Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Ranch Refuge (Rangers Under Fire)

Title:  Ranch Refuge (Rangers Under Fire)

Author:  Virginia Vaughan

Pages:  285 (larger print)

Year:  August 2016

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Laura Jackson knows what it is like to give up her dreams.  She has been doing that for most of her life due to her dad’s gambling addiction that started shortly after her mother’s death.  She now works as an ER nurse, but her coworkers have told her she is not cut out for the job; she cares too much for each and every patient who enters the ER.  She has also been dealing with a loan shark boss, who her father is indebted to, trying to make advances toward her.  His advances are unwelcome and have become more forceful.  While walking out to her car after work, she is almost kidnapped.  If it weren’t for the intervention of a stranger, she fears she would be in big trouble about now.  Laura wonders if there is any man out there she can trust.

Colton Blackwell has been asked to look out for Laura by her father.  Colton is a former Army Ranger who now works as a rancher while sometimes helping those in desperate need.  Laura is one of those people.  He saves her from kidnapping and takes her to his ranch for safety until he can figure out who is after her.  He thinks she will be safe as no one will know where she is.  However, he thinks wrong as another attempt is made to kidnap Laura.  Colton thwarts this attempt, but the kidnappers get away.  He knows it is just a matter of time before they try again.  Before the next attempt, he and Laura get to know one another, and he likes what he learns about her.  He fears that she would never give him a chance at romance due to his past.

Here is another good read from Love Inspired Suspense.  The story started with action from the beginning which drew me in right away.  I quickly flipped pages to find out what exciting thing would happen next!  For a quick adrenaline rush, grab this one!

Monday, April 29, 2019

A Silken Thread

Title:  A Silken Thread

Author:  Kim Vogel Sawyer


Year:  2019

Publisher:  Waterbrook

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Willie Sharp is busy working full-time and taking care of his father, who has suffered a stroke.  They don’t have much money, just enough to make do.  Willie’s best friend is Quincy, a young African American who has a hot temper when riled.  They both get jobs at the Atlanta exposition featuring cotton and other textiles.  Quincy encounters a great deal of racism, and Willie wonders why everyone is so concerned with the outside of a person instead of what’s on the inside.

Laurel Millard has gotten a job weaving silk at the new exposition.  She is the youngest of six children and her older siblings have told her it is her job to take care of their mother before starting a life of her own.  Laurel hopes that by being out amongst people she will meet a young bachelor, fall in love and marry as long as he is willing to take care of her mother, too.  Langford Rochester is the son of a wealthy businessman, who spends his days playing cards and wasting time.  His father wants to train him to take over the business and his mother wants him to marry.  Langford wants to keep living the life of a wastrel, but he figures he can pretend interest in both his parents’ objectives for a little while.  He wants a wife that is naïve and easily manipulated.  He sets his sights on Laurel to fill the bill, and Laurel thinks she has found a man to solve her situation.

I normally enjoy this author’s stories, but this one fell short for me.  I couldn’t connect to the characters, the romance between Willie and Laurel didn’t seem realistic in that it came out of nowhere, and the plot was predictable.  I did, however, adore Quincy’s mom.  She was the strong voice of wisdom and faith.  She is a character I would have liked to have heard from more often.  The historical setting was interesting too.  I had never heard of the exposition put on in Atlanta in 1895, so I learned something new.  All-in-all, the book was okay.  I look forward to reading this author’s next endeavor and hope for a better outcome.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Redemption (Memory Man #5)

Title:  Redemption (Memory Man #5)

Author:  David Baldacci

Pages:  432

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

If you haven’t yet delved into the world of Memory Man’s main character, Amos Decker, you’re missing out!  While each novel can be read as a standalone, for me it worked better to read from the first book to date.  I enjoyed seeing how Amos was growing as an FBI agent and as a man who suffered a head injury via the NFL.

The series introduces Amos when he returns home in book one titled, Memory Man, to learn of the murders of his wife and daughter.  From there, Amos spirals into a pit of darkness both professionally and in his personal life.  What was really gripping in the latest novel was the way the author wove a mystery.  Readers get a hint early as to who is the culprit only to learn…well, I won’t say so as not to ruin it for you who haven’t enjoyed it as of yet.

