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Showing posts from 2018

The Kremlin Conspiracy

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Title:The Kremlin Conspiracy
Author: Joel Rosenberg
Pages: 480
Year: 2018
Publisher: Tyndale
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
For me, Joel Rosenberg’s novels have been not just entertaining thrillers, but also thought provoking!If you haven’t read any of his writings, you truly are missing an author who weaves threads of various characters’ views along with action, intrigue and mystery to carry the reader away into a world full of suspense!
In the Kremlin Conspiracy, the author slowly introduces readers to the land of Russia, politics, military and the characters who inhabit the story that is beginning to be unveiled.The story flips from that to what is happening here in America to a man known as Marcus Ryker.He excels in military engagements and eventually ends up in the Secret Service.Markus also marries, begins a family and meets a man by the name of Oleg who he crosses paths with later, but I am getting ahead of myself. Plus, I can’t review everything or what would be left for the reader …

The Bishop’s Pawn (A Novel)

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Title:The Bishop’s Pawn (A Novel)
Author: Steve Berry
Pages: 352
Year: 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
The wonderful joy of reading a story never gets old for me.In fact, there are many times one can find me scouring online retailers for my next book to read or add to my watchlist.Steve Berry’s novels are some of the ones I love getting lost in because he takes historical facts and weaves a riveting novel.At the end of his books, he kindly separates fact from fiction and sometimes I am amazed at what was real when I thought it was fiction.Sometimes I read the facts of a historical place, event or person and am astounded by what I didn’t know!
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a man I have admired for a very long time though there is much I am still learning about him, his life and his writings.Steve Berry portrays J. Edgar Hoover’s actions that involved Rev. King along with some interesting characters.What makes this Cotton Malone novel unique is that it goes back…

Stranded (Military Investigations)

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Title:Stranded (Military Investigations)
Author: Debby Giusti
Pages: 224
Year: 2015
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
The action and tension starts as soon as the reader opens the book!The main character is Colleen who is attempting to locate the person responsible for taking her sister’s life.While driving to meet a woman who says she has corroborating evidence, a dangerous storm is bearing down on the area and somehow the killer has located them both!
Both women are injured, one seriously.Colleen is stuck in an Amish community that lovingly takes her in while she waits to get her vehicle repaired, if possible.While there, she meets Special Agent Frank Gallaher who is with the CID, a division in the Army that investigates crimes.While both are healing and helping care for the Amish who also lost much in the storm, tension between Frank and Colleen grows.Their feelings for each other are growing, but can they get past their scars from the past to embrace the futur…

Plain Danger (Military Investigations)

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Title:Plain Danger (Military Investigations)
Author: Debby Giusti
Pages: 224
Year: 2016
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
One of the advantages of reading Love Inspired Suspense books, for me, is they are short enough to finish in a day and they are very entertaining to read!Another advantage is that even when in a series most of them can be read as stand alone.Debbi Giusti is a new author to me and writes with one foot in the military and another in the Amish community.Then, she weaves threads of her stories that connect both worlds.
In Plain Danger, the main character, Carrie York, arrives in a small Amish community to meet with her father’s lawyer to inherit a house and land.The hard part for Carrie is she wasn’t allowed to connect with her father when he was alive, and her mother told her things about her father that are turning out to be lies.Now, it seems that a killer thinks Carrie possesses a map that is supposed to lead to treasure buried on the land.
CID …

You Raise Me Up (Live 2017)

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Plain Truth (Military Investigations)

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Title:Plain Truth (Military Investigations)
Author: Debbie Giusti
Pages: 224 (Not large print edition)
Year: 2016
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Dr. Ella Jacobsen is a pediatrician who takes good care of her patients and is building trust with the Amish people so she can provide medical care to them.One night she is checking on a set of twins and a mother when the lights go out.When she attempts to check on her patients, she’s attacked!However, she isn’t the only one attacked.
Special Agent Zack Swain is assigned to investigate what happened at the clinic because the other woman attacked is the spouse of a soldier.When the attacker realizes that the doctor is still around, more attempts are made on her life even when she leaves town to attend a dinner to honor her late husband.Ella has built a wall around her heart because she doesn’t want to get hurt by falling in love with the wrong man again.Can she help it when Zack seems to save her life repeatedly?
What…

In Hidden Places

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Title:In Places Hidden (Golden Gate Secrets #1)
Author:Tracie Peterson
Pages:316
Year:2018
Publisher: Bethany House
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Camrianne Coulter has arrived in San Francisco to find her brother, Caleb, who has been missing for three months.He is a lawyer for a firm and has successfully defended a poor Irish man charged with murder.Camri’s parents have been so worried about their son that their health has suffered and they both have been confined to their beds.Camri discovers that there are very few clues as to what happened to her brother.She works at a chocolate factory to support her brother’s household while questioning those who last saw her brother.She also meets the Irish man who was found innocent of murder.He also is searching for her brother as they both were trying to get proof of corrupt business practices, graft and other criminal activities of a wealthy and ruthless man.Then, just as they were getting close to bringing their proof to light, Caleb disappears.

