Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Study Tonight at 7p EST

In the Shadow of Denali (The Heart of Alaska #1)


Title:  In the Shadow of Denali (The Heart of Alaska #1)
Author:  Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse
Pages:  320
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
First, let me say that this rating is not based on who the authors are, but on the story.  The authors go to great extent to share what is true historical fact along with what came from their imaginations.  Also, they include websites readers can access to gain further insight and a couple of hard print books as well.  I love the historical aspect because it isn’t just events, but people... who they are, what they accomplished and how they lived.  Also, the authors share updated information about the Curry hotel, lookout and the people who have lived there for so long a time.  It was very interesting and fascinating to read and remember that what happened in the story and in history was during WWI.
What I loved too was learning the name of the tribe that lived in the area and a man who worked to put their language in writing.  Alaska is a very intriguing place that someday I hope to visit as much of it isn’t touched by man.  I have read the other stories Tracie Peterson wrote that were placed in Alaska as well so when a new series was announced set in Alaska, I couldn’t wait to read them!  Kimberley Woodhouse has written a couple of novels as well and I believe they are set in Alaska too.  Together these two authors make a formidable well-researched team!
Here the story takes place in Curry, Alaska in the year 1917.  The characters are varied and interesting, especially Cassidy Faith who was based on a real, special, young lady known to the authors.  Cassidy’s character father is from Alaska and knows the language, people and area like the back of his hand.  He is the tour guide for the hotel.  The themes of faith, love and redemption are set alongside a novel rich with action, adventure and mystery.
I was so grabbed by the story that I ordered a copy of one book recommended by the authors to learn more from the men who actually climbed Mount McKinley.  Please take time to enjoy the fictional story and then read about the real people and times in Alaska’s history.  You will be extremely glad to have done so!

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, January 30, 2017

The Mark of the King


Go To: https://promosimple.com/ps/afa3



Title:  The Mark of the King
Author:  Jocelyn Green
Pages:  416
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
I read Jocelyn Green’s Civil War Behind the Line Series where she explores heroines who faced insurmountable odds to bring aid, comfort and more to the war effort.  Now, the author brings to life a time where women were selected, forced to marry and then transported across the ocean to populate the colony of Louisiana. 
Julianne is a midwife who had apprenticed for a long time before she worked as the main midwife women required.  Her assistant now was once her mentor.  When together they attend a birthing that goes horribly wrong, Julianne is not only sent to prison but marked for life as a criminal.  Julianne has more than one reason to go across the ocean and that is to locate her only family member, a brother.
As I read, I couldn’t imagine being marked as a murderess for life and anyone who saw the mark would recognize its meaning.  The shame and living without any hope of redemption is unimaginable and yet it was so at that time in France.  I loved how Jocelyn did such an enormous amount of research that as a reader I easily picked up on as I kept turning pages.  There are facts about New Orleans I had no idea of as well as history of the prisons long ago and in a different nation.  I knew something about the mark as it has been portrayed in movies, but reading the novel made me more aware of the depth of shame attached to the irremovable brand.
Being forced to marry and choosing someone not knowing who they were and knowing that if Julianne didn’t choose one she was told one would be chosen for her, is unthinkable.  Then, the way the guards would make sure the marriage was consummated before the couples left France was horrible.  Simon was a character that I am sure was written to be a cad, though at times he seemed nice.  While the time period isn’t one of my main choices for reading, I enjoyed the story more for its history.
It would have moved faster for me if there was some action and adventure like the author put in her other series.  If you like a novel that has romance, history and a tale about grace that covers all marks of sin, then look no further!

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.”

Returning (A Seer Novel #3)

Title:  Retuning (A Seer Novel #3)
Author:  Rachelle Dekker
Pages:  432
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
This series begins with the first novel titled, Choosing, that is followed by Calling and then this final novel that takes place twenty years after the end of Calling.  At first, I was concerned that if so much time elapsed in the story would I be able to pick up the book and be able to follow the plot or characters?  Undoubtedly, the answer is yes!  Rachelle Dekker does a fantastic job of reminding readers of some past actions, adventures and who the main characters were before leading us on the final adventure of the series.
I found myself remembering Carrington, Remko, Jesse, Elsie, and others and understanding their current living situation.  More importantly is where their hearts and souls are abiding, either in fear or in the light of the truth that the Father shows.  At times, I felt my heart as gripped as a mother like Carrington as she longed to know what happened to her and Remko’s firstborn who was stolen from them so long ago.  I easily was caught up not just in the action but in wondering above all what is the spiritual truth being reflected in this work of fiction.
For me, I see where people all have a choice of where to allow their hearts and souls to dwell, either in the hand of the Father or not.  I understood the spiritual warfare that was reflected throughout all three books as well as the human heart factor that can at times mess up our understanding of spiritual truths.   The love of God is another truth I believe woven in the books and the need for us to constantly be reminded of to Whom we belong and the truth He speaks.
All three books are interdependent and I can’t see reading one book without having read the others.  The climactic conclusion was extremely powerful, moving and beautiful.  As always I think it is hard to end a series for both the author and readers who become so engrossed with the story that we want it to keep going.  However, if one must complete a series, this was a beautiful picture of how it should end.  These novels are great for reading, discussing and sharing with others!

Author Q & A here:http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/2017/01/meet-author-rachelle-dekker.html

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

Meet Author Rachelle Dekker


Q & A with Rachelle Dekker Author of The Returning

 The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She graduated with a degree in communications and spent several years in marketing and corporate recruiting before making the transition to write full-time. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat, Blair.

1. Set the scene for The Returning. What has happened since The Calling ended?
Well, it’s been nearly 20 years, and the world has changed. I don’t want to give too much away for those who haven’t read the first two, so I’ll just say the world is very different and much more dangerous than it once was. But something is brewing under the surface. Change is coming, and people know it.

 2. What themes are explored in this book?
Identity is something I am always exploring, so that’s no different in The Returning. But in this novel I took a really hard look at forgiveness and how that relates to our journey of discovering who we really are.