The author has written a very engaging and riveting tale that kept me turning pages for hours.  There were intricacies that made the story a surprise in the direction it takes and reveals a deeper plot than what is first apparent to the eye.  Amos is changing since his appearance in book one and in many ways, he is also the same.  There were a few heart touching-moments as I read parts that revealed Amos’s internal struggles and thoughts.  Amos Decker is definitely a deep thinker.  His personality quirks are at times frustrating to other characters but also endearing.

I think readers will enjoy watching Amos Decker as he solves crimes, bucks the system and learns to live with loss.  The series starts with Memory Man followed by The Last Mile, The Fix, The Fallen and now Redemption.  Suspense, mystery, intrigue, and more fill the pages and will keep your nose in the book all the while engaging your mind as you try and solve the puzzle presented in each installment.

I highly recommend starting at the beginning to really appreciate the character as he changes, grows and in some ways remains the Amos from the first book to the fifth.  I hope the author plans more exciting adventures for Amos!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Whispers in the Reading Room (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery #3)

Title:  Whispers in the Reading Room (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery #3)

Author:  Shelley Gray

Pages:  352

Year:  2015

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Sebastian Marks has remade himself from a poor, illiterate boy to a rich, well-read man.  No matter how much he thinks he has changed, he still feels his low status on the social scene.  The upper class claims he is just pretending to be a gentleman, and he doesn’t really belong in their class.  However, the upper class is more than happy to go to Sebastian’s gambling club for entertainment.  Sebastian enjoys his time away from the club at the local reading room to improve his knowledge and refinement as well as to secretly catch a glimpse of the lovely librarian, Lydia Bancroft.

Lydia is barely keeping her head above water.  Upon her father’s death, she and her mother learned he had put them deep debt.  They had to sell their house, their fancy clothes, jewelry and paintings that had adorned their home.  Living in reduced circumstances and surviving on Lydia’s meager salary has made her mother desperate for Lydia to marry well.  They spend what little money they can spare on keeping up Lydia’s wardrobe, so she can garner a proposal.  Her mother strongly encourages her to accept a proposal from a wealthy gentleman of an equal social status.  Lydia accepts the proposal but has no plans on giving up the job that she loves at the reading room.  She also has spent some time wondering about the handsome gentleman who frequently visits the reading room.  When they finally meet, their lives will take an unexpected turn.

This is my favorite series by this author.  All three books showcase her writing talent with mystery, romance, social class distinctions and the narrow views included therein to name just a few of the elements in the novels.  I found the setting very interesting and I learned about what life was like for a woman in this time era and the restrictions she had to live under.  I also found Lydia’s character so likeable and in her love of books a kindred spirit.  I sincerely hope Ms. Gray will write more historical mysteries as she has done an outstanding job with this series.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Dig Your Own Grave (A Will Tanner U. S. Deputy Marshall Western #5)

Title:  Dig Your Own Grave (A Will Tanner U. S. Deputy Marshall Western #5)

Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone

Pages:  304

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Will Tanner is a young, bold, daring and at times still learning how to be a U.S. Deputy Marshall as he rides after some nefarious characters.  Will is also engaged to be married though his future mother-in-law is not at all in favor of his marrying her daughter.  When Will is ordered to leave town to apprehend the Beaudry gang who is robbing banks and killing indiscriminately, his fiancée Lyla is adamant he not leave again!

Out in the area where the gang is reported to be, Will is fighting to keep his thoughts on his job.  One mistake and Will Tanner knows that is the end of his career, or life without any possible future with Lyla.  When Lyla refuses to see him before he leaves, he wonders if there is even going to be a wedding.  Will puts all his mind on his job shortly after hearing two rifle shots and bullets whizzing past his head!

Through many trails and trials this young man must fulfill his duty as he becomes clearly intent on going the extra mile to get his man!  The story captures the imagination and at times leaves readers hanging in some scenes momentarily while attention is diverted to other action taking place in the story.  I personally enjoy the Will Tanner character with the way he plans to capture the people he is after, his treatment of prisoners, his romance with Lyla and more.

