Tuesday, October 31, 2017

I want a Hippopotamus For Christmas - Gayla Peevey - Lyrics On Screen

Storming the Black Ice (Pacific Rim Series #3)


Title:  Storming the Black Ice (Pacific Rim Series #3)

Author:  Don Brown

Pages:  356

Year:  2014

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This is the third book of the Pacific Rim Series, and it introduces some new characters.  All the books in the series could be read as standalone stories.  The setting begins in Antarctica with an Argentinian officer uncovers petroleum sources previously discovered, but kept secret by Great Britain.  Great Britain and Chile come to a secret accord to develop and share in the profits as they both share overlapping territory in this region.  However, now that Argentina is aware of this accord, they join with Venezuela to fight against Britain and Chile.  Britain asks the U.S. for help.

Meanwhile, submarine commander Pete Miranda has been thinking about retirement from the Navy.  However, his superior asks him to stick around for one last mission that should take approximately six months, perhaps a year to complete.  He will be training Chilean sailors on how to man a submarine as Chile is bolstering its Navy due to increasing tensions with Argentina and Venezuela.  Also, Pete’s father is from Chile and Pete looks forward to connecting with family and exploring his heritage.  Pete agrees, thinking this will be an easy way to close his career and during his time he will be up for promotion to Captain, so what does he have to lose?  Boy, does he have it wrong!

As with the other two books in this series, there is plenty of action and tension that will keep readers glued to their seats from start to finish.  I liked the look at the different ways various churches put their beliefs into practice.  I know very little about these South American countries, so I enjoyed reading about them.  The maps that were included were a great help too.  The family interactions also made me want to read further in the story to see how those issues were resolved.  The realism the author brings to the story to me makes the story so much more believable, ramps up the tension and keeps readers involved and invested in the story to the end.  I would recommend this entire series for those who enjoy suspense and action.  There is no foul language or sex, which is such a blessing when looking for something good to read.  These would make a great gift for Christmas, birthday, or any time!

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)


Title:  A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)

Author:  Charles Todd

Pages:  378

Year:  2017

Publisher:  William Morrow

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Bess Crawford is once again called on to help a soldier in need.  This time the soldier, Alan Travis, claims that a soldier in a British uniform tried to kill him, a British soldier himself and not once, but twice.  The soldier looks very much like Alan’s cousin.  Alan suffers a head wound that causes the aid station to doubt his claims.  He is returned to active duty after being cleared by the Base Hospital.  When he is returned to the aid station with a bullet wound in his back, claiming the same soldier tried to kill him again, the authorities investigate his claims.  It is discovered that the man Alan claims tried to kill him is dead.  Now, the hospital staff begins to doubt his sanity and perhaps the first wound to his head was more serious than they thought.  He is transferred to a mental hospital until he can be further evaluated.  Bess feels responsible and tells Alan she will see what she can discover.

Bess is home for two weeks leave after the war is finally over.  However, instead of spending the time with her parents, she ends up chasing clues as the mystery surrounding Captain Travis goes deeper than she originally thought.  She has Simon Brandon at her side for protection and help, but can he truly keep her safe when a murder happens in the small village of the Travis family?  Bess is convinced Captain Travis is sane and won’t rest until justice for him clears his name, freeing him, but at what cost?

In her role as a nurse, Bess has been involved in quite a few mysteries so now that the war is over I am very curious to see how this series will continue.  I thoroughly enjoy the time frame of this series as well as the setting.  I love reading about all the small villages and their intricacies of life, how townspeople interact with one another and strangers.  Bess leaves no stone unturned, even though many times she has no authority, in her investigations.  She just can’t leave a mystery alone, even when she should for her own safety.  I also liked seeing more of Simon in this story and would like to know more about his background.  Maybe there might be a mystery with Simon and his past as the focus?  I’m looking forward to seeing how Bess encounters her tenth mystery!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Frontier Destiny (Preacher: The Epic Continues)


Title:  Frontier Destiny (Preacher: The Epic Continues)

Author:  William W. Johnstone

Pages:  568

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

First, let me say I cannot wait until another book like this is released!  I loved reading 40 Guns West followed by Blackfoot Messiah.  Preacher is a mountain man who avoids towns and prefers to be out in the wilderness.  He knows the mountain range like the back of his hand.  He is known by many tribes and names.  While some are friendly towards him, others at least respect his ways.  Preacher is a no-nonsense man and cares little for those who harm others, rob, cheat, steal or are in his neighborhood bringing destruction to the beauty of the wild.

