Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Fragment by Davis Bunn

In the newest high-stakes historical thriller from master storyteller Davis Bunn, skepticism vies with faith amid the grit and grandeur of post-World-War-I Europe.

It’s 1923, and a resilient Paris is starting to recover from the ravages of World War I and the Spanish Flu Epidemic. Enter young Muriel Ross, an amateur American photographer tasked with documenting the antiques that her employer, U.S. Senator Tom Bryan, has traveled to France in order to acquire. Although she’s exhilarated to have escaped her parents and the confines of their stifling Virginia home, Muriel has lingering questions about why the senator has chosen her for this grand adventure. Nevertheless, she blossoms in her new surroundings, soaking up Parisian culture and capturing the sights and sounds of Paris on her camera.

But events take a dangerous turn when she discovers that the senator is on a mission far more momentous—and potentially deadly—than a mere shopping trip. At the Cathedral of Notre Dame, Senator Bryan asks Muriel to photograph an astonishing artifact: a piece of the True Cross, discovered by Empress Helena—a historical figure familiar to readers of The Pilgrim. When rumors surface that another fragment has been unearthed, Muriel becomes enmeshed in a covert international alliance dedicated to authenticating the fragment—and protecting it from those who will stop at nothing to steal and discredit it.

My review:
  Davis Bunn is different from most of the authors I read. They all mostly stick to one genre' and style of writing. He, however, seems to have several styles of writing and his books are all quite different and in different genre's.

 This one is historical fiction, and as usual he does a great job of spinning a tale to keep readers turning the pages. The plot revolves around the finding of a piece of the cross Jesus died on. The book is full of suspense and intrigue which is so often found in Bunn's novels.

  There is nothing to dislike in this novel. I found the characters very likable, and thought it had an excellent plot. It kept me guessing as to what was going to happen, and ended with a very satisfying conclusion. I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but this one was well worth reading.

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 Fragment is available from Franciscan Media.

Thanks to Blogging Bistro for the review copy.

Always Watching by Lynette Eason

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity. 

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians to protect his son. But when Wade's bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. 

Olivia's skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade's stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him--including Olivia. But in her mind, even more dangerous than the threats to her life is the hold her handsome client has on her heart.

My review:

   Lynette Eason has been a favorite author of mine since I read her first novel she did for Revell Publishing. This is book one in the Elite Guardians Series, her fourth series for Revell. She has only gotten better with each book and series she has written, and this book is proof of that.

 This series is a bit different. The books revolve around a bodyguard agency that is run by and consists mostly of women. I'll admit, as much as I like Lynette's books, that was almost too much for me... a woman being a bodyguard for a man. Call me sexist if you want. but it is a bit weird.

  Once I got past the women guarding the man part, I really enjoyed the book. The plot involves a stalker that doesn't just stalk, she tries to hurt and kill the target of her stalking. The author did a great job of keeping the reader guessing the identity of the stalker with an added surprise at the climax of the book.

 I found myself liking the characters a lot, and I appreciated the Christian message and themes that came through loud and clear. It was a hard book to put down, and is a great start to this new series.

About the author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust, Nowhere to Turn, and No Place to Hide in the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

Always Watching is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward by Nabeel Quresh

From New York Times bestselling author and former Muslim Nabeel Qureshi comes this personal, challenging, and respectful answer to the many questions surrounding jihad, the rise of ISIS, and Islamic terrorism.

San Bernardino was the most lethal terror attack on American soil since 9/11, and it came on the heels of a coordinated assault on Paris. There is no question that innocents were slaughtered in the name of Allah and in the way of jihad, but do the terrorists’ actions actually reflect the religion of Islam? The answer to this question is more pressing than ever, as waves of Muslim refugees arrive in the West seeking shelter from the violent ideology of ISIS.

Setting aside speculations and competing voices, what really is jihad? How are we to understand jihad in relation to our Muslim neighbors and friends? Why is there such a surge of Islamist terrorism in the world today, and how are we to respond?

In Answering Jihad, bestselling author Nabeel Qureshi (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) answers these questions from the perspective of a former Muslim who is deeply concerned for both his Muslim family and his American homeland.

My review:
  I read and reviewed Nabeeel's first book; Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. He has an amazing story, and everyone should read that book.

  This one is different from his first. It isn't a long book, and is done in question format. The book has a few different sections, with each chapter asking a question, and the author answering it in length. The main focus of the book is on jihad. Nabeel goes way back and talks about what it originally was and compares it to what it is now. There are some great chapters on things such as whether God and Allah are the same god, and the radicalization of some Muslims.

 I found the book interesting and informative. I did learn a lot about jihad and Islam in general. I found the explanation very helpful of why some Muslims are being radicalized and others are not. I know I tend to lump all Muslims together, and this short book does a great job of showing that not all Muslims are equal. I would definitely recommend it to anyone wanting to know more about what makes radical Muslims tick, and just what Jihad is all about.

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.

Answering Jihad is available from Zondervan Publishing. Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Cold Shot by Dani Pettrey

In college, Griffin McCray and his four best friends had their lives planned out. Griffin and Luke Gallagher would join the Baltimore PD. Declan Gray would head to the FBI and Parker Mitchell would go on to graduate school as a crime scene analyst. But then Luke vanished before graduation and their world--and friendships--crumbled.

Now Griffin is a park ranger at Gettysburg, having left life as a SWAT-team sniper when a case went bad. The job is mostly quiet--until the day he captures two relic hunters uncovering skeletal remains near Little Round Top. Griffin just wants the case to go away, but charming forensic anthropologist Finley Scott determines that the body is modern--a young social justice lawyer missing since spring--and all evidence points to the work of an expert sniper. When FBI agent Declan Gray takes over the case, past and present collide. Griffin soon realizes he'll need to confront some of the darkest days of his life if he--and those he cares about--are going to escape a downward spiral of murder that crosses continents.

My review:

  Dani Pettrey is still fairly new to the Christian suspense/mystery genre', with only one series under her belt...... but what a series. I wasn't very far into that great series until she became a favorite author of mine. Thankfully, that series stretched out into a 5 book series, unusual for most Christian series these days.

  She has been teasing her readers about this book for a long time now, and I am one who has been looking forward to reading it. As I expected, it did not disappoint. Her first series was set in Alaska, and this one is totally different being set in the Chesapeake area. Cold Shot is book one in the Chesapeake Valor Series, and the series is off to a great start with this series.

  Cold Shot brings entirely new and different characters in than were in the first series. Instead of being about different members of a family as the Alaskan Courage Series, this series is going to be about four different friends, all in some kind of law enforcement position. This book was such a great read, that Pettrey may have a difficult time coming up with better or just as good of stories for the rest of the books. Yes, it is that good.

  This was a book I had a hard time putting down. I loved the characters, the plot was great, and it had a lot of twists and turns. What seemed like a simple mystery turned out to be even bigger than the reader was led to believe at first. This is the kind of book that should be held up as a standard for Christian suspense. I didn't even mind the romance, and appreciated the fact that the author gave a glimpse into the male side of things instead of focusing only on the female's as so many books do that have romance in them.

  The book had a great ending that satisfied, yet left you wondering what was going to happen next. If you like suspense and have never read a book by Dani Pettrey, this would be a great one to start with. A great read.

About the author:

Dani Pettrey is a wife, home-schooling mom, and the acclaimed author of the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award, among others.

She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves--the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters' faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson. You can find her online at

Cold Shot is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.