There is action, adventure and romance that readers will certainly enjoy.  Grab the book and read the series because either way you cannot help but enjoy the Old West action!

The order of the Will Tanner U. S. Deputy Marshall series:

#1 Will Tanner:  U. S. Deputy Marshall

#2 A Stanger in Town

#3 Powder Burn

#4 Evil Never Sleeps      

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Hearts in Harmony (An Amish Journey #1)

Title:  Hearts in Harmony (An Amish Journey #1)

Author:  Beth Wiseman

Pages:  320

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.                      

The novel brings to the forefront how God can use even the worst moments of our lives to provide rays of hope, faith and love. Within the page’s, readers will discover how one older woman’s journey in her twilight years brings together three unlikely people.  Together these young people discover a life well lived and loved, as well as how God may be bringing them the greatest of gifts.

The ending was somewhat hard to read having lost a loved one to cancer, so in that respect I didn’t enjoy it.  It makes me wonder why other diagnoses aren’t used when desired in a story in climatic moments.  This is not the first book I have read where this same disease is used to remove a character or brings climax to a plot.

Other than that, the story is a quick and enjoyable read.  The tale ends with hope and new beginnings, plus the cover of the second book in the series was shown and is titled Listening to Love.  I think readers will want to read the first book in order to really appreciate what is about to happen in the second installment.  I love how the author showed God’s faithfulness and eventually filling up the holes broken dreams can leave behind.

The book will also be a good way to have people remember to love on the previous generation whether related by blood or not.  This was the first full length novel of Beth Wiseman’s that I have read and plan on reading her future ones that have such faith filled themes.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Monday, April 22, 2019

Guest review of Beneath the Surface

Title:  Beneath the Surface (Dive Team Investigations #1)

Author:  Lynn H. Blackburn

Pages:  352

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Leigh Weston has moved home to North Carolina to feel safe.  She is a former oncology nurse who had a terrifying experience with a patient.  She now has taken a job at the local hospital in the emergency department.  When someone knocks on her door, she answers and sees the familiar face of Ryan Parker.  They went to high school together but haven’t seen each other in years.  Ryan now works as a homicide investigator and a volunteer as an underwater investigator for the county sheriff’s office.  Leigh lives on a home that has lakeside access.  The sheriff’s office needs access to the lake to recover a body that has been found secured underwater.  Leigh’s dock is that access.  She agrees to let them use her property.

Ryan has had feelings for Leigh ever since high school, but her brother made sure his friends knew that she was off limits as far as romance was concerned.  Now, that she is back in town his feelings resurface, but he knows she isn’t aware of how he feels.  Leigh has had a crush on Ryan since high school, but he never showed any signs of interest.   When an attempt is made on Leigh’s life, Ryan puts is investigator skills to use.  He and Leigh work together to keep her safe and discover who is out to kill her and why.

This is a great start to what I’m sure will be an exciting and entertaining series!  With plenty of suspense and tension, readers will be glued to their seats while their fingers quickly turn pages.  The relentless and dogged determination of the investigators pursuing every possible angle of the inquiry made me appreciate their dedication to their jobs and finding answers to keep people safe.  The mystery and character development were well done.  Readers will meet a likeable supporting cast, one of whom will be the main focus of book two in the series, In Too Deep.  I can’t wait to read Adam Campbell’s story!

Friday, April 19, 2019

Beauty in Battle (Beauty in Flight #3)

Title:  Beauty in Battle (Beauty in Flight #3)

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  132

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Independent Publishing

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

The Beauty in Flight series is really a masterpiece of a story!  Before I go further let me tell you that a character from this series will be in a book by Robin coming out this year titled, Legacy Rejected.  I am thinking to enjoy that story to its fullest reading the Beauty in Flight series would be a good idea.

Beauty in Battle is one surprising conclusion to the epic series Beauty in Flight.  Of all the possible endings, Robin really threw in a surprise with style!  Red is in the hospital.  Harper is navigating a new relationship with legal issues and dangers.  Derrick, Harper’s ex-boyfriend, is in serious trouble with loan sharks and now death is quite literally staring Harper in the face.