The Escape Artist

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Title:The Escape Artist
Author: Brad Meltzer
Pages: 434
Year: 2018
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
When a friend told me about the latest novel that was coming soon written by Brad Meltzer, I quickly read a synopsis found online.Ok, I was totally hooked!I just couldn’t wait to read the novel that also has factual data inside the story, making the novel mesmerizing to say the least.So, when I began reading, I couldn’t see where the connection was to the magic of Harry Houdini.I plunged ahead and the further into the maze of mystery I explored, I occasionally wondered where the author was taking me.Yet, by the middle of the book or perhaps sooner, I simply couldn’t put the book down until I was so tired I couldn’t see the words clearly.The next day, when time allowed, again I opened the book to continue the exciting and thrilling story that was being slowly woven together right before my eyes.As I went along, I forgot about trying to figure out where I was …

An Amish Heirloom (A Legacy of Love, The Cedar Chest, The Treasured Book, A Midwife’s Dream)

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Title:An Amish Heirloom (A Legacy of Love, The Cedar Chest, The Treasured Book, A Midwife’s Dream)
Author: Amy Clipston, Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller, Kelly Irwin
Pages: 400
Year: 2018
Publisher: Zondervan
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Each novella is written to tug the heart of the reader and discussion questions for book clubs or others are included at the end of each story.The tales are individual and not connected, which makes it fun to read the conclusion of one before starting a brand-new story.
These four ladies are well acquainted with writing stories in this genre.Some of them I am a great fan of and read every book that is published.A couple are new to me, so I look forward to reading more of their work.A Legacy of Love is written by Amy Clipston and her unique style of writing shows us how important it is to follow God rather than knowingly make a wrong choice that would make for hearts filled with misery.I also enjoyed watching the main character, Leon, learn to love again when…

Birth of the Church: Matthew, Mark, Luke & Acts (Christian Living Bible Study Series)

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Title:Birth of the Church: Matthew, Mark, Luke & Acts (Christian Living Bible Study Series)
Author: Trina Bresser Matous
Pages: 306
Year: 2017
Publisher: Straight Street Books
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
In this study, before each of the books of the Bible, the author gives some background information along with an overview.Following these couple of pages, the audience gets to read a short paragraph and then there are listed a couple of questions.These can be used for personal quiet time, journaling, small groups or even to begin a discussion.
Bible study books like Trina’s are meant to spur us to further study of God’s Word and to be in daily communication with our Father. Trina has done an excellent job of researching and putting it in concise and easy language people can digest and meditate on. Studying the Bible should be a source of wisdom, knowledge and more.Here is a tool to aid seekers in doing just that plus growing in their relationship with Jesus.
The only desire I have is …

Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From the Brink

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Title:Darkest Hour: How Churchill Brought England Back From the Brink
Author: Anthony McCarten
Pages: 336
Year: 2017
Publisher: Harper Perennial
My rating 4 out of 5 stars.
What an enigma of a man!I watched the movie, The Darkest Hour, and was struck by how much I didn’t know about Winston Churchill.There were references in the movie about Churchill, his father and family that I wondered if they were matters of fact or fiction.Personally, I agree with the author that Churchill prepared for this moment in history whether he knew it or not.The man was loved by his wife and people even though others disliked and ignored him.
I found him to be a man who took learning in a school setting with little interest, but in the world as a young man he thirsted for knowledge.Churchill would have his mother ship books to wherever he was, so he could read and learn.The amount of writing Winston did is astounding let alone a lot of what he did was written at a young age.The wealth of insight the man had and …

Yuletide Defender

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Title:Yuletide Defender
Author:Sandra Robbins
Pages:281 (large print)
Year:2010
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Rachel Long is a reporter for the local newspaper with designs on landing a big story that will propel her up the professional ladder.She needs this story so she can earn more money.What most people don’t realize is that the money isn’t for herself, but for her special needs sister.She has been writing a series of stories on the escalating gang violence between two gangs in the city.There have been six deaths in the last two months, three from each gang.However, Rachel has received information from an anonymous inside source that this violence isn’t being perpetrated by the gangs, but rather by a lone vigilante who has his own agenda.
Matt Franklin is a detective with the police force who has been called to the scene of these murders and is working to try to bring justice to the victims.He is a Christian who volunteers at the city youth center for a…

Red Sky over America (Ladies of Oberlin #1)