While he is very different from his siblings, he loves his parents.  Once in a while, he visits them in town though not for long.  Preacher’s siblings think he is crazy and have really very little understanding or tolerance of the man.  Preacher refuses to fit anyone’s mold but his own.  I like that while he also fears little, he is not one to jump into the thick of a matter without first thinking and planning his moves.

I really enjoyed being able to curl up and enjoy a good, solid story and want to read more of Preacher’s adventures.  While one may think being called Preacher makes him a clergy man, trust me that isn’t why he is called that name.  The reason why is one that you will enjoy discovering for yourself!  So, grab a copy for yourself and maybe for another reader you know to give as a gift, and get lost in the adventures of a mountain man called Preacher!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Too Far Down (The Cimarron Legacy #3)


Title:  Too Far Down (The Cimarron Legacy #3)

Author:  Mary Connealy

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

To really enjoy this story, please start with the first book in the series, No Way Up followed by Long Time Gone as the characters and plot are continued from book one all the way through to the final, Too Far Down.  Mary Connealy’s finale in this series kept me up through one whole night so I could read the book in one sitting.  That’s how exciting and adventuresome the Cimarron Legacy series is, and you don’t want to miss out!

The excitement began for me from the first page until the last.  Throughout the book, it never let up!  With many characters’ actions ongoing along with the threats to the ranch while at the same time the parents being in a different state and experiencing troubles there, makes for engaging a reader from the get-go.  I couldn’t read or turn the pages fast enough to see what was going to happen, or where the danger was going to come from next!

Plus, the “who” behind all that had occurred to the Boden family and the ranch was going to be revealed, and when it was, what a stroke of genius!  I never saw the “who” coming; it was great!  I will miss the CR ranch and many other holdings along with the Boden family as they became a part of my imagination world.  To take time to read is something I hope more people decide to do because the novels being published and tales being shared make reading an enjoyable pastime!  Whether I read alone or with other members of my family as each person reads what they enjoy, it makes for great sharing time with them!  I also get to share about these authors with other readers and friends.  So, with the holidays just around the corner, please consider buying the series for those who you know love a good book!

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

12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Book #1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas)


Title:  12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Book #1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas)

Author:  Michelle Griep

Pages:  192

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Barbour Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Like a well-woven Dickens tale, Michelle Griep has amazingly accomplished a well-crafted tale with the flavor of a mystery.  The characters are various and few, but don’t let that fool you as what happens the moment one starts reading the book is before too long you just must keep reading! The story is set in the year 1850 which helps also bring atmosphere to the tale being told.

The lead female is a young woman with a broken heart, living with her aunt near the poverty level.  This picture of her current situation is opposite to where and how she once lived.  The lead male is to be married a year by now, but instead he is cold, starving and beaten in a cold jail cell in London.  Out of nowhere envelopes are timely hand delivered to specific individuals with various promises if they remain for the 12 days at the manor.  Who is the mysterious head of the manor or writer of the invitations?

I don’t want to spoil it too much so I won’t share any more, but this is a book that many will want to share with others, or give as gifts.  In 2018, comes the second book, A Tale of Two Hearts, and I for one will be waiting to read it and share with my family and friends!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fire of the Raging Dragon (Pacific Rim Series #2)


Title:  Fire of the Raging Dragon (Pacific Rim Series #2)

Author:  Don Brown

Pages:  381

Year:  2012

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Stephanie Surber is serving as a junior naval officer aboard a submarine tender that suddenly is embroiled in a conflict involving Taiwan and China.  Her ship is the first on the scene of the conflict that began when China invaded a small island manned by Taiwanese forces.  China took over the island because of the natural gas abundancy.  Taiwan sends forces to retaliate and the U.S. sends the closest available naval forces to intervene in the hopes of preventing escalation to war.  Stephanie’s ship is sure to see action.  The only problem is Stephanie is removed from the ship so she won’t face danger as her father is the President of the U.S.

Gunner McCormick returns from book one and in this tale, he is advising on the relationship between China and Taiwan, where various U.S. forces are positioned and he is sent to retrieve the President’s daughter.  However, on the way, his chopper has a problem that leaves Gunner promising to God that he will make changes in his life if God will get him out of his current situation.

There is also a Chinese civilian tanker transporting medical supplies as well as ammunitions to the small island to re-supply the Chinese forces.  The first mate is curious about these supplies and opens one of the crates in the cargo area of the ship to make a terrifying discovery.  He is unsure what to do with his discovery, but before he can do anything definitive his ship is intercepted by Taiwanese helicopters and given an ultimatum.  If others find out what is on board ship, what disaster might be unleashed?