 3. How have Carrington and Remko developed as characters throughout this series? 
Well, we meet them as young adults, just out of their teen years, and we find them middle-aged in book three. So we’ve journeyed quite a bit of life with them. They have grown and changed, as people do, and even in this last novel they struggle with remembering their true identities. I believe life is always stretching us and showing us different ways to love, so their growth reflects that.

4. The Returning focuses on Carrington and Remko’s daughter Elise.
Tell us more about Elise’s character and her growth throughout the book. Elise starts the book in a pretty dark place. She grew up without parents, believing she was abandoned, only to discover there’s an entire world that has been kept from her. Her journey can be divided into two parts, in my opinion: first, learning who she really is; and second, learning how to live that out. It’s the same journey we all take, and I believe that makes her pretty relatable.

5. You talk about the power of belief in the book.
What is the purpose of faith, and what makes faith so powerful in people’s lives? Belief and faith are everything. We form our own realities. We make judgments based on the past and what we think the future will bring; then we shape our idea of what we are capable of around those beliefs. Imagine if we truly believed we were infinite sons and daughters of the creator. How  different would the world look then? When we believe and have faith in who the Father calls us, then the world looks pretty different.

 6. Aaron is a somewhat mysterious character throughout the series.
What is he supposed to represent and what kind of spiritual leader is he? I like to leave this one open, which I know isn’t really the answer you want. I want the reader to decide who he is to them. For me he’s a guiding light, an angel maybe, a representation of the spirit who communicates with us and leads us. He can be many things—mostly, though, he’s a great way to hear truth.

7. The theme of identity is explored in all three Seer books. How does forgiveness relate to identity?
For me, forgiveness is more about the one who feels wronged than the one who committed the wrong. What if, for a moment, you believed that nothing could harm you? That you, as a believer, are seated at the Father’s table and standing with him? Can anything harm the Father? If you believe no, then can anything harm you—the true you, the true spirited self? So then, forgiveness becomes more about letting go of false belief and stepping into the true identity that the Father gave to you. I know it’s radical, but belief like that could change the world, don’t you think?

8. How do you hope this book will resonate with your readers?
I hope, as with both of the other books, that the reader sees themselves in the characters and that the story causes them to look inward. To ask hard questions like, Who am I? What am I capable of? Do I see myself the way the Father does? Can I? I hope it challenges their idea of identity and then gives them hope to see themselves and others more clearly. Because that’s how these stories have impacted me, and we are all really just the same.


ISBN: 978-1-4964-0228-8 ;HC 978-1-4964-0229-5 SC
 Hardcover: $22.99 
Softcover: $15.99 
January 17, 2017 
Tyndale.com 
RachelleDekker.com

Note: The above Q & A including pictures was provided by Tyndale Fiction. 
          Kristen Schumacher | kristenschumacher@tyndale.com | 630.784.5126

Saturday, January 28, 2017

God’s Generals

Title:  God’s Generals
Author:  Robert Liardon
Pages:  415
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Whitaker House
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org
In his sixth book, God’s Generals:  Martyrs, Roberts Liardon covers some of the martyrs of the Christian faith.  Roberts Liardon discusses martyrs such as Paul, Polycarp, Thomas Cranmer, and many others.  The book covers multiple martyrs spanning from the birth of Christianity to today over many parts of the world throughout time.  The author is very thorough in going through the events that show the persecution the church and missionaries have faced for centuries.  Throughout the book the author points out how martyrs are a good role model for grace under pressure.  Each section of the book covers a time period, and the martyrs discussed within each period in history are given a clear background into their lives and respective callings.
God’s Generals:  Martyrs is a book that comes at a critical time in the Christian Church; a time when Christians face persecution in places like China, Afghanistan, and Syria.  Robert touches on this topic right at the beginning of the book.  He emphasizes the fact that this persecution is, while terrible, something that provides an opportunity to show God’s love even to those that want to kill His messengers.  The book tells the historical facts of those believers who came before and gave their all to spread the Gospel and make a stand for truth.  God’s Generals is an important read for Christians today, giving us a clear and informative picture of those brothers and sisters that came before us, and the example they gave in their lives.  This book is a must read for anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge on Church history or wishes to learn more about martyrs of the faith.

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, January 27, 2017

Chasing Freedom (Against All Enemies, The Prequel)


Title:  Chasing Freedom (Against All Enemies, The Prequel)
Author:  H.L. Wegley
Pages:  328
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Trinity Press International
My rating is 4 stars.
Having read the prior two books in the series, Voice in the Wilderness and Voice of Freedom, I read this as the third book in the series.  If you haven’t read books one and two, then skip the prologue and epilogue and this can be read as a prequel to books one and two.  This book centers on the story of Allie and Jeff, who were introduced to me in Voice in the Wilderness.  It takes place in Oregon approximately four years prior to book one.
Alejandra Santiago or Allie to her family is a pharmacy student at Oregon State University.  She is to meet with her parents and younger brother who are traveling to the U.S. from Mexico on visas to work in the U.S.  Her family fails to show up at the meeting place and Allie is kidnapped.  Allie soon realizes her family has been taken as slave labor to the drug cartel they tried to thwart in Mexico.  The drug cartel now has them working for nothing processing marijuana and has the same or worse in mind for Allie.  She manages to escape and begins a miles’ long run literally into the arms of Jeff Jacobs.
Jeff Jacobs is a former Olympic level decathlon competitor.  He has returned home to Oregon after his mother’s death two months prior in disgrace.  A lot of the local townsfolk don’t want him around.  Jeff and Allie immediately connect with one another and Jeff offers to do whatever he can to help Allie and rescue her family.  The drug cartel that kidnapped Allie will stop at nothing to get rid of these two and keep their drug empire intact.  Along the way, Jeff learns Allie is on the “outs” with God and shows her the love of God in Jeff’s love, compassion and self-sacrifice.
There is action, romance and suspense in this story.  I missed the patriotic theme of standing up for our country that was so evident in the first two books.  This book is more focused on one family’s quest for freedom.  This is still a good story that can be read quickly due to the constant action, so readers will never suffer from boredom!  I also liked the banter between Allie and Jeff and the two marshals sent to protect them.

