Sunday, April 27, 2014

Love Hunger by David Kyle Foster

A True Story of Homosexuality, Hope and Redemption
Homosexuality, prostitution, pornography, cults--secret sins rival the glitter of Hollywood for young actor David Kyle Foster. Winning wholesome television roles, his star on the rise, he is relieved to be free from his father's harshness. But the desperate loneliness and sexual obsession that characterized his youth now accompany his rise to success--and bondage to a double life seems the only answer. Can Jesus' love reach one so broken?

Whether you're grappling with your own darkness or know someone who is, this gripping and inspiring memoir shows you that, no matter how bleak it may seem, there is always hope: God can heal and restore the soul that hungers for love.

My review:

    The name David Kyle Foster didn't mean much to me when I had this book come up as a review opportunity. He listed some TV shows he had been on when he was younger, and I did watch some of them years ago, but I don't remember him, but his story still interested me, so I requested the book to review.

   I started reading the book last night and found it as hard to put down as the suspense novels I love to read, but I did have to go to bed, so I put it down, and finished it this afternoon. Wow. What a story. David was the son of a Presbyterian preacher, and went from there to years of drug abuse and selling his body on the street to men.

  David is bluntly honest about where he was, but never graphic. Maybe it was because I could relate to parts of his story, though I never did drugs, prostitution, nor acted, but his story really resonated with me and encouraged me. To realize the depths of sin this man went to, and yet God redeemed him and is using him in ministry to help others to find sexual healing, is nothing short of miraculous. In about a ten year period, David had sex with over 1000 different men, many of them for money. And no, that wasn't a typo. One thousand.

  I had some of the same doubts and struggles to feel affirmed and loved, not just by people, but by God, and I found hope also in that part of David's story.

  On another note, his story also reveals the sordid parts of Hollywood, parts we only get a glimpse of occasionally: how there is so much pedophilia that goes on and is overlooked, how sex is used to bargain and control people. How sad that David and many others get caught up in all of that, and how sad it goes on unchecked...... and yet millions of Americans, Christians included, go to this same Hollywood for entertainment.

   I disagree with the author on some things, such as speaking in tongues and some other charismatic elements, but I cannot deny what God rescued him from, and how God has used him, and is still using him. Even if one has never struggled in any of the areas that David did, this is still a great book to read, as it shows how God can save and redeem anyone. And how He will protect us even when we are running as fast as we can from Him. David related several stories in the book where his life was spared from attempts on his life by his own hand, and by others.

  Although this book takes the reader into the dark parts of Hollywood, and shows the life of a young drug addict immersed in homosexuality so much that he sold his body to countless men, it is a story of hope and redemption that helps us realize just how awesome and powerful of a God we serve, and how much He loves us, no matter how far we go.

  I highly recommend this book. It was a great help and encouragement to me, and could be to anyone, no matter where they are and have been.

About the author:

David Kyle Foster, founder of Mastering Life Ministries, holds an M.Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and a D.Min. from Trinity School for Ministry. He also hosts Pure Passion, a televised outreach equipping believers to minister to those trapped in sexual sin and brokenness.

Love Hunger is available from Chosen Books, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Chosen for the review copy.

Cloak of The Light by Chuck Black

Drew is caught in a world of light - just inches away from the dark

What if...there was a world beyond our vision, a world just fingertips beyond our reach? What if...our world wasn’t beyond their influence?

Tragedy and heartache seem to be waiting for Drew Carter at every turn, but college offers Drew a chance to start over—until an accident during a physics experiment leaves him blind and his genius friend, Benjamin Berg, missing.

As his sight miraculously returns, Drew discovers that the accident has heightened his neuron activity, giving him skills and sight beyond the normal man. When he begins to observe fierce invaders that no one else can see, he questions his own sanity, and so do others. But is he insane or do the invaders truly exist?

With help from Sydney Carlyle, a mysterious and elusive girl who offers encouragement through her faith, Drew searches for his missing friend, Ben, who seems to hold the key to unlocking this mystery. As the dark invaders close in, will he find the truth in time?

My review:

   If I had not known ahead of time that this was juvenile fiction, I might not have guessed by reading it. The book is longer than most Christian juvenile fiction novels, and it is written more on an adult level. The main character is 12 years old at the beginning of the book, but is 20-21 years old by the end of the book, so the main character is an adult for most of the book.

  To be honest, the only reason I picked the book to review was because there weren't many selections available for review at the time from the publisher. Of what was available, it sounded the most promising, but would not have been a book I would normally have picked up to read. But if far exceeded my expectations.

