Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Evangelism Bible

Evangelism can mean many things to many people. For some, it's something that requires special training or a calling from God. For others, it's something only done in a church building or arena. And for some, it evokes emotions of guilt and shame for failing to be a vibrant witness to unbelievers.For more than forty years, EvanTell, Inc., an evangelism training and outreach ministry in Dallas, Texas, has focused on one mission: the gospel, clear and simple. Founded by Dr. R. Larry Moyer, EvanTell, Inc., touches millions of lives each year with evangelism materials, evangelism training, and outreach events. Now those four decades of experience in training believers to share the good news in a clear and simple fashion has been paired with the one essential tool for evangelism: God's Word. The Evangelism Study Bible provides all the tools needed for sharing the gospel in a clear, simple, and guilt-free way. Using the highly regarded New King James Version(R), The Evangelism Study Bible brings together a wide variety of resources, some never before paired with the text of Scripture. Users will benefit from: - a brief, informative introduction to each Bible book, focusing on its contribution to evangelism- more than 2,600 study notes pertaining to evangelism- over 260 tips on practical issues in evangelism- 125 in-depth articles on crucial issues- 85 how-to features that provide hands-on advice- 45 inspirational devotions- easy-to-follow double-column format with explanatory notes- helpful cross references- biblical concordance- full-color mapsThe Evangelism Study Bible not only provides the training to explain and make clear the good news of the gospel, it also will motivate readers to evangelize out of grace rather than guilt.

My review:

  I have a lot of Bibles, but this one interested me, so I requested it to review. The Bible itself is an attractive hardcover with no dust jacket. It is the New King James Version, one of my favorites. The Bible is not red letter, which is something I prefer in a Bible.

 The Bible has a lot of extras in it about evangelism,, witnessing, and notes. There aren't a lot of notes as compared to other study Bibles, but the ones that are in it are worth using.

  Some of the themes are: How to witness in the aftermath of a tragedy, how to reach religious people, reaching people in the midst of a morally depraved culture, and many more. Each of these pages are based on a passage of Scripture, and great advice and instruction are given.

 I am not one to go around evangelizing or witnessing, but within the pages of this Bible are some great ways to go about it, all Biblically based. This would be a great tool for an individual or church who is wanting to learn more about how to evangelize and witness, and to put what they learn into practice.

The Evangelism Bible is available from Kregel Publishing.

Thanks to Kregel for the review copy.

Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris

His cover is blown. Now his enemies are on his heels and closing in.
Michael Hunt is alive--and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he's been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is Olivia Hamilton--the daughter of the man who wants him dead.

This nonstop chase from Christy Award-winning Lisa Harris will leave you breathless.

My review:
  I have read a few other books by Lisa Harris, and think this series is the best thing she has written, and this final book is the best in the series.

  The first two books were about  the Hunt sisters, and their brother was dead throughout both of those books. However, at the end of book two, it is revealed he is actually alive, but his life is in danger. I made the mistake of reading the first chapter of this book that was included at the end of book two, and have been eagerly waiting for this one to come out. And it was worth the wait.

 Once I started reading this book, I didn't want to put it down and read it through in one sitting. There was a lot of suspense, drama. chases, and the unknown. I liked the characters a lot: Michael -  the undercover cop intent on doing the right thing no matter what,  Olivia - daughter of an evil man but determined to save the man's life who wants to take her father down, all the time fiercely protecting her deaf younger brother, and Ian - a deaf young man who although he sees a vicious crime, convinces his sister to save the life of a man who may or may not be good.

 Hidden Agenda is a very satisfying conclusion to this great series. I am looking forward to what Lisa Harris has in store next, This book and the whole series will be a tough act to follow.

About the author:

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 fromRomantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections. Along with her husband, she and her three children have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women's group, and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to "speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice" (Proverbs 31:8).

When she's not working, she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa, visit her website at or her blog at For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit

Hidden Agenda is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Esther, Royal Beauty by Angela Hunt

When an ambitious tyrant threatens genocide against the Jews, an inexperienced young queen must take a stand for her people. 

When Xerxes, king of Persia, issues a call for beautiful young women, Hadassah, a Jewish orphan living in Susa, is forcibly taken to the palace of the pagan ruler. After months of preparation, the girl known to the Persians as Esther wins the king's heart and a queen's crown. But because her situation is uncertain, she keeps her ethnic identity a secret until she learns that an evil and ambitious man has won the king's permission to exterminate all Jews--young and old, powerful and helpless. Purposely violating an ancient Persian law, she risks her life in order to save her people...and bind her husband's heart.

