Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chasing Secrets, Elite Guardian Series #4 by Lynette Eason

Book description:

Intensity. Skill. Tenacity.
The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan's life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she's made a career out of taking care of others. But after she has an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her--and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he's not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories--and the depths of the heart--Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley's past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won't quit.

My review:

  Lynette Eason continues to put out top notch Christian suspense, and seems to get better with each book she writes. My only complaint about her books, is they all seem more geared to women readers, with most of her books having only women on the cover, and revolving around a female character..... but I still love her books.

   This has been another awesome series by her, and it sadly ends with this 4th book in the series, Chasing Secrets. It is quite different than her other books, as she starts the book out in Ireland 25 years in a prologue chapter  before the actual story starts, and the events in Ireland effect the main character and events of the rest of the book.

 Chasing Secrets brings back some of the same characters from the rest of the books, along with several new ones, most of them likable......some not so much.

 I am struggling through a book right now by a suspense author I used to love. There is no action, and it is difficult to get through. This book is far from that. It has non-stop action and drama, and a lot of surprises. The book is definitely unpredictable, other than the romance angle......which even this confirmed bachelor enjoyed.

 I started this book on my lunch break at work yesterday and also read it on my second break, and it was very difficult to put it down and go back to work both times. Immediately after getting home and eating supper, I dove back into it and didn't put it down until I finished it..... then read a few favorite parts again. This is one of Eason's best books, and that is saying a lot considering how great her other books are.

 As part of the story, Haley takes an interest in two boys with no father, and the events surrounding them add even more to the story, and I loved the conclusion of that part.

 There was nothing to dislike about this book. Christian in content, great characters, awesome non-stop suspense, and yeah.....even the romance, which wasn't gushy or overdone. Eason has another book she can rightly be proud of, and again shows why she is one of my top favorite authors.

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

About the author:


Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, and the Hidden Identity series, as well as Always Watching, Without Warning, Moving Target, and Chasing Secrets in the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of two ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Readers' Choice Award. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and lives in South Carolina. Learn more at www.lynetteeason.com.


Check out the other books in the Elite Guardian Series, which along with Chasing Secrets, are all available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.





Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble returns to her beloved Rock Harbor—but both danger and romance hide in this idyllic small town.

Dana Newell has just moved to Rock Harbor to take a job as a sheriff's dispatcher and is settling in next door to Bree and Kade Matthews. The abusive relationship she left behind seems a distant memory in this perfect place.

Her first day on the job, Dana receives a call from her friend Allyson who screams "He's going to kill me too" before the phone goes dead. Dana immediately dispatches a deputy, but it's too late. Allyson's death is ruled an accident, but Dana just doesn't believe it. She knows Allyson—an investigative reporter—was researching a new story. Did someone want to keep her quiet?

Dana continues to look into the accident with the help of Bree and also Allyson's cousin Boone. Romance quickly blooms between Dana and Boone but the game is much more complex than either of them imagined. When Dana's ex-fiance locates her, she's caught in the middle. It’s a game of cat and mouse as she and Boone fight to catch one killer while evading another.

My review:

I am not sure why, but I became a Colleen Coble fan late in her writing career. I had sporadically read some of her books, but didn't get into them that much. That has changed over the last few years, and I have become an avid reader of her books. In fact, I have gone back and read around 20 of her books in the last month, many that I had read before.

Her best series, in my opinion, is her Rock Harbor Series. The characters are impossible not to like, and everything about the series is just top notch. It has been several years since the series ended, so I was a bit dubious about another book in the series so long after the rest.... but I was wrong to be dubious. It probably helps that I just re-read the other books a few weeks ago, but this book seamlessly fell in with the rest..... and was a totally awesome 5-stars read.

The suspense and drama was great in the book, but there was a message throughout the book that Coble got across, of true beauty being what is inside. The hero of the story, Boone, is a man who got one side of his face scarred in a fire. As a result, his fiancee left him. He thinks no woman could ever love him, yet the heroine of the story is attracted to him largely in part because of who he is inside. The message is there that we work too hard to impress people with what they see of us outwardly, and too often don't work on our character and everything else inside enough. On the flip side, the bad guy in the story had perfect looks, but was an evil killer.

This paragraph sums up the theme and message of the book:

"Scars and all, his face was so handsome, so beloved. Her experience had taught her of how the soul was the repository of beauty. Unlike the Phantom (of the opera) who was as ugly on the inside as he was on the outside, Boone's scars hid an astoundingly beautiful soul. She had spent too much of her life worrying about the face she presented to the world, and much too little time on the character she needed to be developing every day."


Thanks, Colleen for writing not just a great suspense novel that was hard to put down, but also for including this great and needful message.

** I purchased this book, and was not given a copy to review, but thought it deserved a review.

About the author:


Best-selling romantic suspense author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at www.colleencoble.com.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Homefront Defenders by Lisa Phillips

Book description:

PROTECTING THE PRESIDENT Amid the idyllic scenery of Hawaii, rookie Secret Service agent Alana Preston is attacked, and a sinister plot to assassinate the president begins taking shape. But nobody seems to believe Alana, and she doesn't know who she can trust--except Secret Service director James Locke. Now, with an assassin hiding in plain sight on the island, she and James may be the president's last line of defense. The closer they get to cracking the case, however, the more intertwined their lives become. And they must fight to keep their hearts out of it. With the life of the commander-in-chief in their hands, falling in love could be a deadly distraction...

My review:

 I first ran across Lisa Phillips when her Sanctuary Series came up as recommended Christian fiction on Amazon. It is a series set in a hidden town full of people in the Witness Protection Program. I bought the first two books, and was hooked, (and was sad when the series ended).

 This is the first Love Inspired Suspense novel I have read by Phillips, and she does not disappoint here either. This is a bit different from some suspense novels I have read in that it centers on Secret Service agents.

 These books are a good bit shorter than the other books I read by Phillips, but she packs a lot into the pages. I liked everything about the book: plot, setting, characters, suspense, and action. Granted, the book was just 218 pages long, but I couldn't put it down and read it through in one sitting. I enjoyed the family dynamic between the female lead character and her family, and thought it added a lot to the story.

 I figured out early on who the bad guy was, but was surprised by the twist in the story when the author revealed who the bad guy was. That also made the book end in a different way than I was expecting, so kudos to the author for that surprise.

 All in all, this was a great read, and I enjoyed every page of it.

