be, first in the Word and then other sources.  Remember, only the Bible is the inspired and infallible revealed Word of God!  God alone is the source of Truth; therefore, every human being’s words, thoughts and writings are subject to debate.

Fourth, one problem with the article is that the percentages reported aren’t of the majority, but a sampling. There is no information as to the source, or number of people polled, how they were asked, etc.  I know I wasn’t asked.  Were you?  Therefore, there is an extrapolation of a sampling and it is applied to all Protestants and Catholics, which is wrong to do.  It is a sample of a minority, not the majority.  Please keep that in mind when reading the article.

Fifth, the article makes some very good points.  I have noticed myself that while many identify themselves as Christians, they don’t study the Word of God, which is the word of the very One they claim to follow!  So, where do they get their information?  Unfortunately, from other human sources and without doing a deeper study of the Bible.  They allow what they hear, see or read to be their source of truth and therefore can’t or won’t stand up against the overwhelming mass of false information being placed before them.

Sixth, to be a Christ follower is as risky today as it was in the first century.  Some pay with their very lives while others aren’t even willing to risk loss of friendships, family, etc. or whatever or whomever they hold dear to stand firm on the Word of God as their sole and soul Truth.  It is past time for those who say they are Christ followers, a.k.a. Christians, to count the cost, quit straddling the fence and take a stand here on earth before they are standing before the throne of God and their eternity is decided and unchangeable.

Finally, it is my heart’s desire that people step back and really seek God while He still may be found by those who seek Him with their whole heart.  One cannot marry God’s Word to this fallen world’s viewpoint.  God alone and His Word are above all, and are pure.  God doesn’t lie.  He doesn’t change.  He longs for us to seek Him.  May He find we who care, Christ followers, having counted the cost, taken up our crosses and followed Him alone.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Without Warning (A J. B, Collins Novel #3)

Title:  Without Warning (A J. B, Collins Novel #3)
Author:  Joel Rosenberg
Pages:  480         
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
Here is the conclusion to an exciting thrilling series with the main character J. B. Collins who we meet in the first book titled, The Third Target, followed by The Third Hostage!  To follow the developing characters and plot, it is important to read the books in order as one builds upon the prior.  Joel Rosenberg is one of my most favorite authors as he writes with such intense intrigue, suspense, faith and political scenarios it takes my breath away!  As a reader, it is like reading what is happening in the news, except in a fictional format with such tension added it is palatable!
The ending to the series is one I didn’t see coming and to have to take breaks in reading for one reason or another was difficult!  Joel Rosenberg’s books are well-researched, crafted to inform as well as entertain with faith being central to the story.  There is never a dull moment in the story and one cannot help but want to read faster and faster to see where the author is taking the reader along with the characters.
To each novel, Joel brings a perspective of looking at politics, governments and America’s enemies with such astounding insight!  Readers will be totally surprised by how the series ends.  I wonder what will come from the mind and pen of this author that will reflect faith, history, events, and people wrapped in a captivating and believable format that makes readers like me coming back with each book for more!
One of the most precious nuances to this author’s writing is how he allows faith to help him understand world events and then reach so many via fiction whereas nonfiction might not.  I cannot recommend his books highly enough as I have them all, have read them and keep them in hopes that one day my sons will read them or my grandchildren.  So, grab The Third Target, The Third Hostage and Without Warning and then sit back, enjoy and share with others what you think of these books or any of his previous novels as they are worth reading over and over again!
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.”

Peach Blossom Rancher


Title:  Peach Blossom Rancher

Author:  Ada Brownell

Pages:  364

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Elk Lake Publishing

My rating is 5 out of 5.

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org

If you haven’t read The Lady Fugitive, there are some references to events or characters from that novel that are mentioned in Peach Blossom Rancher.  While you could read Peach Blossom Rancher as a standalone, I enjoyed the story more having read the prior novel.  In the author’s latest novel, we return to 1909 and the state of Colorado where John Parks has taken over the ranch his father bequeathed to him.

With so much work needing to be done due to the judge’s neglect, money is extremely tight.  The tension in the story that really kept me reading was the fact of John possibly being arrested for murder along with his trying to discover which of two women he really loved.  One of the women is Victoria who lives in Boston though she once owned a ranch with her deceased husband nearby.  Victoria, like her father, is a lawyer and John soon finds himself in need of a really good one!

