Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Coming October 2018! Burden of Proof by Author: DiAnn Mills



Title:  Burden of Proof

Author:  DiAnn Mills

Pages:  416

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Here is another out of the park homerun story by author DiAnn Mills.  If you have never read any of her books, this one will get you hooked.  In the story, FBI Special Agent April Ramos experiences a tough night as a negotiator trying to talk a man off a high ledge.  Now, just getting coffee is about to change her life in ways she cannot imagine!

While in line with a crying baby behind her, she turns to comfort who she assumes is the mother, only to have the baby thrust into her arms.  Then, she is forced at gunpoint to bring the baby and do what her captor says.  What Agent Ramos is about to go through is an adventure she never anticipated nor a future she thought would ever occur.

DiAnn Mills is a master at writing stories that are at times intense and other times it seems like little may be occurring, but don’t be fooled.  She brings zing to the plot when one isn’t expecting it.  The author is one of my favorites for her realistic characters, intense suspense and stories filled with adventures.  If you haven’t read her books, don’t put it off any longer.  You’re missing the best of the best in thrills!

Preorder the book and while you’re waiting on your order, enjoy her other stories that are some of my favorites in my personal library!

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, July 28, 2018

Beyond All Dreams

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Title:  Beyond All Dreams
Author:  Elizabeth Camden
Pages:  362
Year:  2015
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
This is another winning story from Elizabeth Camden!  It is set in the late 1890s in Washington, D.C. as new technology is appearing in the city.  Anna O’Brien is a librarian at the Library of Congress with a specialty in maps who likes to stay out of the limelight.  Luke Callahan is a congressman from Maine who is bold, loud and full of confidence.  They both have dreams for their lives, but can they be realized?
Luke’s temper gets the best of him in an argument with the Speaker of the House and he is demoted from an influential committee to a lesser known committee.  Luke needs some help with research as he sets out to dig up some dirt on the Speaker of the House.  Anna is assigned as Luke’s research assistant.  They spend more time together and Luke begins to admire Anna’s intellect, wit and courage.  Anna tries to keep Luke at a distance as he is her exact opposite in personality.
What do these two people have in common?  You’ll have to read this excellent story to find out!  This is a wonderful romantic story with a mystery involving Anna’s father also intertwined.  Readers will encounter Anna’s sage advice to forgive because God has forgiven us greatly.  I loved Anna’s character and could so readily relate to her love of books and maps and all things involving the library.  I liked Luke’s ability to bring Anna out of her shell and encourage her.  Anna’s relationship with her best friend Neville was also a joy to read about.  I also enjoyed reading about the political climate at the time the story takes place.  The research involved is to be appreciated as well.  I have liked many of this author’s previous novels, am a fan of her work and look forward to her next offering.
My rating is 5 stars.
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

Friday, July 27, 2018

Beckon

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Title:  Beckon
Author:  Tom Pawlik
Year:  2012
Pages:  416
Publisher:  Tyndale Publishers
Note:  I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for an honest review.
 Grab hold of the arm on your couch before you even open the book cover!  At first I wasn’t sure what I was reading at all.  During the first few chapters, I was reminded of the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth.  I kept reading on as the plot was thickening and different genres of writing were included.  What kinds of genres?  Well, science fiction, mystery, and suspense type genres.  The author definitely takes the reader on one wild and crazy ride, making it hard to discern the plot.
 As you continue down the path of reading, more characters are introduced.  The scenes are changing as well as questions rising faster than you can read.  The story begins with a dad who is saying good-bye to his son before embarking on a journey to study ancient people.  The father has been mocked by colleagues for the premises published in his professional writings.  After a decade of being gone, we find that Jack has decided to take up the path of his father’s study in hopes of discovering what happened to his dad as well as to exonerate him.  Jack’s father was an anthropologist.  Jack grew up without a mother, but was raised by a loving aunt.
 Jack isn’t the only one looking for answers, so is a woman named Elina.  Having been a daughter of a murder victim, she has become a cop.  Her decision to search for answers proves to be more dangerous than any other decision she has ever made.  Then, the reader is introduced to George.  As we continue down the path of discovery, we see George is quite successful and married though bares a heavy burden.  Like all who find themselves at the end of their rope, he is searching for a miracle for his wife.  What cost must George pay in order to secure the hope he no longer has?  The villain in the story sounds like someone we might know--you know, the type who sees a chance to take advantage of someone’s heartache placing before them… I can’t tell you or that would ruin it.
 Finally, we come to the last chapters of the book.  Here we see the warfare that is raging all through the book come to a climax.  Many characters are lost, hurt or are locked up for future experiments maybe?  No, something more sinister is in the works far worse than anyone can imagine.  The story is filled with twists, turns, action, and surprises.  Though at first I wasn’t sure I could even finish the book, I then found I couldn’t put it down!  Beckon is definitely a unique story.  I was glad I had an opportunity to read it.  For me, the book rates a 4-star as it is not something I would have chosen, but found it to have great story telling!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Beautriful Thread