With her faith still new and her case not quite resolved, nor the threat extinguished, Harper either must trust God or try and handle it on her own.  I don’t want to give away the fun of enjoying the story by revealing too much, so just know that where the story starts with Harper just might be where it ends!

Simply a fun, thrilling and engaging tale of epic proportion!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Beauty in Hiding (Beauty in Flight #2)

Title:  Beauty in Hiding (Beauty in Flight #2)

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  256

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Independent Publishing

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

For me, this installment in the series was just exceptional!  When Beauty in Flight ended with a cliffhanger, I was salivating to see what would happen next to the two main characters named “Red” and Harper.  Harper is Red’s caretaker, but she has become more than that.  They have developed a deep family love which is what prompts Harper to take drastic measures to ensure Red is not in danger.

Harper feels as if she can no longer trust any man to care for her without having ulterior motives.  However, Red is like the grandfather she never had who returns her equal love and devotion.  Red’s biological grandson, Derrick, is in deep debt to loan sharks but Red won’t give him more money which just enables Derrick’s gambling addiction.

Harper is drawing near to God, learning to trust Him even when life is throwing one hardship after another before she even recovers from the first one.  Now Harper’s landlord is showing her what true friends are for even when Harper is keeping the truth from him.  Before long they realize they have a blooming relationship when all the well-conceived plans to stay in hiding to protect her and Red’s life fall apart.

Robin’s writing is very well crafted as she brings readers deeper into the story, yet without a slip or hint she is keeping back a vital piece to the mystery.  Now, I am off to enjoy the exciting conclusion to the Beauty in Flight Series with the last book titled, Beauty in Battle.  I hope you will enjoy the series as much as I am!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Beauty in Flight

Title:  Beauty in Flight (Beauty in Flight #1)

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages: 162

Year:  2019

Publisher:  JDO

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

The second and third books in the series are due out in March and April this year, and I cannot wait to see where the suspense takes me!  The author has a gift of weaving a thriller as if the reader is right there viewing the scenes in person.  There are excitement and adventure with every page!  In the story, a young woman who had been a former prison inmate is now working at a nursing home as she loves to care for the elderly.

Harper Cloud longs to be loved for who she is and though her dream of becoming an R. N. is no longer viable, she is grateful to work caring for the elderly while also taking classes at a college.  But no matter where Harper goes, there is a nagging feeling that she is being watched.  Is she being stalked?  When she takes a job and moves across country, Harper feels safe and with a new lease on life.  But is that real or an optical allusion?  Is her new life and promising future now being threatened?  Stay tuned!

Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Sanctuary (A Guardian Novel #3)

Title:  Sanctuary (A Guardian Novel #3)

Author:  Traci Hunter Abramson

Pages:  304

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Covenant Communications, Inc.

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Ace Samson is dreading his next job for the guardians.  He must recruit a new financial planner for this secret government organization that is off the books.  The potential employee is his former girlfriend from 20 years ago, one whom he left unexpectedly when he “died”.  His death was faked so that he could obtain a new identity and begin working undercover as an operative or ghost for the guardians.  He was not allowed to keep any ties from his old life.  It broke his heart to leave Kristi as they had been talking of marriage in the future.  She was the one for him.  How will she react to his reappearance?

Kristi Hartinger lives alone on an island that was deeded to her upon her grandfather’s death.  She is fighting a local businessman for control/ownership of the island as her grandfather didn’t pay taxes and the business man paid them.  He now claims ownership of the island and wants to build a resort there.  Kristi wants to keep the island in its pristine condition and to live there.  She has left the world of Wall Street and now works as an independent consultant online.  Her mother wants to see her daughter married and having children, but Kristi can’t forget Ace.  When she sees Ace for the first time in 20 years, shock numbs her initially, then comes anger when she hears his explanation.  Shortly after his arrival, an attempt is made on Kristi’s life.  Is it because of the dangerous life Ace leads that someone from his past has followed him?  Is there something else going on that he doesn’t know about that makes Kristi a target?  As the action and attempts on her life ramp up, so does the attraction between these two characters.  However, Ace will be leaving as soon as Kristi is safe.  He has made that clear.  He still has a job to do, but can he leave Kristi again?

