Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Detained by Don Brown

A man and his son dreamed of America's freedom, but the dream became a nightmare when they ended up at Guantanamo Bay.

Hasan Makari and his son Najib, both Lebanese nationals, have dreamed of the day they would experience the shining freedom of America. But when they arrive in the US, they are arrested, accused of terrorism, and incarcerated at the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba, all on false charges. Suddenly, they face the nightmare of death by execution.

Their only hope is Navy JAG Officer Matt Davis, who has been assigned to the case of his life--to defend the Makaris in court at Guantanamo Bay. Matt believes his clients are innocent but faces monumental opposition--not only from powerful federal prosecutors with a huge agenda and an unlimited budget, but also from the woman he loves who, as a fellow JAG officer, has been ordered onto the prosecution team to convict the Makaris.

As the drama unfolds in Cuba, Emily Gardner, a top-ranking TSA lawyer, has just received a larger-than-life nomination as General Counsel for the Department of Homeland Security. While preparing for confirmation by the US Senate, she discovers a shocking scheme that will turn her life upside down. Can Emily expose the truth in time to save the lives of those being accused--and escape with her own life? Somewhere between the war-torn plains of Northern Lebanon and the secret torture chamber of Guantanamo Bay lie the keys to justice.

My review:
  From the first book I read by Don Brown, Treason, I have been hooked on his novels. I enjoy different genre's of books - some more than others - and military suspense is up near the top.  Don Brown's books are all about the Navy and he is one of the best military fiction authors I have read. I have enjoyed all of his books, especially his Navy Justice Series, but I would have to say this one is his best one yet.

  I thought the plot for this book sounded great, and I was not disappointed. Two innocent men, imprisoned without warning, and shut up in the infamous Guantanamo Bay Prison in Cuba. Knowing what I know about the author, I am sure he has a lot of knowledge about how things are done, and also did a lot of research. I am thus confident that although the events of the book are fictional, the way things are done and might happen in such circumstances are not fictional.

 I really liked the characters in the book. Matt, the defense, thrown into a less than ideal trial and threatened and confounded at every turn. Hassan and Najib, Christian men who love this country that has suddenly turned against them.. and more. I was happy a couple of characters were brought back from the first series Brown did, and enjoyed the role they played in the books.

  There is something Brown does in his books that more authors need to do when switching locations. Every time he chances location or starts a new chapter, he posts the where, when, and other details. It makes it a lot easier to keep up with what is going on where.

  Even though I have enjoyed all of Brown's books, some of them have been a slower read. I don't mean that in a bad way, some of them have taken more thought and time to digest. This book was a fast read for me. It had a lot going on and it grabbed me from  the start and I didn't want to slow down or put the book down. 

 And yet this book was more than an entertaining read. It was a fascinating look into how accused terrorists might be treated and the process that is gone through to try them. It is a warning of what could happen if one of our too many government agencies gets too powerful and doesn't have enough oversight.

  If I have any criticism of the book, it would be that the end seemed rushed. I still loved  the ending, but it seemed to come too fast after the build up.

  This is the first book in the Navy J.A.G series, and I am looking forward to reading more of this series and about the characters that have been introduced in this book.

  Don's books are ideal for male readers, but women who enjoy military stories will also like them.

About  the author:

Don Brown is the author of Thunder in the Morning CalmThe Malacca Conspiracy, The Navy Justice Series, and The 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 "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. Facebook: Don-Brown

Detained is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.

Double Cross by DiAnn Mills

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Double Cross
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1, 2015)
Diann Mills


DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas. DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at her website.


FBI Agent Laurel Evertson’s investigation into a scam targeting the elderly takes an unexpected twist when key evidence leads her to Morton Wilmington, a felon she arrested five years ago on her first undercover assignment. That case has haunted her since, and though she’s vowed to forget Wilmington—and what she sacrificed to put him away—he is now her best lead. Houston Police Officer Daniel Hilton fears his grandparents may be the scammer’s next targets, and he’ll do anything to protect his family—even force interagency cooperation. But he’s quickly drawn to Laurel’s empathy and zeal and agrees to follow her lead . . . even if it means teaming up with a felon. As the unlikely trio uncovers evidence suggesting the scam is more extensive and deadly than they imagined, both Laurel and Daniel find themselves in the crosshairs of a killer. Together they must decide if they can trust Wilmington’s claims of redemption, or if he’s leading them straight into a double cross.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Double Cross, go HERE.

