Tuesday, July 30, 2013
But one day when she ventures out to the local grocery store, Jules bumps into a fellow customer . . . and recognizes him as her favorite author, Patrick Reagan. Jules gushes and thoroughly embarrasses herself before Regan graciously talks with her.
And that’s the last thing she remembers—until she wakes up in a strange room with a splitting headache. She’s been kidnapped. And what she discovers will change everything she believed about her husband’s death . . . her career . . . and her faith.
Rene Gutteridge isn't an author that I have read many books by, but I have been impressed by the ones that I have read, and this one may be her best yet.
I don't normally read Stephen King books, and in fact have only read one in my life (I was on vacation and bored and the vacation house had books). That book was Misery. In it, a woman kidnaps her favorite author and puts him through a pretty bad time. This book sounds like the opposite of that book, for in this book, a woman is kidnapped by her favorite author. But there the similarities end.
Among other differences in the two books, in this one, the whole story does not involve just the author and the kidnapped woman. There are people looking for her, and they are also trying to solve her husband's murder.
I did read this book in one sitting and had a hard time putting it down. It was very suspenseful, yet had a great Christian element to it. The plot was different enough from the Stephen King book to be original and was a real page turner. It was a book I was sad to see end, but I had that great feeling after reading a good book, that it was worth my time. Rene has outdone herself with this new novel. Great job.
About the author:
Rene Gutteridge is the author of eighteen novels, including Listen, the Storm series (Tyndale House Never the Bride, the Boo series, and the Occupational Hazards series from WaterBrook Press. She also released My Life as a Doormat and The Ultimate Gift: The Novelization with Thomas Nelson. Rene is also known for her Christian comedy sketches. She studied screenwriting while earning a mass communications degree, graduating magna cum laude from Oklahoma City University and earning the Excellence in Mass Communication Award. She served as the full-time director of drama for First United Methodist Church for five years before leaving to stay home and write. She enjoys instructing at writers conferences and in college classrooms. She lives with her husband, Sean, a musician, and their children in Oklahoma City. Visit her Web site at www.renegutteridge.com.
Misery Loves Company is available from Tyndale House Publishers.
Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.
This was an easy book to get into. It had a lot of action, drama, and suspense that kept me turning (electronic) pages as fast as I could read it. At the base of the story is a family scandal and two sons trying to get to the bottom of it.
A lot of the book happens in Africa, and in addition to giving a realistic picture of life there, the book also deals with child trafficking, and though its a sobering reminder that it is going on, it is a reminder that we need.
I found the book a good read, and one that was easy to get into it. Suspense is my favorite genre' and it had enough of that to hold my interest, and kept me hooked to the end. This is an author to keep an eye on.
About the author:
With the DNA of a world traveler, Williams was born in Hong Kong and has ventured into the
The Disillusioned is available from Westbow Press.
Thanks to the author for the review copy.
Monday, July 29, 2013
According to Idleman, idolatry isn't an issue---it is the issue.
By asking insightful questions, Idleman reveals which false gods each of us are allowing on the throne of our lives. What do you sacrifice for? What makes you mad? What do you worry about? Whose applause do you long for? We're all wired for worship, but we often end up valuing and honoring the idols of money, sex, food, romance, success and many others that keep us from the intimate relationship with God that we desire.
Using true, powerful and honest testimonies of those who have struggled in each area, gods at war illustrates a clear path away from the heartache of our 21st century idolatry back to the heart of God -- enabling us to truly be completely committed followers of Jesus.
Every once in while I read a book that I think "man, everyone needs to read this". This is one such book. It is a convicting book when you consider how easy it is to put anything above God in our lives and how careful we need to be, yet it isn't a hard driving hell and brimstone type of book. This is the first book I have read by this author, and I like his style. He writes with humor, yet is serious in his approach to showing how easy it is to have idols in our lives.
I really don't read enough non-fiction, but if all non-fiction was as easy to read, I would read more of it. And though it is an easy and interesting read, it is not a shallow book by any means. It is challenging and convicting, and is truly a book all Christians should read.
About the author:
Kyle Idleman is the Teaching Pastor at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, the
fourth largest church in America. He is the author of the award-winning and best-selling book not a fan. He is also the presenter of several video curricula, including not a fan, H2O, and the newly released study gods at war.
Gods At War is available from Zondervan Publishing.
Thursday, July 25, 2013
I don't typically read romance books, but I have read this whole series and enjoyed it immensely. They are not your run of the mill romance, but have depth and a lot of drama.
This is the fourth book in the series, but much of the book goes back in time before the other books. There is a lot of history in the book such as Vietnam War and the Kennedy assassination in the 60's.