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Title:  The Beautiful Thread (The Hawk & the Dove #8)
Author:  Penelope Wilcock
Pages:  208
Year:  2016
Publisher:  Lion Fiction
My rating is 4 stars.
The focus on this eighth book in this series is again William du Bulmer and Abbot John.  This time, however, the drama is not on William’s love life, but Abbot John’s.  St. Alcuin’s is to host a big wedding.  As a result, Father Conradus, who is in charge of the kitchen, needs extra help with all the food preparations.  It is suggested that he notify his mother to have her come and help.  This being done, she agrees and soon arrives at St. Alcuin’s.  Abbot John immediately feels comfortable in her presence and wants to spend more time with her under the guise of showing her around the monastery and other excuses.  Some of the other monks immediately notice the change in their abbot’s attitude toward this woman.  Will St. Alcuin’s lose another man to a woman?
The other situation going on in the story is a visit from one of the higher ups in the monastic hierarchy.  His visit happens to coincide with all the wedding plans and incoming guests, so tension is running high among the monks as they try to get everything ready for both events.  Bishop Eric inspects St. Alcuin’s property, grills the novitiates and applauds the food from the kitchen.  Then he hears from his assistant that William de Bulmer has been seen at St. Alcuin’s.  Bishop Eric now is on a manhunt for William to bring charges against him, excommunicate him and then execute him!  Can William escape the noose a second time?
As always, this book portrays these monks with great care in their vulnerability, transparency and humanness.  They strive to be Christ like, but sometimes fail just like us.  They ask for forgiveness, try to do better and sometimes succeed just like us.  I really liked the idea of the beautiful thread revealed in this story; it really hit home what I can do to be more like Christ in my treatment of others.  I am so looking forward to the final book in the series, A Day and a Life, due to be released in September 2016 to see what the monks are up to next!
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Atonement of Emily Adams

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Title:  Atonement for Emily Adams
Author:  Susan R. Lawrence
Website:  http://www.amazon.com/Susan-Lawrence/e/B00KLS7A6S/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
Pages:  264
Year:  2014
Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas
My rating is 5 stars out of 5
Very few books in my life have caused me to sit back and really be speechless, but I am glad to say this is one story that is beyond incredible.  While this is a fictional tale, it is easy to imagine various scenarios described in the book as being somehow reality in many people’s lives.  A young married woman and her husband decide to start a family until one night an accident occurs that throws this couple for a loop along with other characters in the novel.
Whether the characters were Christians or not, what made this tale so realistic was how the pain, grief and healing took time.  I think the author did a superb job of not rushing the time it takes for healing to occur in the characters’ hearts and lives.  I also thought it realistic that sometimes in the deepest darkest night of our lives we tend to try and handle life without Him or allowing others to minister.
The most amazing part was how the author ends the novel showing how God can bring good out of tragedy, plus restores hearts shattered.  One of the mother characters in the book is a prayer warrior even when her children are adults.  When I read that repeatedly throughout the book, I kept thinking that is one job mothers never cease practicing. 
I was drawn to the story simply when I looked at the cover of the book.  For some reason I knew it was a story I had to read and it had no personal application to me as far as how the characters suffered.  I could imagine how God could and does what we can never do or see at first when we are side-swiped by pain or grief.  Yet, in time, He truly does turn our mourning into joy! 
Take a moment to sit down with this novel and see what God may speak into your heart or mind.  You just might be surprised and thankful you took the time to read it.  If you know of someone who might be blessed by the novel, consider giving them a copy as it just might spark a conversation that could lead to redemption, healing and hope!
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.”
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, July 24, 2018