  The author created a great and likable character in Drew, the main character of the book. All through the book, he has struggles and doubts about God, which I can relate to, and is intent on doing the right thing, even when it isn't popular.

  The idea of the book is that due to an accident that temporarily blinds him, Drew is able to see what he believes to be alien invaders all over, who are trying to wreck havoc on people. No one else can see them but Drew, and he soon finds himself running for his life from these dark beings.

 I won't give too much away, but will say I caught on fairly early what these dark beings were, and found myself enjoying the story a lot. I had intended to read part of it and finish it another day, but I got into the story so much that I finished it in one sitting. This may be a book geared for juvenile readers, but I loved it. The ending, not so much, as I hate cliff-hanger endings, and it left me hoping that book two comes out soon.

 I definitely recommend it for teen readers, especially boys, but a lot of adults will enjoy it also.

About the author:

Chuck Black is the author of nine novels including the popular Kingdom Series and The Knights of Arrethtrae series. He spent eight years in the Air Force traveling the world as a communications engineer and an F-16 fighter pilot. Today, Chuck is a product design engineer and has invented or coinvented eleven patented construction products now being sold internationally. His passion in life is to serve the Lord Jesus Christ and to love his wife, Andrea, and their six children. The Blacks take their family music ministry on the road, singing Christian gospel, contemporary, and traditional songs. Chuck and his family live in North Dakota.

Cloak of The Light is available from Multonmah/Waterbrook Publishing.

Thanks to Multonmah/Waterbrook for the review copy.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Amish Groom by Susan Meissner

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Amish Groom
Harvest House Publishers (April 1, 2014)
Mindy Starns Clark
Susan Meissner


Mindy Starns Clark Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of the inspirational Million Dollar Mysteries, the Smart Chick Mysteries, and three standalone mysteries, as well as the nonfiction books The House That Cleans Itself and A Pocket Guide to Amish Life. Her novels include A Penny for Your Thoughts, Don't Take Any Wooden Nickels, A Dime a Dozen, A Quarter for a Kiss, The Buck Stops Here, The Trouble with Tulip, Blind Dates Can Be Murder, Elementary, My Dear Watkins, Whispers of the Bayou, Shadows of Lancaster County, and Under the Cajun Moon, plus other books!

Mindy is also the author of numerous plays and musicals which have been performed all over the United States. She has written textbooks, articles, short stories, and more than 75 computer software manuals. A former singer and stand-up comedian, Mindy lives with her husband and two teenage daughters near Valley Forge, PA. She enjoys speaking to churches, civic groups, and libraries across the country. Her unique blend of humor and insight make her an audience favorite.

Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker, and writing workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the 100 Best Novels of 2008 and a Carol Award winner. She is a pastor’s wife and the mother of four young adults. When she's not writing, Susan writes small group curriculum for her San Diego church. Visit Susan at her website:, on Twitter at @SusanMeissner, or at


New from bestselling authors Mindy Starns Clark and Susan Meissner, The Amish Groom (Book 1 in The Men of Lancaster County series) explores the men of an Amish community in Lancaster County, how their Amish beliefs play out in their unique roles, and the women who change their lives.

Born to an ex-Amish mother and an Englisch father, 23-year-old Tyler Anderson was raised as a military kid until the age of 6, when his mom passed away. His dad, shipping off to yet another overseas post, placed Tyler in the care of his Amish grandparents, an arrangement that was supposed to be temporary. It lasted a lifetime.

Rachel Hoeck is the young woman waiting for Tyler’s proposal. She senses that though he loves her and wishes to make a commitment to her and his Amish beliefs, part of him still wonders whether an Amish lifestyle is truly for him. When an opportunity to connect with his father unexpectedly arises, a visit to California causes Tyler to question everything, including a future with Rachel. Will the new girl in his life, Lark, cause him to remain in the Englisch world? Or will he choose to be an Amish groom after all?

A poignant novel of hoping for romance and searching for identity, set in a beloved Amish community.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Amish Groom, go HERE.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lip Reading by Harry Kraus

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Lip Reading
David C. Cook (March 1, 2014)
Harry Kraus


A Word from Harry:

I started writing my first novel during my last year of surgery training at UK. I was a chief resident, and started writing Stainless Steal Hearts in a call room at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Lexington. It was a crazy time to write! I had a very demanding schedule, often spending days and nights in the hospital. I had two sons at that time, and I recognized the wisdom in my wife's urging: "Now doesn't seem the right time for this dream."

