Thursday, August 25, 2016

No God but One: Allah or Jesus?: A Former Muslim Investigates the Evidence for Islam and Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi

Having shared his journey of faith in the New York Times bestselling Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi now examines Islam and Christianity in detail, exploring areas of crucial conflict and unpacking the relevant evidence.

In this anticipated follow-up book, Nabeel reveals what he discovered in the decade following his conversion, providing a thorough and careful comparison of the evidence for Islam and Christianity--evidence that wrenched his heart and transformed his life.

In Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, Nabeel Qureshi recounted his dramatic journey, describing his departure from Islam and his decision to follow Christ. In the years that followed, he realized that the world’s two largest religions are far more different than they initially appeared.

No God but One: Allah or Jesus? addresses the most important questions at the interface of Islam and Christianity: How do the two religions differ? Are the differences significant? Can we be confident that either Christianity or Islam is true? And most important, is it worth sacrificing everything for the truth?

Nabeel shares stories from his life and ministry, casts new light on current events, and explores pivotal incidents in the histories of both religions, providing a resource that is gripping and thought-provoking, respectful and challenging.

Both Islam and Christianity teach that there is No God but One, but who deserves to be worshiped, Allah or Jesus?

My review:

  I am thankful to be on the launch team for another of Nabeel's books. I found his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, a fascinating read. This one is different and more of an in depth book, but was still an interesting read.

  The idea of the book is to show the evidence for who is the real God, Allah or Jesus, and disprove whichever one is false. Since Nabeel converted to Christianity from Islam, it is obvious which one he disproves in the book, but it was still an interesting - and helpful - read. He covered some things in the book, such as evidence and proof of Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection that I had not really considered, and I was encouraged and more convinced of Christianity/Jesus being right after reading the book than when I began.

 Throughout the book, Nabeel gives the Islam answer to things like the Crucifixion and Resurrection, and the Christian answer, then disproves the Islam view. He also shows the differences between Christianity and Islam and between Muhammad and Jesus. I learned a lot about Islam, the Quaran, Muhammad, and the thinking and beliefs of Muslims. One of the most interesting sections to me was on the Quaran and how Nabeel showed that it isn't well preserved at all, and relies mostly on verbal tellings of it by different people.

  This book would be ideal for Muslims questioning their beliefs, if they could be convinced to read it. Nabeel does a great in depth study into the differences in these two religions, and shows the many holes and inconsistencies in Islam and the Quaran. I highly recommend it.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Nabeel Qureshi is a New York Times best-selling author and an itinerant speaker with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. Since completing his medical degree in 2009, he has dedicated his life to spreading the Gospel through teaching, preaching, writing, and debating.

Dr. Qureshi has lectured to students at over 100 universities, including Oxford, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Hong Kong. He has participated in 18 public debates around North America, Europe, and Asia. Following the release of his first book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, he received the Christian Book Award for the categories of both ‘Best New Author’ and ‘Best Non-Fiction’ of 2015.

Nabeel focuses on the foundations of the Christian faith, ancient Judaism, early Islam, and the interface of science and religion. He holds an MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School, an MA in Christian apologetics from Biola University, and an MA in Religion from Duke University. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in New Testament studies at Oxford University where he lives with his wife, Michelle.

No God but One is available from Zondervan on August 30, 2016. Thanks to the launch team for the review copy.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Without Warning by Lynette Eason

Taut Writing and Breakneck Pacing That Will Keep Readers Up All Night 

Katie Singleton, a partner with the Elite Guardians Protection Agency, stumbles upon her next assignment quite by accident. Spotting blue lights at a familiar restaurant, she stops to investigate, only to discover that owner Daniel Matthews has become the target of someone who will go to any lengths to put him out of business. 

Daniel might be concerned, but he's not convinced that a bodyguard--and a female one at that--is necessary. A new attack and his niece's urgings are enough to make him reconsider. He and Katie must figure out who's behind the intimidation and threats--before a would-be killer strikes again. 
Witty dialogue and a simmering attraction will have readers flying through this tension-laced thriller. Eason exercises complete control of her readers' emotions as they race through the pages to discover the truth.

My review:

  I have been hooked on Lynette's books since the first one I read by her. Although they tend to be written for women more than men, I have enjoyed every book I have read by her.

 This series bugs me a bit, as the idea of female body guards guarding men just seems......weird.....but once I put that aside, I have been able to really enjoy this book and the one it follows.

 Without Warning brings back some of the same characters from the first book, and moves Katie Singleton to being one of the main characters. I liked her character a lot, as well as Daniel.....who was portrayed as needing a bodyguard without making him look weak or helpless.

  The book is packed with nonstop suspense and action. A lot happens in this book, and it had me guessing to who the guilty party was, although I was proud of myself to figure out a motive before it was disclosed.

 The romantic aspect was done well and wasn't overly gushy as some authors do. I read the book in one evening, and couldn't put it down until I finished it..... it is that good.

 This is the second book in the Elite Guardian Series, and though I'd recommend reading them in order, it isn't necessary to do so.