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

About the author: 


A British ex-pat who grew up an hour outside of London, Lisa attended Calvary Chapel Bible College where she met her husband. He's from California, but nobody's perfect. It wasn't until her Bible College graduation that she figured out she was a writer (someone told her). Since then she's taken the Apprentice and Journeyman writing courses with the Christian Writers Guild, and discovered a penchant for high-stakes stories of mayhem and disaster where you can find made-for-each-other love that always ends in happily ever after.

Lisa can be found in Idaho wearing either flip-flops or cowgirl boots, depending on the season. She leads worship with her husband at their local church. Together they have two children--a sparkly Little Princess and a Mini Daddy--and two bunny rabbits.

Check out her website at AuthorLisaPhillips.com

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#Truth: 365 Devotions for Teens Connecting Life and Faith by Josh McDowell

Book description:

Inspire. . . Challenge. . .  Fuel Your Faith.

This daily devotional from Josh McDowell unpacks spiritual truths that will inspire, challenge, and fuel your soul every day of the year--from January 1 to December 31.
Practical and relevant, each month of devotional readings shares a common theme—

January: THE TRUTH THAT GOD EXISTS
February: THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD'S WORD
March: THE TRUTH ABOUT ORIGINAL SIN
April: THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD BECOMING HUMAN
May: THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRIST'S ATONEMENT FOR SIN
June: THE TRUTH ABOUT JUSTIFICATION THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST
July: THE TRUTH ABOUT LIVING THE TRANSFORMED LIFE
August: THE TRUTH ABOUT JESUS' BODILY RESURRECTION
September: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE TRINITY
October: THE TRUTH ABOUT GOD'S KINGDOM
November: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CHURCH
December: THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRIST'S RETURN.

Truth Is. . . 365 Youth Devotions Connecting Life and Faith will lead you to understand the truths of God and how living them out is beneficial in your everyday life.

My review:

  There are some names that are associated with quality writing, and Josh McDowell is one of those names. He is best known for his apologetics writing, and now for a teen devotional. To my knowledge, this is the first devotional book he has written....... though I could be wrong.

  The book is a 365 day devotional, and is written for teenagers. Each day starts out with a Bible verse or two. That is followed by a short introduction to the devotional. The main part is the "Truth is" section. It ends with a short prayer.

 I can't remember reviewing any teen devotionals, so I can't compare this one with any others. However, I can say it is a quality devotional with interesting writings that are relevant for teenagers, and that have valuable truths in them. It is obvious a lot of thought and prayer went into this book, and the result is a great devotional book for teens that is sure to help them grow spiritually. The topics in the book cover a vast array of subjects, and teenagers are definitely going to be helped by the content.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

About the author:


As a young man, Josh McDowell considered himself an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. However, when challenged to intellectually examine the claims of Christianity, Josh discovered compelling, overwhelming evidence for the reliability of the Christian faith. After trusting in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, Josh’s life changed dramatically as he experienced the power of God’s love.

After his conversion, his plans for law school turned instead to plans to tell a doubting world about the truth of Jesus Christ. After studying at Kellogg College, Josh completed his college degree at Wheaton College and then attended Talbot Theological Seminary, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Divinity degree.

In 1961, Josh joined the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ International. Not long after, he started the Josh McDowell Ministry to reach young people worldwide with the truth and love of Jesus.

Well known as an articulate speaker, Josh has addressed more than 10 million young people, giving over 24,000 talks in 118 countries.

As he traveled to other countries, Josh quickly realized that where people were sick, homeless, and hungry, words were not enough. In 1991, Josh founded Operation Carelift to meet the physical and spiritual needs he discovered in orphanages, hospitals, schools, and prisons in the countries of the former Soviet Union. Since that time, Operation Carelift has delivered humanitarian aid (food, clothing, and medical supplies) worth more than $46,000,000. That is the equivalent of 278 forty-ton containers. Nearly one million children have received school supplies, food items, hygiene items, and toys from the volunteers that traveled twice a year to share God’s love with them.

Josh has received two significant honors from the Russian people because of these efforts. He was elected as an honorary fellow of the Medical Society (The Medical Union of Pediatrics) of Russia on January 24, 1995—in recognition of his work among the children of Russia. Also, Josh is the only foreigner to become a member of the prestigious Russian Club of Scientists. Operation Carelift, which has grown into in one of the largest humanitarian aid organizations based in the United States, is now a part of Global Aid Network (GAiN USA).


Since 1960, Josh has written or co-authored 120 books including:

More Than a Carpenter -- 15 million copies in 85 languages.
New Evidence That Demands a Verdict -- named one the twentieth century’s top 40 books and one of the thirteen most influential books of the last 50 years on Christian thought by World Magazine.

In addition to many other awards, Josh has been nominated 36 times for the Gold Medallion Award and has received that award on four occasions.

In spite of all the honors and awards he has received, Josh will tell anyone that his greatest joys and pleasures come from his family. He and his wife Dottie have been married 40 years. They have four children and five grandchildren.



#Truth: 365 Devotions for Teens Connecting Life and Faith is available from Shiloh Publishing, an imprint of Barbour Books.

 Thanks to Barbour Books for the review copy.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Coffee, the World, and Jesus by Ron DeMiglio

Book description:

Life lessons and almost irreverent musings from twenty-five years in the global coffee industry 

When many Christians take a long, hard look at the lives of the spiritual elite in America, they want to shout, "I don't want to be like that!" Ron DeMiglio knows how they feel and he's not afraid to do the shouting—even when those shouts are sometimes directed at himself.

Coffee, the World, and Jesus is a collection of mildly contrarian musings from this international coffee businessman who happens to love Jesus. In these humorous vignettes about the relational, flawed, unwavering faith Ron clings to, readers will find glimmers of their own daily struggles to reflect Christ in a fallen world. For the religiously cautious, the disillusioned, and jaded followers of Christianity, this is a refreshing look at how God reveals Himself to be so much bigger than politics, dogmas, or western influences.

Ron's sidesplitting series of stories about how he found his spiritual groove smack-dab in the middle of his God-breathed, coffee-scented uniqueness will appeal to readers looking for a quick bite of spiritual growth with their next latte.

My review:

  I am not a coffee drinker, but this book sounded interesting, so I requested it. I can honestly say you don't have to like coffee to enjoy reading the book.

 The chapters are a bit random in thought and topic, but it works for the book. The author has traveled all over the world in the coffee business, and has a lot of interesting stories to tell that happened to him. Some are amusing, some are more serious, and he tells on himself a lot... something I consider to be brave.

