Monday, March 31, 2014

The Devil Walks In Mattingly by Billy Coffey, and a giveaway

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man's untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.
It has been twenty years since Philip McBride's body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since---Philip didn't kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly's sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake's dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . Between truth and lies.
My review:
  I have never read any of Billy Coffey's books, but I have read his blog and liked his writing. I had wanted to read one of his books for a while, but had never got around to it until this one was offered for review, so I of course requested it.
  It took me a while to decide if I liked the book. It is weird, but a good weird. I would read it, then put it down and wonder if it was worth finishing. Then I hit a point in the book I found myself wondering what was going to happen next, and found it harder to put the book down. Eventually, I hit a point that I was so into the story, I determined to finish it that day, and I did.
 Coffey has a very unique writing style, and that is what took me a while to get into the book. The book is not boring. It is just different. After I finished the book, I decided I did indeed like the book, the characters, plot, and setting.
  The book deals with guilty consciences, and how three different people deal with something they were all a part of several years earlier. In the end, the truth is revealed that it is better to just face up to something when it happens, instead of trying to cover it up and ignore it.
  There are  couple of unexplained things in the book that are supernatural, and it did leave me wondering about them, but not so much that I felt like it ended badly. 
  I would recommend this book, and I liked it well enough that I would be interested in reading more from this author.
About the author:
Billy Coffey's critically-acclaimed books combine rural Southern charm with a vision far beyond the ordinary. He is a regular contributor to several publications, where he writes about faith and life. Billy lives with his wife and two children in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Learn more about Billy at:

Billy Coffey is celebrating his new book, The Devil Walks in Mattingly, with a Kindle Fire HDX giveaway.
  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 5th. Winner will be announced April  7th on Billy's blog. Watch Billy give the backstory of the book here.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to stop by Billy's blog on April 7th to see if you won.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Eyes On Target by Scott McEwen and Richard Minter

Told through the eyes of current and former Navy SEALs, EYES ON TARGET is an inside account of some of the most harrowing missions in American history-including the mission to kill Osama bin Laden and the mission that wasn't, the deadly attack on the US diplomatic outpost in Benghazi where a retired SEAL sniper with a small team held off one hundred terrorists while his repeated radio calls for help went unheeded.
The book contains incredible accounts of major SEAL operations-from the violent birth of SEAL Team Six and the aborted Operation Eagle Claw meant to save the hostages in Iran, to key missions in Iraq and Afganistan where the SEALs suffered their worst losses in their fifty year history-and every chapter illustrates why this elite military special operations unit remains the most feared anti-terrorist force in the world.

We hear reports on the record from retired SEAL officers including Lt. Cmdr. Richard Marcinko, the founder of SEAL Team Six, and a former Commander at SEAL team Six, Ryan Zinke, and we come away understanding the deep commitment of these military men who put themselves in danger to protect our country and save American lives. In the face of insurmountable odds and the imminent threat of death, they give all to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

No matter the situation, on duty or at ease, SEALs never, ever give up. One powerful chapter in the book tells the story of how one Medal of Honor winner saved another, the only time this has been done in US military history.

EYES ON TARGET includes these special features:

  • A detailed timeline of events during the Benghazi attack
  • Sample rescue scenarios from a military expert who believes that help could have reached the Benghazi compound in time
  • The US House Republican Conference Interim Progress Report on the events surrounding the September 11, 2012 Terrorist Attacks in Benghazi
Through their many interviews and unique access, Scott McEwen and Richard Miniter pull back the veil that has so often concealed the heroism of these patriots. They live by a stringent and demanding code of their own creation, keeping them ready to ignore politics, bureaucracy and-if necessary-direct orders. They share a unique combination of character, intelligence, courage, love of country and what can only be called true grit.

They are the Navy SEALs, and they keep their Eyes on Target. 

My review:
  I have read two books about Seals, one a biography and the other, an autobiography. I found both very interesting as they talked a lot about what they have to go through to be a Seal.

  This book covered that a little, but it had a lot of history of how the Seals got started, information about some of their missions and some of the early Seals who were awarded medals for their brave acts.

  The book is a fascinating read, and not in the least bit boring. The Navy Seals are like a whole different breed of soldier, and this book gives an inside look at what they are all about, how they work, and as I mentioned - how they got started.

  The chapters about the Benghazi attack are of special interest and confirms what conservatives have known all along: that there was time for a rescue, but for reasons our government won't tell us, the Seals were not allowed to launch that rescue. It is obvious the authors did a lot of research for the whole book, and on those chapters, for it comes through that they know what they are talking about.

 I highly recommend this book. Even if you are not that interested in the Seals, it is a book worth reading.

About the authors:

Scott McEwen is co-author of the #1 New York Times bestseller American Sniper, about a U.S. Navy SEAL with the greatest number of recorded kills. His book will be a major motion picture in 2013. Scott lives in San Diego, California.

Richard Miniter is the author of three New York Times best sellers: Losing Bin Laden, Shadow War and, in 2012, Leading From Behind. He writes the National Security column for, and his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Newsweek, Readers Digest, The Atlantic Monthly, National Review, and The New Republic. Richard lives in Washington D.C.