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

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Voice of Freedom (Against All Enemies #2)

Title:  Voice of Freedom (Against All Enemies #2)
Author:  H.L. Wegley
Pages:  345
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Trinity Press International
My rating is 5 stars.
Wow!  The action starts from the beginning of this story and doesn’t stop until the end!  This is a political action novel that will keep you glued to the pages from the get-go.  This second book in the Against All Enemies series still has Brock Daniels and company on the run from the President of the United States.  This story begins in Israel where the team has fled, but their whereabouts are soon discovered and they are attacked with an RPG during a wedding ceremony!  Then, they are on the run to Canada where they are again quickly forced to flee.  They end up back in the United States in a red state, which means the state is anti-President Hannan.
Julia Weiss and Steve Bancroft have formed an attachment to each other, but each feels unworthy of the other’s love.  They are also willing to sacrifice themselves to keep the others alive as they eventually face a full company of more than 200 Special Forces Rangers sent by the evil President Hannan.  During their escapes, Brock posts on his blog whenever possible more and more antagonistic rhetoric against President Hannan in the hopes of making him so angry he will make a mistake and then Brock and his team will have him!
While on the run, Brock, KC, Julia, Steve, Jeff and Allie along with their Israeli protector Benjamin manage to keep their faith.  The Americans kept their fierce patriotism alive and at the forefront of their battle against tyranny.  Thank you Mr. Wegley for writing such an inspired, patriotic story with examples of what patriots can look like and how they act.  Their trust in God’s provision was also a great witness.  I look forward to book three, Chasing Freedom for more action packed adventure!

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

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Voice in the Wilderness (Against All Enemies #1)

Title:  Voice in the Wilderness (Against All Enemies #1)
Author:  H.L. Wegley
Pages:  396
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Trinity Press International
My rating is 5 stars.
Brock Daniels is a young, 24-year-old writer.  He has begun writing a blog on the state of the union so to speak.  He talks about the politics of the United States and more specifically the President of the United States and his offenses against the U.S.  He is steadily gaining more and more followers and comes to the attention of the President.  The President does have a secret plan to take over the country and Brock is throwing a wrench into these plans.  A secret organization has put him in the highest office of the nation to do their bidding in exchange for power, fame and prestige.  The President will stop at nothing to achieve his goals, including murder.  Will he go that far to silence Brock?
KC Banning works with computers in the White House.  She discovers something disturbing about the President and threatens to expose his deeds to the public.  She becomes an instant threat that the President has to eliminate…permanently.  She flees to the place and one person she knows she can trust no matter what.  She has trusted him and loved him since she was a young girl.  She knows Brock will protect her and help her.  The one question KC has for Brock is does he love her the way she loves him?  Her faith in God has been faint, but can Brock and/or their circumstances revive it?  As she and Brock go on the run, face off against special forces soldiers and many harrowing events, will their relationship even have a chance to develop as they are labeled terrorists by the President?
Today our country needs many more people willing to be another Brock Daniels or KC Banning and stand up for our Constitution, our rights as U.S. Citizens and be willing to follow where God calls no matter the personal cost.  I loved the patriotic theme and faith portrayed in the story!  These two young people in the story showed such courage in the face of overwhelming odds.  These two ordinary people stood up to evil on a big scale and won the battle.  They haven’t won the war yet, but they are gathering the forces of good to take on the enemy so tune in for the next battle in Voice of Freedom, book two in the series.  I’m sure this second book will have just as much action and tension as book one.  So, if you like political thrillers, this is one book you won’t want to 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.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Study tonight of Romans chapter 2 @ 7pm EST

Petticoat Spy


Title:  Petticoat Spy
Author:  Carol Warburton
Pages:  296
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 stars.
The year is 1775 and tempers are running hot as the colonists, or rebels as they are called by loyal Tories, are gathering information, ammunition and guns to stockpile for the unavoidable oncoming war with England.  The story is set in the Boston area.  The two main characters are Gideon Whitlock and Abigail Stowell, both young and passionate about what they believe to be in the colonies’ best interest.
Upon first meeting, Abigail is not much impressed with Gideon whom she believes to be a Tory while she and her family are staunch rebels against King George.  However, Abigail soon realizes everything is not as it appears and that Gideon is a rebel spy.  Abigail is soon drawn into the political intrigue in the place of her father who is easily recognized in Boston, known to sympathize with the colonists and would be under constant watch.  No one would suspect a woman of spying, so Abigail carries messages back and forth between Gideon and her father or other rebels.  She also has come to Boston under the guise of caring for a close friend of the family, Aunt Caroline.  Upon seeing her aunt, Abigail vows that she will help her get better.  She soon discovers her aunt is purposely being kept drugged, but upon whose orders?  As soldiers become more and more evident and suspicious, Abigail’s time before her purpose is discovered in Boston is running out.
Negatives:  I didn’t like the local healer’s use of tea leaves to read the future and Abigail’s seeming to put faith in that to find love instead of trusting God.
Positives:   Good story with two story lines that include plenty of tension to build up to the climax of the story.  I couldn’t put the book down as I had to find out what happened as the colonies were on the brink of war with England.  I also just had to find out how Abigail and Gideon’s plight was resolved.  I liked the frequent mention of God and prayer, a romance and fight for right.

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.”