Risen

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Title: Risen (The Novelization of the Major Motion Picture)
Author: Angela Hunt
Pages: 320
Year: 2015
Publisher: Bethany
My rating is 5 stars.
My husband and sons went to see the movie Risen in the theatre; I will see it when it comes on DVD as theater seating is uncomfortable for me. So when I saw the book being offered for review on Bookfun.org, I asked for a copy to read. The joy of being able to converse with my guys about the movie scenes and scenes from the book was fun; it’s a great family activity we do.
In the novel, the chapters switch between the Roman Tribune Clavius and a young Jewish widow named Rachel. When authors use this means of telling a story, it tends to enrich the reader’s understanding of what is occurring by using two points of view. Here it helps to see the Roman activity, thoughts and life compared to a widowed Jewish woman making bread and selling it in the market place as a means to take care of her needs. When these two lives meet and become involved in a relationship, knowing that neither the Romans nor the Jewish people would condone it, secrecy becomes paramount!
Also happening at the same time is the resurrection of Yeshua and the demand to locate his body by Pontius Pilate. Clavius goes to extreme and ultimate measures in order to obey the order. However, something more is occurring within the heart of this Roman Tribune. Rachel is a lonely woman who has never felt real love or care from her own people or her dead husband. The uproar in searching for the Nazarene’s body causes a stirring in her heart that no words can adequately express.
I couldn’t stop reading the novel because I wanted to see what was in the future for Clavius. Plus I was wondering if he would see Yeshua with his own eyes and then what he would do with his Roman gods that he seemed disappointed and disgusted by. Rachel drew my attention because of her unloving marriage and then being alone until she meets the Tribune. What would her future be or would she encounter Yeshua?
I hope you read the novel and perhaps with Easter around the corner or anytime during the year give the novel to someone who is searching. Maybe consider adding it to your personal library to enjoy again in the future. It is worth reading and sharing!
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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Monday, July 23, 2018

Another Way Home

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Title: Another Way Home (Chicory Inn #3)
Author: Deborah Raney
Pages: 304
Year: 2015
Publisher: Abingdon Press
My rating is 5+ stars.
We met the Whitman family in the first book of the series, Home to Chicory Lane, followed by Two Roads Home. In each story, we are given a bird’s-eye view into the various issues some of the grown Whitman children have faced along with how they interact and the running of the inn. Here, in the third book, the author tackles a couple of hard issues such as domestic abuse, infertility, adoption, marriage and faith. I was really grabbed by the heart when Danea continued to be disappointed about not getting pregnant even when spending so much money.
As God opens her eyes, she decides to volunteer at a home for domestically fractured families, meeting a woman named Misty. When Danea and her husband Dallas willingly take Misty’s son into their home over Thanksgiving, there comes a point when it becomes evident that Misty is in trouble. She doesn’t return as agreed and no one is able to contact her. The couple is facing challenging decisions as their hearts love Misty’s 3-year-old son, but she is now in legal trouble and facing a long separation from her son. However, there is also a secret Misty has kept from this couple that will require more wrestling with God and lots of prayer.
The Whitman characters are close to one another and stand with each other through the various seasons of life. I love how the grandparents are there as sounding boards or for counsel and most importantly as prayer warriors for the children’s families. The patriarch, Grant, wants to make sure that the family doesn’t lose its closeness so he has them over every Tuesday night for family nights. Rightly portrayed is how sometimes the families aren’t thrilled about coming over; yet, they learn the cost of coming over and being together is well worth the sacrifice each makes to be there every week.
I look forward to the fourth book coming out in 2016 and if it is the last one that will be hard as I have enjoyed the Whitman family a whole lot!
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.” 