Eyes On Target is available from Center Street Publishing, part of Hachette Book Group.

Thanks to Hachette for the review copy.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Road We Must Travel by various authors

A Personal Guide for Your Journey

Highly respected, best-selling spiritual mentors, including Francis Chan, Eugene Peterson (The Message), Bill Hybels, and others, provide guidance as you navigate uncharted roads ahead.
There is a road everyone must travel. Who among us doesn't need a mentor and guide to help us along the way? The Bible provides guidelines for navigating the roadblocks, detours, and potholes that keep us from reaching our desired destination. The authors deliver insights that assure spiritual health and well-being, despite the obstacles we face on our journey.
My review:
  I'll admit this book caught my attention primarily because Francis Chan was a contributing author, but then the idea of the book also sounded good, so I requested it.

 The authors did not collaborate and write the book together. Each chapter is by a different author and on a different subject. I found the book ideal for reading over a longer period of time, instead of over a day or two because of that.

  The book is not just interesting, but has some valuable lessons and advice. I found myself encouraged and helped by what I read. Some of these authors have gotten a lot of experience over their years as pastors and authors, and have a lot of good things to pass on. And although this isn't marketed as a devotional, it could almost be used as one.

 On this journey of life, we can all use some extra help, and this book is one that can do that.

The Road We Must Travel is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy for the review copy.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Maybelle In Stitches by Joyce Magnin

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Maybelle In Stitches
Abingdon Press (March 18, 2014)
Joyce Magnin


A word from the Author:

I am the author of seven novels. Five adult novels and two middle grade readers. I never wanted to do anything else but write and every day I wake up astonished that I get to do what I always dreamed about. My days are filled with words and images along with the usual family stuff. I have three children, Rebekah who is married to Joshua. They have three of the most adorable boys on the planet, Lemuel, Cedar and Soren. My daughter Emily Kate is a lovely young woman anthropologist and my son Adam is fourteen and a student--he's a genius who loves frogs and lizards and fish and plants. He amazes me.

I have never eaten a scallop. I love cream soda. Drink way too much coffee. I do not like elevators but I do enjoy needle arts and of course books. I prefer jazz over country (no offense), milk chocolate over dark, but not roller coasters although my life has often resembled a roller coaster ride.

One of my life's desires is to meet Amy Grant so I can tell her she saved my life.


Maybelle can’t sew. But when she finds an unfinished quilt in the attic of her mother’s house, she gets the crazy idea to complete it. At first, it’s just a way to fill the lonely nights while her husband, staff sergeant Holden Kanzinzki, is away fighting in World War II.

Yet when Maybelle discovers that the quilt is made from scraps of material that can be traced back through her family heritage, the project is suddenly much more important. Then word comes that Holden is missing in action, and with little else to do, Maybelle clings to the quilt as much as to the hope that her husband is still alive. As neighborhood friends gather around Maybelle to help her through the unknown days and nights ahead, it is the quilt that becomes a symbol of her unflagging belief that Holden will return—to her, to their home, and to their quilt-covered bed.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Maybelle In Stitches, go HERE.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Falling In Love With America Again by Jim Demint

In his new role as president and CEO of The Heritage Foundation, Jim DeMint has travelled the country talking to Americans about how to return to our founding principles and restore and protect our economy and culture for future generations. He's realized that he-and all of us as fellow citizens-must fall in love with America-again.

In this book, DeMint introduces Americans all across the country who are working towards the same goal, We see example after example of Americans coming together locally in what DeMint calls the "little platoons"-the families, churches, communities and voluntary organizations succeeding on the model that smaller is better. They are the hands-on citizens who make America the exceptional, caring and can-do country it has always been.

DeMint illustrates why each of us-regardless of political party, age, race, religion or ethnicity-must rediscover the power we represent. The country's future is at risk, not just because of constant pressure from "the Bigs" (big government, big banks, big labor, big Wall Street cronies etc.), but because so many of us fear it's too late to solve problems so huge and seemingly intractable. Jim DeMint is here to reassure us that this is not true.

In riveting yet plainspoken style, he tells real-life success stories and affirms the compelling truth that conservative ideas are really American ideas, and they must guide us as we turn our institutions upside-down, taking them from the top-down centrally-controlled bureaucracies they've become back to the bottom-up democratic framework the Constitution intended.

Through this heartfelt, fascinating and inspiring look inside the America of both yesterday and today, and the everyday citizens who are working tirelessly and selflessly to insure its future fulfills the promise of its beginnings, Jim DeMint is beckoning us to join him on one of the most meaningful and momentous journeys we have ever undertaken together: FALLING IN LOVE WITH AMERICA AGAIN.

My review:
  Rare is the politician that I am impressed with, but Jim Demint was one such politician. He wasn't my Senator, but I'd see his comments in the news often, and feel he was one of the more conservative members of the Senate. When I saw this book being offered for review, I figured it would be worth reading, so I requested it, and was not disappointed.
  Anyone that is paying attention can see America is far from what it should be, and from what it used to be. Demint shows in his book some things that are still good in this country, and how we can still love it.