Lots of action and suspense for readers to enjoy!  I loved the island setting with the beautiful views.  I haven’t read the other two books in the series, but I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.  I liked Kristi’s tough stance in her battle to keep the island as her own and not give in to a big money offer and selling off her inheritance.  Ace’s protectiveness was a great quality I thought.  Get ready for a few hours of entertaining reading!

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, April 15, 2019

The Unexpected Champion (High Sierra Sweethearts #3)

Title:  The Unexpected Champion (High Sierra Sweethearts #3)

Author:  Mary Connealy

Pages:  304

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Penny Scott has spent lots of time in the rugged wilderness and knows how to survive the elements.  She is living with her brother and his wife and two children as they build their homes on acreage they have claimed.  Penny soon will have a home of her own.  She works hard every day on making this mountain land her home.  The wrench in her plan is John Mitchell.  He has been sent by her deceased brother’s in-laws to take her nephew home to the city.  She knows first-hand how mean her in-laws can be as she lived with them for two years in the city before traveling west.  She refuses to let her nephew be taken away from a loving family.  John Mitchell thinks otherwise.

John Miller has been sent from the city where he lives and works out into the wilderness to bring home a 2-year-old.  He has been paid for the journey, but once he finally arrives he realizes the child won’t be easily given up, even though his clients have a better claim on the child than those with whom he is now living.  John wants nothing to do with feisty Penny initially, but as he sees her skill and knowledge of the land he begins to admire her and even like her sassy attitude.  When they are kidnapped by unknown men, they fear for their lives.  The danger doesn’t end when they escape as the mysterious man in charge of the kidnappers continues to hunt them.  While on the run, their attraction for each other grows.  However, John is determined to return to the city life and Penny won’t leave the country.  How will they work things out, or can they?

This was a fulfilling conclusion to this trilogy.  I liked Penny’s independent spirit and her amazing abilities to survive a tough live on the western frontier.  She didn’t balk at hard work or complain about how difficult her life was.  Her sassiness made her likeable too.  John struck me as a city dandy, but he turned out to appreciate Penny’s unique and some would say unwomanly skills and was willing to learn from her.  An unnatural reaction by most men of that era for sure!  I like Mary’s books because the writing flows easily from one page to the next, making the story not a trial to read but a pleasure.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Driftwood Bay (A Hope Harbor Novel #5)

Title:  Driftwood Bay (A Hope Harbor Novel #5)

Author:  Irene Hannon

Pages:  368

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

The titles of the books in the Hope Harbor series are Hope Harbor, Sea Rose Lane, Sandpiper Cove, Pelican Point and Driftwood Bay.  The author has done a marvelous job of storytelling the author brings to readers hearts and minds a message of hope.

Each novel has characters that are continuations from previous books, while also introducing us to new characters and insights into familiar ones who inhabit Hope Harbor.  In the latest tale, I was soon swept into the heart-touching story of a single man trying to raise his niece after the loss of his mother.  Alongside that thread is the tale of an immigrant family brought to America from their former Syrian home after the loss of family members and so much more.  Keeping both those threads going, we get to “see” how Marci is doing as a newlywed and running the local paper.  These are but a few of the threads woven together and show us a masterpiece telling us hope from loss, new paths forged from the rubble of former lives, and of course there are other threads or themes I haven’t shared.

Irene Hannon’s touch of reality in the genre of fiction is astounding!  The characters and their tales seem so lifelike.  I wouldn’t be surprised if some readers have experienced the trials shared in the book.  My heart was touched seeing how one particular character named Jeanette was rebuilding her life from ashes after she relocated while shielding herself from others.