 Sprinkled throughout all of the stories and anecdotes  are lessons the author learned and is passing on through what he relates in the book.

 I found the book an interesting read, and it is a book one may read more than once.

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

 About the author:

Ron DeMiglio is the former president and owner of Eko Brands, LLC. The past twenty-five years of his life have centered around coffee as he traveled around the world. Ron lives in Snohomish, Washington.

 Coffee, the World, and Jesus is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Secrets by Jonathan Daugherty

Book description:

Everyone has a secret or two---areas of their life they would rather not share with the general public. But Jonathan Daugherty had a life-altering, relationship-ending secret that he wanted to keep hidden at all costs. And it did cost him. 

His secret snatched away contentment, peace, and the possibility of being known and loved for who he really is. That's what any addiction can do---but in particular a sex addiction. When his wife finally realized who Jonathan really was and what he was really doing, their marriage seemed to be over. Jonathan shares honestly and courageously his story of pornography addiction to it and how he lost everything. But that's not the whole story. 

Someone else was at work while Jonathan was struggling
---his heavenly Father. At the lowest possible moment of his life, God stepped in and brought hope and healing. This is a story of loss and redemption that will give hope to anyone who has ever experienced the power of addiction and its life-destroying effects. Addiction doesn't have the last word in Jonathan's life or in his marriage. The God who finds the lost, heals the sick, and brings life from death has the last, victorious word.

My review:

   In this book, the author chronicles his life from his first exposure to pornography to deliverance from it, along with the effect it had on his life and marriage. He does not glorify sin in the book, nor is he graphic, but his story shows not only the harm of pornography addiction, but the effect a life of secrets has on a person, his relationships with his wife and others, and his relationship with God.

 This would not be an easy book to write. To bare your soul and tell all of your secrets in a book many will read, takes courage and faith. The book is not long, coming in at only 126 pages, but the author packs a lot into the book, mostly hitting on the main highs and lows of his life. He pulls no punches nor makes any excuses, but lays it all out how he got addicted, how he felt and acted, and how it affected his wife and marriage.

 The book is not a discouraging read though. Daughtery shows how he was brought to the end of himself and finally surrender himself and his addictions to God. The restoration of his marriage and the launch of his ministry were miraculous, and it is awesome he is now using the bad in his life to help others struggling in the same areas.

 Secrets is an interesting and encouraging read. Not everyone looking at pornography will go on to actual adultery as Daughtery did, but pornography itself is adultery and increases the chances of an actual affair.

 I definitely recommend this book, and not just to those struggling in these areas. It can be a warning to anyone to not go down this road.

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

About the author:


Jonathan Daugherty is the founder of Be Broken Ministries, and founder of Gateway to Freedom workshop for men. He also hosts the weekly radio broadcast, Pure Sex Radio, and is in demand nationally as a speaker on sexual purity and men's issues. He has appeared on multiple radio and television media, both local and national. He has authored Grace-Based Recovery, The 4 Pillars of Purity, and other works. Jonathan lives with his wife and three children in San Antonio, Texas.


Check out his website here, and his blog here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Street Smarts From Proverbs by Mitch Kruse & D.J. Williams


STREET SMARTS FROM PROVERBS reveals Solomon's steps to divine wisdom while providing tools to navigate out of conflict into community.
Mitch Kruse learned the hard way that going to church three times a week while growing up did not answer the question:

Have you ever thought about changing the scorecard of your life from money to wisdom?

His pursuit to find the answer sparked a lifelong journey through the ultimate wisdom book, Proverbs, one that connects God's heart with street smarts.

STREET SMARTS FROM PROVERBS introduces Solomon's twelve words to the wise:


righteousness, equity, and justice
wise behavior, understanding, and wise communication
prudence, discretion, and wise counsel
discipline, knowledge, and learning



Each is paired with a real-life story of someone who experienced God's miraculous restoration after humbling their heart to Him. It explains, illustrates, and applies one of the twelve words, providing an easy-to-understand, yet life-transforming step-by-step process to assimilate each respective trait of wisdom.

STREET SMARTS FROM PROVERBS gives memorable prompts for the reader to recall every point with the purpose of applying it to conflict at work, with family, among friends, and in ministry. It provides tangible tools to be shrewd, yet harmless, in business dealings; to separate wisdom from foolishness through discretion; and to seek wise counsel for life's decisions.

My review:

 I ran across an ad for this book before I got a review opportunity, and thought it sounded like an interesting book to read. Then I got a review opportunity for it, and was happy to review it.

 The book is split up into two parts. The first three chapters address the cycle of conflict, the fool defined, and the key to unlocking wisdom. The second part of the book has a chapter dedicated to each of the 12 words mentioned in the book description: righteousness, prudence, wise counsel, etc.

 The author uses a lot of anecdotes from his own life throughout the book to help get his points across. I found the book an interesting and helpful read. I have always liked the book of Proverbs, but the author does a great job of really applying it to our lives today.

 The subtitle of this book is "How to Navigate Through Conflict to Community." The author addresses conflict all through the book, and does an excellent job of pulling truths out of Proverbs to better deal with conflict.... which we all experience at times in our lives.

 I enjoyed reading this book. It was a great read, and I would recommend it.

About the authors: 


MITCH KRUSE is known for his contribution to the collector car and real estate auction arenas. For seventeen years, he was owner, CEO, and auctioneer of the world's largest collector car sales organization. Kruse and his father developed the world's first auction park, home to the annual Auburn, Indiana, collector car auction that attracted three hundred thousand collectors each year. Mitch and his wife, Susan, live in Auburn, Indiana, on their family farm, first homesteaded by Kruse's great-great-great grandfather in 1854. They have four daughters.


D.J. WILLIAMS has been in the entertainment industry and nonprofit sector for twenty years. His writing credits include Restoration Road with Mitch Kruse, The Disillusioned, Waking Lazarus, and contributing writer for Holy Bible: Mosaic. Currently based in Los Angeles, Williams continues to add to his producing and directing credits by continuously developing new projects for television, film, and print.


Street Smarts From Proverbs is available from Faith Words, part of the Hachette Book Group.

Thanks to Faith Words for the review copy.

The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book Devotional by Laura James & Katara Washington Patton

Worship with art as you color-in 46 stunning illustrations based on the parables of Jesus, each with a corresponding devotion and prompts for spiritual reflection and artistic exercise.

