Friday, July 23, 2021

The 5-Minute Visual Guide to the Bible by Michael Wittmer

 


Description

Want to read the Bible but find it daunting?

Wish there was a guide to simplify the overall storyline?

Think it would help to “see” the people, places, and events?

 

The 5-Minute Visual Guide to the Bible is designed to make scripture easier to approach. . .and come alive when you do. This brand-new guide keys beautiful, full-color illustrations—classic paintings, landscape and artifact photos, maps and charts—to a helpful chronological time line of God’s Word.


Inside, you’ll find clear, succinct descriptions of

major divisions

events

people

places

doctrines

of God’s Word, along with numerous related references if you’d like to study further.

 

The 5-Minute Visual Guide to the Bible will point you to the most important, interesting, and inspiring aspects of scripture, helping you to get more from your time in God’s Word.

My review:

  I thought this looked like a cool book, so I requested it to review. It is not a huge book, coming in at 294 pages, but there is a lot packed into those pages. It covers from Creation up through Jesus' return, and has a lot of short informational facts about each person or topic.

 The book is also filled with a lot of pictures. There are artists' versions of Bible characters and other things along with a lot of photographs of the Holy Land and other subjects and places. At the end of the book is a few pages of all of the Scriptures referenced and used throughout the book.

  I found the book interesting and informative, and also enjoyable with all of the pictures and photographs. If one knows their Bible very well, this may seem an elementary kind of book, yet even the most knowledgeable Bible scholar should be able to enjoy a book such as this. I found it interesting to have so much of the Bible visualized in the pictures, and it would make a great tool to keep handy when reading and studying the Bible. It is definitely an attractive and far from boring book, and is one I would recommend......especially to new Christians and/or those not too familiar with the Bible.

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

 The 5 Minute Visual Guide to the Bible is available from Barbour Publishing. 

 

 

The Chase, U.S. Marshals #2 by Lisa Harris

Book description:

 Failure isn't an option

US Marshal Madison James may not be sure who shot her three months ago, but she does know one thing--it's time to get back out into the field. When her partner, Jonas Quinn, receives a message that a federal warrant just came in on a man connected to a string of bank robberies, Madison jumps at the chance to get back to work. What she and Jonas find is a bank robbery gone wrong--and things are about to get complicated.

For these bank robbers, it's never been about the money. It's about taking risks and adrenaline rushes, and getting caught is not part of the game. When the suspects escape, Madison and Jonas must hunt them down and bring them to justice before someone else--someone close to them--gets hurt . . . or worse.


My review:

  Eleven years ago, was the first time I reviewed a book by this author. It was good, and I enjoyed it.....but she has so surpassed that book in recent years to become one of my favorite authors. This series may be her best yet.

 The previous book ended on a cliffhanger, and this book picks up where it left off. This series is different from most Christian suspense series in that it has the same two main characters throughout it, and - slight spoiler - there is no immediate happily ever after that includes a engagement and wedding. The romance factor is there, especially in this book, but it is a slow part of the book that kind of takes a back seat to everything else.

 The Chase is totally different than The Escape. This book involves bank robbers on the run, and the book is filled with non stop action, suspense, and chasing of bad guys. There is also the plot of solving the murder of Madison's husband five years ago that covers all three books in the series.

 I thoroughly enjoyed this book and saved it for an evening I could read without having to put it down. It had a great conclusion to the book, yet left me wanting more and eager to see the five year old murder case solved. I also enjoyed seeing more character development of the two main characters that you don't normally see in a series that has different main characters in each book. I cannot wait for the last book in the series coming April 2022, The Catch.

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 forty books, including The Escape, The Chase, 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 www.lisaharriswrites.com.

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

The books should definitely be read in order.


                                                                 Book #1 The Escape


                                                   Book #3 The Catch, coming April 2022



Friday, June 25, 2021

Before, Jared's Story, Forlorn Series Prequel by Gina Detwiler

Book description:


 Before Jared met Grace, he had lived several lifetimes of heartbreak, struggle, loneliness, and sometimes joy. His father tried to kill him, and his family shunned him for an original sin he didn’t truly understand until he came face to face with true evil and discovered the demon within himself.

Born in the mid-nineteenth century to a family of itinerant circus performers, Jared didn’t understand why his body grew so slowly or why his parents were ashamed of him and tried to hide him from the world. Through the years he discovered more disturbing things about himself—his unusual strength, the way his body healed with remarkable speed, and the “shadow people” who whispered dark and terrible things in his ear. Only music seemed to subdue their wicked urgings, and the prayers of his mother, the one person in his life who had loved him.

He soon came to realize that he was a danger to the world, and it would be better if he left it alone. But the more he tried, the more he was drawn into a whirlwind of darkness and evil from which he couldn’t escape.

My review:
  I have read and reviewed all three books in the Forlorn Series...and enjoyed them, even though they are written for teens. :)

  This is a prequel to the series, and gives the back story on Jared and where he came from before his explosive entrance in the first book in the series.

