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Showing posts from June, 2018

Our Father Abraham (Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith)

Title:Our Father Abraham (Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith)
Author: Marvin Wilson
Pages: 395
Year: 1990
Publisher: Eerdmans
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
In the journey of discovering the Jewish roots of my Christian faith, I have read many books.Some were very helpful and other books weren’t for various reasons.However, Our Father Abraham is a gem because the author takes great pains to explain various topics in a way that can be easily comprehended while also leaving the reader wanting more.At the end of each chapter, there are discussion questions that give people an opportunity to cement the information learned while also exploring the topic in the Bible.Other books may have a few discussion questions, but the author here gives each chapter over 20 questions.Plus, at the end of the book, there are footnotes that point to other sources for further study and contemplation.
What makes reading the book enjoyable is, of course, the material and having an opportunity to discuss the material …

A Rebel Heart

Title:A Rebel Heart (The Daughtry House Series #1)
Author:Beth White
Publisher: Revell
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
This story is set in the South in the year 1870.The War Between the States has ended five years prior and Reconstruction underway.Selah Daughtry is the eldest of three sisters and feels the weight of responsibility keenly.Her father fought in the war, but was captured, taken to a Confederate prison, escaped and has not been heard from since.She doesn’t know whether he is dead or alive, but either way life continues and she needs help keeping the family plantation from falling down around her.Her youngest sister has been sent to life with her grandmother, but Selah and her other sister, Joelle, remain to try their best to make ends meet.Selah travels by train to seek a loan from a bank, but is denied that avenue.She doesn’t know what to do when Levi Riggins appears with a plan to save her home.
Levi Riggins is a Pinkerton Agent, working undercover to try to…

A Rumored Fortune

Title:A Rumored Fortune Author: Joanna Davidson Politano Pages: 416 Year: 2018 Publisher: Revell My rating: 5 out of 5 stars Lady Jane Disappears is the first book and now we get the sequel titled, A Rumored Fortune.These are just excellent books! Plus, there is a teaser for another book I suspect that will come out in 2019!The novels are a continuing tale focusing on Tressa, who is a daughter caught between her parents’ loveless marriage and fighting.Tressa is a woman of unique character whose faith is an example of wrestling through tough issues of the heart, and the actions of others. When Tressa meets the man her father hired to care for the vineyard, she is stunned by his looks, the way he tends the vine and how multi-faceted his character.When Tressa returns to her home, she notices the various looks of the people in town, the many who show up on her doorstep to demand payment for bills along with others who are coming to her because they believe her father’s fortune is in her possessi…

Leaving Independence

Title:Leaving Independence
Author: Leanne W. Smith
Pages: 368
Year: 2016
Publisher: Waterfall Press
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
The Oregon Trail was a means of expansion west after a time when the country had been torn in two and people were looking to start fresh.Abigail Baldwyn thinks she is a widow with four children and no way to pay on her home as the death benefits she requested from the War Department were not coming.Abigail was shocked to learn that perhaps her children weren’t fatherless, and she may not be a widow after all!But, with few options before her, she sets out to meet up with her husband, even though he doesn’t want her to bring the children.
Abigail’s father wants nothing to do with her since she married a man who fought with the Union and he lost a son who fought in the Confederacy.Her two brothers don’t feel the same, but there is little they can do to help her out.Abigail gives Mimi her freedom papers as her maid is remaining in the area to help care for her sick sis…

Called to Protect (Blue Justice #2)

Title:Called to Protect (Blue Justice #2)
Author:Lynette Eason
Pages:320 (ARC)
Publisher: Revell
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Blake MacCallum is a Deputy U.S. Marshal who has been assigned protective duty of a judge who is trying to get a bill passed to make jail time longer for those convicted of human trafficking.The judge has received death threats, so until the bill is presented for a vote, which is in a week, the judge is guarded 24/7 by U.S. Marshals.Blake has added tension to his duties as someone has kidnapped his teenage daughter, Rachel, and threatened to kill her if Blake doesn’t kill the judge before the bill is voted on.Blake can’t just kill the judge, can he?But if he doesn’t, he has no doubt Rachel will be killed.What is he supposed to do?
Chloe and Hank are at the scene of a semi accident when a startling discovery is made.There is a secret compartment in the trailer that is transporting women to their “buyers.”One of the women is wearing a shirt that belongs to C…