God's creativity is everywhere. It's mirrored by His creation--even evident in the illustrative teachings of His Son. This stunning book of 46 soulful, colorable pictures is based on the parables of Jesus. Color the parables, be immersed in their valuable lessons in a unique way, engaging your own creativity, and strengthen your faith.

Also included are 46 uplifting devotions, one related to each parable, and 46 thought-provoking prompts for meaningful reflection and artistic expression. These pages provide worshipful exercises to inspire the artist in you, with space for illustrated prayer and journaling.

My review:

  I am not a big coloring person, but this is a very neat book. It is a combination of a coloring book and devotional book. Each devotional is based on one of Jesus' parables, and is followed by a picture to color about that parable. This is a big book with a lot of content in it.

 The devotionals are very well written, and I enjoyed having a whole book of devotionals based on Jesus' parables. The pages to color are very well done, and anyone into coloring books will enjoy it. Each coloring page is blank on the reverse side to avoid any bleeding through onto that page.

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

About the authors:


Laura James is an author and journalist and the owner of a
communications agency. Her writing has appeared in many national and
international newspapers and magazines. She is the mother of four adult
children and lives with her husband, their dogs, and a cat in North Norfolk.
Since her diagnosis, she has campaigned for autism awareness and
acceptance.


KATARA WASHINGTON PATTON has written and edited Christian books for children, teens, and adults and created supplemental materials for books by T.D. Jakes, Beth Moore and Joyce Meyer. She served as general editor and writer of Aspire: The New Women of Color Study Bible. She holds a M.Div. from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.



The Parables of Jesus Coloring Book Devotional is available from Faith Words, part of the Hachette Book Group. Thanks to Faith Words for the review copy.

Paul The Apostle: Missionary, Martyr, Theologian by Robert E Picirilli

Book description:

If you want to understand Christianity, you need to understand Paul. But with so many books on the apostle, where do you start?

Paul the Apostle is the ideal choice if you want a solid understanding of Paul’s life, ministry, and writings without getting weighed down with minutia. Author Robert E. Picirilli, who taught college courses on Paul for over twenty-five years, found that most books on the apostle were either too technical or too basic, so he wrote a book that strikes a happy medium. It offers:

A profile of Paul in his historical and cultural context
Outlines and explanations of his missionary journeys
Introductions and brief analyses of each of his epistles
Useful for individual study or as a textbook (as it is in many universities today), Paul the Apostle is a great one-stop study of the man who wrote half the New Testament, spread the gospel to the heart of the known world, and gave his life for the Kingdom.

My review:

  Other than Jesus Christ, there is probably no one else who has helped shape Christianity than the Apostle Paul. This book intrigued me, as I have never read a book about him, only the books of the Bible that he has written.

 I was surprised to find out this book has been around for a while. It was originally published in 1986, and Moody Publishing has just come up with a new edition of it, which is the one I am reviewing.

 The book starts out with the earliest mention of Paul in the Bible and goes up through his last years. Packed in between those pages is a lot of information about him, his writing, and his missionary journeys. I did learn a little by reading it, and got a refresher course on a lot also. The book is well written, interesting, and the author does a great job of covering the life of Paul and his writings. Of special interest to me was the page listing the letters of Paul in chronological order. This was a very interesting read.

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

About the author: 


ROBERT E. PICIRILLI is the former Academic Dean of the Graduate School at Free Will Baptist Bible College in Nashville. He began teaching in 1955. He is a member of the Research Commission of the American Association of Bible Colleges and served twice as chairman of the southeastern section of the Evangelical Theological Society. Dr. Picirilli is the author of a number of books including Paul The Apostle, The Book of Romans, and Time and Order in the Circumstantial Participles of Mark and Luke. Dr. Picirilli and his wife, Clara, have five daughters, all married.


Paul The Apostle: Missionary, Martyr, Theologian is available from Moody Publishing. Thanks to Moody for the review copy.


Monday, July 24, 2017

Over Maya Dead Body, Serena Jones Mystery #3 by Sandra Orchard

Book description:

FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha's Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn't take a vacation, and she's soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.

When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications--and even a secret or two?

My review:

  I reviewed the first two books in this series, but somehow missed out on reviewing this one. Even though I had to purchase my own copy, I decided to review it since I did the other two books.

  This has been an awesome series, and I am sad to see it end. Over Maya Dead Body may be the best book in this trilogy. It takes place far from home, and has quite the intricate plot with plenty of suspects to pick from. I was at a total loss at figuring out who was guilty and of what, and was very entertained as I read the exploits of those trying to solve the murders.

 All through this series, the main character has had two guys vying for her attention: Tanner, her FBI partner, and Nate, her apartment supervisor. Both are in this book a lot, as they both help Serena solve the crimes in the book. I was pretty sure this was the last book and it would be decided which guy she would pick by the end of the book, and I was correct. Even though I am a guy, I was caught up in hoping which guy she would end up with.  I won't say which guy did up marrying her, but I will say that the one I was rooting for all along was not the lucky guy..... so I was disappointed, if you're reading this Mrs Orchard. Though granted, both guys were very likable characters.

 This was a very awesome and enjoyable book and series that I very much recommend. If you read it, you definitely need to read the books in order.

About the author:



Sandra Orchard is the award-winning author of many inspirational romantic suspense and mysteries, including Deadly Devotion, Blind Trust, and Desperate Measures. Her writing has garnered several Canadian Christian Writing Awards, a Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award, a National Readers' Choice Award, a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit, and a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. In addition to her busy writing schedule, Sandra enjoys speaking at events and teaching writing workshops. She lives in Ontario, Canada. Learn more about Sandra's books and check out the special bonus features, such as deleted scenes and location pics, at http://sandraorchard.com.







Monday, July 17, 2017

The Cover Story by Deb Rihcardson Moore

Book description:

A fatal crash involving two college students heading home for the holidays seems like an unfortunate accident. But when the surviving girl wakens, she tells a curious story of the vehicle that forced them off the road--an old-fashioned, 1950s-style hearse.

Reporter Branigan Powers delves into the mystery that takes her to the college campus, and leads her into dangerous fraternity and sorority pledge parties.

Reunited with the homeless Malachi Martin, who is so adept at seeing what isn't there rather than what is, Branigan must uncover what is really going on at the college before other students are put in danger.

This second installment in the author's first cozy mystery series delves into the world of newspapers and life on the streets--both of which the author knows well.