For those who like suspense with a military focus, this series is for you.  I don’t have much familiarity with the military, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the first book, Thunder in the Morning Calm and now this second book.  The plot is action-filled and will grab the attention from the get-go.  I have liked learning about the military and in layman’s terms how it operates in general.  The setting and conflicts could be taken from front page headlines today, making it current and interesting.  The author writes with a great deal of knowledge and insight into the workings of the military, which made the story more realistic and believable for me.  I look forward to book three, Storming the Black Ice, soon.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Cheshvan FB Live

The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (Regency Brides: Legacy of Grace #3)


Title:  The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey (Regency Brides:  Legacy of Grace #3)

Author:  Carolyn Miller

Pages:  296

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel Publications

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Ben Kemsley is a sea captain who is recuperating at his sister’s house in Brighton after a knee injury sustained during a ship wreck.  He was a hero as he managed to swim for help while injured to save the survivors of the wreck.  The Prince Regent even mentioned giving him a monetary reward in the newspaper.  Ben hasn’t seen a cent of a reward and doesn’t have much to offer a future wife, not that he is looking for a wife.  He is drawn to the cliffs on a dark, stormy night.  Once he arrives he sees a woman slip and fall over the cliffside.  He manages to grab her wrist and pull her to safety.  She quietly and quickly thanks him, then runs off.

Clara DeLancey is depressed.  The earl she thought she had an understanding with, though not formally engaged, has married another and left her humiliated in the eyes of society.  The actions of her reprobate brother have further ruined her in the eyes of society so she is forced to leave London with her parents until the ton begins to forget.  They haven’t seen her brother in quite some time and that is fine with her.  She has no friends, but she meets the local vicar’s wife and her sister and they become friends.  Clara’s mother doesn’t approve as she thinks they are not of the same class and so shouldn’t associate with them.  Clara also meets Tessa’s brother, Ben.  As Clara receives an entrée back into society, she invites Tessa to be a part of it.  Ben knows he is not of Clara’s class, but his heart doesn’t.  Clara wants Ben in her life permanently, but her parents don’t approve.  Can this dilemma be solved or will Clara be forced to marry another?

Author Carolyn Miller once again has given her audience a clean, enjoyable, Regency romance.  I recommend reading the series in order beginning with The Elusive Miss Ellison, then continuing with The Captivating Lady Charlotte before reading this tale.  I so enjoyed reading about Clara’s spiritual growth as she came to the lowest point in her life.  She tentatively placed her trust in God initially, then wholeheartedly.  While she didn’t suddenly have an easy life, she knew that God loved her and she could withstand life’s hardships.  Did God give her what she thought she wanted or what she truly needed?  The author has a wonderful way of intertwining faith into the story without condescension or preachiness.  I can’t wait to read Carolyn’s next book!  Kudos Carolyn for a great 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.”

Friday, October 20, 2017

The Serpent's Grasp


Title:  The Serpent’s Grasp

Author:  C. Kevin Thompson

Pages:  500

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Hallway Publishing

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

For three days, I couldn’t look at anything else; I was glued to the novel!  I’m not a fast reader by any means, but I sure love a good book.  What’s a good book?  Well, for me it’s one that is written to entertain, thought provoking, action packed, suspense filled and one wild and crazy ride!  Here is such a novel by C. Kevin Thompson!

The story uses many aspects including military, intelligence agencies, science community, fascinating and clandestine characters, etc.  At the beginning and throughout the novel, we are introduced to both the broken side of humanity and the hope that God alone can bring to peoples’ lives.  There is a touch of romance in the book, but mainly it is the search for truth about a possible sea monster that for some reason is beginning to become extremely aggressive.

The author does a fantastic job of showing how one’s belief system whether creationism or evolution determines how one views every aspect of life.  Yet, he goes further and has the character engage in activities either really searching for the truth of the evidence before them or perhaps trying to undermine such search for reasons that will boggle your mind.

The ending was spectacular and unexpected, leaving the door open for a sequel though I don’t know if the author plans one.  One thing I did notice was the huge amount of research the author did in order to write such an informed, believable and captivating tale.  I cannot recommend this novel highly enough and hope that people will get a copy to read or give as a gift for those who love such thrillers.  I am not usually one to read a story with science in it because it isn’t one of my strongest subjects, but this fictional novel was out of this world!  It would be a shame to not read it or share it with others.

Plan some time to sit and delve into one of the best and favorite novels of mine this year, The Serpent’s Grasp.  Trust me, you won’t regret 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.”




Thursday, October 19, 2017

Bringing Maggie Home


Title:  Bringing Maggie Home

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer

Pages: 352

Year: 2017

Publisher: Waterbrook

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

What a challenging story to write, I thought as I read the synopsis before even getting the book.  How can an author take a genre such as cold cases, family rifts, faith, and more to come up with moving book?  I don’t know how Kim did it but she succeeded beyond my imagination!