Readers may enjoy the story more if they read the other tales in books 1-4 first.  Whether you read this one first as a stand alone or not, here is a novel sure to uplift your heart!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I am Israel DVD Documentary

Title:  I am Israel

Director:  David Kiern

Website:  https://iamisraelfilm.com/

Publisher:  ELUL 25 with Thunderboys Entertainment

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

I saw a picture of the DVD cover and followed a link, never thinking how I might be touched or respond to it!  Unlike any nation on earth Israel is in the news today more than in recent years.  Sometimes we ask questions wondering why Israel is important, or being attacked, and much more.

Here, in this short documentary, your heart and spirit will sore above the heights!  For myself, I started sharing about the DVD before I even viewed the whole presentation.  One clip caught my heart, soul, mind and spirit and drew me to see parts of Israel.  Being narrated by John Rhys-Davies is a bonus as his voice lends to the magnificence of the land known as Israel, her people and her God!

I plan on sharing my DVD copy with others as well as encouraging them to do the same…share.  With all the division in our society and hate, we need to be voices of love, reason and explain why Israel’s existence is so very important to the world!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Once Upon a Time in Texas (Firestick #4)

Title:  Once Upon a Time in Texas (Firestick #4)

Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone

Website:  https://williamjohnstonebooks.com/product/4-once-upon-a-time-in-texas/

Pages:  358

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

When you go looking to buy the book, it isn’t listed for sale on Amazon as it is a Walmart exclusive.  However, don’t let that stop you from reading the continuing story of three men in the strong bonds of friendship along with their ladies!  “Moosejaw” is Jim Hendrick’s nickname and he plans on making his girl Daisy’s birthday a very special day.

Many of the folks are out on the ranch owned by the three amigos, so when a bank robbery is taking place when Moosejaw and Daisy are there, well what an exciting start to an adventure!  The other two friends of Moosejaw are “Beartooth” and “Firestick”.  All three are former mountain men and now the law in a western town named Buffalo Peak.

What occurs from the moment of the opening pages will lead readers down a path filled with danger, gun play, tests of endurance and more!  The western town of Buffalo Peak along with her inhabitants have had their share of trials if you have read the prior books in the series:  Firestick, Blood & Bullets, and Dead for a Dollar.  While it is true one can read them as stand-alone novels, what is missed by readers then is the development of the characters, relationships, and the fictional town.

Each novel in the series has been exciting to read and when I finish one, I can’t help but wonder what might come next for the series.  The imagination of a reader enhances the feel of being right there in the thick of an Old West town, watching the action take place from a unique position while knowing the thoughts of the characters and there would be the plans. 

You can get all four books from the link above and then plan on sitting back and getting lost in the rush of adrenaline that comes from waiting to see where the author is taking us!  You don’t want to miss the comeuppance some of the nefarious players receive either as it’s an added benefit of the plot!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Almost Home

Title:  Almost Home

Author:  Valerie Fraser Luesse

Pages:  336

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Revell

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

It’s late at night and I just finished this heart-captivating story set during WWII.  It is not focused on action overseas but in Alabama.  There is mystery in the telling of the story where a young woman who lived 100 years before the time of WWII has her story too though the awe-inspiring tale ties the characters of the past to those living 100 years later via journals.  The current of faith runs throughout the book, both the seen and the unseen actions of God.

Various people come to live in a house that is now a home where renters have rooms yet can interact with each other, especially over a meal.  The woman who runs the home is Dolly and she, along with her husband, is trying to make ends meet when rationing was in effect and just trying to pay the property taxes of their home seemed like a dream.  Now, if I were to reveal the tale to you, I fear that would ruin your own enjoyment and excitement as various pages are turned and secrets revealed.

The book has a tale that draws readers in and keeps them coming back because I believe what it shares many can relate to.  What does it share?  A tale filled with hope, community, family, dreams of the future, confronting one’s own nightmare and so much more.  Dolly is one awesome caring woman whose eyes could easily be on her own troubles but are on caring for others in any way she can.

Dolly’s faith, hope and love touch people who live under her roof, though not all as readers will find out.  When danger is present and threatens her and her husband’s lives, who will come to their aid as they have been there for others?  By the end of the book, I secretly wished there would be a sequel because it is such a story that touches the soul.