My review:

 This was a new author to me, and is actually the second book in a series. I don't remember a review opportunity for the first book, but this one sounded like a good read, so I requested it.

 First the bad: This book is from Lion Publishing, distributed by Kregel. Kregel is a Christian publisher, but Lion does a lot of books that are not Christian, such as this one. There are a lot of instances of "damn" and "hell" throughout the book, even by a pastor. I dislike cursing in books and admire authors who can write a good novel without resorting to cursing, so that bothered me..... but then it isn't what you'd call a Christian book.

The good: Cursing aside, this was an awesome read. The plot was very intricate and suspects abounded. I enjoyed the detective work as the main character and others tried to figure out who the guilty part or parties was, and I was kept guessing as to who it was. The author created some great and likable characters, and some not so likable. When the book started, I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get into it, but I got pulled into the story and had a hard time putting it down when I needed to do so.

 The book came to a satisfying end, and it was great to find out who the guilty party was and what  the motive was. I really enjoyed the author's style of writing (minus the curse words), and very much enjoyed the book.

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

About the author:


For 27 years, Deb Richardson-Moore was a reporter for "The Greenville (SC) News," winning three national writing awards and routine recognition from the South Carolina Press Association. She was a wife, mother of three, and that suburban cliche, a minivan-driving soccer mom.

She then took over the religion beat at "The News" and enrolled in a nearby seminary to learn more about it. Her life was never the same. She left the newspaper and earned a master of divinity degree. Because jobs for clergywomen were scarce in her own Baptist denomination, she accepted a job as pastor of the non-denominational Triune Mercy Center, a crumbling, inner-city mission church to the homeless.

"The Weight of Mercy" chronicles her first three turbulent years among her homeless congregants. Here's what novelist Davis Bunn, writer-in-residence at Oxford University, has to say about it:

"This is an amazingly well written work, a genuine testimony of hope in the dark recesses of our times. The words are laid out with an artist's precision, and their smoothness makes this not just a powerful read, but a genuine entry into a world we all need to know better. Perhaps the most important thing I can say about this is, I found Jesus in these pages. Highly recommended."

Deb is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Erskine Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Vince, have three grown children.


The Cover Story is available from Lion Publishing, part of Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.


A Day At the Beach by Jedd and Todd Hafer

Book description:


Do you yearn for a day at the beach where your mind and soul can wander away from life's troubles? Do you gaze up at the sun or the nighttime stars and wonder if God is really on your side? Do you long to hear his quiet voice in the roll of a gentle wave? In A Day at the Beach, brothers Todd and Jedd Hafer don't have the answers to all of life's troubles, but they'll help you see that the God who built the universe also wants to help you build a great life. Let these encouraging words bring a ray of warm sunshine to your doorstep as Todd and Jedd offer their joy-filled perspectives on life and faith. So take a deep breath, unplug from life's daily grind, and follow the call of your heart to Jesus, the ultimate source of life.




My review:

   I recently took a vacation to the Outer Banks, so I actually was reading this devotional while I was at the beach.

  I have read a lot of devotionals, and have reviewed several of them. This one is unique since it focuses so much on the beach. I admit I wondered how the authors could write even a small devotional this size about the beach, but they managed to do it.

 Each devotional ends with a Bible verse, and though this isn't a big book and the devotionals in it are not very long, they are very well done, encouraging, and worth reading. Maybe I am biased a bit since I love the beach so much, but this is an excellent little devotional, and one does not have to be at the beach to enjoy the book and be helped spiritually by it.

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

About the authors:


Jedd Hafer is an expert on teens, having worked with troubled kids for more than twenty years. He has trained teachers and other professionals in crisis intervention and the Love and Logic approach in more than forty states and internationally. Jedd has cowritten eleven books with his brother Todd, and he can be heard on many Love and Logic audio recordings and broadcasts.


Todd Haferis an award-winning writer whose fifty-plus books (many written with Jedd) have sold more than two million copies. His teen/young adult novel Bad Idea was a Christy Awards finalist, and its sequel, From Bad to Worse, was named one of the top ten books of the year by Christian Fiction Reviews. Bad Idea is currently being made into a feature-length film. Todd was a contributor on the ECPA Book of the Year finalist Life Saver: The Ultimate Devotional Handbook for Teens. Todd lives on the plains of eastern Kansas with his children, a wayward rescue dog, and his very patient wife.


A Day At the Beach is available from Tyndale Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.

Sweetbriar Cottage by Denise Hunter

Book description:

When Noah and Josephine Mitchell discover their divorce was never actually finalized, their lives are turned upside down.

Following his divorce, Noah gave up his dream job, settling at a remote horse ranch in the Blue Ridge Mountains of northern Georgia, putting much-needed distance between himself and the former love of his life. But then Noah gets a letter from the IRS claiming he and Josephine are still married. When he confronts Josephine for the first time in months, they discover that she missed the final step in filing the paperwork and they are, in fact, still married.

Josephine is no happier about the news than Noah. Maybe the failed marriage—and okay, the botched divorce—was her fault, but her heart was shattered right alongside his, more than he would ever believe. The sooner they put this marriage behind them, the better for both of their sakes.

But when Josephine delivers the final paperwork to his ranch, the two become stranded in his cottage during the worst spring snowstorm in a decade. Being trapped with Josephine is a test of Noah’s endurance. He wrestles with resentment and an unmistakable pull to his wife—still beautiful, still brave, and still more intriguing than any woman he’s ever known.

As they find themselves confronted with each other and their shared past, old wounds surface and tempers flare. But when they are forced out into the storm, they must rely on each other in a way they never have before. Josephine finally opens up about her tragic past, and Noah realizes she’s never been loved unconditionally by anyone—including him. Will Noah accept the challenge to pursue Josephine’s heart? And can she finally find the courage to trust Noah?

My review:

   I have never read a book by Denise Hunter before. Nothing against her, but I just rarely read a book that is just romance. If there is mystery and suspense thrown in, I can handle some romance, but a book that is only romance isn't on my usual reading list. However, I had a friend suggest her books to me, so I decided to review this one when it came up.

  In a day when so many marriages are falling apart, even among Christians, it is refreshing to read a book where the couple gets back together. Yeah, that is a spoiler, but one would assume that happens by reading the back cover. This book was also a bit unusual in the fact that it was the woman who cheated and caused the breakup of the marriage, instead of the man. The man in this story was a Christian who remained faithful.