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Annie's Stories

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Title: Annie’s Stories (an Ellis Island novel)
Author: Cindy Thomson
Pages: 416
Year: 2014
Publisher: Tyndale
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Annies-Stories-...
Reading is such a sweet endeavor and a blessing to be sure, especially when discovering a new author. Annie’s Stories is the second book in the Ellis Island series with the first book being, Grace’s Pictures, published by Tyndale in May of 2013. Losing myself in the pages of the tale was a rich and rewarding experience. The story is rich, robust, historical, reminding the audience of what others might have experienced before us, both the good and the bad. The best part was learning even more about the book written by L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, along with how novels and illustrations were meant to teach virtues and character traits.
Annie is of Irish descent whose father loved storytelling, which I learned is a tradition steeped deeply in the Irish culture. Annie’s father dies, leaving her as she views her life all alone with no money to speak of or future in Ireland. When she is rescued from a place known as the Magdalene Laundries and their controversial history, again I was enthralled to learn more about these places after I finished the book. The story is one most people can relate to when life is viewed based on growing faith, life experiences, and love received from others. There is one character named Stephen who must learn that all he can do will never quiet the pain in his heart or soul when he loses his mother, father and only brother. Stephen comes to a place where a pastor helps him understand the choice he has before him of either to forgive or withhold and the need to listen for God’s voice or continue to try to help through his own efforts.
I have not even scratched the surface of the well-researched tale written and shared with us. If you appreciate history, faith, love, and so much more, this is one novel not to miss reading or sharing with others. I plan on obtaining the other book title I shared at the beginning of this review as I believe it will be just as rewarding as Annie’s Stories.
My rating is 5+ stars.
Note: I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book from www.bookfun.org. The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. Other reviews can be read athttp://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo... . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook athttps://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...
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Friday, July 20, 2018

Angels Walkking

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Title: Angels Walking Book #1
Author: Karen Kingsbury
Pages: 384
Year: 2014
Publisher: Howard
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Angels-Walking-...
What an exploding work of fiction! Angels Walking, the first book in a new series written by Karen Kingsbury, turns out to be an exceptional and inspirational debut. My curiosity is what drew me to the book; I wondered how the author would portray angels in a fictional yet Biblical way. When I began reading, I knew beyond a doubt that while a fictional piece of work promised an adventure, I was blessed at how Karen weaves in the spiritual reality of warfare that cannot be seen by the naked eye.
I don’t want to reveal too much of the story so as not to ruin your own discovery, but I will share enough to whet your appetite. Two angels volunteer for a mission on earth to help two individuals, Sami and Tyler, meet in order to fulfill the long term plan God has for them. The angels have no clue as to all that the mission will require or the way to do God’s bidding, but they trust that God will show them as they obey each order given. There is a cost if the two humans fail to meet even though Sami and Tyler wouldn’t be aware of that aspect. Throughout the pages we read of various characters who find hope in the darkest of moments, comfort in time of pain and the difference between what they thought was God’s plan compared to the fulfillment.
There is a scene where all the angels are applauding God and praising Him, which brought wonder to my imagination! I lost myself in the characters, both angelic and human. We should remember that Scripture tells us be aware we might entertain angels without knowing it. The scenes are a reflection of what people have experienced in living life here on earth, only now with a fictional addition of the viewpoint of angels. I believe angels are real and are doing the missions God sends them on. We just can’t always see, know or be able to tell of their presence. Yet, what matters more is that God loves us so much to send us messengers to help in more ways than finite beings will ever be able to comprehend.
The newest series is something to be read, shared and treasured for all who love good literature! Don’t miss Book #1, Angels Walking; the journey starts here.
My rating is 5+ stars.
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.” 
Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspo... . Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook athttps://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson...