I enjoyed this book as much as the rest of the series, and it was nice to read more about Bo & Mona Beth and about their past. As with all of the Miller Creek novels, there is also a lot of spiritual application and lessons learned by the characters that is good for the reader. I think this is the last book in the series, and I am sad to see it end, but it ended with a great book.
About the author:
Cathy's desire is to write heart-stirring stories about God's life-changing grace. Her first novel, Texas Roads, was a 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers' Genesis finalist. Since then she's added A Path
Cathy is the owner and editor of the popular blog, WordVessel, and has written devotions for The Upper Room devotional magazine, two devotional books, and for online sites. In addition to her writing, she enjoys romping in the great outdoors and thrift store shopping, and is hooked on a few reality TV shows. To learn more about Cathy and her books, visit her website at www.CatBryant.com.
Thanks to the author for the e-book review copy.
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand. She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Although his mother was an Israelite, Darius remains skeptical that his Jewish wife is the right choice for him, particularly when she conspires with her cousin Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Ordered to assist in the effort, the couple begins a journey to the homeland of his mother's people. Will the road filled with danger, conflict, and surprising memories, help Darius to see the hand of God at work in his life-and even in his marriage?
A hidden message, treachery, opposition, and a God-given success, will lead to an unlikely bounty.
If you'd like to read the first chapter of Harvest of Gold, go HERE.
Wondering how to recover from such a momentous find and such horrendous destruction, Tom's adventures are not over. No one knows how much time is left in these last days—a year? A hundred years? A thousand? Plagued by murderous dreams, Tom fears members of the Prophet Guard—killers who wear the Coptic cross with a lightning bolt slashing through it—are back and looking for him. But they are not the only threat to Tom and his team. Forces behind the Arab Spring have sinister plans. And underestimating their determination would be a fatal mistake.
The same fast-paced, page-turning prose that readers loved in The Sacred Cipher is back in Terry Brennan's eagerly awaited sequel, The Brotherhood Conspiracy.
This book isn't really being advertises as a sequel, but I would recommend reading the first book, The Sacred Cipher first. This book picks up where the first book left off, and by reading the first, the reader understands the characters and what is going on better.
This is not what I would call light reading for fiction. There is a lot of history and research in the book, and though it is very interesting and suspenseful, it is a book you need to read when its quiet and you can think. The author does a great job of showing the conflict between Muslims and Jews, and what a boiling cauldron the temple mount area is. In both books, he paints a great picture of what could happen if the Jews did discover a temple on the temple mount and started sacrificing again, and what could and would most likely happen.
I enjoyed both books, and the look it gave me into the area of Jerusalem, into the history, and the conflict that surrounds that area. I'd recommend these books to anyone interested in the Jewish-Muslim fighting and the idea of the Jews worshipping again on the temple mount. I got so much more from these books than an entertaining read. I learned a lot while I was entertained.
One thing that did bother me about both books: I am still of the belief that Christians should not drink alcoholic beverages, and if they do, it should be in moderation and not in bars. The main character in the books is a Christian who drinks beer frequently, and in bars. That bothered me a lot. I wish Christian authors would just steer clear of an issue that a lot of evangelical Christians till believe something Christians shouldn't do.
About the author:
Over the past 35 years, Terry Brennan has accumulated a broad range of experience in both the profit and non-profit business sectors.
His 22-year, award winning journalism career included:
* Seven years as a sportswriter and editor with The Philadelphia Bulletin, at the time the largest-circulation afternoon newspaper in the nation;
* Leading The Mercury of Pottstown (PA), as its editor, to a Pulitzer Prize in Editorial Writing;
* Serving as Executive Editor of a multi-national newspaper firm - Ingersoll Publications - with papers in the USA, England and Ireland.
In 1996 Brennan transferred his successful management career to the non-profit sector and served for 12 years as Vice President of Operations for the Christian Herald Association, Inc., the parent organization of four New York City ministries, including The Bowery Mission.
Now Chief Administrative Officer for the non-profit Care for the Homeless in New York City, Brennan also won the Valley Forge Award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation.
His two adult sons and their families live in Pennsylvania. Terry and his wife Andrea live in New York City area. Their daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter live in West Chester County and their son resides in Lake Tahoe, CA.
The Brotherhood Conspiracy is available from Kregel Publications. Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
During the reading of her mother’s will, Sheila Baker discovers that she has inherited everything her parents ever possessed, including their secrets. A mysterious safe-deposit box key leads her to the answers to one of history’s greatest conspiracies: Who killed John F. Kennedy? Not only does she have the missing film, revealing her mother as the infamous babushka lady, but she has proof that there was more than one shooter.
On the run from people who would stop at nothing to keep secrets buried, Sheila turns to billionaire sleuth Jason Hammond for help. Having lost his own family in a tragic plane crash, Jason knows a thing or two about running from the past. With a target on their backs and time running out, can Jason finally uncover the truth behind the crime that shook a generation—or will he and Sheila become its final victims?