Secrets of the Secret Service

Title: Secrets of the Secret Service
Authors:Gary J. Byrne with Grant M. Schmidt
Pages: 304
Year: 2018
Publisher: Center Street
Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This book gives insight into the Secret Service that is tasked with protecting the President of the United States; its history, successes and failures, and its uncertain future. Author Gary Byrne (former member of the USSS) brings to light why the Secret Service is failing as an organization. He provides a detailed account of incidents of unprofessional conduct such as verbal abuse, threats, sexual misconduct (including extramarital affairs), cover ups and so forth. He explains why these are causing employees of the Secret Service to quit, leaving the Service understaffed. Employees are not valued like they should be. When an employee does wrong, they are not disciplined or even fired, but can keep their jobs and retire with full benefits. The leadership is proven time and time again to be incompetent and fails to fix the internal pro…

Superheroes Can’t Save You

Title:Superheroes Can’t Save You
Author:Todd Miles
Publisher:B&H Academic
My rating is 4.5.
I like superheroes. Some people ask if I like Marvel or DC heroes, and my response is “Yes.” Some prefer Marvel, others prefer DC, but I like them both and try not to compare them. I look at the different universes and the heroes that inhabit them on their own merits; however, I understand that some people have different opinions, and that is okay. When it comes to comparisons of the heroes of both publishers, one thing that is true of each and every hero is that none of them can really save people, partially because they are fictional characters but also their abilities do not completely meet the qualifications required to bring salvation to the human race. This is the message of Todd Miles’s book.
Mr. Miles takes seven superheroes—three from DC and four from Marvel—to illustrate examples of seven historical heresies that have and continue to plague the Christian Churc…

Book #4 of Dani Pettrey's Valor Series! The finale!

         Read the whole series and enjoy the suspense and thrills!
Cold Shot
Still Life
Blind Spot

A D 33

Title:  A. D. 33 (Book #2)
Author:  Ted Dekker
Pages:  384
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Center Street
My rating is 5 out of 5.
Ted Dekker is an author who never ceases to amaze me with the stories he shares with all of us!  A. D. 33 is the sequel to A. D. 30 where we meet again with Maviah and Saba who are learning what it really means to follow Yeshua.  They are also learning what His teachings mean and how He means for them to live out the truths compared to what they thought they meant.  We enjoy the action, battles, intrigue and how the disciples possibly acted or spoke around the Messiah.
I felt as I read how sand would feel when different characters were racing on camels to battle or to another city.  The scene of the arena really stole my breath as a person was chained to a pole, bathed in blood and the lion enters.  Whew!  It was like being a spectator and wanting to yell for a savior or to the king or queen to spare the life.  How Ted Dekker brings the various aspects of the Lord or Scr…

The Final Installment in the Chesapeake Valor Series!

The other novels are:
Followed by:  Then Book #3: 

A.D. 30

Title:A.D. 30
Author:Ted Dekker
Publisher: Center Street
My rating is 4 stars.
Maviah is a young, middle eastern woman who has returned home to her father’s house in disgrace.She was born as an illegitimate child to her father and a woman from the lowliest tribe.She was sold into slavery as a baby to Egyptians.While growing up as a slave, she was taught to read and knew several languages.However, she fell in love with another slave and was discovered to be pregnant so she was returned to her father.Her father never had concern for her or cared for her that is until he needed her.One night her father, the king, had his tribe attacked by a rival tribe.The odds were overwhelming and her father and his forces were going to lose.He gives Maviah an impossible task from her viewpoint.He asks her to go to King Herod and broker an agreement for Herod to get Rome to agree to an alliance with his tribe.Maviah undertakes the task to gain her father’s love and approval as well as to …

The Heart of Thornewell

Title:The Heart of Thornewell
Author:Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Enid Hawthorne is in shock from her grief.She and her husband have traveled from England to Africa to fulfill her husband’s dream of being a missionary.Now, he has died from a very short illness, leaving Enid alone in a foreign country, friendless and pregnant.Enid does the only thing she can and that is to gather her belongings and leave on foot for the next village and slowly begins her journey back to England.Upon arrival, she has no family or friends to take her in, so she arrives on the doorstep of her husband’s brother, the Earl of Thornewell, hoping he will take her in.Upon arrival, she learns that her good friend, Marie, the earl’s wife, has died a week after giving birth and the newborn child has also died.The earl, Sebastian, is in mourning and seclusion and wants nothing to do with Enid.He blames her for taking his brother away and thus…