My review:
  I have read a few suspense novels by DiAnn Mills, and enjoyed all of them. After reading this one, I found myself hoping she keeps writing suspense. This was a top notch read. I liked the characters, even the criminal-turned good, and I was kept guessing all through the book whether he had really changed or if he was just playing the FBI and police.

  The book is chock full of action and suspense, and I found it to be a book that I didn't want to put down, so I kept reading it until it was finished. I liked the fact that the book was definitely Christian in content, and was also clean and free from any curse words.

 It has been a while since I read the first book in this series, but they don't seem to be connected much, of any, and can definitely be read out of order. I would recommend both books, and any of her other suspense novels, which I have read all of.

  Thanks to The Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and  the author for the review copy.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Legacy by Dan Walsh and Gary Smalley

One young man is about to discover the true cost of independence
For years, Doug Anderson has been drifting slowly but steadily away from both his family and his faith. His parents have been trying to reach him before he falls too far. His friend Christina hopes what she is seeing online isn't true. But sometimes you have to hit bottom before you're ready to grow up. 

Just as things begin to settle down a bit, Doug's life takes a turn that requires every bit of faith and patience for both his family and Christina--whose growing feelings for Doug, a man who writes her off as not worth his time, keep her off balance. Will Doug's crisis finally clear his vision and help him focus on what he has right in front of him?

My review:
  Dan Walsh has become one of my favorite authors, and I would put him at the top of my non-suspense author list, although he did write one suspense novel and it was a great read. I always look forward to a new book coming out from him, and I have been waiting for this one for several months, the fourth and final book in The Restoration Series.

  Book one centered on the parents in the Anderson family, and each book following has centered around one of their three children. This final one is about the youngest of the three, Doug, who is away in college.

  Although this book was not suspense, it was a fast read for me. Part of that was because I had been looking forward to reading it so much. The other reason I got into it so much is because I really enjoy prodigal stories, and this is one. I don't believe the authors call it a modern retelling of the prodigal son story from the Bible, but it very well could be. Son of a fairly affluent couple goes off to college and leaves his faith behind, falling into immorality and the wrong crowd. I knew Doug was going to hit bottom, and it was a bit painful to experience through the pages of the book, yet it was encouraging. The book had the message that even though we wonder from God, we can come back. He still loves us and will forgive.

  This is probably my favorite book of the series. They all resonated with me, as these are not light and fluff fiction, but books that carry a great message and has some great advice all through the pages for married couples and parents...... but I really needed the message of this book. That the same God who loves us and saves us is waiting to welcome us back and forgive us if we stray. I cannot say enough good bout this book and the whole series. Dan outdid himself on these four books, and Gary Smalley's expertise on family relationships is also seen in the plots of the books.

  These do go in order, and it is advisable to read them in the order that they were written: The Dance, The Promise, The Desire, and The Legacy.

About the authors:

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Dance and The Promisewith Gary Smalley, as well as The Unfinished GiftThe 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.

Gary Smalley is one of the country's best known authors and speakers on family relationships. He is the bestselling and award-winning author or coauthor of 16 books, along with several popular films and videos. He has spent over 30 years learning, teaching, and counseling, speaking to over 2 million people in live conferences. Smalley has appeared on national television programs such as Oprah,Larry King LiveExtraThe Today Show, andThe Sally Jessy Raphael Show, as well as numerous national radio programs. Gary and his wife, Norma, have been married for 50 years and live in Branson, Missouri. They have three children and six grandchildren.