John is learning too how much work a ranch and peach grove take along with the amount of money to keep up with living expenses and repairs.  After some time, it was interesting how John grew to depend more on the Lord for his needs and wisdom in making decisions.  The action never seems to stop whether in caring for something connected to the ranch or the threats to John for taking in a woman another family has abandoned.

The care that soon consumes Victoria is one that I found quite interesting, but won’t reveal it so as not to ruin other reader’s discovery.  The author again shows her love of action, adventure and history in the tale as well as the continual theme of faith in the story.  In many scenes, the author has her characters praying or sharing Scripture to bring encouragement, wisdom or comfort.  I hope you curl up and enjoy this western tale of love, redemption, sacrifice and faith along with the first novel, The Lady Fugitive.

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, March 16, 2017

The Lady Fugitive

Title:  The Lady Fugitive
Author:  Ada Brownell
Pages:  442
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Elk Lake Publishing
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Before I share my thoughts on this story know the sequel is titled, Peach Blossom Rancher by the same author.
The tale begins in the year 1908 in Colorado where a young, 17-year-old lady is being harshly treated by her uncle.  Her twin brother, John Lincoln Parks, ran away years before to the home of his deceased father’s sister.  Jenny Louise Parks didn’t join her brother in fleeing, but soon packs up what little she owns, gets on her horse and flees.  Now she is looking for a new life somewhere her uncle cannot find her to drag her back to the ranch.
Jenny would have loved to remain on the ranch where she grew up, but can’t under the man everyone thinks is a respectable judge.  Even the judge’s wife is neither a comfort nor aid to Jenny.  When Jenny takes off, she takes some of her brother’s clothing, hoping no one will recognize her or take advantage of her youth.  Yet, what makes the task so very difficult is the wanted posters her uncle has sent everywhere it seems to Jenny, so she jumps even at shadows in fear.
In time, Jenny comes to own some animals and meets a young man named Michael who seems to be the polar opposite of her uncle.  Readers will enjoy the adventures Jenny has and how she handles herself when danger lurks.  What makes life even harder for Jenny is the loss of the money her mother had saved for her.  The judge never knew about that or he would have absconded with the large amount.

At the end of the book enjoy reading the author’s note about her true life experience that was included in the novel!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Stolen Heart (Cimarron Creek Trilogy #1)


Title:  A Stolen Heart (Cimarron Creek Trilogy #1)
Author:  Amanda Cabot
Pages:  352
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 4 stars.
Sheriff Travis Whitfield has a problem on his hands.  There have been several petty crimes in town as well as the disappearance of a town citizen and he can’t solve either mystery.  Some are beginning to doubt his ability to be sheriff.  On top of that, a young single woman has arrived on the stagecoach and she is from the North!  Many in town are still angry over the War Between the States that ended 15 years ago, so he knows she might not have the kindest welcome.  She is also looking for the missing man he can’t seem to find!  However, he feels it is his duty to welcome the newest guest to town.  Once he realizes she has no place to stay, he offers his aunt’s home as an option.  She accepts and he realizes at once how beautiful she is and how many single men in town there are that will be vying for her hand in marriage.  He is glad he isn’t in the market to get married.
Lydia has uprooted her entire life in Syracuse, New York to come to Cimarron Creek, Texas to marry a man who has disappeared after he has married someone else!  Now what is she going to do?  The kind and handsome sheriff has offered her a place to stay, but what will she do with her time?  How will she earn her keep?  She was a schoolteacher in Syracuse, but Cimarron Creek already has a schoolteacher.  She moves in with the sheriff’s aunt and the two immediately like one another.  Their relationship soon becomes close like that of a grandmother and her granddaughter.  As the sheriff’s aunt is wealthy, this helps Lydia be accepted in town by most people, but not everyone.  Lydia has sworn off men and getting married because men just can’t be trusted.
This first book in a new trilogy from author Amanda Cabot is truly entertaining.  I especially liked the inclusion of a mystery in this romantic story as well as Lydia’s strong faith.  After quitting her job, arriving in a strange town across the country and expecting to marry a man who claimed to love her only to find him married to another woman, Lydia prays and believes God has brought her to this specific town for a reason, so she stays.  This is a great lesson for me…to follow God’s will no matter how much I might want to do otherwise!  There are other life lessons in the story that I will let readers discover on their own.  I am already looking forward to book two in the series.  For those who can’t wait, chapter one of the next book in the series is included to whet your appetite!

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.”