Thursday, November 30, 2017

Macy Author: April McGowan


Title:  Macy

Author:  April McGowan

Pages:  262

Year:  2014

Publisher:  WhiteFire

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

What a unique story that unfolds within these pages!  There are a multitude of heart-touching interactions between the main character, Macy, beginning with her husband and family.  Macy is abandoned in a diner when her husband leaves her because she has refused to relinquish the life growing inside her.  My heart was pulled as I read what happened with and to Macy as she begins trying to build a life with nothing to her name.

The novel points out how women in abusive marriages can slowly find a new life until they are able to decide what the future may hold for them.  Macy, while not physically abused, was certainly emotionally abused, as well as having her mother’s hand in her marriage along with how controlling Macy’s husband was in keeping her from knowing anything outside of what he revealed.

The theme of struggling with believing in God during these times while learning to forgive by showing just how hard it can be to do and yet freeing at the same time was an amazing aspect to the book.  Many other characters are introduced in the story I think to show how people can lend a helping hand to women who find themselves in the situations they are in.  Plus, I loved how the author ends the book with the ultimate theme of hope that God alone can restore to a broken heart and life.

I don’t want readers to think this is a downer novel; it isn’t.  It is gripping, but doesn’t pull the reader into the depths of pain.  Readers will be touched by what they read by what others do to help Macy, and above all how God can work miraculously and wondrously when we relinquish trying to fix our problems on our own.

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, November 29, 2017

Christmas on the Run (Mission Rescue)


Title:  Christmas on the Run (Mission Rescue)

Author:  Shirlee McCoy

Pages:  217

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Carly Kelley is on the run…literally.  She is begin chased by a man while out on her morning jog.  She has kept to her normal routine recently, even though she has felt like she is being watched.  Just as her text warned, she has not talked to the police or told anyone about the threats issued to her, her young son and her best friend via text.  She is a restorer and designer of antique jewelry and her skills are in demand for an unknown criminal to be put to illegal use.  Carly is desperate for help and discovers her deceased husband’s brother lives nearby.  She decides to risk contacting him for help.

Dallas Morgan has watched the female jogger who has run by his house for the last few mornings and is curious why she comes up to his porch, but doesn’t knock.  He soon finds out and it is a lot more than he could imagine.  He quickly realizes Carly needs his help as well as the nephew he has never met.  Carly is a strong, attractive and smart woman who Dallas is drawn to immediately, even while still grieving a loss from the past.  Dallas and Carly work together to protect her son, who seems to be the target.  As they get to know each other, the attraction is obviously mutual.  They each have pasts that make them leery of getting involved in a relationship, but they rely on God to guide them.

These short books are gems to read in one sitting and are filled with lots of action, suspense and intrigue.  The books I have read contain a faith message that is consistent and upbeat.  This story will grab readers from page one with a chase scene and keep them captivated until the last page.  The strength of the two lead characters was a draw for me, as well as their active faith despite their terrible childhoods.  Zane was an adorable supporting cast member.  I hope to read more of this author’s books as they are well worth the time spent engrossed in the pages!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A Sneak Peek! Coming January 2018

Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor #1)


Title:  Dangerous Illusions (Code of Honor #1)

Author:  Irene Hannon

Pages:  358

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Colin Flynn and his two best friends meet every other Saturday to catch up on their lives and share a meal.  One Saturday he tells them about his latest case.  His two friends immediately sense a reticence about Colin regarding a suspect.  They grill him and he finally admits he is attracted to the suspect, an attractive art teacher.  Colin tries not to show his friends too much of his feelings, but they know him too well and see through his apparent nonchalance.  Colin must keep a professional distance during the case.  He doesn’t think Trish is guilty of any crime, but he must find proof to clear her as well as find the true perpetrator.

Trish Bailey is a young, widowed, art teacher who has moved in with her mother to help her after her mother sustained serious injuries in a car accident.  This accident also took the life of her father and her husband.  Trish’s parents are wealthy and have set up a charitable foundation that her mother still administers on a monthly basis by meeting with the foundation’s accountant.  Trish’s mother also asks Trish to sit in on these meetings so she knows what is going on with the foundation.  This accountant has asked Trish out on a couple of dates and Trish accepted, but felt no spark of attraction.  Trish is stressed out with teaching, taking care of her mother, arranging her mother’s caretakers when Trish is at work, as well as being involved with the foundation.  So, it is natural she might be a bit forgetful sometimes, right?  You’ll have to read the story to see how this plays out!

