Thursday, August 31, 2017

COLTS vs Bengals


Aim for the end zone!

Devil in the Dust


Title:  Devil in the Dust

Author:  Cara Luecht

Pages:  308

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Heritage Beacon Fiction

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Cara Luecht writes a type of fiction that grabs the attention and heart of readers while developing a truly intriguing story.  Here readers read about a small town barely hanging on during a drought that has already lasted three years.  Many of the residents who are still living there remember when the grass was green and the wheat fields abundant.  Now, when they see a black cloud forming on the horizon, it isn’t for a coming rainstorm but a horrible dust storm that can last for days.

The local merchant’s brother comes roaring into this setting with a new car, clothes and a reason he refuses to state.  Randall Mitchell is going after the only girl who is young enough to interest him and she believes that in him she can assist caring for her family because he presents a rich front.  What begins to unravel is a man who has come with sinister reasons and a dark secret.  Will he be found out?

The story really had me wondering what was going to happen to several of the town’s residents whether it was during a dust storm, spiritually or otherwise.  Cara writes very interesting tales that I find myself easily drawn into and coming away feeling I won’t forget the book any time soon.  The Owen’s family, which is at the center of the story, will grab your heart and inspire hope against hopelessness that life will turn out for the better. 

Enjoy the book and perhaps share with a family member or friend!


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

HaYesod: The Sabbath


Title:  HaYesod:  The Sabbath

Year:  2017

Publisher:  First Fruits of Zion (FFOZ)

Website:  https://ffoz.com/hayesod-program/the-sabbath/

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I just concluded my second study from FFOZ, which was a 10-week in-depth Bible study on The Sabbath.  The material was extremely enlightening and life changing!  I was taught some history, Sabbath practices, and so much more.  Like the first study I did with this ministry, I streamed the videos and then worked in the student workbook on the material taught.  There was much that touched my heart and I am in awe of all that God has shown me!  Now, what that is going to look like in practice I have yet to know, but I am seeking His wisdom so I can follow His leading.

The teachers and materials are not out to bring division or have people leave their churches.  No way!  In fact, they encourage people to worship where they are though now with a clearer understanding of the Sabbath and how it can be practiced biblically.  I found some of the lessons just astounding as at times when short trips via video to Israel helped me understand the basis of what is taught from Genesis to Revelation.

I know I won’t be the same after what I learned and will continue to be learning through reading, studying and discussing with a friend.  So much of what is taught I had never heard before and what is extremely attractive about the ministry is their heart not to cause division but to teach.  In the back of the book is an extensive bibliography so that people like myself can read and study further from both Gentile and Jewish sources.  I recommend HaYesod: The Foundation first before starting this study, but go with whatever God places on your heart. You will never regret going deeper with God!

Coming soon....heads up!


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness & Friendship


Title:  Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness & Friendship

Author:  Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins with Mark Tabb

Pages:  224

Year:  2017

Publisher:  WaterBrook

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

This book is about two men who came across one another at a store in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  One is a white cop and the other is a black man buying groceries for his son.  It is on this day (February 8, 2006), that Jameel McGee was arrested for something he didn’t do.  Andrew Collins is the cop who arrested him for possession of drugs with the intention to distribute.  Jameel is confused and angry about the unlawful arrest.  He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.  He’s not some big-time drug dealer that the cops are after.  Collins is convinced that Jameel is a drug dealer and arrests him after finding dope in “his” car.  To ensure that another drug dealer is off the streets of Benton Harbor, Collins lies on his report and to the court about Jameel, sending him to prison for the next three years.

Angry and filled with a desire for revenge, Jameel McGee waits for the chance to pay back the cop who ruined his life.  But while in prison, Jameel is called by God to let go of his anger and that He’s got it. Jameel learns to let go of his revenge and his anger and after three years behind bars, he is set free. Collins faces the consequences for his unlawful actions.  He is caught with drugs that he had been using as extra evidence against drug dealers and gaining extra money for himself illegally.  He loses his job as a cop and soon afterwards is sent to prison for the next 18 months.

The two men are eventually reunited in Benton Harbor and from there they embark on a journey of forgiveness and redemption.  From that journey, they will learn about the power of forgiveness and grace that lets God back into their lives.  They will discover things about themselves and how no matter what storms come their way in life, God is always in control.