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Saturday, January 21, 2017

New White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to Deliver Statement 1/21/17

Maybe It’s You

Title:  Maybe It’s You
Author:  Candace Calvert
Pages:  448
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Tyndale
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Maybe It’s You is the third and possibly final novel in the Crisis Team series.  The other titles in the series being, By Your Side followed by Side by Side.  Sloane is an ER nurse who is running and hiding from her past, trying to live with a new identity in the hopes that her past will not be revealed.  Sloane’s character is a compassionate, caring type who runs headlong into any situation without a forethought to her own life.  The biggest problem for Sloane, other than trying not to be found by dangerous people, is that for so long she has not allowed herself to become friends with coworkers or other people at AA meetings.
Sloane’s story is fraught with a plethora of highs and lows, action and danger, loneliness or perhaps true love.  She hates to look at people with caution and sometimes is afraid they are somehow connected with her ex-fiancé or of learning how she was living a life making a series of bad choices with serious consequences.  However, there is more to this character’s story for as you read the book you see her life may just contain hope and a faith in a God of His grace regardless of her mistakes.
As I read, there were parts where the suspense and tension were extremely palpable and kept me reading for hours.  The transparency that Sloane wanted to show or to live a normal life was only possible when she was alone.  The battle for her heart to believe that God loved her and extended His grace towards her was a truth she had to learn the reality of.  I think the author did a great job in the novel by reminding us there is more to a person than what we see on the outside; there is the heart. Plus, people are longing to know the reality of God’s love regardless of the mess they make of their lives and that it can be different!
There are, of course, antagonists in the story who tried repeatedly to thwart Sloane’s plans and her life.  Again, it reminds us that we all have those who don’t want us to succeed whether it is staying sober one day at a time, working in a field we love, or having faith in God.  Regardless, God pursues us and longs to redeem us from the burden of our pasts with all of the messes, and to make us brand new.  This is a great series of books that I highly recommend!

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.”

Tangled Webs (Men of Valor #3)

Title:  Tangled Webs (Men of Valor #3)
Author:  Irene Hannon
Pages:  368
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 4 stars.
This third and final novel in the Men of Valor series focuses on Finn McGregor, the youngest McGregor brother.  Finn has left the Army behind and needs some time to recover from a serious injury as well as psychological and emotional trauma from his years of service as an Army Ranger.  He has decided to take a month in a secluded cabin to think about his future and heal from his wounds.  What he doesn’t expect is that his Special Forces skills will come in handy as his beautiful next door neighbor becomes the victim of vandals and has someone spying on her.
Finn meets his neighbor, Dana Lewis, one night as he hears her screams.  He races to her rescue only to discover that she is having a nightmare and has left the window open and that is why he was able to hear her screams.  He soon discovers that Dana is very cautious around him and suffers from some deep wounds of her own.  She has left New York City and a top level job as a senior editor at a publishing company to work as a freelance editor in her grandparents’ cabin where she has many fond memories.  As she becomes the target of vandals, she can’t imagine why.  She keeps to herself and has made no enemies.  She and Finn quickly develop a friendship that they both know will lead to romance almost immediately.  As their romance deepens, the search for what is happening on and to Dana’s property escalates.  The local chief of police tries to get Dana to leave her cabin until the culprit is caught, but Dana refuses to leave.

The faith message isn’t real strong in this story, but readers do see both main characters believe in God and trust Him with their futures.  I thought this story focused more on the romance than the mystery, but I still enjoyed reading it.  I did like the police chief’s story and his search for a way to finance his wife’s health care.  I thought that was an interesting angle to the plot.  The three McGregor brothers’ bond was also a treasure in all three stories.  The way they cared for one another was touching and something positive to read about.  There will be a new romantic suspense series from this author called Code of Honor due to be released in the fall of 2017, which I plan on reading. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump Presidential Inauguration 2017 (FULL EVENT) | ABC News

The Cherished Quilt (AN Amish Heirloom Novel #3)

Title:  The Cherished Quilt (AN Amish Heirloom Novel #3)
Author:  Amy Clipston
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The series starts with The Forgotten Recipe followed by The Courtship Basket with the final book to be released this year titled, The Beloved Hope Chest.  In the third book, The Cherished Quilt, we get to see the youngest of the Fisher daughters, Emily, learn to focus on her heart’s desires for once.  Emily has a servant’s heart and has encouraged, comforted and loved her two older sisters without any thought of her future.
When Emily meets Chris, who comes to work for her father and his uncle at the leather shop, she sees a very broken hearted man.  Chris seems so distant, cold and not wanting to make any friends.  Chris’ family lives in Pennsylvania and he has come to Ohio with the hope of starting life fresh after losing his youngest brother.  Emily intends forging a friendship with Chris in the hopes he will experience what a loving family unit resembles.
Throughout the series there is an element of a mystery surrounding Mattie Fisher and her hope chest. Mattie is the mother of three daughters who shares pieces of her past, but has yet to unveil a secret long hidden in the chest.  Each novel is filled with characters that seem lifelike and who deal with everyday life as well as some highs and lows in the community.
I hope that the fourth book will reveal the past Mattie has kept from her daughters even though readers have caught clues in the prior books.  Amy Clipston writes with depth in her characters and doesn’t elevate the Amish community as better or worse than anyone else.  These tales kept me reading for hours, entertaining as well as engaging my mind and heart.  I think it is best to read all books in order to gain a full appreciation of the plot and characters the author wove quite well!

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

The Courtship Basket (An Amish Heirloom Novel #2)

Title:  The Courtship Basket (An Amish Heirloom Novel #2)
Author:  Amy Clipston
Pages:  320
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
This series starts with a novel titled, The Friendship Recipe. The oldest daughter of Fisher family, Veronica, deals with her grief by baking.  Through that endeavor Veronica overcomes her grief and falls in love again.  In this installment, Rachael Fisher is shocked and heartbroken when the man she was going out with for four years does the unexpected.  Rachael doesn’t think she can go on with her heart in shreds and now with time on her hands what will she do?
Rachael becomes a school teacher in a small class that is meant to help kids who need extra help with their various studies.  What happens next is a story of a heart mended, faith, family and a woman’s love for a man who thinks no one could ever accept him.  Each novel in the series has an element of mystery in it as another piece is revealed as to why the mother in the Fisher family keeps her hope chest locked at all times.  Little by little her daughters are finding clues of something that happened their mother’s past, but she refuses to tell them.

These Amish stories don’t highlight the Amish life while downplaying the non-Amish and I like that aspect.  I like it that characters reflect real people who have to deal with all aspects of life, both good and bad, joy and sorrow, tragedy and triumph.  Amy Clipston is a new author for me and I plan on reading more of her books in the future as her stories explore life, faith and family.  The next book in the series is titled, The Cherished Quilt, and is available in stores now.

