Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wilderness Rising by A.L. Shields

From A. L. Shields pseudonym for New York Times best-selling author Stephen L. Carter comes the thrilling sequel to The Church Builder.

An age-old struggle between the enemies of God and the champions of faith.

A rumored relic that could prove Christ performed miracles or declare him a fraud.

A woman on the run from international authorities.

Bethany Barclay is fighting to outwit the Wilderness, an ancient and powerful cabal bent on destroying Christianity. Its members murdered her best friend, framed her for acts of terrorism, and captured the brilliant teen hacker she vowed to protect. To ransom the girl, Bethany must find the Pilate Stone a mysterious first-century artifact that might not even exist.

But she s not the only one looking for the stone. In an international landscape of double agents, Bethany finds it impossible to tell friend from foe. The Garden, a secret group of powerful intellectuals sworn to save the Church and help Bethany, is collapsing under the rising power of the Wilderness. And an ocean separates her from her only proven ally the lone wolf Ray Fuentes, who has battles of his own to fight.

A sparse trail of breadcrumbs takes Bethany across Europe into a labyrinth of academics, art historians, and followers of a reclusive monastic order. As her quest transforms into an ever more complex and dangerous game, unlikely actors in the drama emerge. Some are ruthlessly devoted to preserving a world where faith is possible. Others aim to brutally, and finally, undermine belief.

Including her own.

My review:

  I have one complaint about this book: It came out too long after the book it follows. It was a year and a half ago that I read and reviewed the first book, and I remembered that I liked it a lot, but could not remember much about it. A lot of it came back as I read this one, but they should have released them closer together.

  The idea of two secret organizations existing, one which does all it can to discredit Christians and Christianity and destroy them, and the other that does all it can to preserve and protect Christianity and Christians is a very interesting idea. And it made for two great novels.

  This novel takes up right where the first took of, and launches right into non-stop action and suspense. Once I started remembering who was who and what was going on, I got into the book and couldn't put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and read it through in one evening.... I could not put it down. The action and suspense were top notch, it had great likable - and non-likable characters, and the whole book revolved around faith and Christianity.

  I was hoping there was a third book, but this was just a two-book series. I consider the author's foray into Christian fiction a great one, and hope he writes more on the Christian market. I highly recommend this series.

About the author:

A. L. Shields is a pseudonym for Stephen L. Carter, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught for thirty years. He is also the author of seven acclaimed works of nonfiction and five bestselling novels. His first novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park (2002), spent eleven weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. 

Wilderness Rising is available from Zondervan Publishing.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for the review copy.

Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus by Cliff Graham

Caleb and Joshua Roar to Life in this High-Impact Old Testament Saga

Two men were brave enough to tell the truth about what awaited the Hebrews in Canaan. This is their story. From the slave pits of Egypt to the efforts of an eighty-five-year-old Caleb as he drives out the last of the giants, Shadow of the Mountain is a vivid portrait of two of God's chosen champions, and a meditation on masculine mentorship and the challenges and blessings of growing older.

For the sake of his new God and his loyalty to his friend Joshua, Caleb will not spend his twilight years resting, but taking the battle to the enemies of God's people until his dying breath. From his early days as a mercenary for Pharaoh in Egypt watching the Hebrews suffer under the yoke of slavery, all the way through a desperate fight with giants in the dark forests of the hill country, this is a story filled with epic battles, gritty intensity, and supernatural events that made Graham's Lion of War series a hit. Shadow of the Mountain is sure to ignite a love for the Old Testament in popular culture.

My review:

  The Christian fiction market is a woman's market. Most of the Christian fiction novels are by women and for women, with a small portion of books being geared just for, or more for men. Cliff Graham is one such author whose books I would classify as more for men than women.

  This is not your average love story with a biblical story woven around it. It is more of a gritty novel with descriptions of fighting and wars in it.  As with any biblical fiction novel, a lot of license has been taken with the story. We don't know a lot about Caleb, other than the fact that he was one of two spies who believed Israel could deliver their enemies into their hands, and he survived the 40-year wandering in the wilderness. Upon entrance to the promised land, he asked for a mountain and conquered those who lived on it.