I would recommend this book to others because it is a powerful true story of forgiveness and redemption.  Because of our fallen nature, we tend to think we got this or we can fix that when life throws a curve ball at us.  We often fail to turn to God for help.  Sometimes the bad experiences we have are God’s way of testing our relationship with Him or getting us to come back to Him.  When we let our pride or our unwillingness to let God be in control of our lives, things go from bad to worse.  God’s grace works wonders in a person’s life when he or she is willing to forgive and ask God for forgiveness for all the hurt and the pain that has been done to them and the suffering they have caused others. Taking responsibility for these wrong actions takes a lot of courage and humility.  I would ask others to recognize that this isn’t just a true story about two men getting over what some people may call racial prejudice, but something much deeper than that, something spiritual.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 28, 2017

Fatal Trust Author: Todd M. Johnson


Title:  Fatal Trust

Author:  Todd M. Johnson

Pages:  345

Year:  2017

Publisher:  BethanyHouse

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Ian Wells is a young attorney who has taken over his lawyer father’s partnership of an estate and trust firm.  He has been gradually weaning the trust business as his interest is criminal law.  His mother is suffering from the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s and his business on the criminal law front hasn’t picked up yet and his father didn’t leave his mother too set financially.  He is financially strained to say the least.  Then, he learns of a malpractice suit served to his firm and he has let the malpractice insurance lapse due to not having the money to pay the premium.  He receives a call from a new potential client promising big bucks.  He needs the money, but this case seems too good to be true.  What is the catch?

With really no choice, Ian takes the case of investigating three individuals who are due to inherit a large trust fund.  If they have had no provable criminal activity in the past twenty years, then they will receive their share.  As Ian quickly discovers, there is much more involved in this case than he could ever imagine.  With the help of his college friend who is a lawyer at the U. S. Attorney’s Office, Ian begins his research.  The more he discovers, the more questions are raised and the more the danger increases.  Ian doesn’t yet know it, but this case will change his life if he lives long enough.

What a great story!  After the first few chapters set the stage and give some history of the characters, the story takes off with something always going on.  For those who like thrillers like me, there is plenty of action, suspense, mystery and danger included in this riveting tale.  I liked the fast pace as it kept me involved and not being able to put the book down until I read the very last word!  Ian has many stressors in life just like me; I could relate to some, but thankfully mine aren’t life-threatening like his!  I liked the interplay between Ian and Brook; I would like to read a sequel in which their relationship is explored further.  This author always writes exciting books and this one is no exception.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

DAni Pettrey's forthcoming novel!

Friday, August 25, 2017

A Pearl in the Sand


Title:  A Pearl in the Sand

Author:  Tessa Afshar

Pages:  320

Year:  2010

Publisher:  River North (Moody Publishers)

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Rahab is a young girl who at the age of 15 is sold into prostitution to support her family.  This marked her as a prostitute from that moment on.  After that, she chose her clients with care and kept the number as few as possible.  She wanted nothing to do with men, but had to earn a living.  When she sees two foreign men trying to enter her city, Jericho, she immediately intercedes on their behalf.  She has heard rumors of the Hebrews and their God and the battles they have won.  Jericho is next on their hit list and Rahab is confidant their God will give them Jericho.  She hides the two men from searching soldiers and discovers they are indeed Hebrew spies sent to check out Jericho’s fortifications.  In return for saving them, they promise her safety for herself and anyone in her home when they attack.

Salmone oversees a large division of the tribe of Judah.  He is assigned by Joshua of the task of preparing Rahab and her family to enter the Hebrew encampment after the fall of Jericho.  Salmone wants nothing to do with them as he views them as possible spies or traitors perhaps working for Hebrews’ enemies.  However, Rahab’s determination to follow God and her continual demonstrations of her faith in Him win over Salmone’s sister and a few other Hebrews, but many still see her and her family as pagans.  Can Rahab and her family endure in this environment?

