Friday, October 21, 2016

Answers to the Most Important Questions About the Endtimes by Dr John Hart

Everything You Need to Know about the End Times in One Guide

For everyone who is curious, confused, or even fearful about Jesus' second coming, the Antichrist, the end of the world, the book of Revelation, and biblical prophecy, Dr. John Hart clearly and respectfully offers real, biblical answers. He reveals exactly what God's Word says as well as what it doesn't say, explaining how it impacts your family and friends. This slender volume answers everyone's most-asked questions, and even includes a list of Bible references for further study.

My review:

  The end times is a subject that interests a lot of people, even non-Christians. There have been many books written on the subject, but I think this is one that will interest a lot of people more than the usual.

 One main reason is the format. Each chapter asks a question which the author then answers according to his knowledge and opinions. He covers the rapture, the anti-Christ, what the tribulation is, and if we will go through it..... among others. There are twelve chapters in all, and each chapter is a different question that Hart answers.

 The author knows his stuff, and did a lot of study and research - that comes through throughout the book. He also writes it in an easy to read manner, and I never felt bogged down or bored as I read the book.

 Not everyone will agree with the entirety of the book, as there are a lot of differing opinions on the end times, but this is a very helpful book for those who have questions and want to understand the end times better. 

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

About the author:

DR. JOHN F. HART is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute (Chicago) where he has ministered for over 30 years. He holds a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Theology degree from Grace Theological Seminary. 

Although he became a Christian at a young age, he yielded his life fully to the Lord while pursuing graduate work in the field of Health and Physical Education. Before completing this degree, he joined the ministry of Athletes in Action, a division of CRU (Campus Crusade for Christ). For three years, he traveled with the Athletes in Action wrestling team, competing against major universities and colleges, and sharing the message of Christ through a special half-time program. For this story, see the book "In His Grip: A True Story of a Team That Will Take You Down and Lift You Up". 

Dr. Hart has also written the commentary on the Gospel of John and the Epistle of James in "The Moody Bible Commentary"

"Answers" is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

As The Leaves Kiss the Stream by Terry Barnes

as the LEAVES kiss the STREAM

... a story about a father and his seventeen-year-old daughter. He is a missionary; she is a problem.

Together they go camping and fly fishing in the Ozarks. Together they clash and argue.

Then one cold, October morning as they fly fished beside the pure water of the stream, together they learned something about grace.

For the tears of a father ... are as the tears of God ... that fall silently and caress the one beloved, much as the autumn leaves that gently fall and kiss the stream.

My review:

  The plot of this story is a couple has to leave the mission field because of the antics of their very rebellious teenage daughter. In hopes of salvaging his relationship with her, and of making their family life more bearable, the father takes his reluctant daughter on a fishing/camping trip.

 I'll say up front that I am not a father, but this book would be great for fathers, especially those butting heads with their kids. The plot of the book is great, and the author also did a great job on his characters and their developing.

 I know the book is fiction, but there seemed to too much hateful words going back and forth between the family members.

 The setting was cool, and Barnes did a great job of describing the surroundings.

 It was an enjoyable read, and he brought the book to a great ending.

About the author:

Terry Barnes won the 2005 Christian Writers Guild Operation First Novel contest for his first novel, "In Everything Give Thanks." His second novel, "Whispered to the Heart," also explores the fundamental questions of life and faith. His latest novella, "As the Leaves Kiss the Stream," is a story of conflict and grace between a father and his seventeen-year-old daughter, in the context of fly fishing in the Ozarks.

His writing shows the quest for meaning in the swirl of life, a struggle common to humanity. As for literature, its purpose is to illustrate truth with such words that will capture the heart and soul of the reader.

Terry is also an online adjunct professor of religion for several major universities. His website is

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn

A Financial Thriller That Will Keep Readers on the Edge of Their Seats

Esther Larsen, a leading risk analyst at one of the country's largest banking institutions, is becoming more and more convinced that she has uncovered a ticking bomb with the potential to overshadow 2008's market crash. And as her own employer pursues "investment" strategies with ever-increasing levels of risk, she becomes convinced she must do something. Yet what can one person really do? 
The markets are edging closer to a tipping point--like the teetering first domino in a standing row that circles the globe. And when Esther does sound the alarm, she wonders if anyone will take her seriously. But as public support grows for her ideas, so does the desperation of those whose conspiracy of greed she seeks to expose. With global markets on the brink, and her own life in danger, Esther is locked in a race with the clock to avert a worldwide financial meltdown. 
This fast-paced suspense novel will make you wonder where the fiction ends and reality begins. . . .