I placed myself with in the novel whether I was the mother, grandmother or daughter.  In any case I could understand the feelings expressed, words said and the healing that needed to be attempted after 7 decades of secrets.  Not just secrets but guilt, and we see how unreleased guilt can destroy or bring difficulty not just within the person carrying the guilt but others within that character’s sphere of life.

I thought of the movie The Shack as I read it which made imagining the scenes more realistic for me.  One of the reasons I read Kim’s novels is because as a reader one might conclude how the book will be ending only to find out the ending is breath takingly brilliant and unexpected.  Using flashback in the story really helps move the story along yet also brings clarification to what happen, or what a character felt.

What a thought that in one instance a life is changed, but more so three generations within one family are touched by the moment Maggie disappears.  So adding the aspect of a mystery really draws people into the book and before you know it time is flying by and the story is really causing the audience to become singularly focused.  I don’t how authors do it but Kim has in the latest novel Bringing Maggie Home.  Here again is another book to read, give as a gift or use in a book club near you.

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


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

When the Bishop Needs an Alibi (The Amish Bishop Mysteries #2)


Title:  When the Bishop Needs an Alibi (The Amish Bishop Mysteries #2)

Author:  Vannetta Chapman

Pages:  352

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers

My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

Henry Lapp, the bishop for the local Amish community, is a widower.  As a result, he eats at a local diner often.  He develops a friendship with one of the young waitresses.  He notices that she always seems wary and looking over her shoulder to see if someone is watching her.  He asks what is wrong and she eventually confides a little of her suspicions to Henry.  Henry once again uses his amazing drawing talents to recreate scenes from the diner and others to help discover commonalities and perhaps what this young waitress was afraid of.

Henry is also an avid birdwatcher and goes to a federal nature refuge to watch cranes.  On one of his treks, he discovers a dead body.  Since the body was discovered on federal land, the FBI is involved.  Henry is the number one suspect in the crime from the get-go according to the agent in charge.  Of course, anyone who knows Henry finds the idea of him as a murderer ludicrous, but he has no alibi for the time of the murder.  He was at home alone.  His good friend, Emma, teams up with the decedent’s sister to clear Henry’s name and bring justice to the victim’s killer.  However, the closer they get to unraveling the mystery, the more danger to Emma.  Henry realizes he feels more than friendship for Emma and is going to protect her.  Does Emma feel the same for him? 

Henry Lapp is an example for all believers.  In the midst of his own personal trials, he kneels to pray.  His prayer includes supplication for his friends, community, even an ambitious FBI agent who is trying to hurry up and close the case to spur on his career.  He doesn’t pray, “Lord, get me out of this!  Amen.”  He encourages others to depend on God no matter what and he lives out that example.  He reminds his flock of appropriate Scripture at times when they need it most.  He is not afraid to share his faith with others outside the Amish community.  It was nice to read about a romance for Henry, a man in his mid-sixties.  I thought the mystery portion of the story was very original.  I hope there are many more mysteries to come in this series!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Copper Country (A Copper Island Novel #2)


Title:  Copper Country (A Copper Island Novel #2)

Author:  Kristin Neva

Pages:  286

Year:  2017

Publisher:  The Christmas Tree House

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The series begins with the novel titled, Snow Country where we meet a wide variety of characters.  The author writes from her personal knowledge gained as she was raised on Copper Island.  That enhances her ability to describe scenes that are riveting.  I believe too that with the firsthand experience of living on that island she can place her characters into situations that are captivating for readers.

The uniqueness of the story continues with the way the old Finns language is used as well as some of the unique foods that are favorites served in the book’s café.  One of the main characters is Amiee Mallon who has come from a family where her father abandoned her, her only sibling is a brother who doesn’t care about their parents and her mother has let herself go.  Amiee though feels responsible for her mother even though her mother doesn’t take care of herself let alone pay attention to anything Amiee is saying.

The tension in the book is happening both within the hearts of a couple of the characters as well as in some relationships.  One of the characters has ALS, which the author is quite familiar with as her husband battles the disease.  It helped me understand what the person and those who love that person suffering with ALS feel, and how they try to cope each day with faith and thankfulness for that day.

Amiee’s boyfriend, Russ, really can’t decide what he wants with Amiee.  Is it marriage or just friendship?  Amiee is one who speaks her mind; yet, when she finds herself trying to handle her father’s reappearance and his request to see her, she must face her deepest darkest place in her heart.  The novel touched my heart as I read about the character I met in book one and now read about in book two.

I hope readers will read and enjoy both Snow Country and now Copper Country with the hopes that the author plans another story on Copper Island sometime in the future!

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, 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 café 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.”