The Forgotten Recipe (Amish Heirloom #1)

Title:  The Forgotten Recipe (Amish Heirloom #1)
Author:  Amy Clipston
Pages:  320
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Amish stories can be vastly as different as apples are to oranges, so too are the authors that craft the tales.  I am new to Amy Clipston’s writing and am now hooked on her books, not because they take place in Amish communities or the characters are Amish.  I enjoy her books because she tells a wonderful story that has meat in it.  In other words, there is depth in the plot, characters and community.
In the first book of this particular series, we meet the two main characters, Veronica Fisher and Jason Huyard.  What ties these two people together might surprise you.  They share the loss of a man named Seth.  To one he was a fiancé and to the other his best friend.  Both Veronica and Jason bear a deep grief and also guilt for Seth’s accidental death at work.  Though neither one is truly responsible, it was just a horrible accident.  Accident or no there are ripple effects in these two hearts as well as their families, coworkers and community.
As readers progress through the book, hearts will be tugged by the grief shown and shared, and also uplifted by the fun times with others.  Veronica finds something out about herself through the book and Jason is learning that love means sometimes waiting patiently.  Sounds simple until one reads that there is something not revealed yet, but occasionally referred to in the story.  At the end of the book, I guarantee you won’t want to wait to find out what is going on that hasn’t been revealed.  So, be prepared to read the next book in the series, The Courtship Basket.

I am looking forward to seeing how the author reveals either another layer of the mystery planted in book one or revealing the mystery as a whole.  I cannot wait to see what happens with these families and the community!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

A Moonbow Night

Title:  A Moonbow Night
Author:  Laura Frantz
Pages:  384
Year:  2017
Publisher:  Revell
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Fantastic!  That is just one of the many positive words I could have chosen to describe this wonderful story.  I am a big fan of Laura’s writing and this book just brings that thought home even more.  The story is set in the Kentucke territory in 1777.  The two main characters are Temperance or Tempe and Sion Morgan.  Sion is a surveyor for a company out of England who has been hired to survey the Kentucke territory.  Tempe, her mother and brother operate an inn in the middle of nowhere in hostile Indian Territory.  Her father, a Patriot, lives close by, but he lives in hiding as he is wanted for killing a surveyor hired by King George in Virginia, which caused the family to flee Virginia and is how the family has ended up in Kentucke.
Tempe is extremely knowledgeable about the land, herbs, food, guns, tracking and just about anything necessary to survive in this wilderness.  She has a deep appreciation for God’s beautiful land and takes daily rambles to immerse herself in His creation.  She is still grieving her fiancé who was killed four years ago by local Indians and at times longs to be with him.  Then, Sion Morgan arrives at the inn looking for a guide.  Tempe becomes his guide at the insistence of her father.  As they set out on their arduous journey, the threat of an Indian attack is a constant worry.  The Indians call surveyors “land stealers”, so they have no love lost when they encounter any white people be they surveyors or not.  Along the way, Sion and Tempe develop a mutual respect and attraction for each other.  Sion has lost his wife in an Indian attack three years ago, so he and Tempe have this type of loss in common.
Laura Frantz is passionate about the genre in which she writes and it shows in her detailed and vivid descriptions of the beauty of the land, the lifestyle of the characters and the history of the times.  I was so involved in this story that I would have to put the book down to do something only to find myself drawn back to the book as soon as possible.  I was riveted as the tension from Indian attack and the relationship between Sion and Tempe as the constant harsh details of life where made alive before my eyes.  I liked learning about Kentucke during this time in history as well as what the relationship was between the Indians and the pioneers.  I cared about what happened to the characters as I was emotionally vested in the story, which I think is something a good author as the God-given talent to accomplish.  There is much more that happens in the story than I’ve mentioned, so please do yourself a favor and pick up this great story and read it for yourself!

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

The Runaway Midwife Author: Patricia Harman

Title:  The Runaway Midwife
Author:  Patricia Harman
Pages:  399 (ARC)
Year:  2017
Publisher:  William Morrow
My rating is 2 stars.
Clara Perry is married with one teenage daughter and uses her midwife schools at a local clinic.  Her best friend committed suicide six months prior, taking Clara completely by surprise.  Clara is grieving her friend’s death when she discovers her husband is cheating on her…again.  He has been doing this on and off for the past three years.  Her daughter is in Australia studying abroad in college and refuses to answer Clara’s phone calls or texts.  On top of that, she is informed upon arriving at work one morning that her patient who she left in the hands of a doula to perform a home birth has unexpectedly died.  Clara is devastated by this death and leaves the office in tears immediately.  Her only thought is to get away.  She goes to the bank and empties out the joint checking account and safe deposit box, steals a woman’s driver’s license at a Walmart and heads for Canada.
Once she is in Canada, even though illegally as she has no passport, she assumes the identity of the Walmart woman and begins a new life.  She has rented a small cottage for three months and after a time begins practicing midwifery again.  There are only 250 people on this small island and some of them live in a hippie settlement.  She makes friends with some local women and some of the hippies, but is constantly forced to lie about herself as she is there illegally and under an assumed identity.
I just couldn’t get connected to this story.  The main character of Clara’s disappearing so easily with no experience doing so seemed implausible.  She steals another woman’s identity, leaves her husband, daughter and friends with no word and lies about her life as she establishes herself on a remote island in Canada.  There was a homosexual couple in the novel as well as a sex scene between Clara and a male character in the story who is not her husband.  Nothing graphic, but I don’t care for that type of stuff in books.  I thought the hippie commune angle was out of left field and couldn’t really understand why it was included.  I had hoped for more of a mystery or suspense aspect to the story, but was disappointed.