While this novel is a fictional tale recounting the story of Rahab, I loved the author’s take on this event.  The willingness and patience Salmone exhibited in pursuing Rahab was remarkable.  Did he have moments of frustration and rudeness to her and others?  You bet he did, but he didn’t give up and he sought the Lord’s guidance.  He wanted what was best for Rahab when every other person in her life had only used her for what they wanted then discarded her.  Rahab learned that she had value to others, but more importantly she had value to God.  Even if everyone else left her, God never would.  Seeing her growth in faith and her worth to God as well as Salmone’s growth in patience and acceptance of those unlike himself was marvelous to read.  I have read all of this author’s fictional offerings and am definitely a fan!  I would highly recommend any of her books as her writing will draw readers into the pages to engage in faith-filled stories based on biblical characters that will entertain for hours!

Check this out!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express (A Hercule Poirot Mystery)



Title:  Murder on the Orient Express (A Hercule Poirot Mystery)

Author:  Agatha Christie

Pages:  288

Year:  2011

Publisher:  William Morrow Paperback

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I never read the book until I learned that a movie was coming out later this year based on the novel.  There was a movie released with many well-known actors and actresses in 1974.  Since some friends wouldn’t tell me how the movie ended, I decided to read the book then watch the older version of the movie.  I was very glad that the ending was not revealed to me.  Agatha Christie wrote an exceptional tale that has a few red herrings, making the process of figuring out who done the deed challenging!

What an exceptional and talented author she was to write a compelling mystery, yet never revealing too much so that the ending came as a complete surprise!  The only hard part for me in reading the book were the small phrases written in French that I didn’t know, which made it a little harder to figure out what was happening in a of the couple scenes.

All I can encourage readers to do is read the book, enjoy the older version before seeing the new version in theatres later in 2017!  You don’t want to miss one fantastic well-written mystery by an exceptional author!



Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Window on Mount Zion


Title:  Window on Mount Zion

Author:  Pauline Rose

Pages:  148

Year:  3rd Edition 2016

Publisher:  Vine of David (https://ffoz.com/window-on-mount-zion-book.html)

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

My interest in reading this book about Pauline Rose was that I was made aware of the history of the 6-Day War in Israel.  God gave Pauline and her husband Albert a desire to return to Israel from London for many reasons.  Before they embarked on their adventure Pauline was given a vision of planting a flourishing garden in the land where it was quite desolate.  While many obstacles came across their path they persevered in prayer and faith, and in God’s time it all came to be a reality.

As I read about this remarkable woman’s heart, faith and work to see a garden planted and flourishing, I was in awe of the One God of Israel.  These two people met many different guests and visitors to their home.  They welcomed, cared for and loved each person whether their beliefs were the same or not.  They lived under constant threat of being killed by a soldier or problems with the bureaucracy at that time regarding staying on Mount Zion.

I really pray and hope you take time to read and allow their testimony to touch your heart and re-ignite the fire for the One True God!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Promise of Breeze Hill (A Natchez Trace Novel)


Title:  The Promise of Breeze Hill (A Natchez Trace Novel)

Author:  Pam Hillman

Pages:  408

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

My rating is 4 stars out of 5 stars.

The year is 1791 and the place is Natchez Under-the-Hill.  Isabella Bartholomew finds herself in charge of the crops, the plantation, her recently widowed and pregnant sister-in-law, her injured father who is slowly recovering from burns suffered in a house fire as well as hiring a carpenter to repair the damage done to her home by a fire.  She has a good head for numbers and is talented at drawing up potential house plans, but when it comes to business she learns it is very much a man’s world.  Therefore, she enlists the help of her new carpenter, Connor O’Shea.  He has indentured himself to the Bartholomews in exchange for passage from Ireland to America for his four brothers.

Connor begins work on clearing debris left from the fire so he can begin rebuilding an entire wing of the plantation home.  He isn’t thrilled to be working for a woman, but keeps in mind his end goal of bringing his brothers to America.  They begin to work together and sparks fly.  Connor also discovers a dangerous group of men who are riding across Breeze Hill property at night.  Are they the ones responsible for Isabella’s brother’s murder?  He begins to wonder if the fire that destroyed a third of the home as well as some of their cotton crop was set on purpose.  Since the mourning period is almost over for Isabella in regards to her brother, suitors begin to come calling.  They all live nearby and have their eye on the many acres of Breeze Hill as well as the beautiful Isabella.  Connor has had a bad experience with a woman from the upper class before, so he is wary of his feelings for Isabella and her feelings for him.  Can he trust her not to break his heart?