My experience as a writer is far from typical. Having received my formal training in biology and chemistry and medicine, my only preparation for a writing career was a love for reading. The longest thing I'd written before my first novel was a term paper in undergraduate school. My first novel was accepted by Crossway Books and published in 1994, and it wasn't until after I had FOUR published novels that I even opened a book of instruction about the craft of writing fiction. This is not what I recommend to others! Yes, I was successful, but I was bending the "rules" without knowing it. I had a natural talent for plotting, but I realize my initial success may have stunted my growth as a writer. I'd have made faster progress if I'd have gone to the fiction teachers sooner.

I have three sons: Joel, Evan, and Samuel. Look closely in all of my books and you'll see them there. My lovely wife, Kris, provides the basic composition for all those beautiful, athletic, dedicated women in my novels.


She Could Save Millions, or Save Herself

She just needs a little longer. She’s really close. Dr. Rebecca Jackson, a medical researcher, stands on the verge of a breakthrough that will transform medicine. But she soon discovers the reason behind the miraculous progress in her research, and it leaves her with a nearly impossible choice . . . and little time to decide. More than her research is at stake. And more threatens it than this latest revelation. Something she’s tried hard to cover up. There is a high cost to some things in medicine and it’s not always the patient who pays. Can Rebecca find the faith and wisdom she needs to make the right call? The clock is ticking and the pressure is on.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Lip Reading, go HERE.

My review:
   Harry Kraus always comes up with an interesting medical twist to write about, and this book was no exception, dealing with creating artificial blood to help fight HIV. The book was exciting, and he did a great job of making the medical and scientific aspects interesting and easy to understand.

 I liked the main characters, though I wasn't so sure about the heroine at first, but she more than redeemed herself later in the book.

  The book also dealt with what people will do to cover up a secret, and how it is best to just tell the truth up front instead of covering it up for years.

  Though this was an interesting and exciting read, I didn't like it as well as his other two books from David C Cook, and part of it may be because I didn't like the end. It was still worth reading though.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Death by the Book by Julianna Deering


Drew Farthering wanted nothing more than to end the summer of 1932 with the announcement of his engagement. Instead, he finds himself caught up in another mysterious case when the family solicitor is found murdered, an antique hatpin with a cryptic message, Advice to Jack, piercing his chest.

Evidence of secret meetings and a young girl's tearful confession point to the victim's double life, but what does the solicitor's murder have to do with the murder of a physician on the local golf course? Nothing, it would seem--except for another puzzling note, affixed with a similar-looking bloodied hatpin.

Soon the police make an arrest in connection with the murders, but Drew isn't at all certain they have the right suspect in custody. And why does his investigation seem to be drawing him closer and closer to home?

My review:
   I typically enjoy books set in modern times, but I am really enjoying this series. It is set in the early 1930's, and revolves around a wealthy young man with a penchant for becoming involved in solving crimes. It is rare to find books on the Christian market, especially written by women, that have a male for the main character, but these books do, and maybe that is one reason I enjoy them so.

  In the first book, there was more character development as we learned what kind of man Drew was, and everything was more confined to his home. In this book, the crimes are more widespread, and I thought it was more suspenseful and mysterious. And the book definitely falls into my "read in one sitting" rating. I fully intended to read some of it on different days, but got so much into it that I kept at it until I finished it, even though I was getting close to my bed time.

  This wasn't a strong Christian book. The main character is a Christian and it is reflected some, but not a lot, but it is still enough to be classified Christian fiction, and it is clean in addition to being entertaining, suspenseful, clean, and fun.

  I like it when I can figure out who the guilty party is in a book, though I don't like it to be too easy, but it is also fun when I can't figure it out, and this was such a case with this book. I thought I knew who the guilty party was, and was wrong.

  People who enjoy mysteries like Sherlock Holmes and Miss Marple will enjoy this series. I highly recommend it, and they should be read in order.

About the author:

Julianna Deering has always loved British history and literature and is particularly a fan of the classic mysteries written by Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie. She graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas and now works for an attorney specializing in wills and estate planning. She lives outside Dallas, Texas, where she loves to quilt, cross-stitch, and watch hockey. Learn more at

Death by the Book is available from Revell Publishing, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Monday, April 14, 2014

No More Dragons by Jim Burgen

Becoming a dragon is a dangerously subtle process.
You make a long chain of bad choices. The chain gradually wraps around you. Layer by layer, it begins to take on the aspect of scales. One day you glance at yourself in the mirror and a monster is staring back at you. You aren't who you used to be. You aren't who you want to be. You're not who you were created and designed to be. Instead, you're a dragon. 