 Onto the review: I liked the author's writing style, and the main characters she came up with. She did a great job on the chemistry between them, and the awkwardness that would exist when two people are stuck together who are no longer together as a couple.

 The book went back and forth between the past and the present, and I am pretty sure they messed up on the time frame a couple of times, so I was bit confused a couple of times. Even though I assumed Noah and Josephine were going to patch up their differences, it was still enjoyable seeing them get to that point.

 All in all, this confirmed bachelor enjoyed this romance book a lot, and plan on reading more from this author.

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

About the author:

Denise Hunter is the award-winning author of 30 novels, including The Convenient Groom and A December Bride, which have been made into Hallmark movies.

Denise writes heartwarming, small-town romances. Her readers enjoy the vicarious thrill of falling in love and the promise of a happily-ever-after sigh as they savor the final pages of her books.

Denise lives in Indiana with her husband Kevin and their three sons. In 1996, Denise began her first book, a Christian romance novel, writing while her children napped. Two years later it was published, and she's been writing ever since. Her books often contain a strong romantic element, and her husband Kevin says he provides all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too!

Check out her website at DeniseHunterbooks.com.

Sweetbriar Cottage is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to Booklook Bloggers for the review copy.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

God's Smuggler, Young Reader's Edition by Brother Andrew and John & Elizabeth Sherill

Book description:

Bestselling, Timeless Classic Now Abridged for Young Readers

With over 10 million sold, this classic work is now available in a new edition for young readers ages 9 to 12, complete with riveting illustrations. The exciting narrative follows the dangerous true-life mission of Brother Andrew, a Dutch factory worker who goes undercover to transport Bibles across closed borders. The courage of this young man will thrill a new generation of readers. They will meet one of the heroes of the faith--and discover the miraculous ways in which God provides for those who trust him.

Let Brother Andrew's powerful adventure story, which has awed millions, inspire the young people in your life. Through its pages they will grow in knowledge of the mission field and understand more clearly what it means to risk everything to follow God's heart.

My review:

  It has been at least 30 years since I read God's Smuggler, and I can't remember anything about it. That means I have no idea how different this young reader's edition is from the original. This is an abridged version, so it is obvious that it is shorter than the original.

 This is an awesome story, made even more so by it being true. I tend to read a lot of Christian suspense novels, and this book kept my attention as much as one of those do. I was encouraged and convicted as I read the many stories related in the book, and of how strong the faith was of Brother Andrew and those helping him. It is truly amazing how often Bibles were smuggled right under the noses of guards and others when they were practically in plain sight. Not to leave out the miraculous way Brother Andrew's schooling and even his house were paid for.

 The book is also a sobering reminder that not everyone is free to worship as we are, and not everyone has access to Bibles as we do here in America. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book, and though I don't consider the reading level "dumbed down", for lack of a better term, the targeted age group (9-12) will definitely enjoy it. As will older kids and adults.

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

About the authors:


Andrew van der Bijl (born 11 May 1928 in Sint Pancras, Netherlands), known in English-speaking
countries as Brother Andrew, is a Christian missionary famous for his exploits smuggling Bibles to communist countries in the height of the Cold War, a feat that has earned him the nickname "God's smuggler". Brother Andrew studied at the WEC Missionary Training College in Glasgow, Scotland. Brother Andrew was born in Sint Pancras, the Netherlands, and was the fourth of seven children to a poor, near deaf blacksmith.


John and Elizabeth Sherrill, co-authors of numerous classics and two of the co-founders of Chosen Books, have traveled the world in search of stories that reveal the power of God. Learn more at www.elizabethsherrill.com.



God's Smuggler, Young Reader's Edition, is available from Chosen Books, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Cross Focused Reviews for  the review copy.


 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Dragon Seed by Marty Machowski

Book description:

An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background. Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family. Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book---a family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called Dragon Seed, leads Nick deep into his family's history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you'll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions!  

This page-turning, young adult fiction story invites older children and teens into the real-life struggles of Nick. But it also ushers them into an imaginative exploration of the life of the young man Jesus saved as he wandered through the tombs. Best-selling author Marty Machowski uses both stories to introduce the reality of spiritual warfare and how its shadows affect and change us.

Machowski, a trusted teacher for children of all ages, presents a thoroughly biblical view of spiritual warfare that emphasizes the importance of humility and dangers of pride. Teens will be drawn to the story of Nick and his struggles and will learn, as they read, to also identify the shadows in their own life and turn from them. While the biblical teaching is evident throughout the narrative of Dragon Seed, Machowski also includes a twelve-lesson Bible study at the end of the book to help teens ground their understanding of spiritual warfare on biblical principles. 

Youth pastors, leaders, and parents will also want to explore with teens the small group study at the end of the book with its unique take on spiritual warfare that emphasizes the biblical theme of humility. This is a perfect book to read with a group and discuss together the implications of Nick's struggles for their lives.

My review:

  I like to review juvenile fiction so I can find good books for my nieces and nephews to read...... and also because I enjoy reading them.

 This story is different from most of the juvenile fiction I read in that it is an allegory. The main character, Nick, is reading the story which is the story of Satan's fall up through Jesus' resurrection. A lot of the focus is on what the devil tries to accomplish. Even though I know the narrative very well, the author put a whole new spin on it that kids are sure to enjoy, along with adults. Even though I know how the story ends, the book still pulled me in and I didn't want to put it down. The author has a great writing style that is both entertaining and teaches a lesson.

 Dragon Seed is definitely a book kids will enjoy, and will hold their interest for sure. Though the story will be familiar to most, it is packaged in a totally different way than kids are used to hearing. This is a great way to get kids to read the Bible and get the important lessons from it they may otherwise overlook.

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

About the author: 



Author Marty Machowski is a Family Life Pastor at Covenant Fellowship Church in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania, where he has served on the pastoral staff for more than twenty years. Marty leads Promise Kingdom, the gospel-centered children's ministry of Covenant Fellowship. He and his wife, Lois, and their six children reside in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He is also the Executive Editor for Children's Resources at New Growth Press.

Marty Machowski, who studied industrial design in college, learned to combine the creativity of art with the discipline of mechanical engineering. He reflects on how his background specifically prepared him for his current ministry as an author. "Thinking up the hundreds of object lessons for the Gospel Story for Kids curriculum used problem solving creativity I learned as an industrial designer. It was exciting and challenging to create fun games and object lessons for kids that communicated the biblical concepts of the weekly lessons."


Dragon Seed is available from New Growth Press.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the review copy

Blog tour page.