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Always Watching

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Title: Always Watching (Elite Guardians #1)
Author: Lynette Eason
Pages: 329
Year: 2016
Publisher: Revell
Lynette Eason delivers again with this new series! I loved the idea of having a company of all women bodyguards; I thought the idea very original. This first book is focused on Olivia Edwards and her story.
Olivia Edwards used to be a cop, but now she runs a company with her partners of all female bodyguards. This particular assignment originally has Maddy as the bodyguard for a local widowed psychiatrist, who also does a radio talk show at night. The psychiatrist, Wade Savage, has a stalker and that is why he has a bodyguard. The stalker quickly escalates her by taking Maddy out of the picture at the beginning of the story. So it is Olivia’s turn in the rotation of the security schedule to now be on duty to Wade and his daughter, Amy.
The moves quickly along with the stalker becoming more and more bold with her actions. More and more people are being injured or killed. Olivia wonders how the stalker always seems to be a step ahead of her security. Olivia has called in her other partners in the company to provide 24/7 security, but still the stalker breaks through their defenses. In addition, Oliva and Wade have sparks flying when they come in contact and seem to be edging toward a romantic relationship. However, Wade is a Christian and while Olivia believes in God, she doesn’t like him very much. Olivia sees faith in action through Wade and his father and begins to draw closer to God. The stalker makes a bold attempt to get Wade to notice her and Olivia must face her greatest fear to save a life.
I couldn’t put this book down as the action was nonstop and the tension full-tilt! I just loved the relationship between Wade and his daughter in the story. He was so patient and reassuring with her. Olivia and Wade are also willing to be vulnerable with each other by sharing their painful pasts with each other. This definitely made the character more realistic for me. I can hardly wait for book two in the series, Without Warning, to be released this summer. This is an exciting novel that you won’t want to miss!
My rating is 5 stars.
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, July 17, 2018

Death of a Jester (A Branigan Powers Mystery #3)


Title:  Death of a Jester (A Branigan Powers Mystery #3)

Author:  Deb Richardson-Moore

Pages:  286

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 3 out of 5 stars.

First off, I want to make clear that I don’t consider a 3-star review as a negative review as some sites categorize.  I consider it to be an average rating.  I would rate this a 3.5-star rating, but most sites don’t allow for half-star ratings.

Branigan Powers has received her assignment to cover a clown sighting, with the clown trying to lure young children into the woods with candy.  The clown has made more than one appearance, but so far has been unsuccessful in his attempts to take a child.  Some think the clowns are a hoax or the people reporting them are making up the story.  Soon, a child does fall prey to a clown and is kidnapped.  He is taken from a homeless family, so what is the clown’s purpose in taking him?  There will be no payment of ransom as the family has no money.  Branigan is on the case and has the help of Malachi, a homeless veteran, to help her.  Malachi lives in the same area as the family who lost the child.  He overhears a conversation that gets him thinking.  He does some investigating on his own, but can he find the culprit?

Meanwhile, Branigan is having to deal with her two cousins returning to town.  They bring baggage in the form of a stalker for one cousin and Branigan’s first serious boyfriend, who ended up marrying her cousin while Branigan was away at college.  Branigan has been gun shy of relationships since and having to see this man again is something she wants to avoid at all cost.  Then, a clown is found murdered, but no sign of the little boy.  Where can he be?  Why was the clown killed?  Who killed him?

I really enjoyed the second book in this series, so I was excited when book three was released.  However, this plot just didn’t work for me.  I didn’t think the theater connection to the homeless crowd and clown sightings worked.  I also didn’t like that Branigan and Chester’s relationship included sleeping together without being married.  There was also a lot of social drinking in this story.  No one was getting drunk, but it stood out to me in this story especially with Malachi’s trouble with alcohol.  I did like delving deeper into Malachi’s history and getting to know him better.  I do applaud the author’s spotlight on the plight of the homeless and giving the myriad of reasons why someone becomes homeless.  I definitely learned some things about people in that situation that I didn’t know before and for that I am grateful to the author.  This book is certainly worth reading, but for me it wasn’t her best.  I will continue to read this series if more books are in the works.

Monday, July 16, 2018

When Through Deep Waters


Title:  When Through Deep Waters

Author:  Rachelle Dekker

Pages:  400

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Tyndale

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Rachelle Dekker is the daughter of author Ted Dekker.  Both write novels that aren’t the norm and usually the reader doesn’t know until later in the book that it is packed with deep spiritual truths.  I am not sure what I was expecting when I opened the book, but during my travel in the tale the truth punched my right in heart.  So as not to ruin anyone’s enjoyment or the story or where God may speak to you, I won’t elaborate further what or where in the book my heart was impacted.

However, in true Dekker fashion, the story drew me in from the start.  I could tell it would have the aspect of spiritual warfare in it, but there was more to come.  The characters and their battles I would have to say are unusual but no less realistic.  I am not sure that everyone can read this book.  If they are dealing with any psychological or emotional battles, they will have to decide that for themselves.