My review:

  I have read several of Davis Bunn's books, and he is a very versatile author. I have read some that were so thrilling I didn't want to put them down, and others that were interesting and a more calm read.

 I hate to give a book a negative review. especially an author I like so well, but this was one I just couldn't get into. I always try to be honest in my reviews, so I shall be.

 I thought the plot was a great one. The banking disaster a few years back is still fresh on everyone's minds, so it made a great plot. I liked the characters, though the main one seemed a bit odd and uptight.

 However, all of the banking terms and the ins and outs of what was going on just went right over my head, and I really had a difficult time reading the book....... I am sure it is just me, for one of my friends was raving about how great it was.

 So if you are a Davis Bunn fan, check the book out and don't assume because it wasn't my cup of tea that you won't like it either. You may love it.

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

About the author:

Davis Bunn is an internationally-acclaimed author who has sold more than seven million books in twenty languages.

Honored with four Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, Davis was inducted into the Christy Hall of Fame in 2014.

His bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt. A sought-after lecturer in the art of writing, Bunn was serves as Writer in Residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University.

Davis Bunn also writes under the names Thomas Locke (for his epic fantasy and techno-thriller novels) and T. Davis Bunn (for books published prior to 2002).

The Domino Effect is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.” 

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns to his remote home in the Colorado Mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it.

A radical retelling of the story of the prodigal son, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

My review:
  This is actually the first book by Charles Martin that I have read. I've never been a big fan of books written from the first person point of view, and shy away from trying a new author using that style of writing. This book is on one of my favorite topics - God's love for prodigals - so I decided to review it.

  To say the book affected me is an understatement. I actually blogged about it on my other blog ( I didn't mind the first person point of view, and am actually putting a couple of his books on my Christmas wish list after reading this one.

 The book is described as a "radical retelling of the prodigal son story", and it is radical. There is one major difference in this story, which I can't say because it would be a spoiler. The story itself is awesome, and Martin brings the message of Jesus' parable through in a way that had me literally in tears. His style of writing, his characters, and the words he used all combined to make this a truly great story.

 It was different weaving the story around Nashville and country music, but it worked. I honestly didn't want to put the book down, and I was pulled into the story and didn't want to stop reading, though I had to a few times because of time constraints.

 Charles Martin truly did the story of the prodigal son justice with his retelling of it. I highly recommend it..... it will definitely stir you and bring afresh  the realization of how much God loves us.

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

About the author:

CHARLES MARTIN is a New York Times bestselling author of ten previous novels, including his most recent book A Life Intercepted. His work is available in 17 languages. He lives in Jacksonville, Florida with his wife and their three sons.

Long Way Gone is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Shaken by Tim Tebow with A.J. Gregory

First, he was a beloved college football champion, Heisman trophy winner, media sensation, and best-selling author drafted in the first round of the 2010 Draft. Then he had a miracle playoff run with the Denver Broncos before being traded to the New York Jets. After one season he was cut by New York. Next he was signed by the New England Patriots then let go after training camp—a scenario that repeated itself the following summer with the Philadelphia Eagles. Tim Tebow has achieved big victories and plunged the depths of failure, all while never letting go of his faith, even in the face of doubt and disappointment. In Shaken he explains why neither the highs nor the lows of his life can define him—and he reveals how you, too, can find confidence in your identity and know who you are. In revealing passages, Tebow pulls back the curtain on his life, sharing the vulnerable moments of his career that have shaken him to his core—while also teaching the biblical principles that will enable you to keep the faith, no matter what comes your way.

My review:

   I hate football..... really, really hate it. So it may seem weird for a guy who hates football to read and review a book by a football player. Maybe so, but this book isn't really about football. I have been impressed with Tim as a man and Christian for quite some time, even if I never watched a game that he played in, so I was intrigued enough to request the book.

