Friday, September 4, 2020

Airborne by DiAnn Mills

Book description:

Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living—but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.

As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

My review:

  DiAnn Mills has become a favorite author, so I was happy to have an offer to review her newest book, one that was on my to-read list when it comes out.

 Reading Airborne at this time was especially interesting since it deals with a virus, and we have been dealing with the Covid virus for several months now.

  Airborne was a lot different than Mill's other books. A lot of the story took place on a plane, and the main character was quarantined for most of the book. Mills did an awesome job of describing the effects and fallout of such a virus.

 Heather made an awesome main character, dealing with the breakup of her marriage, being on a plane where a virus had been released, and knowing her husband was the main suspect in the attack. I found myself liking her husband and hoping he was innocent, and that they would get back together. (You'll have to read the book to find out).

 One thing that really impacted me was the spiritual journey of one of the characters in the book. An atheist slowly found himself believing the Bible, and finally coming to know Jesus. The author wrote about this journey in such a way that it really moved me and has been on my mind. God does use Christian fiction.

  I figured out fairly early who the bad guy was, but was not expecting the twist when it became clear.

  Airborne was an awesome read that was full of suspense and non stop dram and action one can expect from Mills' books. It had a great ending, and I appreciate the unapologetic Christian part of the story. I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Take Back Your Life: A 40-Day Interactive Journey to Thinking Right So You Can Live Right by Levi Lusko

Book description:

A forty-day interactive journey that will help you identify and fight your internal battles—so you can take back your life. 

Every person has a mission and a God-given potential to impact the world, whether they recognize it or not. But life presents challenges and traps us in a helpless, hopeless loop of anxiety and fear.

In Take Back Your Life, a blend of bestselling books Through the Eyes of a Lion and I Declare War, join Levi Lusko on an interactive journey to take back your life. With biblical truth and perspective, this step-by-step journaling process will help you:

get out of your own way by learning to think right so you can live right,
find purpose by discovering that God will do great things with your imperfect progress, and
learn that your pain is not an obstacle to being used by God but an opportunity to be used like never before.
This is more than a book; it’s an intimate self-analysis tool that will help you recognize what’s weighing you down or holding you back, and equip you to embrace it head-on as you become the best version of yourself. Start thinking right, so you can live right.

My review:

  I am familiar with this author, but have never read anything by him until now. Take Back Your Life is a devotional type book, but that is an interactive kind of devotional.

 There are 40 chapters, intended to be done over a period of 40 days. Each chapter starts out with a Bible verse, followed by the devotional part. That is followed by a short prayer, then the "Breathe, Think, and Live" part. It consists of several questions to answer, and often some actions to do.

 I didn't do all 40 days, as I didn't have enough time to do them all one day at a time, but I like what I read. The book is Biblical, and if the reader answers the questions and does the exercises that are in the book, I can see it would definitely be a help. Lusko has a great and interesting style of writing, and relates a lot of personal anecdotes throughout the book. As I glanced through the parts of the book that I didn't read yet, it is obvious there is a lot of depth to the book, and it can be a valuable tool for anyone who needs to change their thinking about themselves.

Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC and HCCP for providing this prize for the giveaway and review.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


About the author:


 Levi Lusko is the author of the bestselling books “Through the Eyes of a Lion” and “Swipe Right.” He is also the lead pastor of Fresh Life Church – a multisite church located in Montana, Utah, Oregon, and Wyoming that he and his wife Jennie pioneered in 2007. Levi travels around the world speaking about Jesus. He takes pleasure in small things, such as black coffee, new shoes, fast Internet, and falling asleep in the sun. He and his wife have one son: Lennox, and four daughters: Alivia, Daisy, Clover, and Lenya, who is in heaven.

 

Giveway:

 Courtesy of FlyBy Promotions, I have one copy of Take Back Your Life to give away. Just comment on this post, or email me if you do not have a blogger account. I will pick a winner using Random.org 10 days from now on September 4.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The Gentleman Spy, Serendipity Secrets #2 by Erica Vetsch

Book description:


He only wanted a duchess for a day--but she's determined to make it a marriage for life

When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.

But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.

Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?