Once again, Irene Hannon as written a spellbinding, tension-filled tale with a romance included.  I have read most of her trilogies and find them to be engaging and easy to get involved with, and this first book in this trilogy is no exception.  I soon became invested in the two main characters’ lives and emotions, watching their romance develop as well as reliance on faith.  The faith element in Irene’s stories is evident throughout, but not overwhelming.  Faith is woven into the story naturally.  I thought the plot well done with a surprise or two.  This book will make a great Christmas gift, whether to yourself or to someone who likes a great story!

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

Monday, November 27, 2017

Deadly Proof


Title:  Deadly Proof (Atlanta Justice #1)

Author:  Rachel Dylan

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  BethanyHouse

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Kate Sullivan has just been named lead counsel in a huge case with several defendants suing a large pharmaceutical company.  Their drug to treat migraines also causes brain tumors.  The lawsuits allege that the company knew the drug caused brain tumors, but released it to the public anyway.  Kate is pitted against her friend, Ethan, as he has been tapped to defend the company.  As prep work begins on the case, Kate hires a private detective, Landon, to investigate leads provided by a potential whistleblower.  However, the whistleblower is found murdered before any information can be discovered by Landon.  Kate is the only one who met with the whistleblower and has been told to dig deeper because there is more going on than just this one drug.

As the case progresses, Kate faces personal attacks and Landon begins to serve as protection for her as well as to investigate.  An attraction has developed between them, but they both battle issues from their past.  Kate also knows that Ethan is holding documents back that could possibly prove his client’s guilt, as well as trying to sandbag her with thousands of irrelevant documents causing her research team to spend hours wading through junk mail.  She begins to wonder at Ethan’s ethics.  How far will he and the company go to keep this case from going to trial?  She also deals daily with fighting depression.  Her faith in God is the only thing that helps her get out of bed some days.  She depends on Him to get her through each day.

This is the first book I have read by this author, and it won’t be the last!  Her expertise in legal matters shines and the amount of work involved in preparing a case for trial certainly is evident.  My favorite part is Kate’s willingness to share her faith, but not be preachy or condescending.  She talked about her faith, but she also lived it as an example.  The romance seemed a little rushed for me and kind of sappy.  I would like to see more time spent developing the romantic relationship in the next book in the series.  I liked seeing the viewpoint from both sides of the lawsuit, and the way the three main lawyers (Kate, Ethan and Nicole) resolved conflicts.  The dedication to seek justice and truth legally without compromise by Kate and Nicole, which came with a cost, was admirable.  For those who enjoy legal thrillers, this is the book for 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.”

Alpha and Omega by Kutless


Music Review: Alpha and Omega by Kutless

Album producer: BEC recordings

Release year: 2017

Rating: 5 stars

Alpha and Omega is a great album by the music group Kutless. It is filled with songs of worship, giving praise to God and encouraging others to be spiritually uplifted in times of darkness.  The songs remind us who God is and what He has done for us and what He continues to do for us. How great and mighty is He who will fight our battles, shows us that in our weakness He is strong. And no matter how lost we are, He is there with arms open wide. He is love (track 6).

I would recommend this album to others for its encouraging songs. When the night seems to be at its darkest moment, Jesus is there to shine the light and lift us up from the mud and filth of our sins. He is the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the Savior of mankind. It is a great album that I hope will encourage others to continue to be faithful in their walk with the Lord. I also hope this album will speak to some of the non-believers as well.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

From Fields of Promise


Title:  From Fields of Promise

Author:  Rebekah Colburn

Pages:  370

Year:  2017

Publisher:  CreateSpace

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I love reading historical fiction, though I have a few favorite timeframes, events, and authors I enjoy.  What about you?  Well, let me introduce you to an author who wrote Fields of Promise where two characters from two prior novels, On Grounds of Honor & For the Cause of Freedom, become the central players in this tale set in the aftermath of the Civil War.  Other characters from the books mentioned above also make appearances, but the story’s central focus is on Mariah and Isaac. 