I will say that though it is an unusual story, setting, and the characters seem real or at least their private battles do as well as their interactions with others, I wouldn’t have missed reading the tale for anything.  Why?  For me, when God speaks, that makes it even more special to me.  I will never look at or understand the same way again the Word of God as it is used in the book.  It means something deeper and the hope that grew from that is exponentially out of the ballpark!

The book reminded me of Ted Dekker’s Circle series, and I plan on rereading them as well.  Be assured that this reviewer doesn’t elevate fiction above the Word of God.  I just treasure the truths their fictional works reveal.  I hope you read Rachelle’s latest book, and perhaps then venture into other works by both Rachelle and her father Ted!

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Contradiction to His Pride


Title:  A Contradiction to His Pride

Author:  Leanne W. Smith

Pages:  422

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Self-published

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

This novel is a sequel to Leaving Independence written by the same author.  Reading these novels set on the Oregon Trail in the late 1800s was pure joy and excitement.  I was amazed as well as mesmerized by the action, danger and how quickly life could be lost as depicted in the stories.  Here, the settlers from the wagon train we met in the first book are now trying to establish their town and lives when a bank robbery turns the characters’ lives in a tither.

During the grieving Corrine experiences after losing a dear friend, she is also wrestling with being a grown up and handling a less than the picture-perfect life she once held dear.  A couple of the characters from the town are hunting bank robbers as well as going after James and his group to let them know danger is on their heels.  Life is very precarious in these days and the author does an excellent job of showing readers that as well as how a community can come together to rejoice in good times.

I think these novels will be enjoyed by those who love history, westerns, well-crafted, lifelike characters and a riveting plot!  The climax scene was just pulling me further into the book and the ending, I believe, leaves room for a sequel with these characters later in life and time.  I can’t say enough about the enjoyment I had reading the books and hope others will soon grab copies, lose themselves in the tales then share them with other readers, family or friends.

Don’t wait to get your books as these are too good to wait!

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

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Compromised Identity


Title:  Compromised Identity

Author:  Jodie Bailey

Pages:  220

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Staff sergeant Jessica Dylan is a trained Army Medic.  She has not had enough time between missions overseas, so her battalion ships out without her.  She is left behind to act as a liaison between service men and women and their families, helping with insurance matters, housing, medical care, etc.  Her laptop was stolen two weeks ago and when she enters her office her she discovers someone trying to steal her new laptop!  She gives chase, but comes up against greater odds of 2:1.  She is facing a life-threatening situation when out of the blue someone barrels into one of the criminals and chases them away.  Enter Staff sergeant Sean Turner.  His mission is to protect Jessica and ferret out the reason why her laptop, as well as those in other battalions, have been stolen.

Jessica refuses to allow Sean to sideline her and wants to be an active part of the investigation.  She won’t stand by somewhere safe while he chases criminals.  She wants to make her military father proud of her.  Sean is battling nightmares and terrible memories of his last mission that went wrong, with him being captured and tortured.  He was rescued, but almost cost his best friend her life.  He is carrying around that guilt and is determined to prove to his superiors that he is battle ready for another mission.  However, Jessica makes him feel safe and comfortable.  He wants something more with her, but he isn’t a safe choice for her so he will keep his distance.  While protecting her, he discovers a much more complex plot than simply stealing computers.  The danger to Jessica is dire and Sean will do anything necessary to protect her, but when she goes missing all bets are off.

Positives:  Seeing portion of the life of a woman in the military, strong reliance on God, timely issue of cyberterrorism, interesting plot with the method used to infiltrate the military.

Negatives:  Rushed romance, not believable change in father-daughter relationship at the end of the book.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

My Heart Belongs in Galveston Texas (Madeline’s Search)


Title:  My Heart Belongs in Galveston Texas (Madeline’s Search)

Author:  Kathleen Y’Barbo

Pages:  256

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Barbour Books

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Each novel that is added to the “My Heart Belongs” series seems to be a gem, but this one truly takes the cake!  The novel is fiction, then add a mystery in the mix, a possible romance that was off then well maybe on again, and history and you have the makings of a winner!  The author took great pains to research the history of the place, persons and time period.  We, the readers, get to learn what she learned while preparing for the book at the end of the story though I am sure they aren’t all her notes!