  Graham fills in the gaps of what Caleb's life may have been like, going back to his time in Egypt and up through the wilderness wanderings. The book is a fascinating and exciting read that brings the biblical account to life, and I don't mean to put down the biblical account by saying that.

  The story is very well written and kept my interest, and it was cool to read more about this interesting character, even if it was from the author's imagination.

About the author:

Cliff Graham is a former soldier and officer in the United States Army who now spends his time writing, speaking, and operating a growing series of media franchises. A graduate from Black Hills State University with degrees in political science and military science, he wrote his Lion of War series while working as a youth pastor. He currently lives in the mountains ofUtah with his wife, Cassandra, and their children, and speaks to churches, men's groups, and conferences all over the United States. He can be found online at

Shadow of the Mountain: Exodus is available from Bethany House Publishing, part of Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Bethany House for the review copy.

The Pharaoh's Daughter by Mesu Andrews

Anippe has grown up in the shadows of Egypt’s good god Pharaoh, aware that Anubis, god of the afterlife, may take her or her siblings at any moment. She watched him snatch her mother and infant brother during childbirth, a moment which awakens in her a terrible dread of ever bearing a child. Now she is to be become the bride of Sebak, a kind but quick-tempered Captain of Pharaoh Tut’s army. In order to provide Sebak the heir he deserves and yet protect herself from the underworld gods, Anippe must launch a series of deceptions, even involving the Hebrew midwives—women ordered by Tut to drown the sons of their own people in the Nile. 

     When she finds a baby floating in a basket on the great river, Anippe believes Egypt’s gods have answered her pleas, entrenching her more deeply in deception and placing her and her son Mehy, whom handmaiden Miriam calls Moses, in mortal danger.

  As bloodshed and savage politics shift the balance of power in Egypt, the gods reveal their fickle natures and Anippe wonders if her son, a boy of Hebrew blood, could one day become king. Or does the god of her Hebrew servants, the one they call El Shaddai, have a different plan—for them all?

My review:

  Biblical fiction has never been my favorite genre', but there are some authors who do it better than others. Mesu Andrews is at the top of that list. I have been impressed with every book she has written, and it is obvious she puts a lot of study and research into her books.

  This book is a bit different from her others. We don't know much about the woman who found Moses as a baby and raised him as her own. Andrews takes the little bit we know and has spun a story around that. The book is mostly about the daughter of Pharaoah, so the book begins long before the birth of Moses and starts out with her as a child.  This is fiction, so most of the story is what the author came up with to fill in the gaps, but she did a great job of writing what this woman may have been like, and what her life may have been like.

  I enjoyed the book. I don't think it is her best one, but it was still a great read and worth reading. There is a lot of license taken with the story of Moses' birth and early life, but it in no way detracts from the biblical account and only made me appreciate the biblical account all the more.

About the author:

Mesu Andrews’ deep understanding of and love for God's Word brings the biblical
world alive for her readers. Her first novel, Love Amid the Ashes won the
2012 ECPA Book of the Year for a Debut Author. Her three subsequent novels, Love's
Sacred Song, Love in a Broken Vessel, and In the Shadow of Jezebel all released to
great reader enthusiasm. Mesu lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband Roy.

The Pharaoh's Daughter is available from Waterbook/Multnomah Publishing.

Thanks to Waterbrook/Multnomah for the review copy.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Secrets and Lies by Janet Sketchley

A single mother must protect her teenage son-from organized crime and from himself.

Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning from her convict brother. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again.

Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing's certain. She can't risk prayer.

My review:

  I have only read one other book by Janet Sketchley, which I reviewed back in March. This book is a sequel to it, and is even better than the first book.

  I will avoid giving spoilers away for the first book, and just say the main character in this book is trying to hide her and her teenage son from bad guys associated with her criminal brother.

  The first book was really good, but it centered for the most part on two people, a captive and her captor. This book has a lot more going on, and I found myself even more engrossed in it than the first.

  After I finished it, I was thinking to myself what a great book it was, and although it is a self-published book, it is better than some books published by well known publishers on the Christian market.... so a publisher imprint doesn't necessarily mean anything. The writing is top notch in this novel, it has great suspense, great characters, and a terrific plot.