 Tim talks a lot about being cut from a team, and how that feels, and then goes on to say how he - and all of us - need to focus on God and the fact that we are His when life deals us a blow like that.

 I honestly can't say what I expected from the book, but I definitely didn't expect what I read. Sure, he talks about football a lot... but he talks about God, his relationship with Him, and our identity in Him a lot more than football.

 To put it in simple terms, there is a lot of good stuff in this book. The book is an interesting read, and I didn't find myself bored at all. Tim's faith comes through on every page, and I was encouraged and challenged by what I read, and it made me want to be a better man and Christian. It didn't make me like football, but that isn't the intent of the book anyway.....

 Tim relates a few stories of people he has met who have challenged in their lives, and it helped bring home the truth that God is the answer to whatever we face in life.

 I read through the book much faster than I had expected, for it being a non-fiction book..... and by a football player..... but it is a book I would definitely recommend. If this football hater enjoyed it and was encouraged and challenged by it, anyone will.

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

About the author:

Tim Tebow is a two-time national champion, first round NFL draft pick, and Heisman trophy winner. After playing in the NFL for the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets, Tebow joined the SEC Network. In addition to his role on SEC Nation, the network's traveling road show, Tebow also contributes to a variety of other ESPN platforms. Through everything Tim's true passion remains the work of the Tim Tebow Foundation which he began in 2010. The foundation's mission is to bring Faith, Hope, and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The foundation is fulfilling that mission everyday by serving thousands of deserving children around the world.

Shaken is available from Waterbrook/Multnomah Publishing.

Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for the review copy.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Messenger by Moonlight by Stephanie Grace Whitson

Bestselling author Stephanie Grace Whitson's latest historical novel features an adventurous young heroine who joins the Pony Express.

Orphaned Annie Paxton and her brothers may have lost the only home they've ever known, but they're determined to make a better future in St. Joseph, Missouri. Annie dreams of a pretty house with window boxes, and having friends, and attending church every week. But then her brothers spot the ad for a new venture called the Pony Express. "Wanted," it reads, "Young, skinny fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders and willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred." Sure enough, both her brothers land jobs as Express messengers, and Annie puts her dreams on hold to work as a cook at Clearwater Ranch, a station along the Pony Express route. 

Annie struggles to adapt to her new job--work made all the more challenging when she has so many to feed and few ingredients. The gruff station owner, George, doesn't seem inclined to make her life any easier, or at least not at first. But slowly a friendship builds between them. When Annie attracts the attention of a refined, dashing lieutenant from the nearby fort, she'll have to learn how to trust her instincts and follow her heart, even if she's conflicted about which way it's leading her.

My review:

  I have never read any books by Stephanie Grace Whitson. I tend to avoid books that are just romance, and hers seem to fall into that category. This one caught my attention since it is about the Pony Express, something that interests me.

 As one might correctly assume by the plot idea, this is a historical novel. And though historical novels are not my usual genre' either, I really liked it. The Pony Express part of the book was of course very cool, and I thought the author did a great job of portraying the life of a Pony Express rider, and of others involved in that life.

 The romance part of the book was OK...... hey, I am a guy :) - it wasn't overdone or gushy. The plot was awesome, great characters, and the story line kept me intrigued to keep reading. I would have liked to have had the story center more on the riders than it did, but it was still enjoyable and a good look into what life might have been like on the Pony Express trail.

About the author:

A native of southern Illinois, Stephanie Grace Whitson has lived in Nebraska since 1975. She began what she calls "playing with imaginary friends" (writing fiction) when, as a result of teaching her four homeschooled children Nebraska history, she was personally encouraged and challenged by the lives of pioneer women in the West. Since her first book, Walks the Fire, was published in 1995, Stephanie's fiction titles have appeared on the ECPA bestseller list numerous times and been finalists for the Christy Award, the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, and ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year. Her first nonfiction work, How to Help a Grieving Friend, was released in 2005. In addition to serving in her local church and keeping up with two married children, two college students, and a high school senior, Stephanie enjoys motorcycle trips with her family and church friends. Her passionate interests in pioneer women's history, antique quilts, and French, Italian, and Hawaiian language and culture provide endless story-telling possibilities.

Messenger By Moonlight is available from Faith Words, part of the Hachette Book Group.