Gone (Special Crimes Unit)

Title:Gone (Special Crimes Unit)
Author: Shirlee McCoy
Pages: 224
Year: 2018
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
My rating: 5+ out of 5
Ella awakes tied up and in some container with no windows and not sure what all is happening outside or if someone will come back to take care of her for good.Sam, who saves Ella, is working for the FBI undercover.That is, he was, until now.Together the next days are a mixture of constant threats on their lives, Ella working though her grief of losing her cousin and more people surrounding her to keep her safe.
There are people after both her and Sam.While Sam is trained to face danger, what he isn’t prepared for is how Ella touches the deepest part of his heart.Ella is afraid of opening her heart to Sam as a prior abusive relationship has soured her desire for any future romantic relationships.Ella has been working from home and rarely going out, and now she has no family left. The one bright spot is she is learning that Sam is someone she may be able to have…

Fatal Mistake (White Knights #1)

Title:Fatal Mistake (White Knights #1)
Author: Susan Sleeman
Pages: 400
Year: 2017
Publisher: FaithWords
My rating: 5 out of 5
I found a brand-new author who writes such tension filled suspense along with faith filled themes her books are easy to get lost in!In Fatal Mistake, Tara had once worked a government job and had a relatively quiet life visiting her Aunt June’s farm where she grew up.One afternoon Tara enters one of the buildings on the farm and what she finds changes her life forever!
After recovering from being shot and talking with Special Agent Cal Riggins, Tara has much to process about what she has been told about a friend she grew up alongside.However, after what she found in the building, seeing his face filled with hated and his shooting her, she decides taking off without anyone knowing is her best option for staying alive.
Cal has found her, and she must return with him so his team can protect her until they find the man who is responsible for so much death and destruction.…

Loving Lieutenant Lancaster

Title:Loving Lieutenant Lancaster
Author:Sarah M. Eden
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Linus Lancaster has retired from his naval service at the ripe old age of 24 years of age.Now that he is back on land, he is bored and at loose ends as to how to fill his time.So, when an invitation to a two-week long house party in the country is received, he quickly accepts.He knows his duty will be to keep his brother-in-law, Adam, apart from the dandified Philip.Once he arrives, his sisters who are also in attendance, begin scheming to find Linus a wife.Linus is not interested in the women they thrust under his nose, but he does meet someone who quickly becomes very important to him.The host of the house party is an older woman in the aristocracy who has employed a companion, Arabella Hampton.
Arabella Hampton is overjoyed with the opportunity to return to the estate of her favorite earl.He has since passed away, but she remembers all the time…

Fatal Recall (Love Inspired Suspense)

Title:Fatal Recall (Love Inspired Suspense)
Author: Carol J. Post
Pages: 224
Year: 2018
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
The author is well equipped to write a tale that is engaging with tension filled pages.Thrill seekers should enjoy her books.I know I do!Her novels include: Shattered Haven, Hidden Identity, Mistletoe Justice, Buried Memories,Reunited by Danger and now Fatal Recall. For me, this is the best of the best as a character named Tanner moves to a new home, in a new area and has a new job as a police officer.While kayaking rapids, Tanner hears a scream.When he leaves the water to investigate, his life is about to take a major detour from his original plans!
The lead female character, Tatem, is found unconscious by Tanner, and she has no memory when she awakens in the forest only fear.Tanner won’t leave her side and then travels a unique road while attempting to help this woman regain her memories as well as protect her from constant attempts on her li…

Room on the Porch Swing (An Amish Homestead Novel)

Title:Room on the Porch Swing (An Amish Homestead Novel)
Author: Amy Clipston
Pages: 336
Year: 2018
Publisher: Zondervan
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
The first book in the series is titled, A Place at Our Table, andnow the author has shared a good tale in the sequel, Room on the Porch Swing.Readers return to Lancaster and the Riehl’s home when two tragedies strike and change the relationships in the community.Even though these happen, the intriguing part is how hope springs forth after a time of grieving.Plus, Laura and Allen have questions about what they feel, and the plans being considered for future.
While parts of the story were sad, I am glad the author didn’t shy away from what is part of real life.The fact that real people experience such deep grief helps the audience know that they can also experience the hope that renews both the heart and spirit.The themes brought forth are impacting such as family, faith, prayer, God and living out the reality of these in life situations.
It does …