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, January 18, 2017

Hope’s Design (The Daughters of Riverton #2)

Title:  Hope’s Design (The Daughters of Riverton #2)
Author:  Dawn Kinzer
Pages:  378
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Morningview Publishing
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
In the first novel in the series titled Sarah’s Smile, we meet an interesting cast of characters who live in the small town of Riverton, Wisconsin in the early 1900s.  We meet the antagonist, Rebecca, whose heart being filled with broken dreams spews ugly words toward Sarah because of Sarah’s heart-breaking past.  Now Rebecca is a totally different woman and Sarah is married with a child on the way when Hope comes to the town to put space between her and her former fiancée.
Hope is an only child and when her parents travel to a distant land.  For her safety, they encourage her to leave New York with very few people knowing her destination.  However, after some time has passed, her ex-fiancée shows up at her job to continue the harassment he began in New York.  Hope’s dream is to become a designer and see women glow when they feel beautiful wearing her dresses.  She desires that women see that they have inward beauty too and carry themselves with more confidence.
Ben has a secret and only his family knows what it is and why he won’t let anyone see what he creates.  Ben and Hope meet on the train as they are both heading to Riverton and their first encounter isn’t exactly one of laughter or friendship.  As I read the book, I really began to imagine the scenes playing out in my mind.  The author does such a fantastic job of showing how God, faith and friendship can make a world of difference in a person’s life.
Reading how Hope overcomes her fears, past, and begins to understand how God knows best how to fill her life with joy, love and faith, she is then able to rest in His plans.  Hope wants the best for all the people whom she encounters and who have embraced her since she moved to Riverton.  Here is another example of a story at its best for when a reader is done, he/she is left wanting another tale from the writer perhaps focusing on another character from the town of Riverton.  Read and enjoy both Sarah’s Smile and Hope’s Design as they are very enjoyable works of fiction!

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.”

Sarah's Smile (The Daughters of Riverton #1)

Title:  Sarah’s Smile (The Daughters of Riverton #1)
Author:  Dawn Kinzer
Pages:  394
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Morningview Publishing
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Dawn Kinzer writes a story that moves the heart of readers, and folks she is a brand new writer!  In her debut novel, we read about a friendship between Sarah McCall and Peter Caswell.  Sarah is a lone child who is raised by her maternal grandparents after her parents apparently abandoned her after dropping her off at their home.  Now she is an adult and has had her heart broken by many people and her hopes are dangling by mere threads.
Peter returns to his hometown as a widower with a young 4-year-old daughter in tow.  Peter, who always wanted to become a pastor, returns to take over leadership of his home church.  Peter’s life has been anything but easy as readers will discover; there is more to this character than meets the eye.  Peter’s lifelong friendship with Sarah turns into a rollercoaster ride when he returns home and begins talking with her.  Readers will ride the coaster as there seems hope that romance may be blooming with Sarah as well as ride a quick, downward, heart-dropping disappointment as obstacles come in their path.
Many characters in the novel are easy to identify with.  I loved how the small town atmosphere comes through poignantly in the book.  Wait till you reach the end and see where the author got her idea for the story; it’s pretty amazing!  I plan on reading book two of this series titled, Hope’s Dreams, which has also been published and I am expecting another wonderful tale.  As soon as I finish, I will share a little bit about the book with you.  Until then, really enjoy Sarah’s Smile as it is outstanding! 

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, January 17, 2017

Tonight at 7pm EST

Blaze of Glory


Title:  Blaze of Glory
Author:  Major Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky
Pages:  379
Year:  2010
Publisher:  B&H Publishing Group
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
While there is no series title to the four books that are written by this author duo, the books are sequential in time.  There are several characters that carry over from book to book.  The missions are vastly different in each book, but a lot of the characters remain the same.  They should be read in order beginning with Certain Jeopardy, Blaze of Glory, Fallen Angel and then Hide and Seek.
In Blaze of Glory, a new member is added to the team, Jerry Zinsser.  Jerry is a decorated hero from his last mission where only two of his team survived their mission in Somalia.  He was responsible for saving the other team member.  He has fooled the army psychologists into thinking he is ready to return to duty.  However, he is suffering from PTSD and having suicidal thoughts.  He returns to his former mission in his head at any time and can’t tell what is real and what is in the past.  This poses a problem when it happens on his current mission and his team leader, Eric Moyer, must decide whether to return him to base or continue their mission.
Their mission is to find out who is behind the recent increase in female suicide bombers.  There have been bombings in several major European cities, all committed by young female bombers.  They discover that someone may be trying to kill the President of the United States while on mission.  Soon they come face-to-face with an armed bomber within striking distance of the President of the United States as well as several other world leaders.  There are other bombers converging on the same location.  How can Moyer and his team stop them all?

If you like military action, suspense and tension-filled moments, then this book is definitely for you!  I couldn’t put it down.  The short chapters make the story pass quickly and the exciting plot will keep you glued to the book.  The characters of this Special Operations Team are loyal to one another to the point of being willing to die for each other.  The sense of humor and camaraderie between the men is really fun to read.  While their missions are secret so only a few know about them, the soldiers know that they are doing their duty for their country.  Thanks for your dedicated service to all the men and women who have served or are serving in the armed forces of the United States.  Hooah!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Disruption Author: Jessica Shirvington

Title:  Disruption
Author:  Jessica Shirvington                                                                      
Pages:  406
Year:  2016
Publisher:  HarperCollins