Mariah became a widow shortly before the war ended, and Isaac came home to find that his wife had acted in an unseemly way while he was away.  Both have broken hearts and a future that holds no promise.  They own nothing and are dealing not just with broken hearts but ghosts from their pasts that crop up often, causing them to relive painful memories.

While Isaac is there to help Mariah save the family farm, other issues make living each day a challenge.  What neither of them expected, wanted or planned for happened when they weren’t looking.  What is it that happened?  I will leave you to discover it when you read the book.  I enjoyed how the author in her notes after the story shares her reason and hope in writing the book.

I found myself engaged in the scenes described and my heart tugged and pulled in the tale.  The story shares hope after devastation, perseverance after multiple obstacles enter the characters’ paths, and the ultimate love of God woven throughout the novel.  Each of her three novels I found fascinating and time flew as I kept turning the pages long into the night.

So, if you’re looking for some solid stories to give or receive this holiday season, look no further because Rebekah’s novels more than fit the heart!

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, November 21, 2017

Kislev - the 9th Hebrew month that shines in the darkness

For the Cause of Freedom (My Brother’s Flag #2)


Title:  For the Cause of Freedom (My Brother’s Flag #2)

Author:  Rebekah Colburn

Pages:  400

Year:  2016

Publisher:  CreateSpace

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

What a heart-grabbing tale filled with action, adventure and fraught with danger.  The bigger picture is dealing with whether a fractured family can be made whole again when two brothers served for different sides.  What happens to the human heart and soul when families are torn asunder due to vastly different beliefs and decisions made in the heat of the moment?

The story focuses on the younger of two brothers, Charlie, and his adventures or misadventures as he serves for the cause he believes is just.  In the background, is mention of some historical facts that are woven in the tale.  However, the author really centers her attention on a single family that is really a snapshot of what was happening all throughout the nation in this time of war. 

Can faith really make stone cold hearts that refuse to forgive, melt and forgive never to recall the pain of the past?  I thought Rebekah did an excellent job of portraying it isn’t about being easy; it is hard, filled with tears, but eventually hearts can mend.  The cost of laying down one’s pride or not laying it down is well seen in the book in many scenes.

The hope is there throughout the story even when lives are lost.  Deep questions of the soul are pondered and eventually the war ends.  It is a timely novel for our society today as we can remember that in the end, many choose to help heal the nation and help those who needed not just a compassionate heart but a hand up to rise above their status.

Take time this winter to enjoy both books in the series as you will be touched in your own heart as I was!

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, November 20, 2017

"Enemy" in ancient Hebrew!

On Grounds of Honor (My Brothers Flag #1)


Title:  On Grounds of Honor (My Brothers Flag #1)

Author:  Rebekah Colburn

Pages:  332

Year:  2015

Publisher:  CreateSpace

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Whether it is referred to as The War Between the States or the Civil War, this tale is captivating.  If you love to read historical fiction, this book is one you’ll enjoy!  The characters’ family name is Turner with the father, two grown sons and a large farm in Maryland.  The Turners work hard each day from sunrise to sunset when the growing rumble of war edges closer to intruding upon the family’s life.

The Turner sons, Jeremiah and Charlie, have opposing views about the War.  Their father urges calm, taking no part in dividing the family let alone the nation.  However, soon it becomes apparent that the family can no longer live day-to-day as if the war is somewhere far away.  Jeremiah is married to Clara and soon enlists.  Clara must learn how to live without her husband, trying not to fear losing the love of her life and keep the home fires burning.

Charlie has been gone from the home and the family has little knowledge of where he is.  All they feel they can do is pray for him daily.  The author really drew me into this well-written, heart-gripping tale of a torn family, a lonely wife and father.  Clara has her family close by and there are things occurring there that cause Clara’s heart to break.  I have read many stories placed during this timeframe and each is unique; this one is no exception.

Audiences will find themselves engrossed and engaged in the family trials and that of the soldiers as they await battle or are engaged in the thick of gun smoke.  The ending of the tale is written with both heartbreak and hope that to me is realistic.  Read On Grounds of Honor and don’t be surprised if you find yourself burning the midnight oil continuously turning 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.”