  He shows why we need more "mom and pop" stores, as compared to the big corporations, and what this country could be like if the federal government would stay out of the private sector, our health care, and a lot of other areas.

 Demint has other books published, but this is the first one I have read. He knows his stuff, and knows how to write. This is not a boring book, but is an interesting read, and it isn't a book that is full of empty political ideas. He has some great things to say that make sense. The book is worth reading.

About the author:

Jim DeMint left his post as U.S. Senator from South Carolina to become the new President of The Heritage Foundation-the popular conservative think-tank in Washington D.C. He is the author of three books, including the bestselling Saving Freedom. The senator and his wife, Debbie, reside in Greenville, South Carolina and are the proud parents of four married children. They are also greatly enjoying their new role as grandparents. 
 Falling In Love With America Again is available from Center Street Publishing, part of Hachette Book Group.

Thanks to Hachette for the review copy.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Awakening by Raph Reed

How America Can Turn From Moral and Economic Destruction Back to Greatness

Are we watching our nation commit suicide? Is America, like a modern-day Roman Empire, doomed to moral decay and demise?

In his new book, Awakening: How America Can Turn from Economic and Moral Destruction to Greatness, Ralph Reed reveals how the United States has abandoned its founding principles and spiritual heritage. Yet Reed, adviser to the Bush-Cheney campaigns and former executive director of the Christian Coalition, believes better days are ahead for our nation. This book, featuring practical action points and a bold pro-family plan, provides a road map we can follow to restore America back to God’s blessing.

Find out how to re-energize our call to effective citizenship and revive America’s core values of faith, personal responsibility, and liberty. As the 2014 election cycle approaches, Awakening is a timely plea for people of faith to spark a spiritual and moral awakening that will reverse the cycle of destruction, renew our country, and see God heal our land.

My review:
  I have read a few of Ralph Reed's Christian fiction books, and have been extremely impressed, not just at his ability to write a great political fiction novel, but at his insight into politics. This book sounded interesting enough, but when I saw he was the author, I figured it would be worth reading, and I was right.

  There are many Christians who feel religion and politics don't mix, and some who feel we should stay out of politics and stop fighting abortion and gay marriage. Many feel we should just pray and not do anything about the mess our country is in.

  Reed shows in his book that politics and religion DO mix, and although we need a great spiritual awakening in this country, we still need to do our duty and get involved also.

  The author covers the awakenings in the past in America, and what led up to, and what followed them, and shows that we are ripe for another awakening. There are a lot of insights into some of the presidents the author as worked with, and met, even Barak Obama. There is some interesting history given, and hope.

 I know our country is a mess. Socially, economically, spiritually, and morally. But after reading what our country was like before other awakenings, I feel encouraged that God could still move on our country again and bring about true hope and change.

 This isn't a book that just bashes our current administration, thought the author does address what is wrong with it. It is a book that doesn't just give some vague ideas of what we need to do to change. The author gives some definite and great ways we can turn our country around.

  I enjoyed the book. It was an interesting read. The author really knows his stuff about politics, and if his ideas were followed, we'd be a lot better shape. I definitely recommend this one.

About the author:

Ralph Reed is founder and chairman of the Faith & Freedom Coalition. He was senior advisor to the Bush-Cheney campaigns in both 2000 and 2004, and chairman of the Southeast Region for BC04. As chairman of the Georgia Republican Party he led the GOP to its biggest victory in history, helping to elect the first Republican Governor and third U.S. Senator since Reconstruction. Reed is chairman and CEO of Century Strategies, LLC, a public relations and public affairs firm. As executive director of the Christian Coalition from 1989-1997, he built one of the most effective public policy organizations in recent political history. He is the best-selling author and editor of five books. He and his wife, Jo Anne, live near Atlanta, Georgia. They have four children.

Awakening is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy Publishing for the review copy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tide and Tempest by Elizabeth Ludwig

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Tide and Tempest
Bethany House Publishers (March 4, 2014)
Elizabeth Ludwig


Elizabeth Ludwig is an award-winning author whose work has been featured on Novel Rocket, the Christian Authors Network, and The Christian Pulse. Her first novel, Where the Truth Lies (co-authored with Janelle Mowery), earned her the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year Award. This book was followed in 2009 by "I'll be Home for Christmas", part of the Christmas anthology collection, Christmas Homecoming.

In 2011, her second mystery, Died in the Wool (co-authored with Janelle Mowery) was nominated for a Carol Award. In 2012, the popular EDGE OF FREEDOM series released from Bethany House Publishers. Books one and two, No Safe Harbor and Dark Road Home, respectively, earned 4 Stars from the RT Book Reviews. Book three, Tide and Tempest, received top honors with 4 1/2 Stars.

Elizabeth is an accomplished speaker and teacher, often attending conferences and seminars where she lectures on editing for fiction writers, crafting effective novel proposals, and conducting successful editor/agent interviews. Along with her husband and children, she makes her home in the great state of Texas.


Two years ago, her fiance perished during their voyage to America.

Now she discovers it may have been murder...