This book popped up for review a while back from Tyndale, but they also had one of my favorite author's books available for review, so I picked it instead. I was going to buy this one, as it sounded so good, but it was a hardback and I didn't want to try a new author on hardback prices. It just came out in paperback, so I bought it and read it this past week.
I wasn't alive when Kennedy was president, but have heard a lot and read a lot about his assassination and heard the conspiracy theories. I've never paid much attention, but the book sounded so good, I decided to give it a shot. I was not disappointed. This book is action-packed with a lot of suspense, bad guys, drama, and a lot of historical stuff. When I am reading a book such as this and names and events are discussed that could be factual, I often google things, and I did with this book and found out a lot of things to do with the assassination that I didn't know, such as the Babushka Lady and deaths of different people I had never heard of.
The book is set in modern day with a couple investigating the events due to some footage caught on a movie reel. I really liked the main characters, one of whom is going to be in future books, and though I didn't know a lot about the assassination conspiracy theories, I learned a lot about it while reading a great suspense novel. Ironically, the author believes there was only one gunman, but after reading the book, I have to admit I am in the camp of those who believe otherwise. Regardless of which view you hold, this is an awesome suspense novel that deals with the Kennedy assassination with one possibility of what happened.
About the author:
Wil Mara has been publishing books for the last 25 years. He began with nonfiction for school libraries, moved into children's fiction by ghostwriting five of the popular ‘Boxcar Children Mysteries,' then into adult fiction with his 2005 disaster thriller, Wave, which won the New Jersey Notable Book Award. The next disaster novel, The Gemini Virus, was released in October 2012 to rave reviews by critics and public alike. Wil also spent 20 years as an editor, working for Harcourt-Brace, Prentice Hall, and others. For more information, visit Wil at www.wilmara.com.
Frame 232 is available from Tyndale House Publishers.
Read the prologue here.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.
ABOUT THE BOOK
If you would like to read the first chapter of In Golden Splendor, go HERE
The first book in this series ended with the fate of Seamus Hanley being up in the air, so I was glad to see the next book was about him.
This book was as good and interesting of a read as the first. Sequels can be dangerous things, but I got into this one even more than the first. There is more action, more character development - which I like to see, and we find out just what kind of stuff Seamus is made of.
I don't always get into historical fiction, especially set in other countries, but this is a fascinating series and I learned a lot in the first book, and even more in the second. This was a great read.
Saturday, July 13, 2013
But Thalli was born with the ability to feel emotions and a sense of curiosity she can barely contain. She has survived so far thanks to her ability to hide those differences. But Thalli's secret is discovered when she is overwhelmed by the emotion in an ancient piece of music.
She is quickly scheduled for annihilation, but her childhood friend, Berk, convinces The Ten to postpone her death and study her instead. While in the scientists' Pod, Thalli and Berk form a dangerous alliance, one strictly forbidden by the constant surveillance in the pods.
As her life ticks away, she hears rumors of someone called the Designer---someone even more powerful than The Ten. What's more, the parts of her that have always been an anomaly could in fact be part of a much larger plan. And the parts of her that she has always guarded could be the answer she's been looking for all along.
Thalli must sort out what to believe and who she can trust, before her time runs out...
My first thought after reading the first chapter of this book was "this book is weird!" After I read further in the book, I changed my opinion to it just being different, and actually enjoyed the book once I got past my first impressions.
This book is a "dystopian" genre' of book, and geared for teenagers. If you don't know what dystopian means, do what I did and look it up. :-) Although I would have preferred the book to be written in the third person point of view, the book does offer more insights into the main character's thoughts with it being written in the first person point of view.
The book is entertaining and an interesting read, but it also gives a sobering look at what life could be like if we leave God out of the equation and try to make a perfect world and perfect people. It can't happen. We were meant to have a free will and not be robots, and this book is a great reminder of that.
Maybe its odd I enjoy juvenile fiction so much at my age, but I do, and this is a series I definitely plan on keeping up with. If this first book is any indication, this is going to be a great series that teens and adults both will enjoy.
About the author:
When Krista McGee isn't living in fictional worlds of her own creation, she lives in Tampa and spends her days as a wife, mom, teacher, and coffee snob. She is also the author of "Anomaly," "First Date," "Starring Me," and "Right Where I Belong".
Learn more about Krista at her website.
- An iPad Mini
- A $25 iTunes gift card (download Anomaly to the iPad!)
Spread the word about Krista and her giveaway HERE!
Anomaly is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing. Thanks to Litfuse for the review copy.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Sometimes it’s hard to find your bearings in the New Testament, as you enter the time and place of Jesus and His disciples. There are confusing practices, new people groups, and even unexplained religious conflicts. How did it all come about?