When Jim Burgen was nineteen years old, he realized how easy it had been to become a dragon. He knew he didn't want to be one anymore . . . but how? No More Dragons is the story of our common, hopeful journey from dragonhood back to personhood. 

As Pastor Burgen narrates the remarkable process of reclaiming himself from himself, he implores modern church goers to shake off the trivialities of churchiness in favor of the substantive questions that make a spiritual transformation: 

“Is Jesus the only one who can undragon people?”
“Why don't I like most churches?”
“Where is God in difficult times?”
“How do you shed decades of gnarly scales?” 

Some choices will lead you to a better life. Some will kill you. Some choices will add a new layer of scales to your dragon, and some will slough them off. No More Dragons is about asking Christ to deliver you and learning how to obey him.

My review:
   This was a book that grabbed my attention and made me decide I needed to read it. I love the Chronicles of Narnia books and have read the books several times, and watched the movies more than once. The author relates something that happened in the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, where Eustace had turned into a dragon and had to be "un-dragoned", but couldn't do it himself. He had to have Aslan do it.

  Hearing that story helped the author realize the mess his life was, and he turned to God and changed his life, and wrote this book as a result. I

  I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I thought the comparison to having bad habits, and not being the person you want to be, compared to being a dragon, was a great idea, and I found myself identifying a lot with what the author said about being a dragon. I liked his writing style. Even though he was giving some great Biblical advice, he made the book interesting and easy to read.

  I did read the book with the purpose of reviewing it, but I found it very helpful. The author used a lot of personal experiences and stories to illustrate and bring home his points, and I found myself thinking more than once I'd like to hear him preach. This is a book I'd highly recommend, no matter where you are on your Christian walk.

About the author:

Jim Burgen is the lead pastor at Flatirons Community Church in Boulder, Colorado. A graduate of Milligan College and a youth ministry veteran, Jim has a passion for worship and teaching. His heart's desire is to see the line between the two blurred. "I believe that we were created to be worshipers," Jim says, "God loves authentic worship and the world is starving for it." Jim is the author of two books for students: What's the Big Deal About Sex? and What's the Big Deal About My Parents? He and his wife, Robin, are the parents of Alison and Jordan.

No More Dragons is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.

Killing Jesus by Stephen Mansfield

It is the most famous execution in history. Its symbol is worn by hundreds of millions worldwide. Its spiritual meaning is recalled daily in time-honored rituals. It is the most passionately debated murder of all time. In Killing Jesus: The Hidden Drama Behind the World’s Most Famous Execution, New York Times best-selling author Stephen Mansfield tells the gripping story of the conspiracy to assassinate Jesus Christ and the graphic details of his torturous death. Approaching the tale at its most human level—an approach often neglected by worshipers of Christ and the non-believing alike—Mansfield uses both secular sources and the biblical accounts to bring fresh perspective and fire to the familiar saga. Rooted in scholarship but told simply – and with vivid detail-, this thrilling, page-turning account of the death of Jesus will fascinate and stir readers whatever their beliefs about that death might be.
My review:
   I wasn't planning on requesting any more books for April until I got this one offered by email. It intrigued me enough, especially at this time of year, that I decided to request it.

  Although the author takes some liberties with people's thoughts and intent, he does a great job of showing the events leading up to Jesus' crucifixion, and of how the religious leaders conspired to have Jesus killed.

  I found the book very interesting and moving. I have read descriptions of the trial and flogging of Jesus, but the author really brought that out in words that have really stuck with me.

  I do feel there could have been some more detail and depth to the book, but I still enjoyed reading the book and thought the author did a pretty good job of portraying the events of Holy week in a way that has helped make Easter more fresh and new to me this week, so I would recommend the book.

About the author:

Stephen Mansfield is a writer and speaker best known for his groundbreaking books on the role of religion in history, leadership, and modern culture. He first came to international attention with The Faith of George W. Bush, the New York Times bestseller that influenced Oliver Stone’s film, W. . He has written celebrated biographies of Booker T. Washington, George Whitefield, Winston Churchill, and Abraham Lincoln, among others. Stephen speaks around the world on topics of faith, leadership, and culture. He is also the founder of two firms: The Mansfield Group ( and Chartwell Literary Group ( He lives in Nashville and in Washington, DC, with his wife, Beverly, who is an award-winning songwriter and producer.