 Jared is an extremely likable character in the series, and though the series is fictional, it was still cool to have the author come up with a history for him. It makes the other books even more interesting after reading it.

 It was a great and enjoyable read, though shorter than the others, written in the great style that Detwiler used in her other books. As I said before, these books are a great alterative to the vampire and other weird books on the market for teens.

  If one has not read this series yet, I would recommend reading the prequel first. Even though it is a great addition to the series after reading it, it would definitely be a plus to read it first.


About the author:


Gina Detwiler was planning to be a teacher but switched to writing so she wouldn't have to get up so early in the morning. She is the co-author with bestselling author and speaker Priscilla Shirer of The Prince Warrior series for middle grade readers. She has also written the novels Hammer of God and Avalon under the name Gina Miani.

 Check out her website: Ginadetwiler.com

Come Back to Me, Waters of Time #1 by Jody Hedlund

Book description:
 

The ultimate cure that could heal any disease? Crazy.

That's exactly what research scientist Marian Creighton has always believed about her father's quest, even if it does stem from a desire to save her sister from the genetic disease that stole their mother from them. But when her father falls into a coma after drinking a vial of holy water believed to contain traces of residue from the Tree of Life, Marian must question all of her assumptions. He's left behind tantalizing clues that suggest he's crossed back in time. Insane. Until Marian tests his theories and finds herself in the Middle Ages during a dangerous peasant uprising.

William Durham, a valiant knight, comes to Marian's rescue and offers her protection . . . as his wife. The longer Marian stays in the past, the more she cares about William. Can she ever find her father and make it back to the present to heal her sister? And when the time comes to leave, will she want to?

Bestselling author Jody Hedlund is your guide down the twisting waters of time to a volatile era of superstition, revolts, and chivalry in this suspenseful story.

My review:
 
  Before requesting this book to review, I had never read anything by this author. After requesting it, I started looking at her books, and ordered several.....6 of which I have read before reading this one, and I have enjoyed every one of them.

 Come Back to Me is different from her other books. #1 They are all historical, and this one starts in the present and goes back and forth between the present and future. #2. This is a time travel book, a first for Hedlund.

  In my opinion, the book felt like it had a slow start, but it picked up after not too many pages, and turned into one of those page turners I didn't want to put down. Hedlund did an excellent job of describing scientific and physical jargon in regards to diseases and cures, and I also thought she is an outstanding job on the historical aspects of the book. I felt myself pulled into the drama of 1382 along with William, Marian, and others.....and loved the view of that time through a modern day woman suddenly thrust into that time.

 And yes, time travel is not possible....but Hedlund brought out some really cool aspects of it, along with possible fallouts and what could happen lingering between two times.

 I loved the characters. Marian wasn't overly likable at first, but that changed. William was a totally awesome character all around, and the developing romance between two vastly different individuals from time periods 800 years a part was beyond interesting.

 I wasn't sure how the book was going to end, but it has an amazing end that left me satisfied and happy I read the book. It is the first in a series, so I am eager to see what the author has in mind for other time travel books in this series.

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


About the author:


Jody Hedlund (www.jodyhedlund.com) is the bestselling author of more than thirty historical novels for both adults and teens, including Come Back to Me, and is the winner of numerous awards, including the Christy, Carol, and Christian Book Awards. Jody lives in Michigan with her husband, busy family, and five spoiled cats. She loves to imagine that she really can visit the past, although she's yet to accomplish the feat, except via the many books she reads.

Come Back to Me is available from Revell Publishing, part of the Baker Publishing Group.

Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Power Play, Capital Intrigue #3 by Rachel Dylan

 

Book description:


Trapped in a dangerous game, can she counter the enemy's deadly power play?

When Vivian Steele, an attorney at the State Department, witnesses two ambassadors collapse as if poisoned at a diplomatic dinner in Washington, DC, she is recruited to be a member of a joint FBI task force assigned to investigate. But she soon finds her by-the-book ways clashing with a special agent in the Diplomatic Security Service, Jacob Cruz. A former Navy SEAL and in charge of the event's security, Jacob takes the attack personally and is driven to act quickly, unhampered by rules and regulations.

As Viv starts to work her diplomatic sources, her past as a State Department lawyer comes back to haunt her, and secrets held tightly by the government thrust her into a web of danger. Afraid, she turns to the one man bent on protecting others. But can she accept Jacob's reckless ways as exactly what she needs to stay alive and to discover the truth behind the attacks?


My review:

  This is the second series of books I have read by this author, and I have enjoyed every book in both series. 

  I like books where there is a task force comprised of people from multiple law enforcement and government agencies, and Power Play had that. Though the main characters were Jacob and Vivian, the book also focused on the investigations of some of the others also.