Treason by Newt Gingrich and Pete Earley

Leading politician and bestselling author Newt Gingrich and novelist Pete Earley are back with another gripping international thriller. 

THE WORLD'S MASTER TERRORIST, known only as the Falcon, has infiltrated Washington's highest corridors of power, threatening the very existence of our democracy in this realistic tale of modern day TREASON. Major Brooke Grant has been waging war against terrorism since her parents were murdered during 9/11, keenly aware that her enemy transcends borders. But a coordinated attack on the president at the funeral of a Washington power broker leads her to a terrifying revelation: the enemy is closer than she'd ever imagined and is hiding in plain sight. The Falcon has gained a weapon no terrorist has ever wielded before: an American-born traitor burrowed inside the U.S. government itself.

TREASON is a story of a nation fighting for its life not only against outside threats but also against an internal threat-a fanatical jihadist who uses liberty as a shield while trying to destroy the civilization created in its image. Major Grant's deadly chess match with the Falcon turns personal when he issues a fatwa against her and those she loves. Can she unmask the traitor and stop the Falcon's most skilled assassin sent to kill her before he strikes? Or will she fall victim to betrayal by a false friend in this gripping tale of treachery, courage, and ultimately patriotism where good battles evil? Only Newt Gingrich, who brings decades of experience in national security and politics to bear in his collaboration with journalist Pete Earley, can spin such a vivid mix of reality and fiction, daring readers to guess where the line between the two is crossed.

My review:

   Although I am not used to cursing in books since the fiction I read is always Christian, I have enjoyed the two books in this series.

 Treason takes up pretty close to where Duplicity left off. This book brings back the same characters from the first book.

 There is a lot of action and suspense in this book. There is a mole up high in the government, and they had me guessing as to who it was. The terrorists are at it again, and the good guys have their hands full protecting America.

 With the political career of Gingrich, his portrayal of the dealings and behind the scenes politics takes on a more real feel than similar books by other authors. I appreciate his not pulling punches on  the dangers of Muslim terrorists, while not giving the idea that every Muslim wants to wipe our country off the face of the earth.

  This book, though fictional, brings home the seriousness and true danger of radical Islam. Though the characters in the book were not real, the hate for Americans and Christians is real. The book is an exciting and entertaining read, but it is also a sobering read as I realized how clueless our government is on this issue. Thanks to the authors for writing a great and realistic story.

About the authors:

Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich (born Newton Leroy McPherson) is an American politician who served as the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. In 1995, Time magazine selected him as the Person of the Year for his role in leading the Republican Revolution in the House, ending 40 years of the Democratic Party being in the majority. During his tenure as Speaker, he represented the public face of the Republican opposition to Bill Clinton.

A college history professor, political leader, and author, Gingrich twice ran unsuccessfully for the House before winning a seat in the election of November 1978. He was re-elected ten times, and his activism as a member of the House's Republican minority eventually enabled him to succeed Dick Cheney as House Minority Whip in 1989. As a co-author of the 1994 Contract with America, Gingrich was in the forefront of the Republican Party's dramatic success in that year's Congressional elections and subsequently was elected Speaker of the House. Gingrich's leadership in Congress was marked by opposition to many of the policies of the Clinton Administration. Shortly after the 1998 elections, when Republicans lost five seats in the House, Gingrich announced his resignation from his House seat and as Speaker.

Since resigning his seat, Gingrich has maintained a career as a political analyst and consultant. He continues to write works related to government and other subjects, such as historical fiction. Recently, he founded the conservative 527 group American Solutions for Winning the Future.

Pete Earley is a storyteller who has penned 13 books including the New York Times bestseller The Hot House and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness.

After a 14-year career in journalism, including six years at The Washington Post, Pete became a full-time author with a commitment to expose the stories that entertain and surprise.
His honest reporting and compelling writing helped him garner success as one of few authors with ”the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency,” according to Washingtonian magazine.
When Pete’s life was turned upside down by the events recounted in his book Crazy, he joined the National Alliance of Mental Illness to advocate for strong mental health reform on the public stage.

Treason is available from Center Street Publishing, part of the Hatchette Book Group.

Thanks to Hatchette for the review copy.