  The book is suspense, which is my favorite genre', and it met my expectations very well in that department, but there was other things I liked about the book:
A mother determined to protect her son, no matter what.
The book brought out that we can't always hide from our past, and it is often better to just bring it to light.
God can bring good out of anything.

   I appreciate an author who isn't afraid to make their books Christian, and that is the case with Janet. The Gospel message is in this book, and the truth shown that God loves all of us and that we matter to Him. That belongs in any book, even a suspense novel.

  I recommend this book and the one that came before it, Heaven's Prey.

About the author:

Janet Sketchley is the author of Heaven's Prey and Secrets and Lies, two novels of suspense and redemption. She also blogs about faith and books. Janet loves adventure stories, worship music, tea and Formula 1 racing. Like Carol in Secrets and Lies, she loves music and tea. Unlike Carol, Janet isn’t related to a dangerous offender, has a happy home life, and has never been threatened by a drug lord. May those tidbits continue to hold true! You can find Janet online at Fans of Christian suspense are invited to join Janet's writing journey through her monthly newsletter:

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Falcon by Ronie Kendig

Special Forces operator Salvatore “Falcon” Russo vowed to never again speak to or trust Lieutenant Cassandra Walker after a tragedy four years ago. But as Raptor closes in on the cyber terrorists responsible for killing two of their own, Sal must put his life—and the lives of his teammates—in her hands. Despite his anger, Cassie is ill-prepared for his resistance and the fallout when she must protect the one asset who can end the attacks. As allies become enemies and hostiles become unlikely partners, Raptor fights for its very existence.

My review:

  Ronie Kendig is an all around great lady. She is one of the handful of authors I am blessed to have as a Facebook friend, and it is nice to get a glimpse into an author's life and see how ordinary they are. She may lead an ordinary life, but she is an extraordinary author. She had me at her first book, which was suspense. She then went on to find her true niche in military fiction that has suspense and drama.  With each book and series she writes, she only gets better.

  This whole series has been a roller coaster of non-stop action, drama, and suspense. Each novel in the trilogy has focused on a different member of an elite team of special ops soldiers, and this one focused on Salvatore Russo, or "Falcon." Although the book centers on him, there is a continuing mystery and drama that has been going on through all three books that also takes center stage in the book.

  I was given this book to be an "influencer." They wanted people to help promote the book, and there are suggestions given as to how to do that. If you don't like the book, there are a couple of things to do. I didn't even read that part. The fact that I wouldn't like this book didn't even enter my mind. I knew I would. and I did. This was a fantastic conclusion to this great series, and it was so good, Ronie may scramble to do a series of the same caliber for her next project. But I have faith.

  Readers have had a glimpse into the character of Falcon in the other books, but since he was the central person in this book, we learned even more about him. And he turned out to be an even more interesting and complex person than we had seen. Since this is the final book in the trilogy, a lot had to be wrapped up, which made for an even more action-packed novel. A lot happens in the book, and the identity of the mole is finally revealed. Ronie did an excellent job of keeping that a secret, and I was totally surprised. 

 There were a couple of other surprises in the book. You never know when someone might get killed, or appear to be killed. And people are not always who they seem to be.

  As with any of Ronie's books, I could not put it down. It was full of drama, military action and suspense, faith, and romance. I completely, 100% enjoyed the book and loved the ending. And though the book is definitely Christian in content, that element is woven seamlessly through the book and isn't what some would call overbearing or "preachy." Not everyone has a miraculous conversion before the end of the book, but that isn't needed to have great Christian fiction.

  I definitely recommend this book, and all of Ronie's books. This is the third and final book in the Quiet Professionals Series, and the books should be read in order. The first book is Raptor 6, and the second is Hawk.

 Visit Ronie's website and her Facebook author page.