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Gift (The Amish of Hart County #3)


Title:  The Gift (The Amish of Hart County #3)

Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray

Pages:  248 (ARC)

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Avon Inspire

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Susanna Schwartz and her family are excited to be living on their own farm for the first time ever.  Her father had to work for an Englisher on a farm until they could save enough money to buy their own farm.  They have had to leave their Amish community in Ohio and move to Kentucky, but they are looking forward to making new friends as well as celebrating Christmas in their new home.  Soon after the move in, Susanna has a buggy accident when her horse is spooked by some gunshots fired too close to the buggy.  The shooter is not caught and she begins to think maybe a hunter had some shots go astray.  She learns that the local community isn’t very friendly toward her family.  The circumstances of the family who had lived on the farm previously and had been forced to sell their home are made known to her.  She meets one of the sons of that family, who she forms a friendship with after some awkward and tense conversations.  Then, someone destroys part of the fence on the family’s property.  Susanna begins to suspect someone wants them to leave the farm.

Neil Vance was angry and embarrassed that the whole community knew his family had to sell their farm due to their father’s poor investments and then gambling debts.  He takes out his anger on Susanna upon their first conversation.  He knows he has treated her unkindly.  He apologizes and then forms a friendship with her.  He begins to take her seriously about someone wanting them off the farm when several incidents occur, each one more dangerous than the last.  They take their suspicions to the local sheriff, but he doesn’t seem to take them seriously.  Is her family going to have to live in fear indefinitely?

I have read the other two books in this series and found them to be suspenseful, but this third book lacked that element for me.  It was evident to me who the culprit was early in the story, and the ending proved anticlimactic.  I did like the characters’ appreciation for God’s creation in nature and their emphasis on faith and family.  This is not a bad book by any means; it just didn’t captivate me like some of the author’s other books.  Sometimes a book and a reader just don’t mesh, and this was one of those books for me.  I will continue to read her writings and look forward to what she publishes next.

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

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story #3)


Title:  Love Held Captive (A Lone Star Hero’s Love Story #3)

Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray

Pages:  328

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

In this third book of the series, readers have the romances of Ethan Kelly and Devin Monroe presented.  The story is set in Texas in the year 1867, just a couple of years after the end of the Civil War.  All the main male characters in this series fought for the Confederacy.

Ethan Kelly is now a gambler after the war, refusing to return home and take over the vast Kelly family ranch.  He is haunted by the memory of a woman who had her home raided by Ethan and a small band of soldiers during the war, taking the last of everything she had.  He knows he acted ungentlemanly to say the least and longs to make it right, but how?  He doesn’t even know her name.  He returns to his rooms at a hotel to find that very woman in his room, shaking in fear.

Devin Monroe has spent most of his life around men with little experience interacting with ladies.  One particular lady has caught his attention and he decides to get to know her better.  What he discovers about her is more than he bargained for.  He makes a snap judgment about her, writing her off as a possible wife.  Ethan comes for a visit and Devin realizes he might have judged her too quickly, but how can he make things right?

Devin and Ethan discover their respective ladies have something, or rather someone, in common.  This person is an enemy of both men and has brought much hardship into the lives of these two women.  Ethan and Devin decide he must be dealt with.  They call on the other two remaining members of their band of brothers, Robert Truax and Thomas Baker to come and help them.

This is a wonderful trilogy that would make a great gift for the holiday season, or any time of the year!  The author does a great job of writing about this time period and was able to draw me in from beginning to end with a compelling set of stories.  The four main characters in this book all suffer from shame and feeling unworthy at one point or another.  They have been forced to do terrible things to survive the war and life.  They must come to grips with how this has affected their lives and actions.  Forgiveness must be offered and accepted.  Love will be offered, but will it be accepted?