Dr. William Marty walks you through the history leading up to the arrival of Jesus in order to help you better understand His life and teachings. He answers such questions as:
• Why did "Israelites" start being called "Jews"?
• What's a "synagogue" and what happened to worshiping in the temple?
• Who were the Pharisees and why was Jesus so upset with them?
• Why didn't anyone like the Samaritans?
Get to know the times in which Jesus lived, so you'll better understand His teaching and ministry. And along the way, discover how God prepared the world for the One who would turn it upside down.
This isn't a long book, but it is packed full of information. The author has some background information from the Old Testament and also from the time between the Old and New Testaments to help the reader better understand what it was like in Jesus' time.
The book is easy to read, and I found it very interesting and informative. It explains why the Jews hated the Samaritans, who the Pharisees were, and other things like that which is mentioned in the Gospels. The author obviously did a lot of research for the book, and that comes across. I did learn some new things reading the book, and recommend it to anyone who wants to better understand what things were like in Jesus' time.
About the author:
Dr. William H. Marty (ThD, Dallas Theological Seminary) is Professor of Bible at Moody Bible Institute and has published two textbooks, Surveying the New Testament and Survey of the Old Testament. He is unique among Bible college professors in that he teaches and writes on both the New and Old Testaments. Dr. Marty lives with his wife in Chicago.
The World of Jesus is available from Bethany House Publishers. Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS:
But over the years the we have especially enjoyed writing for children and young people! This includes our award-winning TRAILBLAZER series, historical fiction about great Christian heroes and heroines for young people ages 8-12, and the four-volume HERO TALES: A Family Treasury of True Stories from the Lives of Great Christians, and the companion book, Heroes in Black History.
Somewhere along the way, our own children grew up! Son Julian is Director of Experience Design for the Alder Planetarium in Chicago where he “provides the experience of exploring space” for visitors. He has two sons, Liam Isaac and Elijah David. Daughter Rachel graduated from Eastern Mennonite University and after working in the field of rape-crisis prevention went on to earn a Masters Degree in counseling from the University of Illinois. She is now a counselor at “Uni High School” in Champaign, Illinois. She is the loving mother of Havah Noelle (our first grandchild!) and Noah Zion, our youngest grandchild. The Jackson family also includes a Cambodian foster daughter, Samen Sang, who has four children.
We live in Evanston, Illinois, where for twenty-seven years we were part of Reba Place Church, a Christian church community. We are now members of a multi-racial congregation in the Chicago area.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Grace Meredith is a beloved contemporary Christian recording artist whose career--and personal life--hits unexpected turbulence. She feels grounded--in more ways than one. Grace s fiancé, bothered by her outspoken stance on purity and her near-constant travel, has broken off their relationship. Exhausted and unable to continue her current concert schedule, Grace returns home to Chicago, where she is soon stranded in a major snowstorm. Facing new questions about her future and her faith, Grace finds herself connecting for the first time with the residents of her neighborhood. What she discovers in these unexpected relationships could change everything.
Welcome to the Neighborhood The first in the Windy City Neighbors series, Grounded is an uplifting, contemporary story about ordinary people wrestling with the spiritual and practical issues of real life. The series employs the innovative storytelling technique of parallel novels, each with its own drama and story arc, but whose characters lives become intertwined and affect one another. Grounded welcomes you to Beecham Street--a typical, isolated American neighborhood that might just be a place of hope.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Grounded, go Here.
This book was even better than it sounded. It is the first book in a series that will focus on different people in a neighborhood. This one centers around a young woman who is a Christian singer. Suspense is my favorite genre', and this is not fiction, but it still held my attention and I enjoyed the story.
Aside from the plot, which was interesting and enjoyable, there was a message of grace in the book. The main character herself has a struggle of her own and she eventually uses it to help others experience grace and forgiveness. I like it when a Christian novel does more than just entertain, and this one did more than entertain. It had a great message and reminder of God's grace, and that it is available no matter what we have done.
I did have one issue with the book. There was one use of a word that is inappropriate for Christians to use, and inappropriate to appear in Christian books, and it was used by a 13 year old at that. A word that is commonly used in place of ticked off. It was just one use, but it was still out of place.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
ABOUT THE BOOK
While Liberty's future crumbles as her home is destroyed, the past comes rushing back to Bella, a former slave and Liberty's hired help, when she finds herself surrounded by Southern soldiers, one of whom knows the secret that would place Liberty in danger if revealed.
In the wake of shattered homes and bodies, Liberty and Bella struggle to pick up the pieces the battle has left behind. Will Liberty be defined by the tragedy in her life, or will she find a way to triumph over it? Widow of Gettysburg is inspired by first-person accounts from women who lived in Gettysburg during the battle and its aftermath.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Widow of Gettysburg, go HERE.