Dreaming of a better life, Tillie McGrath leaves Ireland behind and, with her beloved fiance by her side, sets sail for America. But when illness robs her of the man she holds dear, she's left alone with only a handful of tattered memories. While forging on proves difficult, Tillie soon finds some new friends at her New York boardinghouse, and begins pursuing a new dream--to open a home for orphaned children.

Despite two years passing, Captain Keondric Morgan has never forgotten the lass who left his ship so heartbroken. When a crewman's deathbed confession reveals her fiance's demise was the result of murder, the captain knows he must try to contact her. But his attention draws the notice of others as well--dangerous men who believe Tillie has in her possession something that could expose their crimes. And to their way of thinking, the best way to prevent such an outcome is to seize the evidence and then hand Tillie the same fate as her naïve fiance.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Tide and Tempest, go HERE.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Love Is An Orientation by Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin's life changed forever when his three best friends came out to him in three consecutive months. Suddenly he was confronted with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community (GLBT) firsthand. And he was compelled to understand how he could reconcile his friends to his faith. In an attempt to answer that question, he and his wife relocated to Boystown, a predominantly GLBT community in Chicago. And from his experience and wrestling has come his book, Love Is an Orientation, a work which elevates the conversation between Christianity and the GLBT community, moving the focus from genetics to gospel, where it really belongs. Why are so many people who are gay wary of people who are Christians? Do GLBT people need to change who they are? Do Christians need to change what they believe? Love Is an Orientation is changing the conversation about sexuality and spirituality, and building bridges from the GLBT community to the Christian community and, more importantly, to the good news of Jesus Christ.

My review:
  My best friend kept telling me this book was good, and that I should read it, and since it is an issue important to me, I finally got it and read it. And I am not sure what to think.

  I agree that the church needs to reach out to gay people more. It is a sad and pathetic fact that so many people that struggle with same-sex attractions are sitting in our church pews, scared to death to tell anyone. Yes, homosexuality is a sin, but so is any sex outside of marriage, and we don't treat people like lepers who have sex outside of marriage. It is time the church has a more compassionate attitude towards gay people, and all sinners.

  However, I feel the author goes too far in his efforts to bridge the gap between Christians and gay people. He has a whole section on how not to say homosexuality is wrong if a gay person asks if you believe it is. He has had gay people tell him God told them it was OK, and he never contradicted  them. We do have a responsibility to people's souls we come in contact with, and I don't feel we need to be beating gay people over the head telling them they are sinning, as we don't do that with other people who are not right with God, yet are we really doing them good by refusing to tell them it is a sin, especially when asked?

  I am not trashing the book, as Andrew does have some good ideas and good intentions. I just fear his refusal to call sin a sin, may help damn some people to hell.

About the author:

   Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation ( He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and most recently, Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013); while blogging at Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Systematic Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (andrewmarin1).

Poison Town by Ceston Mapes

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Poison Town
David C. Cook (February 1, 2014)
Creston Mapes


Creston has fond memories of his boyhood in Bath, Ohio, where he became enchanted with his future wife, way back in the fourth grade. His father, Bernie, owned and operated The Weathervane Furniture Shop in town. The whole family lived right upstairs in the century-old house known as "The Shop."

Creston studied journalism at Bowling Green State University, then began his writing career. During the past 30 years, he has worked as a reporter, corporate copywriter, creative director, freelance writer, and author.


There's More Than One Kind of Poison in This Town

People are sick and dying. Rumors are swirling. Some claim chemicals leaking from a manufacturing plant are causing the cancer that's crippling people on the poor side of Trenton City, Ohio. Yet nothing at the plant appears amiss.

The problem remains a mystery until reporter Jack Crittendon's long-time mechanic falls ill and he investigates. Soon Jack becomes engulfed in a smokescreen of lies, setups, greed, and scandal.

The deeper he digs, the more toxic the corruption he uncovers. As he faces off with the big-time players behind the scenes and tries to beat the clock before more people die, he realizes the chillingly unthinkable--he knows too much.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Poison Town, go HERE.

My review:
  The first book I read by Creston Mapes, was the first book in The Crittendon Files, Fear Has a Name. I was impressed with the book, and was eagerly waiting for the second book, Poison Town, to come out.

 This sequel doesn't disappoint. I really like the main character and am glad to see the series is going to revolve around him. In this book, he does some investigative journalism that endangers himself, his family, and others, and the idea is explored how important is justice and getting to the bottom of a crime, if it puts ones your love in danger. And also, how far will a company go to cover up their mistakes.

  Nothing against the first book the series, as I loved it, but I thought this book was even better. It had a better and more complicated plot, a lot more bad guys and action, and a lot more suspense. I started reading it soon after I got it, and read it through in one sitting, something I do when a book is hard to put down, and this one was. 

  I was more than satisfied with this sequel, and can't wait to see what is in store next for the hero of this series.