Killing Jesus is available from Worthy Publishing.

Thanks to Worthy for the review copy.

Monday, April 7, 2014

What Follows After by Dan Walsh

In 1962, life was simple, the world made sense, and all families were happy.
And when they weren't, everyone knew you were supposed to pretend.

For the past year, Scott and Gina Harrison have been living a lie. While they show up at family get-togethers in the same car, they've actually been separated for over a year. To keep up the charade, they've even instructed their sons, Colt and Timmy, to lie--to their grandparents, their teachers, and their friends.

Colt, for one, has had enough, so he hatches a plan. He and his little brother will run away from their Florida home, head for their aunt's house in Georgia, and refuse to come home until their parents get back together. But when things go terribly, terribly wrong, Scott and Gina must come to grips with years of neglect and mistrust in order to recover their beloved sons, their love for one another, and their marriage.

In this emotional story, bestselling author Dan Walsh takes you on a journey to rediscover the things that matter most in life--love, truth, and family. With profound insight into the heart of a hurting child, he reminds us that a time will come to look back on hard times and smile, because we'll know that what follows after . . . is not what we expected at all.

My review:
   I don't read a lot of fiction that falls outside of the suspense/mystery genre', but Dan Walsh is one author I read who does not write that genre', and has quickly risen to become one of my favorite authors. I always know it is going to be quality reading, and extremely enjoyable also.

 This book is a bit different from his others, as it does have some suspense and mystery in it, and enough that my sister who doesn't like that genre' didn't like this book, but she said it is because she has three boys and the book scared her with the possibility of it happening to one of her boys.

  I however, loved it. Even though the mystery and suspense was something new for Dan, though there was some of it also in the Discovery, it was still obviously a Dan Walsh book.

  The book is set during the Cuban Missile Crisis, something I don't know a lot about, but it served as the backdrop for  the book and I found that aspect of the book fascinating, as it gave an idea of what it was like here in the US when that as going on.

  As with any of Dan's books. there is a lesson in this one. The couple in the book is trying to fake that all is well in their lives, when it is not. Lying and forcing their sons to lie, causes something to happen that shows it is better to just be honest and open. Lying and covering up always hurts, and thought it doesn't always end in a near tragedy, no one knows the effects it will have.

  Some are saying this is Dan's best book so far. I loved it, but I still lean towards The Discovery as his best, and am really loving the series he is doing, so it is hard for me to say which is the best. He has become one of those authors who always writes a great book that does not disappoint. And as with any of his books, this is one I highly recommend, 5 stars for sure.

About the author:

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promise with Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished Gift, The Discovery, and The Reunion. He has won three Carol Awards, and two of his novels were finalists for RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year for 2011 and 2012. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years. He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel. Visit for more.

What Follows After is available from Revell Publishing, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Uncovered by Rod Tucker

A vision for a more honest churchWe Christians have become masters of self-deceptive and fake moral living. Just like Adam and Eve, we don t want anyone to know we are spiritually naked. But covering up around God denies us the life he has meant for us.

In Uncovered, Rod Tucker shows us how to cultivate an honesty that sheds all trace of superficiality in our lives and in our churches. He encourages us to openly admit our daily and perennial struggles so that we can experience unaltered grace and in turn build welcoming, grace-filled communities that will change lives.

My review:
   I have long felt we Christians aren't honest enough about what we are dealing with and where we are at in our relationship with Jesus, but instead try to portray the idea that we are OK and nothing is wrong. So naturally, when this book was offered for review, it was one that I was definitely interested in reading.

  This isn't a long book, coming in at only 156 pages, but the author covers the topic of being honest very well in those few pages. He has some great insights and advice for how to be more honest, and why we need to be. I found it an interesting and helpful read. Going back to Adam and Eve in the garden, trying to cover up their nakedness and hide from God, he shows we may as well be honest and open, as God knows anyway.

  As helpful and interesting as I found the book, I was also disappointed in the book. The author stressed more than once we should strive for honesty, over trying to overcome sin, and seems to give the idea Christians are going to sin as much as a sinner, but it is better to be honest and admit it, than to try to quit the sin. I totally disagree with him on that point, and believe we should strive to overcome sin, and if we are constantly sinning, honesty doesn't matter, we need to head back to the altar and pray some more.