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, November 15, 2017

Murder in Disguise (A Preston Barclay Mystery)



Title:  Murder in Disguise (A Preston Barclay Mystery)
Author:  Donn Taylor
Pages:  312
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Lamplighter Mysteries
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
The first book in the series to read is Rhapsody in Red.  Book two in the series is titled, Murder, Mezzo Forte.  The series is about a quirky kind of professor of history who ends up involved in solving murders.  Preston has a sidekick who is also a professor although in a different area of study named Mara.  Both Preston and Mara have personal histories that affect a possible romance or future together.
The one thing Preston keeps doing in this installment that I laughed at was always having a ham sandwich and coffee when at home; this character evidently can’t cook.  A good friend of Preston’s committed suicide.  At least that is the ruling and what he is told when he comes to the university to teach a summer course.  However, that never set well with Preston and while teaching, he meets with the widow and she asks him to look in to her husband’s death.
Readers will enjoy how what looks like a simple plot quickly spins into a much wider social menace in the community and at the university where Preston is teaching.  There are other murders happening and the police keep looking at Preston and wondering if it is because he is “investigating” his friends suicide.  The themes the story deals with show, at least in my opinion, what is happening at schools in the way students are taught, or not taught, and how that directly influences society.
The story shows how some Christian professors stand up to “progressive” nonsense type teaching as well as the teaching being anti-Christian.  I love how the author had Preston, Mara and some students stand up to the push of the left and stand by their Christian beliefs.  I loved how Preston and Mara handle their relationship in the professional and personal realms.
The ending was a stroke of genius as I never saw the climax coming so dramatically and gripping!  There is no mention of another novel forthcoming, but I certainly hope that another one will come out at some point.  These books are not just entertaining, funny, and faith filled; they are also great at making some observations about what is happening in society in our day.
Grab the books, sit with a hot chocolate and enjoy the tales!
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, November 14, 2017

Deeds of Darkness (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon #10)


Title:  Deeds of Darkness (The Chronicles of Hugh de Singleton, surgeon #10)

Author:  Mel Starr

Pages:  234

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Master Hugh de Singleton now narrates his tenth chronicle for readers.  Once again, readers are transported to the village of Brampton, England in the 14th century.  Hugh is tasked once again with solving a murder in his role as bailiff for Lord Gilbert.  This time murder visits someone Hugh knows from the village, someone he has worked with before.

In searching for clues, Hugh must make many trips to Oxford as well as a local abbey.  More and more thefts are begin committed in the area, as well as murder.  Hugh chases down clues related to a group of well-dressed young gentlemen as well as a group of poorly clad scholars or priests in ragged black robes.  Are either group connected to the crimes, or is there another criminal at work yet to be discovered?

In addition, Hugh visits his father-in-law while in Oxford and discovers him close to death and his shop making no money.  He has also recently been robbed of the few books he might have sold.  Hugh decides to bring his father-in-law to Galen House where he might live his last days.  Once under Hugh’s roof and Kate’s good cooking, his father-in-law sees an immediate improvement in his health.  The three of them hash out the information related to the various crimes, which helps Hugh’s thinking process.

I so enjoy visiting Hugh and the familiar cast of characters who aid in his crime solving.  I like reading about the food eaten and clothes worn during that time as well as how difficult it was to survive in that time.  The observations of human nature, subtle humorous jabs, and words of wisdom were quite often true. The glossary and map at the beginning of the story was also helpful.  Hugh has matured since his first chronicle.  He has learned to hold his temper better and control his tongue more.  The next book in the series is titled, Prince Edward’s Warrant.  I am already anxiously awaiting a trip to the 1300s English countryside!

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, November 13, 2017

Plummet


Title:  Plummet

Author:  Brandilyn Collins

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Stonewater Books

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

In this fictional story, a single mother with a 13-year-old daughter moves to a small town to begin their lives over after being shattered by divorce.  Cara begins working for a man who owns his own business, making investments for them, preparing taxes and more.  Barely there two weeks and Cara’s life is about to take a twist that boggles the mind as the man she works for will intimidate her to do his bidding.  The man is J. L. Larrett.  The town believes is an upstanding citizen and wonderful family man.  J. L. knows everyone in town and therefore he begins to bully Cara into doing his underhanded actions or face the consequences.

What Cara never sees coming is the cunning and deceiving way her boss soon entraps not just her but also her 13-year-old daughter Riley.  So begins the rollercoaster ride for Cara, feeling more and more of her life coming under her the control of her boss without any hope for escape.  Cara thought this new job and town would be the place to start anew without her past of being abused repeating itself.