   This is a series men will enjoy reading, as well as women. And I would recommend reading the first book before you read the second, as there are several references to what happened in book one, and it will make a lot more sense if you have read them in order.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fisher of Men by Pam Rhodes

Neil Fisher’s first trip to Dunbridge was not a success. Having inadvertently locked himself in St Stephen’s Church for hours (and succumbing to the communion wine and wafers for dinner) it seemed miraculous they gave him the curate’s job! On arrival in the small town of Dunbridge it quickly becomes clear that life is not going to be tranquil for the eligible new bachelor, as four formidable women are determined to make their presence felt. There is his mother, Iris, still questioning his choice of career; his rector, the no-nonsense Margaret, who is not one for taking prisoners; Claire, his new neighbour, whom he’s already managed to offend. And then there is Wendy, the beautiful leading light of the church music group, who has her own plans for Neil… It can only end in trouble.

My review:
  Unfortunately, the Christian fiction market seems to be a women's world. The books that are geared for men are few and far in between. That isn't saying there aren't any, but compared to the amount geared for women, the ones for men are but a drop in a bucket. So I always like to see books come out that are more for men.

 This series is written by a woman, but the main character is a young man, and the book focuses on him. Granted, it may still be a book more geared for women, but its nice to find books where men are the main character, and the main focus.

 I actually got a review offer for the second book in this series, and thought it sounded good, so I emailed my contact at Kregel Publishing to see if I could the first book, and he gladly sent it to me. And I am glad I decided to review it, and the one that follows.

 I loved the book. It is humorous, quirky, and has all of the ups and downs of a young man training to be a vicar in a church. It is set in England, and it took a while for this teetotaler to get used to all of the alcoholic drinking going on in the book, and the hanging out at taverns by even clergy, but I decided to not let that hinder my enjoyment of the book.

 I started reading the popular series by Jan Karon a few years ago that centered around an elderly priest, and didn't care for the series. This book surpasses that series, in my opinion. It is very entertaining, and I found it interesting to see how they do things in a different country and church than I am used to.

 There really isn't much of a spiritual lesson in the book, other than following God's will, but it is a great book, and a most enjoyable read. I am looking forward to reading more in the series.

About the author:

Pam Rhodes cut her teeth in news journalism, firstly as Programme Organiser on Thames Television's network documentary series, THIS WEEK, then as the anchor for Anglia Television live daily evening news programme for seven years.  She's featured on a very wide range of television and radio programmes ever since, but since 1987, has been best known as the familiar face of BBC Television's SONGS OF PRAISE.  In that time she has interviewed people ranging from The Pope to Dolly Parton, earning herself a reputation as a highly professional and empathetic interviewer, especially when people are speaking about sensitive, perhaps traumatic experiences. Also, SONGS OF PRAISE is the perfect programme for a presenter who truly loves hymns, old and new.  If you mention almost any hymn you can think of to Pam, she's likely to come back with the full story of who wrote it and why, as well as giving you renditions of a couple of tunes to which it can be sung - as you'd know if you've ever dipped into any of her weekly radio programmes WITH HEARTS AND HYMNS which have featured on Premier Christian Radio for a decade!

She has presented televised recordings in venues from the Sydney Opera House to London's Royal Albert hall, and is often asked to compere large orchestral or musical events at theatres and churches around the country - including, throughout Summer 2011, the famous BATTLE PROMS concerts which attract thousands to visitors to the gardens of glorious stately homes for an evening of picnic, patriotic music, Napoloeonic re-enactment, orchestral music, Spitfire fly-pasts and the largest collection of cannons and artillery you're likely to see in action anywhere!  Pam is also well known as an entertaining after-dinner speaker, and as a mainstream author with five novels and six factual books under her belt.   She regularly contributes articles and short stories to national newspapers like The Daily Mail, and publications such as CHOICE, MY WEEKLY, PEOPLE'S FRIEND, WOMAN'S WEEKLY and other specialist publications.

She is married to Richard Crow and lives with the family at a two-acre small holding in Bedfordshire.  It is there that they run BIGGLESWADE CAT LODGE which not only takes in cats while their owners are on holiday, but has also become known for boarding RSPCA animals who need loving care whilst new homes are found for them.  So Pam is likely to be cleaning out cat pens most days, or escaping for a potter in the garden when she's not happily tied to the computer by her first love of writing!  She also enjoys dancing so is often out ballroom, line or tap dancing - or at modern jive evenings similar to the one at which she met her husband Richard some years ago!

More about Pam and her books on her website.

Fisher of Men is available from Lion Hudson Publishing, an imprint of Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Adam at Kregel for the review copy.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Turning by Davis Bunn

The message was unexpected but instantly recognizable. 
A voice resonated from a distance and somehow from within. 
Against all earthly logic, it carried a divine command.  And five very different
people knew they were summoned to obey.
 Their actions were demanding, but not particularly grand.  Only later would they see a pattern emerge - one that links their tasks together and comes to challenge the cultural direction of the
nation.  They realize that one small personal response unveiled a new realm
of moral responsibility.  And this affirmation of everyday hope captures the
attention of millions.
But power and money are at stake.  Malicious elements soon align themselves to counter the trend.  To succeed they must also undermine its source.