Machowski pin1 Machowski pin2

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reunited by Danger by Caro Jl Post

Book description:

When a former classmate is murdered at Detective Caleb Lyons's ten-year high school reunion, he knows the victim's old group of friends are keeping secrets. That includes Cedar Key, Florida, police officer Amber Kingston. Back in school, Amber was headed for trouble, but now she's as dedicated to the law as he is. As he works overtime to get the pretty cop to open up to him, Amber and her friends receive messages threatening payback for past deeds. And her friends keep dying...one by one. But protecting Amber and unmasking a murderer isn't just the widowed detective's shot at redemption--it's his unexpected second chance at love.

My review:

  I have read and reviewed two of this author's books, and enjoyed both of them. The first was not suspense, but was a great read. The second was suspense, which is my favorite genre', and I was happy to have the chance to review the next book in the suspense series Cedar Key.

  Reunited by Danger had a great plot: six high school friends being picked off one by one ten years later in relation to a tragic death. The author doesn't wait to launch into the killings, and the first happens on the fourth page of the book, pulling me into the story right away. The suspense and action were well done, and it was not until close the end of the book that I began to suspect who the killer was - and I was correct.

 The characters were very likable, and the issue of trusting God made a great sub plot to the story, with both main characters struggling in that area for different reasons and in different ways.  The book is not preachy for those who are bothered by that, but it does carry a great message that God can forgive and change anyone, and that He can be trusted.

 These kind of books are a fast read, with this one coming in at just 219 pages, but those pages are packed with the kind of suspense and non-stop action and drama that I love in a suspense novel. It has made me want to read the other three books in the series which I have not yet read. Great read, highly recommended.

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

Reunited by Danger will be available September 5, 2017.

About the author:

From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special events decorating company, Carol's resume reads as if she doesn't know what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love for writing. She currently pens fun and fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense stories. Her books have been nominated for a RITA® award and an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book Award.

Carol lives in sunshiny Central Florida with her husband, who is her own real-life hero, and writes her stories under the shade of the huge oaks in her yard. Besides writing, she works alongside her music minister husband singing and playing the piano. She enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. Her two grown daughters and grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all that nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly spoiled dachshund.

Check out her website: CarolJPost.com

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Ryan's Father by June Foster

Book description:


The rippling influence of Ryan Reid's less than moral mother and absent father left a mark on his soul. Yet everything changed when the young teacher gave his life to the Lord...almost everything.

An earthquake hurls the beautiful Sandy Arrington into his life, tossing his world upside down. But when God calls him to build an annex for needy teens at his church, he finds himself battling an attraction toward his male partner in the project. His own struggles and Sandy's growing feelings for him force Ryan to face the issue he's long buried.

Can he dig his way out from under his secret to find Sandy's love?



My review:

   I'd never heard of this author until last week. Another Christian fiction author was having a Christian fiction scavenger hunt online - they are fun, though I never win anything - and June was one of the authors participating. She was giving away a copy of this novel. so I entered to win and commented that I hoped to win it, as I also struggle with same-sex attractions as her main character in the book does. Next thing I know, she commented on my blog with an offer to review the book, which I took her up on.

  I have long wished a Christian author would write a book like this. I actually started to write one, but never finished it. I am going to review this in a slightly different manner, splitting the review up as I occasionally do into parts:

The writing:

  The book is well written, and I like the author's writing style. Sometimes with smaller publishing companies, the editing and writing aren't too great, but they are in this novel. Though not a suspense novel, I found myself engrossed in it as much as if it were.

The characters:

  If an author doesn't have likable and believable characters, the story can be a total loss. I found myself really liking  the characters in Ryan's Father, and especially Ryan, who I could completely empathize with. Often characters in books are too perfect, but Ryan's flaws and struggles made him all the more likable.

The struggle:

 I can personally attest what it is like to have this struggle. June did a masterful job of portraying the struggle and the anguish of a Christian wanting to do the right thing, yet gripped by desires they did not want or choose.

 This is not a slam of the author, as she said the same thing at the end of the book: the speed of Ryan's deliverance from same-sex attractions to opposite sex attractions is unrealistic. Though many men have changed enough to be able to marry a woman and make it work, it rarely - if ever - happens as fast as it did in the book, and many never are able to achieve that.

 It is getting harder and harder to be a Christian holding a Biblical view of sexuality, and it takes courage for an author to write a book like this. Not all will like it, and the author has already received some negative comments. I am one who appreciates this book a lot. It does not give an extensive look into what it is like to have this struggle, but it gives a good enough look that maybe Christians reading it will better understand what we go through who do have it.

 I very much enjoyed this book, largely in part because I could so much identify with it, but the author did a great job of addressing this very difficult issue through the medium of Christian fiction. I most definitely recommend it.

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

About the author:


  An award-winning author, June Foster is also a retired teacher with a BA in Education and a MA in counseling. She is the mother of two and grandmother of ten. June began writing Christian romance in 2010. She penned her first novel on her Toshiba laptop as she and her husband traveled the US in their RV. Her adventures provided a rich source of information for her novels. In 2013, June's book Give Us This Day was a finalist in EPIC's eBook awards and in 2014 a finalist in the National Readers Choice Awards for best first book. Ryan's Father won The Clash of the Titles book of the month for January 2014 and was one of three finalists in the published contemporary fiction category of the 2014 Oregon Christian Writers Cascade Writing Contest and Awards. Deliver Us was a finalist in COTT's 2014 Laurel Awards. June has written four novels for Desert Breeze Publishing. The Bellewood Series, Give Us This Day, As We Forgive, and Deliver Us, and Hometown Fourth of July. Ryan's Father is available from WhiteFire Publishing. Red and the Wolf, a modern day retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, and For All Eternity are available from Amazon.com and Smashwords. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find freedom to live godly lives.


Check out her blog at JuneFoster.com.


Ryan's Father is published by White Fire Publishing, and is available on Amazon.com. Christianbook.com, and other retail websites.

Dark Deception, Defenders of Justice #2 by Nancy Mehl

Book description:

New Edge-of-Your-Seat Read from an Established Romantic Suspense Author 

Kate O'Brien has been leading a quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas, for the past four years when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and it was her drawing of the attacker--along with some last-minute evidence--that convicted the suspect. 

She's been in witness protection ever since, but new evidence suggests the convicted man isn't the murderer and she's been subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Nervous about the risk, she'll only agree if the same marshal who protected her during the original trial escorts her to St. Louis. 