The author does an amazing job at keeping the story moving at a good clip without losing the reader.  I loved the way the tension slowly built in the tale and the ending was just outstanding and filled with hope!  Put this book on your to read list or grab a copy, a warm drink for a cold night, and plan to spend some time in a truly heart-pounding novel that will leave you breathless at the end!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Miraculous Signs

Miraculous Signs: The miracles and miraculous authority invested into the twelve validated the message by proving that the power of the kingdom was present with them. In the Messianic Era, sickness and disease will be subdued, the dead will be raised, and Satan and his evil servants will be bound in chains.

Many Sparrows


Title:  Many Sparrows

Author:  Lori Benton

Pages:  400

Year:  2017

Publisher:  WaterBrook

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

If you have never read any of Lori Benton’s novels, now is a great time to start!  Her newest novel grabbed my heart and attention from the first words all the way through till the very climactic conclusion!  Lori Benton brings together threads of Scripture, faith, romance, action and adventure plus more to weave a masterpiece that was worth waiting for!

Set in the prerevolutionary times in the Ohio and Kentucky lands, readers will be instantly drawn into a story when a family enters territory that is set to explode with an Indian uprising.  There is palpable tension between the wife and her husband which only escalates when he leaves to find help after their wagon breaks down.  Soon, it becomes apparent that Philip isn’t coming back to Clare, who is near her birthing time, and their small son Jacob.

When the pangs of birth begin, much sooner than she thought, she goes to a place to give birth away from her small son to spare him the sight.  What Clare didn’t count on was Jacob disappearing and a stranger appearing to help her in her greatest hour of need!  Readers are quickly set on a heart-pounding path of discovering what happens to Clare, Philip, and Jacob along with the new baby that is very hard to put down!

Lori does a masterful job of placing before us the truth of how hard at times trusting in God is especially when there is nothing anyone can do to change the circumstances.  Her characters reflect the sorrow of soul, tears of pain, and those moments of the glorious hope and peace that God alone can give to those who release their hearts and problems completely to the Lord.

For me, I could relate to Clare in her struggles, tears and learning that God hears the cry of His children.   We also learn the truth of Matthew 10:29-31 (NASB): “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent?  And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

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, November 8, 2017

Seaside Secrets (Pacific Coast Private Eyes)


Title:  Seaside Secrets (Pacific Coast Private Eyes)

Author:  Dana Mentink

Pages:  219         

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

As a reader, do you ever look for something to read that is quick but exciting to read?  I enjoy the many different stories and authors in the Love Inspired Suspense books.  These books include romance, action, adventure and more.  They are small enough to carry around and short enough for when a quick read is all one desires.  I picked up Dana’s book recently from my personal library collection as the picture and the series, Pacific Coast Private Eyes, is about a diverse family who endured tragedy and came from various careers to keep their father’s company operating.

In this installment, we read Navy Chaplain Angela Gallaher’s story about serving overseas and coming home on leave to see if her shattered life and faith can be restored.  While in the town of Cobalt Cove, taking time to face her personal struggle with PTSD, she meets Dr. Dan Blackwell who also served overseas in the same area.  He is recovering from a serious hand injury and unsure if he will ever return to the operating room, because all he can remember are the names of those whom he couldn’t save.

Now, with two threads of the tale going on, another one is added when Abigail’s twin brother nicknamed Tank, contacts her for reasons she has yet to understand.  While she understands her family business is being private eyes, she also knows she isn’t ready to enter that world until she can face her own demons.  Soon, the mystery of Tank’s contact turns into a deeper mystery involving many more characters in the story and discovering nefarious actions going on in the local hospital.  Along with a couple of antagonistic brothers who appear to people as one thing, but might be something altogether darker once the layers are peeled back from their lives.  What else is happening in the shadows of the beauty of Cobalt Cove?  Grab a copy and discover for yourself.