Disruption, a novel by Jessica Shirvington, is a story about Maggie Stevens who is in search of what happened to her father. In this thriller, not set too far into the future, people must wear a device that allows them to turn on the engines of their cars, monitor their health, and, most importantly, rate people’s compatibility with each other. The technology, created by M-Corp and owner Garrett Mercer, is used to match people together so that people will marry who they make the most likely matches. The society dwells on basing their lives on the technology rather than natural human interaction and attraction even to the point where people who have too many negative ratings are treated as criminals and take away for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, the ‘negs’ are used for more sinister purposes. Maggie hates the system and, above all else, wants to find her father who was labeled a ‘neg’ and taken away two years before. Now, Maggie is 18 and has been devising a plan to find her father and disrupt the system. She will do whatever it takes, including using teenage Quentin Mercer, son and heir of the M-Corp CEO, to find out what happened to her father. What Maggie doesn’t count is falling in love with boy she is using.
Disruption is a story that I thoroughly enjoyed as it kept my interest throughout the entire 400 or so pages. It was a riveting story full of danger, intrigue, and action-packed adventure. I loved how Shirvington wrote the characters as flawed individuals living in a flawed society. Although Maggie, Quentin, and other characters have many undesirable qualities, there are many good characteristics that make them who they are. For example, Quentin seems to be an arrogant rich kid that people seem to bend over backward to ingratiate themselves to win his favor; however, he really wants to separate himself from his family’s legacy in order to be a normal kid. It is revealed that he has a sense of what is right and wrong as he discovers what his father has been doing. Maggie, on the other hand, has a sense of doing something right but lies, cheats, steals, and even uses people to accomplish her goals. She is obsessed about finding her father no matter who might get hurt in the process. For what I consider a YA novel, as is the case with many novels written for teens, I think some of the profanity could have been toned down or eliminated altogether. I know that teens, as well as adults, hear and probably use profanity somewhat excessively, but its use does not add to the story. There are other ways of showing a person’s mood and character that do not distract from the story. In spite of the profanity, I still like the story very much and look forward to the sequel, Corruption, coming in 2017. I recommend this book to an older YA audience, but due to the profanity, I think younger teens and preteens should wait a few years before reading this novel.
My rating is 5.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter@lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fractured Memory

Title:  Fractured Memory
Author:  Jordyn Redwood
Pages:  224
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org
Save a couple of hours and then delve into the wonderful novel of suspense, thrills and chills written by Jordyn Redwood.  Eli Cayne is a US Marshall tasked with protecting a witness named Julie Galloway who is a pediatric nurse.  However, Julie suffers from amnesia and can’t identify the man who attempted to kill her like other women by hanging.  For me, this was one of the best Love Inspired Suspense stories as the tension never let up and there were surprises in the plot when I least expected them.
Once I began the novel, I couldn’t stop reading!  The author does one amazing job not just with the plot but with the main characters, Eli and Julie.  I loved the bravery Julie begins to exert in probing her memories in order to be able to solve the crimes before another victim shows up.  The way the case turns out really surprised me not by identifying the “who” did it, but the why of the story.
I really enjoy Love Inspired Suspense books because they can take a reader on a quick and thrilling trip through danger, with faith and hope as the support posts that hold up the novel.  Please pick up this latest addition to the many Love Inspired books and share it with those you know who 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.”

Friday, January 13, 2017

Betrayed (Firebrand Series #3)

Title:  Betrayed (Firebrand Series #3)
Author:  Sandra Robbins
Pages:  278
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Sandra Robbins
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
What a finale!  The series begins with a prequel titled, Igniting the Flame where meet the main characters named Ash and Lainey.  The sequel, Targeted, continues the story of Ash and Lainey.  The next book, Hunted, focuses on Sloane who is kidnapped and her husband Colt who races to attempt to rescue the wife he hasn’t seen in five years.  Now, in the final novel, we get to read Reese’s story and why he won’t commit himself to Casey who is also a member of Firebrand.
I loved how the final novel really lets the readers in on the long unknown reason for Reese believing he must remain single.  When I read the reason and then Casey’s reaction, it was magnificent!  Plus, I loved how the author from the prequel to the end always left some mystery unanswered until now.  Each novel had danger and threats that the men who formed the Firebrand Training Facility had to fight against.  It was a total surprise to read why Reese had kept himself away from Reese, except when they were on missions together.  He knew she loved him and it was mutual, but the fear Reese had for the future really impacted his present.
The whole series had surprises in either the plot or the way the characters interacted, which only drew me into the story more.  There is action-packed danger and twists in the plot that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let me close the book until the end.  I think Sandra Robbins did one awesome job writing a series that weaves together what soldiers and their families might go through even after they leave active service.  If you love military suspense with action, danger and constant movement along with some romance, here is as series you don’t want to 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.”

Hunted (Firebrand Series #2)

Title:  Hunted (Firebrand Series #2)
Author:  Sandra Robbins
Pages:  258
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Sandra Robbins
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars
Hunted continues the story of Firebrand training center and its three founders Ash, Colt and Reese who each have a special skill set that makes these three men remarkable.  Colt is the most skilled sniper and is now teaching others by passing his knowledge onto those who come to the facility to learn from him. Colt’s life is thrown through the wringer when a terrorist and deadly adversary takes his wife, Sloane, captive.
Colt decides to rescue Sloane from the hands of these nefarious individuals who are bent on taking revenge on Colt and his wife.  While the bond of the brotherhood is strong between the three men, this is one mission Colt must do alone though his friends are waiting in the wings to bring aid at a moment’s notice.
Like the previous couple, Ash and Lainey, there is a whole lot of conflict going on between Colt and Sloane after the initial rescue.  What does the future look like for the married couple who haven’t seen each other in five years?  After all, Sloane has made it plain she won’t play second fiddle to the demands of the Firebrand group.  However, is that really the issue of Sloane’s heart?
There is a developing aspect of a mystery as the events in book one may be tied to what is now occurring in book two.  In the final book, which highlights what is happening between Reese and Casey, we may see revealed the final puzzle piece that will end the mystery and perhaps bring people to justice so these men and families can live in peace.  But who knows?  So, join me in reading the final book to see what Sandra has in store for the audience of the Firebrand 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.”