I loved the setting of this story and could visualize the plantation home in my mind, the clothes worn and the crops in the fields.  The plot was predictable, but nonetheless a pleasure to read.  The chemistry between Connor and Isabella was believable and got me engaged in the story right away.  Isabella’s anger with God was realistic and her questions to Him valid.  Her sudden realization of her life from God’s perspective and His will was authentic as well as how she had been acting toward Him was a real “aha” moment for her.  I also liked Connor’s protectiveness toward Isabella.  I hope there are more books in the works in this series because I will definitely be reading them!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 21, 2017

HaYesod: The Foundation



Title:  HaYesod: The Foundation

Publisher:  First Fruits of Zion

Year:  2015

Website:  http://hayesod.ffoz.org/

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

The book is a 10-week in-depth Bible study about the Land, The People, and The Scriptures of Israel.  On the website, you may stream the videos for a minimal fee or purchase the DVDs of all 10 lessons.  What is the study all about?  Well, it helped me understand the land of Israel, the Jewish people and how understanding the Bible within the Jewish framework really expanded my knowledge of Jesus.

But that is not all this study did for me; it also helped me understand why I believe what I believe and areas in my belief system that needed correction.  For a while, I have been searching for more than just listening to sermons based on topics as I found that I remembered little to nothing shortly after church service was over.  Frankly, I was a frustrated Christian woman who loved Israel and longed to go deeper into the truth of the Word of God.

When searching on the internet for a study I could do at home at my own pace and that challenged me, by the grace of God I found First Fruits of Zion ministry.  Their loving approach to teaching people truth without judgment really impacted me.  The study takes time as a video lasts a little over an hour and the study material can take an additional 45 minutes or a little longer, depending on each person.

I highly recommend that people check out this ministry and commit to studying HaYesod.  I’ve been transformed in my heart, challenged and left desiring more food from God’s Word than I have in a long time.  My heart will never be the same as I continue to seek God, understanding and what He would have me do with what He has shown me.  If you are looking for a challenge, or wanting to go deeper into God’s Word and experience a renewed joy of drawing near to God, please consider looking and doing the Bible study HaYesod!

Elul

Friday, August 18, 2017

Catching the Wind



Title:  Catching the Wind

Author:  Melanie Dobson

Pages:  399

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Tyndale

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This is a wonderful story about two German children in the 1940s, who despite their age are able to escape the Gestapo and make it to England where they are separated.  Dietmar is a 13-year-old boy and Brigitte Berthold is a 10-year-old girl; they are best friends.  Their parents are unexpectedly taken prisoners by German soldiers as they are suspected of harboring Jewish fugitives and are anti-Nazi.  Dietmar has an aunt who lives in England and when his mother tells him to run that is where he runs toward with Brigitte in tow.  They survive some scary situations with Dietmar acting the protector, telling Brigitte he would search for her and find her if they were somehow separated during their journey.  At journey’s end, they are separated and for over seventy years Dietmar has been searching for Brigitte.  To aid in his final search as he is now 90 years old, he hires investigative reporter Quenby Vaughn.

Quenby Vaughn is a young woman with a gift for researching and writing compelling stories.  She is working on a story that involves a prominent British family possibly housing German spies and supporting Hitler secretly.  She uncovers some clues, but the owner of her newspaper suddenly cancels her story and forces Quenby to take a vacation.  While on vacation, Quenby decides to take up Mr. Knight’s offer to try to find his long-lost friend Brigitte.  Mr. Knight’s attorney, Lucas Hough, is to be part of the search team.  Lucas is a young man from a wealthy family who appears arrogant at first as he and Quenby lock horns.  However, once they begin talking they both let down their walls and become friends with a possibility of something more.