I highly recommend the whole series as Dana Mentink does a fabulous job of weaving a gripping story right from the first page!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A Dangerous Legacy


Title:  A Dangerous Legacy
Author:  Elizabeth Camden
Pages:  339
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Bethany House
My rating is 3 out of 5 stars.
Sir Colin Beckwith has come to the United States from Britain to improve Reuters subscriptions and hopefully marry a rich heiress to infuse his crumbling estates, Whitefriars, with much need cash to make repairs.  He also supports 90 tenant workers on his estate.  He knows he is marrying for money and not for love, but he is determined to carry on the family legacy and lands.  He meets Lucy and soon wants her to be in his life permanently, but she has no money to provide as a dowry so they go their separate ways.  That is until she learns of an assassination plot and reels him into the fray.
Lucy Drake has fought her wealthy relatives all her life.  A 40-year-old lawsuit has cost her just about everything.  She works as a telegrapher for the AP, which is housed in the same building as their competitor, Reuters.  To keep tabs on the case, her brother has installed a wire that allows her to eavesdrop on her relatives’ lawyer.  The lawsuit stems from an invention of a water valve that revolutionizes water delivery.  While eavesdropping she learns of an assassination plot.  She takes her information to the police, but realizes they think she is just a distraught woman and don’t take her seriously.  She tells Colin of her finding and he agrees to help her get definitive proof.
I have read all of Elizabeth Camden’s books and have found her to be a wonderful writer with great historical details and settings for her tales.  This story, however, I just couldn’t get into.  I saw very little mention of God or faith to make this a Christian book.  Lucy and Colin both are tied to their pasts and think that by doing something in the now it will change their futures.  Colin never mentions God, so readers don’t know where he stands as far as his faith, and Lucy only mentions God once or twice.  I kept waiting for more revelation of a spiritual awakening or realization that God is their source of joy, but that never came.  I didn’t really like the relationship between Colin and Lucy.  The ending of the story felt hurried and left me feeling unfulfilled.  I will continue reading this author’s books because her past works have been very good.  Occasionally, a book and a reader just don’t mesh and this was such a book for me.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Generous Lies


Title:  Generous Lies (Hidden Truth #3)

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  386

Year:  2017

Publisher:  CreateSpace

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Generous Lies is the third installment in the Hidden Truth series.  The first two novels are Convenient Lies and Twisted Lies.  Robin Patchen’s stories are very riveting with a mixture of adventure, danger, mystery and a touch of romance.  Here, a former FBI agent, Garrison, and his son are in a small town while his son recovers from a mixture of drugs he took at a party.  At the same time, a young man’s father has given him a mysterious package to hide until the time for delivery.

When these two events collide, the party and hiding the package, tension ramps up when undesirable repercussions occur.  Aiden, who is recovering from his drug affects, now faces the only real choice he has, which is rehab.  Garrison, who has been talking with Samantha, who owns the cabins on the lake where they are staying, are falling hard for each other, but their pasts are causing some obstacles they must decide to be honest about or let the possible future together go.

Each tale in the series is riveting and grabs not just the attention of readers like myself but the heart too.  The perfect balance of real life issues, with a climatic ending makes for very exciting reading for me! There will soon be another novel in the series to be released by the author, so if you want to catch up in the story make these books a part of your holiday wish list.  Maybe you know readers who would enjoy the series and give them a book or two to start their journey of adventure!

Don’t pass up Robin’s wonderful Hidden Truth series; it is the best with more to come!

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, November 3, 2017

Giver of Wonders


Title:  Giver of Wonders

Author:  Roseanna M. White

Pages:  321

Year:  2017

Publisher:  WhiteFire

My rating 5+ stars out of 5.

I read the synopsis of the novel when trying to decide which novel to pick up and read after just completing a book.  Before reading Giver of Wonders, I went to the back of the book to read the author’s note, which I like to do to see why the story was written.  With the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for this book to be published and read by many people.  Some are tired of the commercialism of the times, which the author is as well and that propelled her to look for a fresh perspective.  Giver of Wonders is the result of her search, and I thank her for sharing this wonderful and inspiring tale with audiences.

The tale was written to share the truth, set in fiction, of a man known by many as Saint Nickolas or Santa Claus.  Readers are propelled back in time to a faraway place where tension between the Jewish people and Hellenists was real where living as a believer unashamed and vocal could be costly.  This is the story about the Visibullis family with three grown daughters whose father has put forth a fa├žade.  Only the truth is known by his wife for a time.  Dorus was a man who lived well beyond his means.  To have the money for his daughters’ dowries, he sends his wife begging to her father for her inheritance when tragedy strikes.