I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. She graduated from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, and then obtained her masters in education from Converse College. Author of twenty inspirational romantic suspense books, she is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and Romance Writers of America (RWA). In 1996, Lynette married "the boy next door" and now she and her husband and their two children make their home in Simpsonville, South Carolina."

Without Warning is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

The Occupied by Craig Parshall

From "New York Times" bestselling author Craig Parshall comes a riveting story of supernatural suspense. As a youth, Trevor Black unleashed spiritual forces he couldn't comprehend. Years later, Trevor is a high-flying criminal defense lawyer in New York City, with a six-figure Aston Martin and a trophy wife. But in an extraordinary turn of events, he receives a burdensome gift: the ability to perceive the invisible. And the dark forces he now sees are all gunning for him.When one of Trevor's hometown friends is murdered, the MO is eerily similar to a shocking trail of murders that have already crossed the lawyer's path. So Trevor must return home to find the killer. . . and face not only his own personal demons, but supernatural ones as well.

My review:

  It has been a long time since I have read a book by Craig Parshall, but I remember liking everything I read by him. That made it an easy decision to request this book for review. And I was not disappointed.

  This book is totally different from his other works. It reminded me a lot of Frank Peretti's earliest books with the supernatural and the main character's ability to see demons in people. To be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to like the book at first, but the further I got in the book, the more I liked it.

What I didn't like:
The first person point of view. It isn't a favorite of mine, and I think the third person pov would have worked better for this novel.

What I liked:
The main character. Parshall did a great job on his character of Trevor Black. His internal struggle to do what is right is inspiring, even though the book is fictional.

The suspense. This was a book where I couldn't tell what was going to happen next, and there were a lot of surprises.

The "supporting" characters. The book is full of interesting and colorful characters both good and bad. The dialogue and interactions between them and the main character were done masterfully.

The supernatural aspect. A book like this is a great reminder that there is a spirit world out there fighting Christians and all that is good and right. I felt Parshall did a great job of portraying and describing those beings in the book.

  I was surprised at the identity of the main bad guy. The author managed to keep that difficult to figure out.

  I found this a very enjoyable read, and am looking forward to more in this series.

I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

As a New York Times Best Selling fiction writer, Craig Parshall has authored or co-authored 11 suspense novels. His novels have been translated into multiple languages and have drawn high praise from the likes of veteran Hollywood filmmakers and producers Ken Wales and Phil Cooke, Publishers Weekly, and on his military thrillers, stellar marks from Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, USAF (retired) who carried the "nuclear football" for the President of the United States. In addition to his work as a novelist and magazine columnist, Craig is a constitutional lawyer and Washington insider who serves as Special Counsel to the American Center for Law & Justice. Craig has testified multiple times on civil liberty issues before committees of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives and before the Federal Communications Commission regarding the future of American media, and has represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court. He speaks across the nation on issues of free speech and religious liberty, faith, culture & creativity, and law, and was the founding director of a groundbreaking effort to develop a First Amendment paradigm for Internet-based social media and communication platforms. Craig is married to nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Janet Parshall.

The Occupied is available from Tyndale Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Gwen Marcey takes death in stride. Until she's faced with her own mortality.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky---a small town facing big-city crime. But before Gwen can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others.

Gwen suspects a connection between the rapist and the "accidental" deaths that are happening around town, but the local sheriff has little interest in her theories. When her digitally-obsessed teenage daughter joins her there, Gwen turn her attention to a second assignment: going undercover in a serpent-handling church. She could get a handsome reward for uncovering illegal activity there---a reward she desperately needs, as it seems her breast cancer has returned. But snakes aren't the only ones ready to kill. Can Gwen uncover the truth---and convince anyone to believe her---before she becomes a victim herself?

My review:

  This is only the third book by Parks, and I have enjoyed all three and have found myself wishing she had more books out there to read. This one may be her best yet, and is one I didn't want to put down. The plot and story line were really great, and I found the whole snakes being used in worship thing fascinating. Even though I still think people who do that are nuts, I understand it a little more after reading this novel.

  I have never been - and will never be - a big fan of first person point of view writing, but Parks does it so well that I had to go back and look after finishing the book to see which point of view she used for writing.

 The author uses her expertise in being a forensic artist to bring authenticity to the main character's work in that area, and does a good job of making it interesting.

 The suspense element is always important to me, and this book is full of it. I was in the dark as to the identity of the killer until the last minute, and found myself totally surprised. It is fun to figure that out, but it is also fun to be surprised, and this book did just that.

 Loved and really enjoyed the book, and am looking forward to reading more about Gwen and her work.

This book was given to me in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. She teaches forensic art courses to law enforcement professionals and is the author/illustrator of numerous books on drawing. Carrie began to write fiction while battling breast cancer and was mentored by New York Times best-selling author Frank Peretti. Now in remission, she continues to encourage other women struggling with cancer.