  Can we really believe that God speaks to
people today?  Surely this must be dismissed as superstition or delusion. 
These well-intentioned but misguided individuals should not be allowed to cast our
society back into the Dark Ages.The public debate and media frenzy place an unprecedented spotlight on knowing and doing God's will.  The five encounter threats, but try to remain steadfast in their faith.  Had God indeed imparted wisdom on selected individuals?  Is this sweep of events part of his divine
The movement may herald a profound renewal - one that some
are calling The Turning... 

My review:
  Davis Bunn is an author who writes all kinds of books. You can't read one of his books and pigeon hole his style or genre'. This book is an example of that. It is different from his last few he has written. I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first, and it took me a while to understand where he was going with it, but it did turn out to be an enjoyable book.

 The book presents an intriguing look at how we can be influenced to go after ideas and new things on the market. It also shows how God can move people to do His will, and how He can give victory over powerful foes.

 I wouldn't say this is one of Bunn's best or strongest books, but it was a decent and enjoyable read.

About the author:

Davis Bunn is a four-time Christy Award-winning, best-selling author now serving as writer-in-residence at Regent's Park College, Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Defined by readers and reviewers as a "wise teacher," "gentleman adventurer," "consummate writer," and "Renaissance man," his work in business took him to over 40 countries around the world, and his books have sold more than seven million copies in sixteen languages.

Keep up with Davis Bunn:

  • Website and Blog:
  • Blog Feed:
  • E-newsletter (to receive subscriber-only giveaways & previews of his upcoming novels):
  • Facebook Author Page:
  • Pinterest:
  • Twitter: @davisbunn - 

  • The Turning is available from River North Publishing.
    Thanks to edify media for the review copy.

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    The Bible: The Easter Story And All of Us by Roma Downney and Mark Burnett

    From the Last Supper in the upper room to the celebration of finding an empty tomb, this beautiful full color book chronicles the journey of Christ's death and resurrection in a way the Easter story has never before been "told." Containing extraordinary images from the Emmy-nominated TV series watched by over 100 million people, The Bible, A STORY OF EASTER AND ALL OF US is a book that will take a deserved place among the finest celebrations of Easter.

    My review:
       I have mixed feelings about this book. In appearance, it is a very nice coffee table type book. It is filled with photographs from The Bible mini series. It isn't as short of a book as I was expecting, coming in at 127 pages. It starts out with the Triumphal entry, and goes on through Jesus' ascension.

    The writing style is one I am not fond of: present tense. Instead of saying Jesus rode a donkey, it says Jesus rides in on a donkey, for example. Maybe it is just a personal preference, but it seems to be a stilted style of writing instead of the typical writing style.

     I was also bothered by how they departed from some Bible events, as they did in the mini series. The book is said to be a companion to the mini series, so I assume they are the same in these things. In the book, they have Nicodemus coming to Jesus by night the same week Jesus was crucified, while in the Bible it was way earlier in Jesus' ministry. Another example is Jesus showing Thomas His wounds.... that was done totally different than how the Bible relates.

     In my opinion, the book was still worth reading, especially as we are getting closer to Easter. If you liked the mini series, you will enjoy this book.

    About the authors:

    Roma Downey - A multiple Golden Globe and Emmy nominated actress, Roma starred for almost a decade as the angel "Monica" in the hit CBS television series, Touched By An Angel. She is also producer of the children's DVD and book series "Little Angels" and its companion Little Angels Storybook Bible.

    Mark Burnett - Multiple Emmy Award winning producer of some of the biggest prime time network television shows in history including Survivor, The Apprentice, Shark Tank and The Voice. Has produced over 2,000 hours of American prime time programming airing in over 70 countries.
    This husband and wife duo recently collaborated for their most ambitious project to date: producing together a ten hour global television mini-series titled The Bible.

    The Bible: The Easter Story And All of Us is available from Faith Words, part of Hatette Publishing Group.

    How Sweet the Sound by Amy K Sorrells

    This week, the
    Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
    is introducing
    How Sweet the Sound
    David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
    Amy K. Sorrells


    An Indianapolis native and graduate of DePauw University, Amy lives with her husband, three boys and a gaggle of golden retrievers in central Indiana. After writing and editing for her college newspaper, she combined a nursing degree with journalism and creative writing, which led to publishing and editing a wide array of medical and nursing writing and multimedia projects over the past 21 years, a position as director of communications of her church’s children’s ministry, as well as a weekly column for a local newspaper which ran from 2009-2012. She has been a two-time semi-finalist for the ACFW Genesis awards, and was the winner of the 2011 Women of Faith writing contest.

    When she’s not reading or writing, Amy loves spending time with her three sons; spicy lunches and art gallery walks with her husband; digging in her garden sans gloves; walking her dogs; up-cycling old furniture and junk; photography; and friends.


    From a distance, the Harlans appear to be the perfect Southern family. Wealth and local fame mask the drama and dysfunction swirling through their family line. But as the summer heats up, a flood tide of long hidden secrets surface.

    Devastation from a rape followed by the murder of two family members brings three generations of the Harlans together on their pecan plantation in Bay Spring, Alabama. Chief among them is Anniston, who by the time she turned thirteen thought she’d seen it all. But as her heart awakens to the possibility of love, she begins to deal with her loneliness and grief.