Here is definitely one of the best books of this genre, and I look forward to reading more from the author should she continue to pen such moving novels.  For now, sit back with the book and immerse yourself in Almost Home; it’s a book you’ll long remember.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Monday, April 8, 2019

The Janus Journals

Title:  The Janus Journals

Author:  H. L. Wegley

Pages:  375

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Trinity Press International

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

If you haven’t heard of this author, his books are exciting to read!  There are his Against All Enemies Series, Pure Genius Series, Witness Protection Series plus a stand alone titled Virtuality.  My favorites are the ones that have suspense with military and patriotic themes seasoned with faith, hope, and a smidgeon of romance.  In his recent novel, The Janus Journals, readers will follow along as a young woman’s life is constantly in danger with her only choice to trust a young man named Grady.

The tale is of past choices that bring to the forefront danger, mystery, intrigue and looking for the truth.  What truth?  In the story, Allie is learning truth from her father who is believed to have died by the hand of an assassin.  Now she must follow her father’s instructions to the letter without deviation, including reading the journals he left behind for her should something prevent him from revealing his past.

As Grady and Allie travel to where his parents now reside, Allie reads what her father wrote.  Now don’t think that means it isn’t an exciting novel, because it is.  However, the journals don’t reveal everything.  The author doesn’t tell all at once which makes the suspense palpable in the book!  There were times while reading I couldn’t figure out the ‘mystery” thread that starts from the first words of the book, but I kept reading as the tension kept growing.  The twists and turns of the overall plot and the tension in the relationships was really entertaining!

Don’t miss Wegley’s latest tale!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

A Desperate Hope (An Empire State Novel #3)

Title:  A Desperate Hope (An Empire State Novel #3)

Author:  Elizabeth Camden

Pages:  e-book

Date:  2/5/19

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 3 out of 5 stars.

Eloise Drake grew up with a rich family, but rarely saw them as she was sent to live with a guardian at the age of eight.  She has longed for acceptance and a family her whole life.  She is also a genius with numbers.  She is one of only six female CPAs in the entire state of New York in the early 1900s.  She faces obstacles from the many men in her field, but her current boss appreciates her logical thinking.  He sends her back to the area where she grew up as a small town is to be destroyed to clear the land for a reservoir that is to flood the area.  She is hoping to avoid Alex Duval, the man she fell in love with twelve years ago.  He left the area suddenly without any explanation in the middle of their relationship.  They had plans to marry, but Eloise never heard from him again.  The people of the town don’t want to lose their homes and businesses but have exhausted their legal options.  That is, until Eloise makes a suggestion that gives them new hope.

Alex Duval is the mayor of Duval Springs.  His family has lived in this town since its founding 200 years ago.  He has fought on every front he can think of to save his town but has come up short.  Now, the state is sending a small team to evaluate the homes and businesses for their value with which the state will compensate the owners.  Alex has no idea that the accountant who will be performing the evaluations is Eloise.  Upon arrival, his old feelings come back in a rush.  He was forced to leave the area by her guardian.  Eventually, after a stint in the army, he returned and searched for Eloise but to no avail.  He wants a second chance at a future with Eloise, but is he too late?

I usually enjoy this author’s novels as they contain such interesting historical information with a unique focus on the career/life of the lead female character.  However, this story fell short for me.  I couldn’t connect with Eloise or her romance with Alex.  I didn’t like Alex with his chameleon-like character changes.  The potential for an interesting story is definitely there.  The moving of an entire town was also an interesting avenue to explore, and having Eloise be a female accountant was also interesting.  Elizabeth Camden is one of my “have to read” authors when she has a new book released.  I am still going to read her books, but this one for me just didn’t hit the mark.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Walking in the Dust or Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change your Life