From that point forward, readers will become more engaged with each page turned to see what will befall the family the townspeople despise.  The only hope for the three daughters is the faith they put in Christ alone and that faith becomes sorely tested.  I loved the book; it really was inspiring and challenging.  The characters’ faith standing or falling, depending on what was happening in the household, or whether each man who agreed to marry each daughter would stay true to his word despite pressure from family or others.

Watching the slowly revealing faith of Nickolas, learning his true calling in life and whether he would trust and obey the Lord above all else.  Here is a book that can be given to readers that will touch hearts, minds and souls with the message of God’s love, His gift of sending Jesus and remaining faithful in the face of intense trials.  For me, the lasting impression was how important it is to share the testimony of our faith with generations that follow us, and tell and retell the true history of people like Nickolas to inspire the next generation to carry that Light forth! 

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. A positive review was not required.


for KING & COUNTRY "Shoulders" (Official Live Room Session)

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Rescued Hearts


Title:  Rescued Hearts

Author:  Hope Toler Dougherty

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Mantle Rock Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

What an exciting story!  First, readers meet a woman out on a bike ride named Mary Wade.  The next thing you know she is kidnapped.  From that point on, Mary tries to start a business, heal from her encounter, try not to like the detective who rescued her and so much more!  Believe me, at the end of the book, I thought the story was over only to find out there was a touch of genius I had yet to discover in the plot!

Mary is trying to find her way in a world where parents are encouraging her.  She is danger or pain, needing to learn to rely on God more and that’s hard for Mary.  Plus, when the man she is smitten with can’t make up his mind as he argues within himself for and against a relationship with her, well that sure doesn’t help quiet the insecurity in Mary’s heart.

Add to that an experience with a hurricane, a teenager asking Mary hard questions about God, and more and what do you find?  A story that is intriguing to read, and enjoyable along with a few serious and funny moments.  Mary has such a hard time when it seems like all her friends are married.  She just isn’t someone who grabs the attention of a man worth spending time with until danger is right in her face!

However, don’t take my word for it.  Grab a copy, enjoy the adventure and tension in the plot along with learning to believe in God in good times and in bad.  I hope you really make time to soak up the tale and share the book with readers you know because it is one nobody should pass up!

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, November 1, 2017

The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon (His Earliest Outlines & Sermons Between 1851 & 1954 Vol. 2)


Title:  The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon (His Earliest Outlines & Sermons Between 1851 & 1954 Vol. 2)

Author:  Christian George (editor)

Pages:  576

Year:  2017

Publisher:  B & H Academic

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I came to know and love Spurgeon’s writings mainly through my son who loves reading and contemplating what those who have gone before us have left behind for us.  The volumes of Spurgeon’s outlines, sermons, the pictures and introduction by the editor give us glimpse of one of those who is among the “great cloud of witnesses” as Hebrews 12:1 states.  Charles Hadden Spurgeon wrote constantly and left for those who are here to carry the mantle of sharing Christ with the world a wealth of wisdom!

To see the pictures of writings in his own hand of what he learned from the Word of God and preparation of sharing with others is staggering.  In a day where so much is instant, quickly said, noted or texted and then forgotten even quicker, these volumes remind us to take time to leave behind for others what the Lord teaches us.

While no man will ever state or write complete truth for only the Bible is inspired and without error, we can learn, meditate, and share in the joy of the Lord from Spurgeon.  When I look at the dates and realize our country would soon be thrown into Civil War within a decade of his writing, it makes what he wrote very poignant and pragmatic.  Please don’t dismiss these books right off because you’re from a different denomination or theological stance; there is truly a treasure trove of wisdom here to be opened and enjoyed.

The sermons cover a multitude of different portions of Scripture sometimes being about one verse and other times more than one verse.  Spurgeon’s volumes cover both the Old & New Testaments.  Next summer, volume 3 will be released and I will be adding it to my personal library for my enjoyment and then for my sons’ families after I go to be with the Lord.  Our personal libraries are something we can pass on to our children and grandchildren or strangers.

So, view this with a heart and vision that look past today to what may be, and add Spurgeon’s wisdom to your library to meditate on and leave for the next generation to glean wisdom from 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.”