Friday, November 27, 2020

Seven Words of Christmas by Robert Morris


Book description:

Celebrate the true meaning of Christmas through the seven words God spoke to seven different people around the time of Christ's birth, bringing hope and change to our world for eternity.

In Seven Words of Christmas, bestselling author and pastor Robert Morris explains each word of prophecy: an inspired utterance of a prophet, the words of God through man. He illustrates the story of Jesus surrounding the word, and applies the prophecy to our modern lives. Find the words of:

Salvation through Zacharias,

Favor through Mary, Blessing through Elizabeth, Guidance through Joseph, Joy through the Shepherds, Redemption through Anna, and Peace through Simeon.

Even now, thousands of years later, the eternal Word of God has numerous applications to modern life. This Christmas, discover salvation, blessings, peace, and more with Pastor Morris. 

My review:

  This isn't a big or long book, but it is interesting and has a lot of great content. As the description says, it focuses on seven words that have something to do with the Christmas story. It is set up to use as a 21-day devotional around Christmas time. Each of the seven words has 3 chapters titled "day 1, day 2", and so on. Each chapter is usually 5 pages, and doesn't take long to read. There are no Bible verses at the beginning of the chapter, but there are some spread throughout each chapter.

  It is an easy book to read, very interesting, and is a great way to focus one's thoughts and attention on the true meaning of Christmas. I did enjoy reading the book, and may use it again close to Christmas. 

About the author:

Robert Morris is the founding lead senior pastor of Gateway Church, a multicampus church based out of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Since it began in 2000, the church has grown to more than 71,000 active attendees. His television program is aired in over 190 countries, and his radio program, Worship & the Word with Pastor Robert, airs in more than 1,800 radio markets across America. He serves as chancellor of The King’s University and is the bestselling author of numerous books, including The Blessed Life, Frequency, Beyond Blessed, and Take the Day Off. Robert and his wife, Debbie, have been married 39 years and are blessed with one married daughter, two married sons, and nine grandchildren.

Seven Words of Christmas is available from FaithWords Publishing, part of the Hachette Book Group. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Ottoman Dominion, Empires of Armageddon #3 by Terry Brennan


Book description: 

Diplomatic Security Service agent Brian Mullaney wants out. He's been drawn against his will into a dangerous international mission with world-ending implications--and his final assignment is going to pit him directly against the terrifying, evil entity known only as the Turk.

But when the Turk's minions breach the US embassy in Israel and the American ambassador disappears, Mullaney has no choice. He must accept his role as the final guardian of a mysterious box, his only weapon against the powers of darkness bent on preventing the second coming of the Messiah, no matter who or what they annihilate to accomplish their goal. Can this man who's already lost so much find the strength and faith to save the world--and fulfill the prophecy of peace?

The final volume of the Empires of Armageddon trilogy will have fans of Joel Rosenberg, Ronie Kendig, and Frank Peretti on the edge of their seats up to the final page.

My review:

  Book two left the reader hanging, and I have been looking forward to this third and last book in this series. And the wait was worth it.

 Ottoman Dominion takes up right where Persian Betrayal left off, and plunges right back into the action and intrigue. There is a lot going on in this book, and the reader is bounced around a lot from one location to another. Since the author always identifies the location along with the date and time, it is easy to keep track what is going on and where.

  Brian Mullaney has been the main character throughout this series, and remained so in this book. I like the fact that a whole trilogy centered on one main character and you get to like him and the author has plenty of time to develop the character. He faced a lot more danger in this book due to his new duties passed on to him in the last book.

  I really don't know much about what ambassadors do, or what the head of their security team might do, but the author did an excellent job of portraying what they might entail...I am sure after a lot of research. This book tied everything up and showed what a powder keg that area of the world is, and how important Israel and her wellbeing is.

 The ending was quite calm, and I loved the way the author ended the book. 

 This whole series was a fascinating read, and I was not just entertained, but I learned a lot. This book especially was hard to put down, and I did read it in one sitting. With breaks of course. I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys political intrigue with suspense. The books do need to be read in order. 

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Terry Brennan is the award-winning author of The Sacred Cipher, The Brotherhood Conspiracy, and The Aleppo Code, the three books in The Jerusalem Prophecies series. His latest series is Empires of Armageddon, which includes Ishmael Covenant, Persian Betrayal, and Ottoman Dominion.