Title:  Walking in the Dust or Rabbi Jesus: How the Jewish Words of Jesus Can Change your Life
Author:  Lois Tverberg
Pages: 240
Year: 2012
Publisher:  Zondervan
My rating:  4 out of 5 stars
Lois’s books, in case you have never read one, are funny, inspiring and educating.  Lois helps those who love Jesus understand Him in the land and time He came to earth.  From there, the chasm between Western thought and understanding to Jewish life and thought begins to close.             One thing I observed is Western thought is separated into different segments whereas Jewish thought/life is so woven together that one cannot see where Jewish life, thought, etc. begins or ends.  The other observation is that there is deeper truth to discover about God, the Word, Israel and her people, which gives me a thrill learning and spending time with God.
There are times I would burst out laughing at the way Lois describes a goof she made, or word picture to describe a truth.  Another observation fact is the deeper truths go when reading the book with a friend and discussing the material.  For me, it tends to remain better in my heart and mind in the process.  While Lois’s education is impressive to say the least, she writes humbly, inspirationally, and very down to earth.  Please understand this is not an academic endeavor for her, but really seeking to understand the Rabbi Jesus in all His Jewishness.
For those who seek to grow closer to the Master, here is just one of the books Lois offers to help guide them on a path she remains on to this day.  In other words, walking in the dust of Rabbi Jesus.  Come and walk along with us.  You will never regret it!  Shalom!     
Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Daring Venture (An Empire State Novel #2)

Title:  A Daring Venture (An Empire State Novel #2)

Author:  Elizabeth Camden

Pages:  347

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Rosalind Werner is a biochemist in the early 1900s.  She was born in the U.S., but at the age of 10 a cholera epidemic killed her parents and grandfather.  She and her brother were sent to Germany to live with relatives.  Recently, Rosalind and her brother have returned to the U.S. due to Rosalind having a less than stellar reputation in the city where they were living in Germany, causing job losses and a forced move back to the U.S.  The accusations were unfounded, and Rosalind was completely innocent, but the rumors wouldn’t stop.  Now Rosalind, having dedicated her life’s work to stopping the spread of cholera, has been working diligently to study the use of chlorine added to water as a safe way to kill cholera while still allowing the water to be consumed.  She faces an uphill battle with one of her major opponents, Nick Drake, thinking that chlorine is poisoning the water and not a safe option.

Nick Drake is one of three commissioners whose jobs are to ensure the water supply to New York is safe and abundant.  He has agreed to a new filtration plant and a reservoir to supply the growing city but refuses to consider another cheaper but untested method…chlorine.  He is captivated by Dr. Werner as a woman, and he admires her intelligence.  He thinks they might have a future together.  She seems to reciprocate his feelings.  Rosalind finds herself the target of an enemy who brings her past troubles from Germany to the attention of the news media.  Someone is out to ruin her, but who?

What an interesting story!  That is one reason this is one of my “must read” authors as she draws from history such interesting and entertaining information and presents them in a delightful novel.  I always learn something new from her books.  The lead characters in this story are ones that I could connect to and care about.  Betrayal, deception, and romance are just a few of the angles presented.  The prose is easy to read and flows quickly from page to page to keep readers interested.  Enjoy an afternoon or two reading about New York near the turn of the century!

Monday, April 1, 2019

Cutthroats (A Slash & Pecos Western #1)

Title:  Cutthroats (A Slash & Pecos Western #1)

Author:  William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone

Pages:  347

Year:  Jan. 2019 (Hardback)

Publisher:  Kensington Pub Corp

My rating:  4 out of 5 stars.

If you love a good adventure set in the Old West, here is the first book in a new series by Johnstone.  The tone of the first installment sets the tone, I think, for what will happen to characters later in the series, that is if they aren’t meeting their demise.  Their gun smoke in the air, some who traveled owl hoot trail and want to go straight while others are trying to take out those who want to leave breaking the law in the pat.

The nicknames of the two main characters, Pecos and Slash, come to a big problem when former members of their gang use them as they pull new jobs.  Yet, even the original Pecos and Slash have their morals and what the new “leaders” of their old gang do is beyond what the former leaders can stand.  Now, they must track down these men and set thing right, along with working for a marshal they cannot stand.

 The one thing the Johnstone’s don’t put in their book is spelling out what happens between people.  I, for one, appreciate that from them.  The only thing I didn’t care for in the book was more cussing than I thought necessary.  With that being said, I hope future Cutthroat adventures aren’t as filled with it, and I will enjoy seeing how these two men in their later years are now living life inside the law!         

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.