    This tender coming-of-age tale, inspired by the story of Tamar in 2 Samuel 13, shows how true healing and hope comes only from God. Though our earthly family can wound and disappoint, our heavenly Father brings freedom to those long held captive through His mercy and grace.

    If you would like to read the first chapter of How Sweet the Sound, go HERE.

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews

    In a kingdom controlled by cruel and manipulative women, one princess will discover the power of truth and love.
    Trained as a priestess in the temple of Baal, Princess Jehosheba strives to please the demanding Queen Athaliah, daughter of Jezebel. But when a mysterious letter from the dead prophet Elijah predicts doom for the royal household, Jehosheba realizes that the dark arts she practices reach far beyond the realm of earthly governments.

    Forced to marry Yahweh's high priest in order to further Athaliah and Jezebel's power plays, Jehosheba enters the unfamiliar world of Yahweh's Temple. Can her new husband show her the truth and love she craves? And can Jehosheba overcome her fear and save the family--and the nation--she loves?

    With deft skill, Mesu Andrews brings the Old Testament to life, revealing a fascinating story of the power of unconditional love.

    My review:
      I have never been a big fan of Biblical fiction, though some authors do it better than others. Mesu Andrews is one of those who do. It is obvious by reading her books, that she puts a tremendous amount of study and research into her writing.

      When I do read Biblical fiction, it is refreshing to read some that is centered around a different story than most is. Such as this one. Jezebel plays a small role in this book, though she is mentioned often. The main part of the story centers on King Jehorham and King Ahaziah, and the the daughter of Jehoram, and the priest Jehoiada. I have read these stories in the Bible many times, and not to trivialize the Biblical account, but  the author did such a great job of retelling the Biblical account via Biblical fiction, that it opened the story up for me in a whole new way, and helped me see a lot of things in a different light: the characters, the way God moved and put kings in power and took them down, and the whole Baal worship versus worship of God.

      This is by far one of the most interesting and one of the best Biblical fiction stories I have ever read. I am sure the author took a few liberties with the story, but I felt she stuck pretty close to the Biblical account in the book.

      The author included a cast of characters list in the front of the book, with a note showing which are fictional, and which are real characters.

      This was not a suspense novel, yet the book had me turning the pages as fast as I could, and I loved the climatic ending of the book, when the eight year old Joash, who had been hidden away from his wicked grandmother's killing of all of her son's heirs, was brought out and made king as she watched in horrified amazement. Awesome.

    About the author:

    Mesu Andrews is the award-winning author of Love Amid the Ashes, Love's Sacred Song, and Love in a Broken Vessel. Winner of the 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award for New Author, she has devoted herself to passionate and intense study of Scripture, bringing the biblical world vividly alive for her readers. She lives in Washington. Learn more at

    Praise for Mesu Andrews's Biblical Fiction
    "Mesu Andrews has pieced together Scripture's truths with historical supposition through her masterful, research-based writing and captured the spiritual climate of those ancient days."--CBA Retailers+Resources on Love in a Broken Vessel

    "Andrews weaves a beautiful tale and takes readers to an ancient Jerusalem rich with history and customs and a culture that struggles to follow the one true God."--RT Book Reviews, 4½ stars, on Love's Sacred Song

    In The Shadow of Jezebel is available from Revell Publishing, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

    Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

    Friday, March 7, 2014

    Hope In the Mourning Bible

    WHEN A CASSEROLE OR A GREETING CARD ISN’T ENOUGH. Grief is one of life’s toughest challenges. During such times it is difficult to know where to turn. Yet in the midst of your deepest despair, God reveals Himself and His promises for a better tomorrow. The NIV Hope in the Mourning Bible works to bring a peaceful sense---in the midst of the coldest winter---that spring will one day come again. The collection of devotions and prayers warmly offer inspiration and hope based in God’s Word and his promises to those who have lost loved ones. This Bible emphasizes the love and hope that your Lord has for you even during your darkest days. Features* Complete text of the NIV, the world’s most popular modern-English Bible* Daily devotions written for and by those who have experienced the loss of a loved one or who are helping a loved one through extended terminal illness* A prayer appendix featuring 52 prayers based on the book of Psalms* Short reflections and song lyrics for meditation * Resources page containing information for those seeking additional help.

    My review:
      The amount of Bibles on the market can be overwhelming, and it seems every day they come out with a new kind of Bible. I admit when I saw this one, I thought "great, just what we need, another specialized Bible". But after receiving it and checking it out, I feel it is one that could be helpful for a person who is grieving.

     In addition to the features listed in the description, it also features sections where there are questions to answer.

     The Bible is laid out very well with all of the added features to help those who are grieving, and could be a great resource and help for those going through sad times. However, it is such a specialized Bible, I am not sure many people would see the necessity of buying one for themselves. It would most likely be a Bible purchased for someone else.

      And though there are plenty of books and resources out there for people who are grieving, it would be an advantage to have some of those resources combined with a Bible. So though it may seem like an unnecessary Bible, and just another in a long line of specialized Bibles, it is one that could be very helpful.