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Title:Red Sky over America (Ladies of Oberlin #1)
Author: Tamera Lynn Kraft
Pages: 328
Year: 2018
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing Inc.
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
This is a debut novel that readers won’t soon forget by a brand-new author!The story begins in the year 1857 in Ohio where a young lady named America, called Merry, attends a college started by Albert Finney and considered liberal for its time.Originally, America came from Kentucky, which had much less liberal leanings and expected people to stay in their station of life.Yet, America feels called to go to China even if she must go alone.
William is following in his father’s footsteps, preparing to be a preacher and then go to China.William’s father and mother are gone and being an abolitionist, he plans on preaching against slavery during winter break in Kentucky.What he wants to preach about, and the various groups he encounters keeps the story extremely interesting.
America’s father is a former officer who makes future plan…

The Gate Keeper

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Title:The Gate Keeper
Author:Charles Todd
Pages:307
Year:2018
Publisher: William Morrow
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Wow!This book was just stellar in my opinion.I don’t know how the authors continue to produce such quality mysteries time after time.I have read all the Ian Rutledge mysteries and this is one of the best.This one is set in December 1920.Ian’s sister Frances has just gotten married and Ian is feeling at loose ends.He and his sister had become close after their parents’ deaths and now he is feeling a bit of a third wheel.The wedding is over and the couple off on their honeymoon trip and Ian can’t sleep.He decides to take a drive to who knows where to settle down.He is driving down the road and comes upon a car stopped in the middle of the road with a woman standing over a man’s body and her hands are covered in blood.Ian has literally driven into his next case.
As he begins his investigation, he lobbies to be given the case as he was the first on the scene.There is some grumbl…

The Man Who Invented Christmas (The Movie)

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Title:The Man Who Invented Christmas (The Movie)
Year: 2018
Minutes: 108
Publisher: Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
The last couple of years has seen, in my opinion, an unprecedented number of good movies to view.The genres are as various as the stories they tell, some worth seeing while others perhaps not on most top 10 lists to see.However, here is a gem that got lost in the onslaught of movies this past holiday season.With another Star Wars movie released at the same time, any other movie released seemed to get past up or ignored and that is a shame, especially regarding this movie.
I think the title wasn’t the best chosen as it really tells the story of the life experiences of Charles Dickens.We watched how hard it was for the man to write another blockbuster right after the exceptional story titled, Oliver Twist.I was mesmerized as the movie took me back to the late 1800s.It showed what happened to Charles when he was young and how that really tormente…

Paul was Not a Christian (The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle)

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Title:Paul was Not a Christian (The Original Message of a Misunderstood Apostle)
Author: Pamela Eisenbaum
Pages: 336
Year: 2010
Publisher: Harper One Reprint
My rating 2 out of 5 stars.
One of the reasons I wanted to read the book was hoping to gain insight into the Jewishness of Paul and his writings.What I got was frustration and sadness.The author isn’t a Messianic Jew nor does she believe that all the writings of Paul should be attributed to him for various reasons.However, when someone takes bits and pieces of Scripture but not the whole that is wrong.When the author accepts some of Paul while dismissing others for human reasons, that too is wrong.For all Scripture is God-breathed; there is a holiness and height to which no mere writings of man can attain.
I don’t agree with excusing disbelief because of nuances of writings or one codex being used and ignoring others.To me it is like when we eat certain meals where ingredients are mixed together, we pick out before eating it what we don…

Mountain Homecoming

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Title: Mountain Homecoming
Author:  Sandra Robbins
Pages:  304
Year:  2013
Publisher:  Harvest House
My rating is 4 stars.
Mountain Homecoming is the sequel to Angel of the Cove in Sandra Robin’s Smokey Mountain Dreams series.  In book 2 the year is 1914 and Rani has become a grown woman in search of what God has planned for her life as well as what He has gifted her to do.  Granny, everyone calls her that in the Cove lives with the Martin family.  At one time she was the midwife and doctor to many mountain folk in times past, now Anna Martin is the midwife and calls on the Dr for other medical needs of the people who live in the small secluded Tennessee Cove area.  Samuel Martin is the preacher and a man who adores his wife Anna and there grown living children. 
The railroad company has wanted to purchase the timber on the Cove land which has set Rani’s blood to boil because of her love for the land.  Matthew Jackson left twenty years ago with his mother and younger brother, he now…