My review:

  I have read a few Biblical fiction novels written about Esther, but this one was the most different I have read. It was written in the first person point of view of two people: Esther, and Harbonah, a eunuch in the King's palace. That gives the reader a couple of different perspectives on the story that you don't normally get reading the third person point of view, or even the first person point of view from one person. 

 Hunt also spends more time on the story of Esther before she becomes queen. The Bible story and other fictionalized stories have her becoming queen early in the story. Hunt also has a lot more historical details about the king than are given in the Bible due to her studying historical information about the king and that era. 

 This was not a book I breezed through, though it was a very interesting book. Hunt gives more insight into the character of Esther and takes more time to develop her character and story, and the end result is one of the best versions of this story that I have read. She stays true to the Biblical account, but builds on the Biblical account to make a great Biblical fiction novel. I would recommend this over the other stories of Esther that are on the Christian market.

About the author:

With nearly five million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Tale of Three Trees,The Note, and The Nativity Story. Angela's novels have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Christian Book Award, and the HOLT Medallion Award. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, she completed her doctorate in Biblical Studies and is currently completing her Th.D. Angela and her husband live in Florida, along with their mastiffs. She can be found online at

Esther, Royal Beauty, is available from Bethany House, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

Blind Trust by Sandra Orchard

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Blind Trust
Revell (June 17, 2014)
Sandra Orchard


Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time . . . when not doting on her young grandchildren.


Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can't believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker's investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor's innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation--and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world--and her budding romance with Tom--begin to crumble. To Kate, it's clear that she won't be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster's secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?

If you would like to read the first chapter of Blind Trust, go HERE.

My review:

 This is only the second book I have read by Sandra Orchard, and I have enjoyed both books. This series is different, as in where most series like this has a different main characters in each book, the whole series has the same main characters. I rather like this way. In your average romantic suspense novel, the couple is either married, or well on their way to being married, by the end of the book. In this series however, the couple that are the main characters are far from being on their way to the altar. That isn't to say I don't like the other books, but it is kind of refreshing to have a series actually play out that part of the story in a slower and more believable fashion.

  I liked the first book a lot, but felt this one was even better. Another plus of keeping with the same main characters, is being able to have more character development. There is also an ongoing mystery that hasn't yet been resolved, yet the book ends in a way that doesn't keep you hanging.

  The suspense and mystery aspects of the book were great and well done, and kept me reading until I finished the book. There were a lot of suspects, and I was kept guessing who was guilty and of what until close to the end of the book. I'd highly recommend this series, but it is one that needs to be read in order. This author is well on her way to being a household name in Christian Suspense.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Soul Painter by Cara Luecht

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul Painter
WhiteFire Publishing (March 15, 2014)
Cara Luecht


A Word from the Author:
I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer.

By day, I am an English Instructor at MATC, Marketing Manager for Degnan Design Builders, Inc., mother to four amazing children, wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband, and Worship Leader for Living Hope Fellowship in Sun Prairie, WI. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction.

I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.

If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.


Miriam paints the future…but can she change it?

Chicago – 1890

Miriam watches the people jostle their way below the windows of her warehouse home, never thinking to look up at her as she paints their faces. But Miriam's gift as an artist goes beyond a mere recording of what is: Miriam paints their futures. Only once was she wrong. One woman doesn't match the future Miriam saw. The bright girl was supposed to grow into a respected businesswoman. Instead, Ione disappears nightly into the shadowed alley next to the cathedral with the other prostitutes. Then one night, while walking through the city fog, Miriam finds Ione broken and beaten. Miriam is forced to open her home to the stranger whose face she knows so well and open her life to change she never could have foretold. Women are missing—some found floating in the river, some never seen again. The deacon from the cathedral is the first to help. Soon Miriam’s solicitor, Michael, aids her in rejoining society so they might uncover the evil at work in the corrupt city...and awakens feelings she had never considered before. Finally engaged with the world she has so long observed, finally stirred by love and friendship, Miriam realizes the responsibility of her gifting. No longer can she just paint what will be. She must now help Ione find the future she is meant to have...and find her own along with it.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul Painter, go HERE.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Song by Chris Fabry

Jed King’s life has been shaped by the songs and mistakes of his famous father. He wants to sing his own song, but the words and melody are elusive. Haunted by the scars inflicted by his broken family, Jed’s dreams of a successful music career seem out of reach . . . until he meets Rose.