About the author:

An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.
It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990.  Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their Maltese Menace in Northern Virginia.
Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie speaks nationally, volunteers with writer’s organizations, including American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and My Book Therapy, and mentors other writers.
Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have hit bestseller lists and garnered awards and critical acclaim, including:
    • 2012 Christy Award Winner – Wolfsbane(Contemporary Romance)
    • 2013 HOLT Medallion Winner – Trinity: Military War Dog (Best Book by a Virginia Author)
    • 2013 Selah Award Winner  – Firethorn(Fiction – Suspense)
    • 2013 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Winner – Trinity: Military War Dog (Romantic Suspense)
    • 2012 Lime Award Winner – Firethorn (Suspense)
    • 2012 Carol Award Finalist – Wolfsbane (Romantic Suspense)
    • Christian Retailing’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards Finalist – Nightshade
    • 2011 Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award Finalist – Nightshade (Romantic Suspense)
    • Named one of the Top 25 Christian Fiction Suspense, Mystery, and Thriller Writers by FamilyFiction (Sept 2011)
    • 2011 FamilyFiction Readers’ Choice Awards – 3rd place as New Favorite Author, 8th place with Nightshade for Novel of the Year.
    • INSPY Award Shortlist final in Mystery/Thriller (Dead Reckoning)
    • The Christian Manifesto’s 2010 Lime Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Nightshade)
Falcon and the other books in the Quiet Professionals Series is available from Barbour Publishing.

Thanks to the author for the review copy.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

No Place to Hide by Lynette Eason

She'll defend her friend until the bitter end--but is she in over her head?
It's not every day you see your childhood friend and onetime crush on national news. Jackie Sellers just wishes it were under different circumstances. She can't believe that Ian Lockwood is wanted in connection with a terrorist plot, and she's determined to find him and help him clear his name. Unfortunately, she's not the only one looking for him. The FBI wants him captured. The bad guys want him dead. Ian just wants to stay alive long enough to prove his innocence and prevent a catastrophe. 

Lynette Eason delivers nonstop action as Jackie and Ian travel a dangerous road--one that may lead straight to destruction.

My review:
   I really have too many favorite authors to name, but Lynette Eason is one of those favorites. She is an author who seems to only get better with each new series and book she writes. This series is the best one she has written in my opinion, and this book is a great ending to the series.

 The other two books in the series were awesome reads, so I waited until I had plenty of time to read this one. I didn't want to have to lay it aside to finish it another day. And I was right. The book doesn't gradually lead up to suspense and drama, but it jumps into it on the first page and goes non-stop until the end of the book.

  I have read books before where someone was on the run while trying to prove their innocence, but this book is up at the top of those books. It had a great plot, very likable characters, and enough suspense and danger to make any suspense lover happy. I didn't just read this book. I devoured it.

 The book came to a satisfying conclusion, though it came too fast. This is a book the author can be proud of and that deserves 5 out of 5 stars. Great read,

About the author:

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice series and the Deadly Reunions series, as well as No One to Trust,Nowhere to Turn, and No Place to Hide in the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America. She has a master's degree in education from Converse College and she lives in South Carolina. Learn more at

No Place to Hide is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Heart of the Amish by Suzanne Woods Fisher

We have all been hurt and we all have someone we need to forgive. But sometimes it's hard to let go of our hurt and anger in order to truly forgive and move on. 

For the Amish, forgiving others in order to live at peace is woven into the very fabric of their faith. From daily annoyances to heartbreaking tragedy, they exhibit an incredible capacity for forgiveness that often baffles us. How do they do it? And how can we have the same attitude and ability to forgive?

Through true stories gathered from a variety of Amish communities, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher shows you how the Amish are able to release their pain and desire for revenge, and live at peace with others. Her in-depth, personal research uncovers the astounding yet fundamental way the Amish can forgive anyone from the angry customer at the grocery store to the shooter at Nickel Mines. You'll learn how to invite God into your story, apply lessons from the Amish to your own circumstances, and find the freedom that comes with true forgiveness.

My review:
  This is out of the normal reading genre' for me, but it is a book that was a fast and interesting read. Each chapter is a story of an Amish person who either forgave someone or made peace with someone. The chapters end with a section to reflect on peacemaking, and a section giving a little more information about the sect of Amish that was discussed.