Book review: 

Although these aren't the type of books I normally read, I enjoyed the first one so much that I have been looking forward to reading the second one.Since the main male character was a spy, this book leaned more towards being suspense than the first one, which made it all the more enjoyable to me.

 Both Charlotte and Marcus were interesting and likable characters, which is a big plus for a story, but especially Marcus. He was a rich aristocrat going through the motions of what he had to do in society, yet had a secret life as a spy that even his new wife didn't know about. And Charlotte was intended to be a meek wife to gain approval and help his place in society, but she bucked the system and got involved in helping women who were trapped in prostitution.

 I really enjoyed this story. The author did a great job of portraying life in England in the 1800's, and what a marriage of convenience might look like. Vetsch has a great writing style, and captured my attention on the first page, and kept it all through the book. This book IS a romance, so there was a lot of that in the book, made all the more interesting by the spy activities and by wondering what Charlotte would do next to mortify her mother-in-law and knock her new husband off balance.

 The main characters from  the previous book made a few appearances, and it was cool to have them tied into the story.

 Vetsch has come out with another riveting novel that has left this reader looking forward to the 3rd and last novel in this trilogy.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:


Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.  

Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.

A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.

Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).



Giveaway. Enter here.


Persian Betrayal, Empires of Armageddon #2 by Terry Brennan

Book description:

How much can Brian Mullaney risk to serve God and save lives--without losing his own? DSS Regional Security Officer Brian Mullaney has been tasked with an incredibly dangerous mission. When a synagogue in Jerusalem is destroyed by an explosion, burying the second key prophecy Mullaney is hunting--and the deadly box that protects it--the answers he desperately needs are also crushed. How can he discover the meaning of the centuries-old prophecy now? Why are he and the ambassador he's assigned to protect being targeted? And is there any way this lone man can thwart a nuclear arms race between three ascendant empires of the past?

An otherworldly servant of evil known only as the Turk is maneuvering all three nations into an intricate dance designed to undermine prophecy about the end times. And he won't let Mullaney or anyone else get in his way.

Wounded in a bloody shoot-out, pressured by his wife to come home, and mourning the death of his best friend, Mullaney doesn't need a powerful enemy. Who is he to save the Ishmael Covenant, the treaty promising peace in the Middle East? Despite angelic intervention, Mullaney wants nothing to do with his final assignment. But without him, evil will win the ultimate struggle . . . and humankind will have no hope left. 

My review:

 It took me a while to get into the first book in this series, but that wasn't the case with this book. It picks up where the first book ended, and launches right into action and drama. This book was a thrilling ride through the Middle East, with constant action and political intrigue woven with Bible prophecy.

 It is obvious that Brennan has done a lot of research for this series, and has put a lot of history and detail in the story that taught me a lot about what has gone on in that area, and what is currently going on.

 Slight spoiler: Brennan's description of what might happen if a peace treaty was actually signed was interesting and has repercussions to do with passages in the Bible that I had never considered.

 Brian Mullaney is the main character, and this book had more character development and background on this very likable character. And he is not the only likable character. Then there are the ones not so likable that I found myself hoping would get found out and get what they deserve.

 Persian Betrayal is an awesome story of political intrigue, but also shows how unstable that area is, and what could happen if the wrong people got enough power and abilities to wipe others out. Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. From start to finish, it is non stop action and intrigue, and it left me wishing the third book was out. Awesome story.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own

About the author:


A Pulitzer Prize is just one of the awards Terry Brennan accumulated during a 22-year career in journalism.

​The Pottstown (PA) Mercury  won a Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a two-year series of editorials written while Brennan was the newspaper’s Editor. Once directly responsible for over 100 newsrooms in the United States, Brennan was an award-winning writer, editor and publisher,  including an award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation.

​He was an Editor and Publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York and moved to the corporate staff of Ingersoll Publications (400 newspapers in the U.S., Ireland and England) as Executive Editor of all U.S. newspaper titles.

 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 Bowery Mission and for more than a decade as Chief Administrative Officer for Care for the Homeless in New York City.

​Terry and his wife, Andrea, live in Connecticut, near their daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren; their son lives in Lake Tahoe, California. Terry's two adult sons and their families live in Pennsylvania. 