A Pulitzer Prize is one of the many awards Brennan accumulated during his 22-year newspaper career. The Pottstown (PA) Mercury won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing for a two-year series published while he led the team as the newspaper’s Editor.

Starting out as a sportswriter in Philadelphia, Brennan became an editor and publisher for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and New York and later moved to the corporate staff of Ingersoll Publications (400 newspapers in the U.S., Ireland and England) as Executive Editor of all U.S. newspaper titles.

In 1996, Brennan transitioned into the nonprofit sector, spending 12 years as VP Operations for The Bowery Mission and six years as Chief Administrative Officer for Care for the Homeless,  both in New York City.

Terry and his wife, Andrea, now live in Danbury, CT.

More on Brennan can be found at He is also on Facebook (Terry Brennan) and Twitter (@terrbrennan1).


a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Ottaman Dominion and the rest of the Empires of Armageddon are available from Kregel Publishing.

                                                                            Book 1

                                                                          Book 2

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

The Return by Nicholas Sparks

Book description:

In the romantic tradition of Dear John and The Lucky One, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the story of an injured Navy doctor -- and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, NC. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.

Tending to his grandfather's beloved bee hives while gearing up for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn't prepared to fall in love with a local . . . and yet, from their very first encounter, his connection with Natalie Masterson can't be ignored. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she's hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road from his grandfather's cabin. Claiming to be 19, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. When he discovers she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather's death, but she offers few clues -- until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie's past, one more intertwined with the elderly man's passing than Trevor could ever have anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie's secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

My review:

  I had previously read only one book by Nicholas Sparks, A Walk to Remember. To be honest, I thought it was sad. When I had the rare opportunity to review his newest book, I decided to give him a try again.....and was not disappointed.

  The Return is a leisurely enjoyable read. It is set in a delightful sounding Southern town, and is full of interesting and likable characters. The main character is Trevor Benson, a late 30's retired Navy doctor who was injured and suffers from PTSD. The book is first person point of view told from his perspective. He is a very likable and cool character, and I found myself liking him more as the story progressed.

 This is not a suspense novel, which is my favorite genre', but Trevor's time is taken up trying to unravel the mysteries of his grandfather's last days and the secrets of a teenage girl and the town's female deputy. The story had a lot of twists and turns, and more than one surprise. At one point it looked impossible that Trevor was going to get what he wanted, and I couldn't wait to find out how the author handled the big twist in his life.

  I like happy endings, and wasn't sure there was going to be one in this story, but the author did bring about a satisfying ending and all of the mysteries were solved. It left me feeling happy that I read and reviewed the book. Great read.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. All of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, with over 105 million copies sold worldwide, in more than 50 languages, including over 75 million copies in the United States alone.

Sparks wrote one of his best-known stories, The Notebook, over a period of six months at age 28. It was published in 1996 and he followed with the novels Message in a Bottle (1998), A Walk to Remember (1999), The Rescue (2000), A Bend in the Road (2001), Nights in Rodanthe (2002), The Guardian (2003), The Wedding (2003), True Believer (2005) and its sequel, At First Sight (2005), Dear John (2006), The Choice (2007), The Lucky One (2008), The Last Song (2009), Safe Haven (2010), The Best of Me (2011), The Longest Ride (2013), See Me (2015), Two by Two (2016) and Every Breath (2018) as well as the 2004 non-fiction memoir Three Weeks With My Brother, co-written with his brother Micah. His twenty-first novel, The Return, will be published on September 29, 2020.

Film adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels, including The Choice, The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven (on all of which he served as a producer), The Lucky One, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, Nights in Rodanthe, Dear John and The Last Song, have had a cumulative worldwide gross of over three-quarters of a billion dollars. The Notebook is also being adapted into a musical, featuring music and lyrics by Ingrid Michaelson.

Sparks lives in North Carolina. He contributes to a variety of local and national charities, and is a major contributor to the Creative Writing Program (MFA) at the University of Notre Dame, where he provides scholarships, internships, and a fellowship annually. He co-founded The Epiphany School in New Bern, North Carolina in 2006. As a former full scholarship athlete (he still holds a track and field record at the University of Notre Dame) he also spent four years coaching track and field athletes at the local public high school. In 2009, the team he coached at New Bern High School set a World Junior Indoor Record in the 4x400 meter, in New York. The record still stands.