The Legacy and the other three books in The Restoration Series, are available from Revell, a division of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

gMovies review, free trial, and giveaway

Why gMovies?
Join over 2 million people who are already enjoying gMovies on a monthly basis!
·  Instant access to over 300 hundreds Christian movies and TV shows with new titles added monthly
·  The whole family can enjoy a variety of entertainment including Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentaries, Thrillers and more
·  Stream from iPad, Android, or your PC
·  Only $4.99/month 
·  No contract; cancel anytime
·  Powered by UP, American’s favorite TV network for uplifting entertainment.

My Review:
  This is a review for a website, a Christian movies website. I like to watch Christian movies when I can find a good one.... not all are worth watching, but the list of Christian movies that are worth watching is growing. And gMovies has a lot that are worth watching.

  The website is easy to navigate. It has three main categories: drama, comedy, and documentary, with drama having the most movies. There are 12 sub-categories. You can view them alphabetically or by the most views. They do stream, and I had no trouble streaming the ones I have viewed so far.

  Selection-wise, this is no Netflix, as this site has just over 300 movies, but that is still a lot of movies with more being added in the future. The variety of movies is very wide and there are older and newer movies. And the price is decent: $4.99 a month, and you can cancel any time.

  A few I recommend that I have watched on the site or DVD:
Amazing Grace
What If...
Christmas Child
Meant to Be
 and more

  You can download an app for gMovies for the iPhone or Android.

Free trial:
For anyone reading this blog, there is a free two-week trial. Check out the site for two weeks, and if you like it..... keep it. If you're not sure about it, you can cancel.

For the free trial, go to this link. For the promotional code, enter: FREETRIAL68.

There is also a giveaway for a free 6-month subscription to the gMovies site.
To enter to win the free 6-month subscription, comment with the last Christian movie you watched, or just a comment about the site or review.

10 days from today, April 26, I will pick a winner using

This chance to review the website and offer the trial membership and giveaway were courtesy of FlyBy Promotions. Thanks to FlyBy Promotions for the opportunity and the giveaway.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon

They both wanted quieter, safer lives.
But crime never sleeps . . . 
and killers keep killing.

After years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant is ready for the kinder, gentler life of a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes department resources. Enter ex-Navy SEAL Mac McGregor, the detective sent by the county to assist on the case. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn't want this dead person telling any tales--and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.

My review:
    Irene Hannon has been one of my favorite authors from the time I read her first book. She has written so many great books that it is hard for me to pick a favorite. I am always sad to see a series of hers end, and happy to see a new one start, as is the case with this book, #1 in The Men of Valor Series.

  The book doesn't have fast paced action, as it involved a 15 year old murder, but it still has a lot of the suspense and drama Hannon is known for. I liked the characters, and Hannon did something unusual for a fiction book: she made one of her main characters less than perfect. The heroine had a physical ailment, and I applaud that small difference. One complaint I have with Christian fiction, especially romance or romantic suspense, is too much perfection in the character's looks and attributes.

  I liked the hero's camaraderie with his brothers, and am guessing that was to help set up the other two books in the series.

 The book was hard to put down and had some surprises in it. I would have liked to have seen the guilty party dealt more harshly with, but it was still a great and satisfying read.

About the author:

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including That Certain SummerOne Perfect Spring, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, three HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, a Booksellers' Best Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist, and Booklistincluded one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. Learn more at

Buried Secrets is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.   

Jaded by Varina Denman

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
David C. Cook (March 1, 2015)
Varina Denman


An avid reader and blogger, Varina Denman enjoys writing fiction about Christian women and the unique struggles they face. She seems to have a knack for describing small town life, and is currently working on a three book Texas series which will soon be published by David C. Cook. The first book in the series, Jaded, won the 2013 ACFW Genesis contest for romance.

Varina attended three Texas universities over a span of five years, majoring in four subjects and earning zero degrees. However, she can now boast sixteen years as a home educator, volunteering in the local cooperative where she has taught numerous subjects including creative writing and literature.

Even though Varina has spoken at ladies’ retreats and taught women’s Bible classes, she finds the greatest fulfillment facilitating prayer groups. She lives in Burleson, Texas, where she helps with Family Ministry in her home congregation. Varina is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and North Texas Christian Writers.


As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man ... and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart ... and a thirst for hope.

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

I didn't get this book in time to read it for the review, but will try to post one later