Check out his website at terrrybrennanauthor.com

Persian Betrayal is available from Kregel Publishing.

Friday, July 31, 2020

The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez by Buck Storm

Book description:

When his wife, Angel, is killed in a head-on collision, Gomez Gomez feels he can't go on--so he doesn't. He spends his days in the bushes next to the crash site drinking Thunderbird wine, and his nights cradling a coffee can full of Angel's ashes. Slow, sure suicide, with no one for company but the snakes, Elvis's ghost, and a strange kid named Bones.
Across town, Father Jake Morales plays it safe, haunted by memories of the woman he left behind, hiding his guilt, loss, and love behind a thick wall of cassock and ritual. Then a shady business deal threatens the town--and his good friend Gomez Gomez--and Father Jake can't just stand by and watch. But what happens when the rescuer is the one in need of saving?
The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez is quirky, heartfelt, and deeply human. Lives and hopes collide in the town of Paradise, stretching across decades and continents in this epic story of forgiveness, redemption, and love.

My review:

  I have reviewed hundreds of books, and can count the negative ones I have done on one hand. I don't like to leave negative ones, but I am honest in my reviews. This book sounded really good and intrigued me, but I just could not get into it. It IS a little weird...a drunk guy talking to snakes and his dead wife, and the snakes talk back....but 64 pages in, I just wasn't enjoying the book, and was forcing myself to read, so I put it down.

 I am not knocking the author. A lot of people like his books, including this one, so it may just be me. The author does have an interesting writing style, but this book just wasn't for me.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own

About the author:

Buck Storm is a critically acclaimed author and musician whose stories have found friends around the world. His nonfiction work includes Finding Jesus in Israel and Through the Holy Land on the Road Less Traveled. Storm’s novels include The List, The Light, Truck Stop Jesus, and The Miracle Man. The latest, The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez, launches his new series, Ballads of Paradise.
Storm and his wife, Michelle, make their home in North Idaho and have two married children.
Learn more about Buck Storm, as well as his writing and music, at buckstorm.com. He can also be found on Facebook (@buckstormauthor), Twitter (@buckstormauthor), and Instagram (@buckstorm).


The Beautiful Ashes of Gomez Gomez is available from Kregel Publishing.

Friday, July 3, 2020

The Crushing Depths, Costal Guardians #2 by Dani Pettrey

Book description:

They know the power and peril of the ocean.
But as they get closer to the deadly truth . . .
An even greater danger lurks just beneath the surface.

When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker, Coast Guard Investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are flown to the scene thirty-eight miles from shore. Tensions aboard the rig are high, and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the "plague on the environment" from continuing its work. Meanwhile, rumors are circulating on board about an ancient curse lurking in the depths below.

Mounting evidence shows the death might not have been an accident. Was the man killed by one of the activists or, more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only numerous suspects, but also their own haunted pasts and their attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems about to break open, worse news arrives: a tropical storm has turned their way. Now they're cut off from any rescue--right where the killer wants them.

My review:

  I have been hooked on Dani Pettrey's books since I read and reviewed her first book, Submerged, the first in the five-book series Alaskan Courage back in 2012. And she just keeps getting better.

  What I liked about this book:

The characters: I love all of the characters in this series, and this one focused on the new team member, Mason, and his childhood acquaintance, Rissi. Their relationship was a bit different from the usual in romantic suspense novels. They had been foster kids together years before to the same abusive man, and Mason had been her protector. This added a different and cool aspect and angle to their relationship. I have come to not just tolerate, but actually enjoy the romantic aspect of these books, and it was fun watching them renew their friendship and realize both felt more than just friends.

 I liked both main characters, but Mason was just a really awesome one you can't help but liking. One thing I love about a series where the same characters are in each book, is there is so much time and room for character development, and Pettrey excels at that. Logan is one of the most interesting and likable characters, the atheist who is so witty and almost flamboyant. I love his interactions with Emmy, and laughed out loud more than once at their arguing and slams at each other.


The suspense: A lot of the action takes place on an oil rig where unexplained and suspicious accidents keep happening, resulting in some deaths.  This truly was one of those books where you don't know what is going to happen next, nor who the guilty party is. The oil rig isn't your usual setting for a suspense novel, though not everything happened on it, but the plot did revolve around it....and it made for an interesting story.