Madeline is part of a family that holds on to the secrets entrusted to them by others, and a certain business is known only by word of mouth.  Madeline loves being a reporter, chasing down stories or answers to any questions that stir her interest.  Now she is teamed up with someone from her past by an older woman who had hired Madeline for a different job.  To understand all of this, you will just have to read the book!

The history is rich and once I started reading there was no putting it down until the very end.  I then read the author’s notes.  I am amazed at how rich in history our nation is and how authors really seek the facts and then weave them into a riveting tale that is outstanding!  Another plus for these books is that they aren’t very lengthy for people with much on their plate.

Grab a copy and then get lost in the mystery and history of Galveston, Texas!

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, July 10, 2018

No Safe Place (Witness Protection #1)


Title:  No Safe Place (Witness Protection #1)

Author:  H. L. Wegley

Pages:  250

Year:  2018

Publisher:  H. L. Wegley

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

I have read all this author’s books, and here is the best yet!  Right from the dedication the author shares his heart and hopes for those who read this particular story.  Then, when I started reading, I couldn’t put it down.  I went all the way to the end, finishing the book in one sitting!  Everywhere in this action-packed thriller is mystery, danger, faith, romance and hope.  There is definitely a touch of realism in the book as one character is disowned by her parents because she is a Christian.  Plus, part of the plot includes a prodigal’s journey in returning home to his Heavenly Father’s arms.

Matt is young man who made some serious mistakes in the past and now seeks to live life as he knows he should, but the past is catching up with him.  The men after him are playing for keeps.  Since he ran into Miranda while jogging one day, her life is now in danger too!  How can he keep them both safe and alive?  When his pastor counsels him to do what he knows he must, Matt sees the cost will be high.

Miranda is special woman who deeply cares for Matt, and she is willing to walk beside him if only he will let her.  Her past isn’t perfect either.  All she desires is to live a life that is filled with love and hopes to find that someday.  However, due to her broken past, she doesn’t find it easy to trust anyone.  Can the God of Heaven help these two become whole and have some sort of future?

Read this first book in H. L. Wegley’s latest series and look for book two, No True Justice, to come out sometime in the near future!

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

Monday, July 9, 2018

Formula of Deception


Title:  Formula of Deception

Author:  Carrie Stuart Parks

Pages:  310

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Murphy Anderson may have misled the detective as to her experience working with police as a forensic artist, but she needs the money.  She has studied YouTube, so how hard can it be?  She is a good artist and puts those skills to work drawing the scene from the details given her by a dying hunter.  He claims he was hunting on a deserted island and came upon the bodies of five men.  Murphy asks key questions to help her draw the men and the one man whom the hunter remembers his face.  While at home, Murphy receives a letter telling her the man who murdered her sister has escaped jail.  She is certain he will come after her now.  Murphy works up her sketches and calls the detective the same day so they can return to the hunter to fine-tune any changes.  Upon arrival, they find disaster has struck.

Murphy now is constantly looking over her shoulder in fear.  She is taken to the deserted island where again a terrible accident occurs.  On arriving back to the mainland, she stays at the hospital waiting for her friend to regain consciousness.  Then, her home is destroyed.  She now has a job at an expensive resort as a waitress, but at least she has a place to live.  She continues digging for answers and the bodies of those involved in the investigation begin to pile up.  Murphy also keeps having the same dream or sometimes she has the dream as a flashback during the day.  Who can she trust?  What was really going on at that island?

Murphy Anderson is another stellar character from the pen of Carrie Stuart Parks.  She is so smart, talented and tuned in to the nuances of asking the right question to get the answer she needs.  She gets along well with children and instinctively knows how to gain their attention and put them at ease.  Her insight in reading people is uncanny.  She is persistent and won’t be scared off from her purpose.  She is a character, just like Carrie’s other protagonist, Gwen Marcey, who has had awful trials and situations in her life, but refuses to give up on life or people.  They both grit their teeth and press on.  I hope there are more books featuring Murphy Anderson as this one was terrific!

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.”