Deputy U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca accepts the assignment to bring Kate to the trial, remembering how her strength impressed him. While in Shelter Cove, however, he gets a call from his chief, advising them to stay in Shelter Cove until a new development in the case can be straightened out. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.

My review:

   I have not been reading Nancy Mehl's books very long, but I have enjoyed every novel of hers I have read. This is the second book in the Defenders of Justice Series, a series about US Marshals. Unlike some series, I can't see it necessary to read them in order. The plot and most of the characters are totally different from the first book.

  This novel gives a good look at the Federal Witness Protection system and how it works. I have always been interested in that, and Mehl seems to do a good job of portraying what it is like to be in the system, and what the marshals do to insure the safety of those in it.

 Dark Deception is totally different than the first book. I enjoyed #1, but the action and suspense were more intense in this novel, and it did not stop once it started. The author had a couple of surprises, and plot twists I didn't see coming, which I enjoy. The characters were great, and the romance angle was well done. I did end up reading the book in one sitting, and very much enjoyed this newest foray into suspense by Nancy Mehl.

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

About the author:


Nancy MehlNancy Mehl (www.nancymehl.com) is the author of twenty-seven books, including the Road to Kingdom, Finding Sanctuary, and Defenders of Justice series. She received the ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award in 2009. She has a background in social work and is a member of ACFW and RWA. She writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their Puggle, Watson. She is part of The Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com, along with several other popular suspense authors. She is also very active on Facebook.


Dark Deception is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

 Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Israel - God's Heart by Ron Gafni and Kathleen Barrett

Book description:

A captivating pictorial of the Holy Land and a scriptural journey through God's redemptive story.

Many of us only dream of traveling to the Holy Land. Very few, like Israel's top aerial photographer, Ron Gofni, soar above the craggy mountains ranges of Masada, the salty Dead Sea, and the iconic locations where Jesus walked. Israel - God's Heart - Landscapes and Legacy beautifully captures the ancient landscapes of this great nation, as well as presents the legacy of God's redemption plan for the world.

As you slowly turn the pages, you will find unexpected vantage points, such as the Tower of David surrounded by city lights and fast-paced cars and a hot air balloon floating over a field of cotton. From a bird's eye view, you will also experience a vibrant, bustling, modern Israel. Biblical references and thoughtful narrative by author Kathleen Barrett intertwines with awe-inspiring photography to bring you to the Holy Land time and time again.

My review:

  I have never visited Israel, though I would love to do some day. I have only seen it through photography, and this book has some of the best photography of Israel I have seen, As the front of the book indicates, there is a lot of aerial photography in the book, though not all of the photos were taken from the air. There are a lot that were not. There are photos of familiar places such as Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, along with several others I am not familiar with, photos of animals, etc. There are photos of historical buildings and places, along with modern places and buildings.

  Along with the photos are explanations of what the photos are of, sometimes with a more detailed description.

 I enjoyed looking through this book, reading the photo comments, and getting a view of Israel from above. The authors did a great job of putting this book together, and it would make a great coffee table book.

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

About the authors:

Israel's top aerial photographer, Ron Gafni, brings his vast experience and personal perspective
through the lens of a proud Israeli citizen. His work has been featured in National Geographic, and his company, skypics.co.il, provides books from its "Israel From Above" collection to the Israeli Government, Army, and Air Force, as well as to large corporations in Israel.


Co-author Kathleen Barrett, a Florida resident and former pre-school teacher, shares her thoughtful point of view in Israel - God's Heart from a personal, 40-year walk of Christian faith and study. She has also authored a children's devotional and numerous articles on a variety of topics from missions outreach to political events. Her more personal and reflective work has been featured in a number of collections.


To sample the book digitally, click here.


Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the review copy.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Artifacts of Conspiracy by Dony Jay

Reagan Rainey was eleven years old when CIA men came to his house and broke the news that his father was dead. And so for the past twenty years, he and his family believed just that. But when a Russian spy named Moses suddenly comes forward and teases a tightly held secret from the past, Rainey’s world is turned upside down.

As part of the ensuing internal CIA investigation, Rainey—Delta Force special operator turned CIA operations officer—is dispatched to Great Britain to find out what really happened to his father and why. After narrowly escaping gunmen in England and an ambush in Spain, Rainey mounts his own operation that will lead readers through the spy-rich streets of Vienna and Prague and to the doorstep of Moscow. And leave Rainey staring face to face with a killer.

In his most daunting mission to date, Rainey will do whatever it takes to discover the truth. For his country, his family and himself. A truth that will challenge the very fiber of his faith and just might shake America to its core.

My review:

  A while back,  a favorite author of mine was recommending a new book by a new author. The book sounded really good, and I trust this author, so I bought that book and devoured it. The book was Warrior Spy by Dony Jay. The warrior spy is a Christian former military guy who now works for a secret branch of the CIA. The book was truly awesome, no exaggerations. It so impressed me that I did a review of it on my blog, even though it was not a book given to me to review.... I bought it.

 And now, the sequel is out, and again I am posting a review of a book I purchased. The author has come up with the perfect hero in Regan Rainey, a man dedicated completely to God and his country, in that order.

 This novel hits home for Rainey, and uncovers a plot and treason at the highest levels of the government. The book takes the reader all over the map: Germany, Spain, England, and more. It has all the pulse pounding suspense and more of the first book, and brings back a lot of the same characters from the first book. This is a masterpiece of Christian fiction, and I was so into the book that I read it in one day, which is a high compliment to the book. I loved the climax of  the book, what I was hoping would happen, and was moved to tears by it.

 I am more careful in my language than some, so I was bothered by the use of "pissed off" in a Christian novel, and would rather it not be in there. There was also a couple of crude references made between guys that female readers may find offensive, and maybe not. Other than that, I have no complaints about the book except it is now finished and leaving me hoping for a sequel. This is definitely a book and series I would recommend, especially for guys.

 I recommend reading the first book in the series, Warrior Spy.




About the author:


Dony Jay is a graduate of York College of PA, with a B.S. degree in criminal justice. He serves as a detective for a suburban police department in Pennsylvania. When he's not reading or writing, Dony loves spending time with his family, staying fit and cheering on the Philadelphia Eagles. Above all, he is a follower of Jesus Christ. According to Dony, the tenets of a rich & rewarding life include faith, family and freedom. In that order. He resides in south-central Pennsylvania.