About the author:

A communicator, church planter, idea maker, and storyteller, Rod Tucker is the founding pastor of The River:pm and author of Uncovered: The Truth about Honesty and Community and also Remembering a Forgotten Grace: Thoughts on Shame, Beauty, Romance, and Radiance. Growing up attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings with his parents instilled in Rod the necessity of honesty, the urgency of grace, and the beauty of community. Through books, speaking, and various forms of media, he seeks to open conversations with real people who are pursuing a real God. Rod and his wife, Anna, live in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where they enjoy listening to, watching, reading, and telling all kinds of stories. To get in touch with Rod or to see what is happening, visit  

Uncovered is available from Kregel Publishing.
Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.

A Draw of Kings by Patrick Carr

Dark Forces Have Gathered and the Final Battle for Illustra Has Begun
Their journey to Merakh should have made Errol and his companions heroes of the realm. Instead, they've been branded enemies of the kingdom.

In the wake of the king's death, Duke Weir is ruling the country--and he intends to marry Adora to bring an heir from the royal line. With Errol and the others imprisoned and the identity of the rightful heir to the throne still hidden in secrecy, Illustra is on the verge of civil war--and threatened by hostile forces gathering on every side.

A dangerous mission to free Errol is attempted, but the dangers facing the kingdom mount with every passing moment. The barrier has fallen, ferrals are swarming toward the land, and their enemies draw ever closer. Will the discovery of the true heir turn back the tide of Illustra's destruction?

My review:
   I rarely read fantasy fiction, but this series had sounded pretty good, so I gave it a try, and have enjoyed it.

  This is the third and final book in the series, and is the best and most exciting. Everything that has happened in the other two books is brought to an exciting and satisfying conclusion.

  The book is full of action, and likable characters. If all Christian fantasy books were like these, I'd read more of them. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and series.

About the author:

Patrick W. Carr teaches high school math and makes his home in Nashville, Tennessee, with his incredible wife, Mary, and their four awesome sons, Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Learn more at

A Draw of Kings is available from Bethany House Publishers, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Below The Surface by Tim Shoemaker

In the third book in the Code of Silence series, a coming-of-age story that both boys and girls will enjoy, from prolific author and speaker Tim Shoemaker.

Buried fears don’t stay buried for long. Something is wrong with Cooper. He doesn’t understand it, and he won’t admit it, but after surviving the trauma of abduction, Cooper is plagued by a deep fear he can’t control. A vacation aboard the restored Getaway with his friends is just what he needs. No drama, no mysteries, just fun, relaxation, and a few well-planned pranks. But trouble follows this crew, and the idea of a carefree vacation soon disappears along with a missing woman. The police think she drowned, but Hiro has her own suspicions and starts investigating, while Cooper keeps busy and hides behind his practical jokes. But fear has a way of rising. A prank gone wrong, a dark water dive, and the four friends find more than they bargained for - just below the surface.

My review:
   I am envious of kids nowadays. When I was a kid, there weren't many Christian books on the market to read, and now there are many that are. This series is among the best I have read. Each book has not just been an entertaining read, but has had a great lesson to learn. This book dealt with fear. The main character, Cooper, is still dealing with something that happened to him in the second book that is causing him to panic in the water.

   This may be the most suspenseful of the three books, and was a very enjoyable read, even for this adult. The setting for the book was different than the other two, which made it more interesting in some ways.

  In the last book, the idea of Cooper going to any lengths to help a friend was emphasized. In this book, the idea is expanded to show how important it is for friends to stick together and help each other, and that there is a place for everyone.

  And I know I am not the intended age audience, but I couldn't put the book down. It may be written for a younger audience, but it pulled me in and I couldn't wait to find out how it ended.

 My 13-year old niece has been reading these books, and she was eagerly waiting for me to finish the book so she could read it, so I know from her response that kids will love this book and the ones that precede it also.

  It is refreshing to find Christian books for kids that don't just entertain, but also have good moral lessons to teach and learn. I highly recommend this book and series, and they should be read in order.

About the author:

Tim Shoemaker is a speaker and author of eight books, including Dangerous Devotions for Guys; Smashed Tomatoes, Bottle Rockets, and Other Outdoor Devotionals; and Mashed Potatoes, Paint Balls, and Other Indoor/Outdoor Devotionals. He has three grown sons and has been happily married for over 32 years. His debut into the juvenile fiction market draws from his experience with kids as a volunteer youth leader for more than sixteen years. 

Below The Surface is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.