A Most Noble Heir

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Title:A Most Noble Heir (A Novel) Author: Susan Anne Mason Pages: 368 Year: 2018 Publisher: Bethany My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars. Have you ever read a book where you felt you knew how it was going to end, but read on because how it would happen really captured the imagination?Well, for me, this book did just that!What really cemented the book as a treasure to me was reading the letter to readers by the author after finishing the tale.The story is set in England in the late 1800s where a young stable hand named Nolan Price is about to have his life turned about by the unexpected! Another main character is Hannah who works in the kitchen and has been in love with Nolan since they were both 14 years of age.However, relationships between house staff were not encouraged.In fact, both Nolan and Hannah could have lost their positions had they been found together.What begins to turn Nolan’s world upside down is the secret his mother reveals to him…

Yuletide Jeopardy

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Title:Yuletide Jeopardy
Author:Sandra Robbins
Pages:216
Year:2013
Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Alex and Grace became friends at the age of ten, but now they can’t stand to be in the same room together.They remained friends until college when they began dating.Their senior year in college Grace received an opportunity for a job away from Memphis.Alex loved Memphis where they both grew up and didn’t want to leave.Grace chose her job and they broke up, leaving them both bitter and angry with each other.
Grace has now moved back to Memphis to help her mother take care of her father who was shot in a drive-by shooting, leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.During his recovery, her father turned to Jesus as well as his wife and Grace.Grace is working for the local TV station as a news anchor.She receives a phone call from the police asking her to go to the Memphis-Arkansas bridge as there is a man threatening to jump unless she shows up.What Grace …

Security Detail (Large Print) Author: Lisa Phillips

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Title:Security Detail
Author:Lisa Phillips
Pages:282 (large print)
Year:2017
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Kayla Harris and Connor Thorne have known each other for years.When they first met, he was a rookie Secret Service Agent assigned to protect the President’s rebellious teenage daughter…Kayla.She had a crush on him and he liked her as well, but there was no way a Secret Service Agent assigned to guard the President’s daughter was going to be allowed to date her!So, the romance went unrequited and Kayla went off to college to become a lawyer while her father served a second term in office with Connor remaining with the Secret Service.
Now, Kayla has graduated college and law school and set up practice on her own.She owns a shelter for battered women and children in her spare time, but has someone else manage it.Everyone believes Connor has left the Secret Service as a disgraced agent, but he is really still working for them only now he is undercover and …

Stranded

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Title:Stranded
Author:Don & Stephanie Prichard
Pages:401
Year:2014
Publisher: Self-Published
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
Jake Chalmers and his wife, Ginny, have boarded a cruise ship on their second honeymoon.The year is 1981 and they are sailing for the Philippines.It is a very small ship with only a skeleton crew, which strikes one passenger as odd.Jake’s wife has recently been diagnosed with cancer and has only six months to live, so he has planned out many of her favorite things to do to show his love to her.Ginny is a people person and soon has taken a great-aunt, Betty, traveling with her 11-year-old niece, Crystal, under her wing.
Eve Eriksson is a federal prosecutor with a big case coming up against Danny Romero, a criminal who deals in the sex trade among other things.Eve needs proof to use against Danny and she thinks she will find it on this ship that she believes has been used to transfer women illegally to be sold into sexual slavery.She believes the captain to be involve…

The Heart’s Appeal (London Beginnings #2)

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Title:The Heart’s Appeal (London Beginnings #2)
Author: Jennifer Delamere
Pages: 384
Year: 2018
Publisher: Bethany
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
The London Beginning series begins with the novel titled, The Captain’s Daughter.Here, in the second book, readers get to focus on the middle sister, Julia, whose hope is to become a physician and go to Africa as a missionary.The year is 1881 and in London women were to be home or if they wanted to do some work, there were few opportunities.Julia is attending a school that helps women become prepared to practice medicine as a physician at a time when that field was dominated by men.Women could become nurses and even a midwife, but becoming a doctor took perseverance and hard work.
Julia was raised with her other sisters in Bristol at the George Mueller orphanage where needs were met by asking only one Person…God.Julia is asking God to provide the means for her to attend school and practice medicine, though Julia originally thought that being married w…

First Steps in Messianic Jewish Prayer

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Title:First Steps in Messianic Jewish Prayer
Author: Aaron Eby
Pages: 168
Year: 2014
Publisher: First Fruits of Zion
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
I am not Jewish, so why read a book of this nature?People read books of various subjects for many reasons.For me, I read the book because I want to grow in understanding the Jewish people and prayer.I have done a couple of online courses with this ministry, First Fruits of Zion, and like their approach of reaching other Jewish people and those who want to know more about the Messiah, Yeshua.
I used the book like a devotional, reading small sections and then meditating on what I had read.I found a new understanding and depth to approaching God in prayer that defies description.My prayer life is no longer stale or just reciting prayers without being engaged.I came away with a big appreciation for the Messianic Jewish Ministry teaching me through this book, which offers a totally different approach to my time alone with God.
Perhaps some will be able…