 Carrie Stuart Parks’ ‘When Death Draws Near’ Undercover Artist Starter Set

Plunge into forensic artist Gwen Marcey's world, full of cold-case murders, shady politics, and a den of venomous suspects. Add Carrie Stuart Parks' new Gwen Marcey novel, When Death Draws Near, to the top of your must-read list. Gwen accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky—a small town facing big-city crime. But before she can finish her first drawing of the serial rapist who is on the loose, the latest witness vanishes. Just like all the others. Can Gwen uncover the truth—and convince anyone to believe her—before she becomes a victim herself?

Join Carrie in celebrating the release of When Death Draws Near by entering to win an Undercover Artist Starter Set.

when death draws near - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
when death draws near - collage 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on August 22. The winner will be announced August 23 on the Litfuse blog.

when death draws near - enterbanner

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Outcry by Ryan Romeo

   OUTCRY declares that local churches are at the heart of Christianity and you can make a difference in your community. The OUTCRY tours were born out of a desire to be the lights and sounds of the greatest movement in the world - the local church. While studies and critics may indicate a decline of the local church, Ryan Romeo's OUTCRY attests that the movement is only increasing. It's time we band together to empower the local church to influence the surrounding culture. It's you. It's us. Stand behind the church Jesus gave His life for. The part you play in your local church matters. You are an integral part of bringing God's story to all corners of the world. God's church isn't finished! Her best days are ahead.

My review:

   I wasn't familiar with the Outcry tour before I read this book, so I learned about it  while reading the book which is ultimately about the local church and how we can make a difference in our community, no matter how big or small the church is.

  At the end of each chapter is a short passage written by someone in the Christian music industry. The book is an interesting read, and the author does a great job of showing the need for churches to get involved in their community. I found it an easy and fast read that kept my attention, and it was refreshing to see someone giving credit to small churches as being as important in this as the larger churches.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

RYAN ROMEO is an artist, worship leader, writer and speaker. He has a deep passion for the church and all things creative. He currently works at his local church and is the Creative Director for OUTCRY Tour. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Blake and their three children.

Outcry is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy for the review copy.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow

Young lawyer Parker House is on the rise—until his grandfather’s mysterious past puts both of their lives in danger.

Parker House’s secret inheritance is either his greatest blessing . . . or his deadliest curse. The fresh-faced North Carolina attorney shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye—a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past.

While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then, a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him.

Two witnesses, two paths, an uncertain future. 

My review:

  I loved Robert Whitlow's earlier books. They were the stuff legal thrillers were made of. And then he seemed to back away from the thriller part and wrote several books I just couldn't get into. This book sounded more like his earlier books, so I requested it. It doesn't quite fall into the thriller category, though there are some suspenseful moments, but it was a great read anyway.

 This is one of those novels that takes place modern day, but jumps to the past several times. The past it jumps to is the past of a German Captain under Hitler's regime. I enjoyed the whole book, but found these glimpses into the past of a fictional German soldier fascinating, especially one who wasn't all for what was going on.

What I liked about the book:

Plot: excellent, especially with the blending of past and present.

Characters: Loved them, especially Parker and the relationship he had with his grandfather.

Setting: Great setting for both past and present.

Content: The people who are bothered by "preachy" books won't mind this one, though the author doesn't shy away from Christian topics and there is several scenes in a church.

Language: no issues.

What I didn't like about the book: Nothing.... loved it

   This is the best book, in my opinion, that Whitlow has written for several years. Though it didn't have a lot of suspense like his earlier novels did, there is still a large suspense factor throughout the book. I learned a little about law process, and learned a new term "dram shops" and what that entails. The book had a great ending, and I enjoyed the whole book far more than I expected to. 5 stars for sure.

I was given a copy of  this book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and three grandchildren.
Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenerios.

The Witnesses is available from Thomas Nelson Publishers

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer by James Rubart

What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed?

Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.

When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.

Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.

But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.

My review:

  I became an instant fan of James Rubart's books when I read his first novel, Rooms. His books are far from being the average Christian fiction novels out there, and he always has such an interesting way of writing.

  I had some extra time last night and decided to read a few chapters in this new book of Rubart's, fully intending to lay it aside...... and that never happened. The trials of Jake Palmer pulled me into the book and I read the entire book in one sitting....... and enjoyed every minute of it.

 Rubart has a talent for addressing issues in a fictional way that take a hold and stick with you far better than a non-fictional book ever could. The message of this book is two-fold: true healing comes in the heart, not outwardly/physically, and we need to stop hiding our scars and struggles and bring them into the light.

  I loved the characters, especially Jake, who had lost so much and had high hopes of finding this secret corridor where he'd get his heart's desire. The plot and setting were great, and Rubart wrote in such a way that I wasn't sure how the story was going to go and what all would happen. It didn't go  the way I thought it would, but it was an amazing book with an amazing ending. I highly recommend it.

I was given a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man's body. He thinks he's still young enough to water ski like a madman and dirt bike with his two grown sons, and loves to send readers on journeys they'll remember months after they finish one of his stories.

He's the best-selling, Christy, INSPY, and RT Book Reviews award winning author of seven novels as well as a professional speaker. During the day he runs his marketing company which helps businesses, authors, and publishers make more coin of the realm. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at

The Long Journey to Jake Palmer is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.