    Hope In The Mourning Bible is available from Zondervan Publishing. Thanks to Zondervan for the review copy.

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

    Distortion by Terri Blackstock

    A husband’s lies can have deadly consequences. When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her boys. But a threatening voice mail takes this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack. Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too, unless she meets the killers’ demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband’s dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more of her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?

    My review: One of the first Christian suspense novels I ever read was by Terri Blackstock. She quickly became one of my favorite authors, and I read everything she wrote. There was a period where I didn't feel her books were up to the same standard of writing that had impressed me earlier on, but she has been putting out some great books lately again, including this one.

       This is the second book in a series, and revolves around the same family, only focusing on a different member of the family, so it would probably be best to read the first book before you read this one.

       Some suspense novels start out with a gradual move towards the suspense and action, but this one starts out with a bang and keeps building with the suspense until the end of the book. I enjoyed the first book, but liked this one even more. There was a lot more suspense, a lot more of the unknown going on. There were some things that were obvious, but there were also some surprises along the way, including who some of the bad guys were.

      In addition to the action and suspense, the issue of forgiveness was dealt with, as the main character discovered what kind of man her husband had been, and what he had done and been involved in.

     In my humble opinion, this ranks among the best books Terri has written, and is one I couldn't put down once I started to read it.

    About the author:

     Terri Blackstock has sold over six million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, Restoration, and Moonlighters.

    Don't miss Terri Blackstock's latest release in the Moonlighters series, Distortion.

    The book releases March 11th, and Terri will be kicking off the release with a fun Facebook Distortion party and giving away a Kindle Fire HDX. PLUS readers can pre-order the ebook for just $4.99 between now and 3/11 everywhere ebooks are sold.

    One winner will receive:
    • A brand new Kindle Fire HDX
    • Distortion and Truth Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock
    Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on March 11th. Winner will be announced at the Distortion Facebook Party on March 11th. Connect with Terri for a "suspenseful" book launch party with prizes, a book chat, and more.

    Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP today by clicking JOIN on the event page. Tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 11th!

    Monday, March 3, 2014

    Storming The Black Ice by Don Brown

    When British geologists discover the world's largest oil reserves under the desolate, icy tundra of Antarctica, Britain and Chile form a top-secret alliance for control of petroleum resources that will rival the economic power of OPEC. But when their discovery is uncovered by an Argentinean intelligence officer, a surprise-attack against a secret British outpost in Antarctica triggers a war. Britain and Chile are in a military standoff against Venezuela and Argentina, and when the war escalates, Britain asks America for help. For two couples separated by the battle, the outcome will be either love reunited or devastating heartbreak. For a young British boy living with his mother in London, his father’s life is on the line. And for Pete Miranda, an American sub commander detailed on a special military assignment to his father's homeland of Chile, will his fate be a crushing death under the icy-cold waters of the Antarctic Ocean, or a future of life, light, and a second chance for love?

    My review:
       My only complaint with Don Brown's books, are that he doesn't write enough of them. I quickly became a fan of his books when I read his first one, Treason, nine years ago. I like military fiction, and there isn't a lot of it being written on the Christian market, though there is more than there used to be.

      Storming the Black Ice is set in a couple of places that I don't know much about, nor have I read many books, if any, set there: Chili and Antarctica. Brown brings back a main character from a couple of his previous books, Pete Miranda, to be one of the main characters in this book, and adds a lot of new characters.

     It is interesting as I do this review, we have the makings of World War III on the horizon, depending on how this Russia/Ukraine deal goes, for in the book, the Russians are involved with other countries being thrown in the mix, and there are  the makings of World War III.

     The book is fictional, but the possibilities are very real of something like this happening. Brown does an excellent job of describing military maneuvers, likely conversations and actions of political figures, and does a remarkable job on his submarine and ship battles.

     Something I appreciate in this book, and in others Don has written: he does a lot of shifting scenes from location to location. Every time he changes a location, he puts where it is, and what time. I have read books like that before that left you hanging for a while til you figured where the book had gone.

     There is a lot of action in this book. It is one of those too rare of books that fall into men's fiction, although some women would probably enjoy it too. There isn't a lot of Christian content in it, but there is some, and it is definitely clean and curse free. It is a great read, and a great ride through the countries of Chile, Britain, and Antarctica. I highly recommend it to readers of military fiction.

    I also highly recommend his Naval Justice series, which should be read in order.

     And even though the one main character has been in other novels, this is one that could be read before others.

    About the author:

    Don Brown is the author of Thunder in the Morning Calm, The Malacca Conspiracy, The Navy Justice Series and Black Sea Affair, a submarine thriller that predicted the 2008 shooting war between Russia and Georgia. Don served five years in the U.S. Navy as an officer in the Judge Advocate General's (JAG) Corps, which gave him an exceptional vantage point into both the Navy and the inner workings of 'inside-the-beltway' as an action officer assigned to the pentagon. He left active duty in 1992 to pursue private practice, but remained on inactive status through 1999, rising to the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He and his family live in North Carolina, where he pursues his passion for penning novels about the Navy.