As romance quickly blooms, Jed pens a new song and suddenly finds himself catapulted into stardom. But with this life of fame comes temptation, the same temptation that lured his father so many years ago.

Set in the fertile mid-South, this quest for success leads Jed and Rose on a journey that will force them to deal with the pain of loss, failure, and the desire to be who God created them to be.

Lyrical and deeply honest, The Song asks the hard questions of love and forgiveness. When even the wisest of men are fools in love, can true love persevere?

My review:
   I rarely read and review books that are purely romance with no suspense or other type of plot. I had seen the trailer for the movie this book is based on and thought it looked really good, so I decided to try reading and reviewing what sounded to me like a romance book, but it is far more than that.

  The book and movie are based on the life of King Solomon, and pulls a lot from the Song of Solomon and the book of Ecclesiastes. Even if I had not known that it was based on Solomon's life, I think it would be obvious enough. It is a modern retelling of the story. Obviously Solomon was not a country singer.

  This is a story of love found, love lost, and love regained with forgiveness. It is the story of a man who has it all, then loses what is most important and hits the bottom hard. I could see it coming, and was hoping it wouldn't happen, but it did. And it made for an awesome story. It is very well written, and I loved the characters and character development. Even though love and romance were at the center of the story, they were not overdone, nor was any times when it was obvious there was sex that it was graphic in any way.

  The morals and lesson of the story are great and yet not overstated. All is vanity without God at the center of our lives. He is all that matters. Temptation will come, but there is a way of escape, and if we fall, there is always forgiveness.

 This book is much more than a romantic novel. And I enjoyed every page and had a hard time putting it down. I did read it in one day, with some interruptions, but couldn't wait to get back to the book each time I had to lay it down. I highly recommend it.

The only thing I didn't like about the book was all of the talk of wine and all of the  wine drinking in the book, but that is coming from a guy who doesn't drink. 

About the author:

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth Finding, Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.
Chris's novels, which include DogwoodJune BugAlmost Heaven, and Not in the Heart, have won two Christy Awards and an ECPA Christian Book Award, but it's his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more. He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and the Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR. Visit his Web site at

The Song is available from Tyndale Publishing.

Thanks to Tyndale for the review copy.

The Song is based on the motion picture screenplay written by Richard L Ramsey.

Check out the trailer for the movie, The Song:

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

An Ancient Island Holds an Ancient Secret . . .
Nick Hennessy, 
a young Texas journalist yearning for his big break, finds himself in Europe--his assignment, to investigate the alarming disappearance of invaluable Grecian antiquities. Nick has the credentials--and cover ID--to unearth the truth. And he knows just the researcher to help him...
Carey Mathers, fresh from her studies in forensic archeology, has accepted a job with the prestigious Athens Institute for Antiquities--a dream come true, really, particularly when the Greek isle of Patmos, where the Apostle John received his vision of the Apocalypse, was a particular focus of her research.
Dimitri Rubinos, for whom the Greek islands represent his life, holds on by his fingernails to the family charter boat business. But his country's economic chaos isn't the only thing that has turned his world on its head...

My review:
   This is my first book review of the year, and this book is deserving of that honor. Davis Bunn has become one of my favorite authors. In my opinion, he is one of the most versatile Christian authors, penning books all across the Christian fiction spectrum. This book falls in the suspense genre', which is my favorite genre'. It intrigued me as soon as I read about it, and I wanted to read it whether I reviewed it or not, but I managed to snag a copy to review, to my delight.

  The book starts off a bit slow, especially in the suspense department, but picks up later. The book kind of builds up to the suspense, instead of it being all through the book. But I still thoroughly enjoyed the book. I liked the characters a lot, and the book is full of historical information via conversations of the characters in the book. As the title would indicate, the Island of Patmos, where the Apostle John was exiled, plays a big part in the book. Davis Bunn being the author and traveler that he is has most likely been there, or at least researched the area and its history in great depth, and it shows. I found the history of Greece, especially of Patomos fascinating.

 The book takes place during the rioting and financial and economic hard times of Greece, and that gave an interesting look into what the country has been going through.

  The book had a great ending, though I would have liked things tied up a little better between the two main characters, but all in all, it was a great read, and I not only found myself entertained, but educated also.

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:
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  • Twitter: @davisbunn - 
  • The Patmos Deception is available from Bethany House Publishing.

    Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.