This was one book I had a hard time putting down!  The story drew me in with characters I came to care about and mystery and history that kept me glued to the pages.  I liked the use of flashbacks to the 1940s to get the story of Brigitte and Dietmar, then back to the present with Quenby and Lucas hunting down clues in their search for Brigitte.  What they uncover about Brigitte as well as themselves will change their lives.  The themes of loyalty, honor, faith, friendship and so much more are included.  I also applaud the faith and presence of God highlighted throughout the story.  The way the author ties everything together at the end is fascinating!  I would recommend this book as it will stay in the reader’s mind as one they will not soon forget.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Enemy Action (The Blitz Detective #3)


Title:  Enemy Action (The Blitz Detective #3)

Author:  Mike Hollow

Pages:  318

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Lion Fiction

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This is a series that is right up my alley!  It is British, historical (WWII era) and police procedural.  This is one of my favorite genres and I am glad I have found a new author!  This is the third book in the series and while it could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading the books in order as there are references made in this book to prior events that occurred in the other two books of the series.

The air raid siren announces the need to take shelter.  People head to the concrete bunkers built in the middle of the road that are supposed to be protection from the bombs dropped by the Germans.  Tell that to Jack Ramsey who winds up dead in one and not from a bomb, but from a stab wound.  He is murdered and discovered by a local 13-year-old boy who is out collecting shrapnel to trade.  Not much is known initially about the man, but it is soon discovered that he is a conscientious objector.  Feelings run high against someone labeled a “conchie”, so did someone kill him for his stance against the war?  Inspector Jago and Constable Cradock are on the case.  As they pursue clues, more suspects emerge with hidden ties to one another.  Who took the final step to murder?

I really like the setting of this series.  I have learned about various aspects of WWII that I didn’t know before including about the deplorable conditions of these shelters, how the war effected the educational system in London and how these bombings effected lives.  I think it is an important reminder for this generation about the awful effects of war and what our great-grandparents or grandparents experienced.  The two characters of Inspector Jago and Constable Cradock work well together, with Cradock providing some lightness when needed and Jago reigning the younger man in when needed.  The potential romance of Inspector Jago and an American female journalist an interesting side story.  I look forward to the next mystery Jago and Cradock encounter next!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finding Amanda


Title:  Finding Amanda

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  268

Year:  2015

Publisher:  JDO Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The cover of the book quickly grabbed my attention and when I read the synopsis, I knew I wanted to read this book.  Here is a tale about Amanda Johnson who is married to a popular chef and blogger.   Amanda’s past that she revealed privately to her husband years later is one she now wants to make known through her memoir.  Amanda is a survivor of abuse by her psychiatrist and now that he knows what she plans on publishing, he is coming after her and plans on successfully keeping her this time.

For me, it was very moving story of restoration of Amanda’s heart and her life.  There are many twists and turns in the plot along with the feeling of impending, even deathly danger.  I was left waiting for it as I kept turning pages.  I felt for Amada’s husband as he was reeling from her wanting separation.  Remember, this is a work of fiction not fact and doesn’t reflect on the field of the many doctors who are trustworthy.

I thought the author did a great job of showing the husband’s perseverance with God’s help in standing with Amanda.  Both characters are learning at different times and ways that God is the one who can do more than they could ask or think.  The author does a fantastic job of showing the heartache, pain and time it takes to allow God to work in hearts to bring about forgiveness, restoration and renewal of joy!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)


Title:  A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1)
Author:  Roseanna M. White
Pages:  429
Year:  2017
Publisher:  BethanyHouse
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Peter Holstein is a wealthy recluse who spends his time tapping away on his typewriter locked up in his study all day.  What is he typing all day?  Subversive letters against England and pro-Germany in these days of 1914 when countries are bristling against one another and on the brink of war?  That’s what Rosemary Gresham wonders upon first meeting him.  He has hired her to organize his extensive library and find certain documents that will prove his loyalty to England.  Rosemary has been sent by the mysterious Mr. V to find out if Peter is truly loyal to England or putting words in the King of England’s ear and is really embracing his German citizenship.  Rosemary faces a daunting task as she has had no formal education and is a child of the streets who has become an expert thief.  She is undercover to earn money for her large family that could feed and clothe them for a long time.  She is there to do the job and leave, but she soon finds herself enjoying her written exchanges with the quiet manor owner.  She knows he prefers writing due to his stuttering, so she adopts his method and writes back to him.  They soon form a friendship, but Rosemary must search for the truth without Peter knowing it or Mr. V will turn her in to the police for her thieving.  She begins to realize she is going to have to make a choice, one that will change many lives.
There were some very tender moments in this story, causing me to tear up occasionally.  The romance is gentle, but the faith revealed by Peter Holstein is wonderful!  He lives his faith daily and isn’t afraid to let others know of his beliefs.  He thinks of others first and tries his best to give godly advice and guidance.  He has a sense of humor, too!  He was my favorite character, although Rosemary ran a close second.  She is witty, scrappy, gritty and compassionate.  She stands up for those who need protection or those who have been wronged and she isn’t afraid of what anyone will think of her doing so.  She knows right from wrong, but has made some wrong choices out of necessity.  She realizes her life needs to change and makes the change needed without hesitation.  The book was a bit too long for me, but that is the only negative thing I found.  The scene where the Prince of England visits was just precious!
Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Soldier Who Killed a King