The Nicholas Sparks Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit committed to improving cultural and international understanding through global education experiences for students of all ages was launched in 2011. Between the foundation, and the personal gifts of the Sparks family, more than $15 million dollars have been distributed to deserving charities, scholarship programs, and projects. Because the Sparks family covers all operational expenses of the foundation, 100% of donations are devoted to programs.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

The Escape, U.S. Marshals #1 by Lisa Harris

Book description: 

 How do you catch a fugitive who has nothing to lose?

US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn have orders to transport two high-profile prisoners across the country on a private plane. But when the plane experiences engine trouble en route from the Pacific Northwest to Colorado, the pilots crash-land the aircraft deep in the heart of the sprawling Salmon-Challis National Forest. 

With both pilots and one prisoner dead--and one fugitive on the run--Madison and Jonas must negotiate the rugged and remote backcountry as they track a murderer who is desperate to disappear . . . and will do anything to stop them.

My review:

   I enjoy reading books about the U.S. Marshals, but this one was different than the others I have read. The others I have read have been about WITSEC, which fascinates me. This book deals with Marshals transporting criminals, then chasing after one who escapes.

  Since most of the story is about a criminal on the run from the Marshals, the book is pretty much non-stop action as the Marshals try to figure out the bad guy's next move. I found it interesting and gripping as the story played out, knowing they would most likely catch the criminal eventually, but enjoying the suspense and process as that happened. 

 I am no expert on law enforcement, but I thought the author did a great job of portraying what a hunt for an escaped convict might look like, along with what that convict might do.

 Romance took a back seat in the story, and there was just a hint that the two main characters are headed towards some kind of romantic relationship, but that will evidently be developed in the next book. I did like the two main characters, and the interplay between them as they tracked down the bad guy. And it looks like the series is going to center on the same two characters, which is different.

  The book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, which has me already looking forward to the second book, which is too far off. But it was an excellent read, and the start of what appears to be a great series.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Lisa Harris is a USA Today bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than 40 books, including The Escape, The Traitor's Pawn, Vanishing Point, A Secret to Die For, and Deadly Intentions, as well as The Nikki Boyd Files and the Southern Crimes series, Harris and her family have spent over 17 years living as missionaries in southern Africa. She is currently stateside in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Learn more at

   The Escape is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Soul Raging, The Book of Wars #3 by Ronie Kendig


Book description: 

As Prophecies in the Book of the Wars Unfold, the Only Hope Is Uniting with the Enemy.

Leif Metcalfe is done waiting for answers and seizes control, a move that comes with a high price and a deadly risk: teaming up with the enemy. He can only pray what he uncovers will heal the wounds he's inflicted on those he loves.

Iskra Todorova refuses to believe Leif is irrevocably lost, despite evidence to the contrary. While trying to protect her daughter and track down Leif before it's too late, Iskra wonders if a member of the evil organization ArC has been in their midst since the beginning.

Torn apart by injuries and opposing views about Leif's treachery, team Reaper hunts one of their own. The only thing they agree on is not stopping but starting the final battle prophesied in the Book of the Wars.

My review:

   I have been looking forward to this third and last book in this series ever since the second one ended on a cliffhanger. And it was a major cliffhanger....Kendig left her readers wondering if he hero of the series was possibly on the wrong side.

   Soul Raging is full of non stop action bouncing back and forth between Germany and the US. I'll admit the author had me wondering who the good guys really were for parts of the book. Leif is a very likable character no matter where the reader thinks his loyalties lie. I admit there were times I wasn't sure what was going on or where the book was going, but it had me pulled in so deep I had to keep reading and hope for the best.

  The same characters were back from the first two books, and the interplay between them was interesting and entertaining. Iskra was one I didn't like at first, but she grew on me and became one of my favorite characters in the series.

 This was most likely the most suspenseful of the three books in the series, and the one that had the most action. This book is proof that Kendig just keeps getting better with each book and series she writes.

  I like happy endings, and Soul Raging had a great ending that left me with that satisfied feeling I have when I finish a great book.

I was provided a copy of this book for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.

About the author:

Ronie Kendig ( is the bestselling, award-winning author of over 20 novels. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her hunky hero are adventuring on the East Coast with their grown children, a retired military working dog, VVolt N629, and Benning the Stealth Golden. Ronie's degree in psychology has helped her pen novels with intense, raw characters.

  Soul Raging is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

                                                                         Book #1

                                                                           Book #2