The Solace of Water

Title:The Solace of Water
Author: Elizabeth Byler Younts
Pages: 368
Year: 2018
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
If you are unfamiliar with this author, it has been awhile since she has shared her imaginative and heart-gripping stories with audiences.My introduction to her tales began with her books titled, A Promise to Cherish, Promise to Return, and Promise to Keep.Now, after a hiatus, the author brings a new tale that will keep audiences turning pages for hours.
The Solace of Water is a deep, riveting tale that encompasses friendships that are unique and during a very trying time of life for three women with diverse lives.Like so much of reality in the world we live in today, the story reflects one of tragedy and yet the beauty that can be born out of the ashes left behind.
What occurs in the book shows us what might happen when life can blindside people and the unlikely rebuilding of lives in such touching ways.The tale takes place in the 1950s in the Deep South with a…

Where Shadows Meet (Previously Pub. as Anathema)

Title:Where Shadows Meet (Previously Pub. as Anathema)
Author: Collen Coble
Pages: 336
Year: 2018
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Personally, I like the new title compared with the older one; yet, both have a central place in the book!I love reading Colleen’s books because of the tension, climax, suspense and entertainment she threads in her tales.In this tale, we read about a meeting of two worlds, the Amish and English in the heart of one young woman named Hannah who views freedom to be in the English world after she tragically loses both parents.Hannah makes a rash decision that sets her life on a course that brings pain, heartache, and questions to her heart for years.
When she fled her husband’s abuse and started a new life with a new name, she hoped to be free from him.Yet, in her heart of hearts, she knew he would always be looking for her and one day somehow, he would locate her and force her to return to him.When Hannah’s Aunt Nora sends a picture to her with a…

Justice Betrayed (A Memphis Cold Case Novel)

Title:Justice Betrayed (A Memphis Cold Case Novel)
Author: Patricia Bradley
Pages: 352
Year: 2018
Publisher: Revell
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
This is the author’s third novel in the series and it was outstanding!The first two books are titled: Justice Delayed and Justice Buried.In the story, we read about Elvis tribute artists who meet for a competition that offers big prize money.What happens is that one of the contestants becomes gravely ill and the assailant looks to be getting away with the crime.Yet, readers will be taken back to the beginning of the story that starts in the past of a woman named Shirley.
Expertly written prose that kept me engaged trying to figure out who was the antagonist and how all the clues spread throughout the story fit together.At first, the fact that two murders happening 17 years apart drew little attention until more clues revealed a bigger picture and the culprits were behind many negative and deadly actions.
A police detective, Rachel Sloane, has worked …

The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts #1)

Title:The Accidental Guardian (High Sierra Sweethearts #1)
Author:Mary Connealy
Publisher: Bethany House
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
This author has a knack for writing that draws readers into her stories from the first page through the last.This book is no exception.It is set near Lake Tahoe in the year 1867.Deb Harkness and her younger sister, Gwen, have joined a wagon train headed to California.They have agreed to look after two young children of a couple traveling on the wagon train in exchange for their passage.While out with the children early one morning, disaster strikes and they are left alone in the wilderness.
Trace Riley is on his way home from his first cattle drive as an owner.He has sent his men on ahead as he travels when he comes upon a devastating scene.He also seems to have gained two women and two young children to protect.He must get them to his ranch before winter sets in or none of them will survive.They make it to his ranch, and he gets them set…

How to be a Perfect Christian

Title:How to be a Perfect Christian
Author:Adam Ford and Kyle Mann (The Babylon Bee)
Pages:200 Format:book
My rating is 5.
Guest review by Cleve Johnson
If you enjoy satire and clean humor, then How to be a Perfect Christian is the book for you. I have seen the humorous articles posted by the Babylon Bee on Facebook, and when I found out that the same brand of satirical writing was available in a book, I had to read it. I loved the wit displayed throughout each chapter as each one focused on different aspects of achieving Christian perfection. Of course, there is a point behind each point covered as the writers poke fun at some of the traditions and activities that Christians participate in as well as how many of us appear to those within and outside the Church. As I read, my mind rushed to memories of my earlier days trying to please God through talking the talk and walking the walk before I discovered the difference between religion and biblical Christ…