 I enjoyed this book as much as the others. There was a lot of suspense as they investigated a murder, and a possible second one. There was a lot going on in the book, and CIA secrets played a big part in the story. I started reading the book, and did end up reading it in one sitting. It had a terrific plot, characters, and suspense. There were things I saw coming, and also some surprises. Both main characters were likable, but Jacob especially was, and more so after his back story was given. The interplay between the two was very entertaining, especially at the beginning of the book when they didn't really like each other and were put together to work.

 The book had a very satisfactory conclusion, and wrapped up a couple of crimes being solved. As always, the guy got the girl, and even that was an enjoyable part of the story. This book was a great conclusion to 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: 


Rachel Dylan (www.racheldylan.com) is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade, including being a litigator at one of the nation's top law firms. Her Atlanta Justice series has won the Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and the FHL Reader's Choice Award. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats.


Power Play is available from Bethany House Publishers, part of the Baker Publishing Group. 


                                                                             Book #1




                                                                            Book #2



Friday, May 28, 2021

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

Book description:
 

Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile's life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him--and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there's no one they can trust--except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out.


My review:

 Never Miss is this author's first solo effort in Christian fiction. She previously co-authored a book in the Coffey and Hill Series with Mike Nappa. The book description intrigued me, so I requested it to review and was not disappointed. It was a fast-paced suspenseful read. With all the controversy and theories about Covid, it made this book all the more interesting with the theory of the Ebola virus being man-made. 

  Lyndon and Kandance were great characters, and not only totally different from each other, they were also different from the typical characters in this type of book. She a former sniper for the CIA coming from a family of assassins, and he a quiet guy with three doctorates, yet not the typical geek that the casual observer would assume him to be, nor arrogant or a braggart about his degrees and accomplishments.  And Mac the Maine Coon cat made an interesting addition to the cast of characters.

  Never Miss is a page turner and very difficult to put down. There is a lot happening in it, and you never know what is coming next. The plot of the book - that the Ebola virus may be man-made and is about to be weaponized - was an excellent plot that is not that far-fetched in these times.

 The romance element was well done, and interesting to watch develop between two so totally different people, as was the faith angle. Kandance was shocked and found it hard to believe a guy like Lyndon believed in God and had a relationship with him, and in the end the book showed that even an assassin is not beyond redemption. 

 This was an excellent read, and I am looking forward to more from this author.

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


About the author:


Melissa Koslin is a fourth-degree black belt in and certified instructor of Songahm Taekwondo. In her day job as a commercial property manager, she secretly notes personal quirks and funny situations, ready to tweak them into colorful additions for her books. She and Corey, her husband of twenty years, live in Jacksonville, Florida, where they do their best not to melt in the sun. Find more information on her books at MelissaKoslin.com.


Never Miss is available from Revell, part of the Baker Publishing Group. Thanks to Revell for the review copy.

Monday, May 17, 2021

Love Found in Cranberry Cove, Cranberry Cove #2 by June Foster

Book description:


 Gracie Mayberry wants to study marine science at the community college in a neighboring coastal town. But a degree takes money, and she must remain in Cranberry Cove to help her mother support her disabled father who lost both legs while serving his country and now suffers from PTSD. She leaves her job at Starbucks to work at The Inn at Cranberry Cove while the owner is on maternity leave. When the sophisticated, good looking Blake Sloan arrives at the inn, she's attracted to the guy with eyes the color of rich honey.

Seattle resident Blake Sloan takes time off from his job in his father's thriving fishing vessel company. He admits he's followed his father's dream instead of his heart's desire—to run his own business and start a non-profit to benefit wounded vets. When he meets Gracie's father, he's sure God has placed the longing within him.

But when a stalker makes terrifying midnight visits to the humble Mayberry home and threatens their lives, Blake discovers he's also a target of extortion.

Can Blake and Gracie learn who's behind the danger that threatens them? Will a small-town girl and big-city boy find a life together?


My review:

    I enjoyed the first book in this series, and loved the setting of both the town and Inn. I was happy to find out there was a sequel coming, and it is now out.

  Again the setting is mostly around the inn, though this book has two different main characters. This book has a bit more suspense than the first, which is my favorite genre'.

 Blake and Gracie were very likable characters, and since this is a romantic suspense novel, there is a romance brewing between them fairly early on in the book amidst the suspense element of the book. I had my suspicions about the identity of the bad guy, and was happy to find out I was right. Though it is also cool when I can't figure that out in a book.

 The book was an enjoyable read, and I am hoping there is more to come in this series.

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

About the author:

An award-winning author, June Foster is also a retired teacher with a BA in Education and  MA in


Counseling. She is the mother of two and grandmother of ten. June began writing Christian romance in 2010. She penned her first novel on her Toshiba laptop as she and her husband traveled the US in their RV. Her adventures provided a rich source of information for her novels. June enjoys writing stories about characters who overcome the circumstances in their lives by the power of God and His Word. June uses her training in counseling and her Christian beliefs in creating characters who find the path to live godly lives.


Check out her website at JuneFoster.com