The action: There was a lot of action in the series, and the book was fairly fast-paced, which I like.

The setting: This is the first series I have read that centers on the Coast Guard Investigative Service, and I am loving it and the setting for the story. In this book, Mason and Rissi took a day trip to my favorite vacation spot, The Outer Banks...which was an added enjoyment for me.

The romance: As I mentioned, I enjoyed the developing relationship between Mason and Rissi. The author has thrown me for a loop though in what to hope for next.....I was hoping the next book would center on Logan and Emmy, but after reading this book, I also want it to feature Noah and Caleb and their possible relationships. I definitely am looking forward to book #3.

  The Crushing Depths was an awesome read, just as good as the book it follows. Pettrey again shows why she is one of my top favorite authors.


I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.



About the author:


Praised by New York Times bestselling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]" (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including 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.

Dani considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves--full of plot twists, peril, love, and a longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland. For more information about her novels, visit www.danipettrey.com.


  The Crushing Depths is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.


                                                     #1 in The Coastal Guardian Series




                                                    The Alaskan Courage Series:




The Chesapeake Valor Series:



Don't Keep Silent, Uncommon Justice #3 by Elizabeth Goddard

Book description:


Justice comes easy for these two. But forgiveness? That's another matter altogether.

Investigative reporter Rae Burke will do anything to find her missing sister-in-law, even if it means facing Liam McKade, a man who almost lost his life saving hers. A former DEA agent, Liam thought he could find peace at his Wyoming ranch, but he doesn't feel at home anywhere anymore. When the reporter who blew his cover on an important investigation inserts herself back into his life, he's less than thrilled. But Rae's keen investigative skills have led her down the right path--and directly into the dragon's mouth--leaving Liam no choice but to protect her.

As the danger increases, the past they both tried to flee catches up to them, along with the feelings they once had for each other . . .

My review:

  Ever since I closed my copy of the second book in this trilogy, I have been looking forward to this book. Goddard left just enough of a teaser about the 3rd and last brother in this series, that I couldn't wait to read it.

 Previously to my reading and reviewing this series, I had not read any books by this author, but since reading #1 in this trilogy, I have read several of her Love Inspired Suspense novels and enjoyed them as much as this series.

 Don't keep silent brings together Liam and Rae, who had previously had a romantic relationship that ended very badly.....with Rae blowing his DEA cover on the assignment he was on. This made an interesting dynamic between these two that I enjoyed throughout the book.

 The plot for Don't Keep Silent was very suspenseful and tangled. The author had me pretty much clueless to why Rae's sister-in-law was missing, and who had taken her. The journey to finding that out was full of drama, suspense, and pretty much non stop action.

 The Uncommon Justice Series revolves around three brothers who did not have the best upbringing, thanks to a drunk and sometimes abusive father, and the series showed how each brother dealt with it differently. Liam had run away to the military as soon as he turned eighteen, but being back home forced him to deal with his past. That element in all three books was a sad but necessary issue that needs to be discussed, and Goddard did a great job of addressing it in all three books.

 Don't Keep Silent was a thrilling conclusion to this awesome series, and has left me wanting to read more by this author. And Baker has the first book in her next series on their site: Present Danger, #1 in the Rocky Mountain Courage Series, due out in April.

   I do have one slight complaint: about this series. It did center on three brothers, and to me it would have made a lot more sense to have them pictured on the covers instead of the women they were involved with......but I still loved this series and highly recommend it, and anything Godddard has written.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.


About the author:


Elizabeth Goddard has sold over one million books and is the award-winning author of more than 40 romance novels and counting, including the romantic mystery The Camera Never Lies--a 2011 Carol Award winner. She is a Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense finalist for her Mountain Cove series--Buried, Backfire, and Deception--and a Carol Award finalist for Submerged. When she's not writing, she loves spending time with her family, traveling to find inspiration for her next book, and serving with her husband in ministry. For more information about her books, visit her website at www.ElizabethGoddard.com.



Don't Keep Silent is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.



                                                                         Book #1




                                                                      Book #2




         And look for Present Danger, #1 in the Rocky Mountain Courage Series, April 2021