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Targeted (Firebrand Series #1)

Title:  Targeted (Firebrand Series #1)
Author:  Sandra Robbins
Pages:  272
Year: 2016
Publisher:  Sandra Robbins
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
Having laid the groundwork for readers to know Ash’s and Lainey’s relationship in Igniting the Flame, we get to see what happens to them as the story continues.  There is a lot of tension in the book both personal between these two people and in the family.  Lainey has a problem with Ash, especially when he breaks a promise.  With her having no other support, her feelings of loneliness increase exponentially.  Ash is on a covert mission and therefore unreachable; however, his brother Richard and his father step in to care for Lainey.
One of the issues between Ash and Lainey is that the service is almost like a mistress and a demanding one at that, which makes being married something the three friends Ash, Colt and Reese try to avoid.  There is someone from one of Ash’s past missions who is seeking revenge.  However, this person is not only after Ash, but Lainey and her son Max as well.  The secret Lainey has kept from Ash for a decade will now become known whether she wants it revealed or not.  The surprising fact is who tells Ash what he doesn’t know.
The novel is filled with high suspense, danger, and internal as well as external conflicts.  I couldn’t put the book down until I read how the various aspects of the story and the characters’ lives were going to conclude.  The series is of top notch storytelling and I believe many will become captured with the danger always lurking until the enemy is found and eradicated. 
Read and find out how the two most stubborn and broken characters, Ash and Lainey, might find forgiveness and healing in Targeted!

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.”

Igniting the Flame (Firebrand Begins)

Title:  Igniting the Flame (Firebrand Begins)
Author:  Sandra Robbins
Pages:  132
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Sandra Robbins
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
We meet the two main characters right out of the gate, one being ex-military Ash DeHaan and Lainey Simpson who will be starting a new job as she recently graduated from college.  Lainey has no living family members left.  Her grandmother recently passed away, leaving her estate to Lainey.  Ash has served in the armed forces exceptionally well, being known as a brilliant strategist.  Ash and two other friends of his have been asked to be special operatives off the books for the CIA.  No one will know about their missions, including any family members.
During a jog, Lainey is surprised to see Ash as they both seek shelter from a sudden downpour while in the mountains.  From there, readers see what begins to quickly develop between Ash and Lainey as well as some of the darker side to Ash’s personality and possessiveness.  The story is a little more suggestive in some ways than I was comfortable with, but I wanted to see where the author was taking the story so I continued reading.
I am glad I stuck it out as her sequels really are outstanding!  In the first book titled, Targeted, Sandra develops a very heart-touching story that focuses of Ash and Lainey.  When readers come to the second novel, they will meet familiar characters introduced in book one.  The main focus of Hunted is Colt and his wife Sloan.  In the final book titled, Betrayed, we get to see if anything develops between Reese and the woman who has pined for him, Deputy Casey Morgan.
The whole series is mainly based in St. Claire, North Carolina.  Some of the scenery described in the Firebrand series places pictures in my mind that make me desire to visit the mountains in that particular state.  Enjoy the Firebrand series; it’s fantastic!

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, January 11, 2017

The Curious Autobiography of Elaine Jakes

Title:  The Curious Autobiography of Elaine Jakes
Author:  H.R. Jakes                                                                                      
Pages:  262
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Archway Publishing

            We all have a story about our lives. H.R. Jakes has taken his mother’s memoirs that were found by chance in a box under her bed with a message that Mr. Jakes interpreted as his mother’s desire to have her story told, so he went about the process of editing and putting together her story from her perspective.
            The Curious Autobiography of Elaine Jakes is a story about her journey of faith from growing up in a Welsh Presbyterian church in Pennsylvania only to reject that faith in favor of becoming a white Chinese Jew (you just need to read it to understand) and eventually turn back to the faith that she was raised in. The book is laced with many humorous stories that Elaine tells; however, in the Afterword, Mr. Jakes admits that some of her tales are somewhat exaggerated, but there are some details that he can confirm as accurate since he was witness to them.
I normally do not read autobiographies; however, I did enjoy this one. The only issue I had with this book, and it is more of a personal preference, is that the chapters are not chronological but topical in the way they are laid out. I thought it was hard to follow since there was several overlaps in the timeline, which caused a little confusion. Despite that, I found Elaine’s life story to be fun and interesting.
If you like autobiographies, you will find that The Curious Autobiography of Elaine Jakes is a good read to enjoy and see that everyone has story to tell.
My rating is 4.5.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also, follow me on Twitter@lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457


Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Romans Introduction tonight at 7pm EST

With Love, Wherever You Are by Dandi Daley Mackall

A Lady Unrivaled (Ladies of the Manor #3)

Title:  A Lady Unrivaled (Ladies of the Manor #3)
Author:  Roseanna M. White
Pages:  408
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Bethany House
My rating is 5 stars.
With this last book in the series, the focus turns to Lady Ella Myerston and Lord Cayton.  In the prior two books in the series, Lord Cayton is portrayed as a rogue.  Suddenly his engagement is announced to one woman while he has been paying court to another.  Shortly after their marriage, his wife becomes pregnant and then later dies soon after childbirth.  Lord Cayton is distraught owing to his guilt at not having loved his wife as she loved him.  He is now the father to a baby daughter and has come to realize his need for a Savior.  He meets every morning with his neighbor and cousin, the Duke of Stafford, to study the Bible.  However, Lord Cayton has decided that he will not wed again as the consequences and his former reputation will make for an unsuccessful marriage.
Lady Ella has invited herself to visit her friend, the Duchess of Stafford, to gain information about the infamous Fire Eyes diamonds.  Her brother was in possession of them, but if Ella has her way she will find them and save her family from the villains and the curse that follow the diamonds.  While visiting, she learns that Lord Rushworth and his sister, Lady Pratt, are due any day at Lord Cayton’s home.  He had not stopped them in the past from plotting to gain the diamonds and they hope to force him to help them once again.  However, Lord Cayton has other plans.  He will not be a party to thievery; he is a changed man now.  Lord Rushworth is crazy and will stop at nothing to get the diamonds.  Ella and Cayton spend time together and romance blooms, but Cayton tries to discourage Ella.  As a plan forms to keep the diamonds out of the hands of Lord Rushworth, the danger increases and lives are at risk.

I really liked the fact that Lord Cayton studied Scripture daily, seeking to live a more godly life and become a better man.  Lady Ella’s cheerful and optimistic personality was a joy to read and the banter she shared with Cayton was entertaining.  The tension at the end was great and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to see how the story ended.  Lord Rushworth and Dorsey were truly evil, making the ultimate bad guys.  I look forward to the next series by this author as they are filled with historical details of how life was lived during a particular time period, have drama and entertaining plots.