 This is a convicting book.  I found myself wondering if I'd have reacted the same way as the people did in the stories, and was in awe of how quickly and easily they seem to be able to forgive and make peace with others who have wronged them.  The chapters are short, and I found myself reading through the book fairly fast. It not only gives a look into the lives of the Amish, but is also full of lessons for the reader about forgiving and peacemaking.

About the author:

Suzanne Woods Fisher is the bestselling author of The LettersThe Calling, the Lancaster County Secrets series, and the Stoney Ridge Seasons series, as well as nonfiction books about the Amish, includingAmish Peace. She is also the coauthor of an Amish children's series, The Adventures of Lily Lapp. Suzanne is a Carol Award winner for The Search, a Carol Award finalist for The Choice, and a Christy Award finalist for The Waiting. She is also a columnist for Christian Post andCooking & Such magazines. She lives in California. Learn more at and connect with Suzanne on Twitter @suzannewfisher.

The Heart of the Amish is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Inn At Ocean's Edge, and win a Kindle Fire

Claire's visit to a luxury hotel in Maine awakens repressed memories, threatening all she holds dear.
In 1989, Claire Dellamare disappeared from her own fourth birthday party at the Hotel Tourmaline on the island of Folly Shoals, Maine. She showed up a year later at the same hotel, with a note pinned to her dress but no explanation. Nobody knows where Claire spent that year---and until now, Claire didn't even know she had ever been missing.
But when Claire returns to the Hotel Tourmaline for a business meeting with her CEO father, disturbing memories begin to surface . . . despite her parents' best efforts to keep them forgotten.
Luke Rocco lost his mother under equally mysterious circumstances---at the same time Claire disappeared. After a chance encounter reveals the unlikely link between them, Claire and Luke set out together to uncover the truth about what happened that fateful year.
With flashbacks swimming just beneath her consciousness and a murderer threatening her safety, Claire's very life depends on unscrambling her past . . . even if her family refuses to acknowledge it. Someone-maybe everyone-is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light.

My review:
  This book was a surprise. I have read several suspense novels by Colleen Coble and I am used to a good read from her, but I feel she surpassed anything she ever wrote with this novel.

  When I started reading this book, I intended to read part of it and finish it the next day. Once I started it, those intentions got blown away. I got pulled into the plot of the book immediately and did not want to put it down. This is a top notch novel that deserves 5 out of 5 stars.

  There is a lot to like about the book:
  1) The setting: I am a sucker for books set at the ocean, and although I have never been to Maine, the setting made me want to go there myself.

  2) The characters. From the wealthy and unspoiled heiress, to the Coast Guard guy trying to do right by his dad and sister and put his life on hold, there are some great characters in this book with a lot of depth to them.

  3) Plot. The book had a very intricate and well thought out plot that had to take a lot of ingenuity to come up with. I saw a couple of things coming at one point, but was still impressed with the way the ending came about.

  4) Romance. This is romantic suspense, but it isn't the kind of romance that makes you gag and roll your eyes.

   This is the first book in a the new Sunset Cove Series, and it is a great start to the series. I am looking forward to reading more in this series, and highly recommend this book to lovers of suspense.

About the author:USA Today bestselling author Colleen Coble has sold over 2 million novels worldwide. Her romantic suspense novels including Tidewater InnRosemary Cottage, and the Mercy Falls, Lonestar, and Rock Harbor series. Visit her website at Twitter:@colleencoble Facebook:colleencoblebooks

The Inn At Ocean's Edge is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to Litfuse for the review copy.
   Someone—maybe everyone—is hiding something from Claire Dellamare, and it will cost her everything to drag the truth out into the light. Colleen Coble's new book, The Inn at Ocean's Edge, is a must-read for mystery and suspense readers. As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for.

Celebrate the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge by entering to win a Kindle Fire and RSVPing to her May 5th author chat party!


One grand prize winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire
  • A copy of A Heart's Disguise
  • A copy of A Heart's Obsession
  • A copy of The Inn at Ocean's Edge
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 7th. Winner will be announced May 8th on Colleen's website. Plus be sure to clear your calendar on the evening of May 5th because Colleen is hosting an author chat party on Facebook to celebrate her A Journey of the Heart series and the release of The Inn at Ocean's Edge! RSVP here!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on May 5th!