Title:  The Soldier Who Killed a King

Author:  David Kitz

Pages:  288

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

This story is about Marcus Longinus, a Roman centurion in Jerusalem in 33 A.D.  The last thing for this soldier who is tormented by his past to expect is for Jesus of Nazareth to enter Jerusalem on a donkey as a king and perform miracles.  He heals the sick and the crippled, he raises the dead to life, and proclaims that the kingdom of heaven has come.  While Marcus cannot deny the goodness of this man, he is nevertheless disturbed by Him.  For on His entry into Jerusalem, Jesus turns to Marcus and he hears a voice in his head, “I have a future for you”.  Marcus feels small and doesn’t understand these words.  He fears to be around Jesus and doesn’t want anything to do with Him.  However, forces beyond his control are at work.  There are those in power who want Jesus dead.  The fate of Jesus and Marcus seems tied together and it seems Marcus might be the one who nails Jesus to the cross at Golgotha.

I would recommend this book to others because it is a great retelling of the last week of Jesus’ life here on earth.  I like how it stays true to what the Bible says happened during that time and how it is told through the eyes of Gentiles.  Now obviously, Marcus is made up and is supposed to be the Roman soldier who confessed that Jesus was the Son of God (see Luke 23:47), but it makes the story unique.  I also like how it stays true to the history of the enmity between a lot of the Jews and the Romans at that time when Israel was under Roman occupation.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, August 11, 2017

Justice Buried (Memphis Cold Case Series #2)


Title:  Justice Buried (Memphis Cold Case Series #2)

Author:  Patricia Bradley

Pages:  384

Year:  2017

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The series begins with the first novel titled, Justice Delayed that was released earlier in 2017.  Now, readers will enjoy book two in the series, Justice Buried that for me was more thrilling than the first novel!  The main female character named Kelsey Allen is a woman who has guarded her heart for years, carried pain from her past and turned into one of the best athletic and daring women in her family.

Kelsey’s father disappeared over 20 years ago and is suspected of robbing the very museum of artifacts he oversaw, but did he?  She is hired to be an undercover curator at the same museum her father once worked at, but only few people know her true identity.  Kelsey was adopted by a man named Sam whom her mother married when Kelsey was very young; therefore, her different last name doesn’t reveal her biological father.

Kelsey loves her sister Sabra and niece Lily who loves to rock climb with her aunt and seems to love danger and adventure as much as Kelsey.  Life becomes a deadly game when someone begins actively going after Kelsey, involving a police detective named Brad Hollister.  Kelsey isn’t too thrilled as they knew each other in high school and it wasn’t a positive or close friendship.

Now her life is in Brad’s hands and Kelsey isn’t just going to sit around and wait for someone to come after her if she has any say in the matter.  What will keep readers turning pages for hours is the danger doggedly on Kelsey’s heels and the many attempts on her life.  The way this tale is written kept me guessing who the responsible party was and how the author was going to write about the blooming relationship between Kelsey and Brad.

Grab a copy and hold on!  It’s a great suspense filled story just waiting for you to enjoy!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)


Title:  Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)

Author:  Nancy Mehl

Pages:  249

Year:  2010

Publisher:  Barbour Publishing

My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

I have read all of Nancy Mehl’s more recent books and was happy to discover she had written this mystery series earlier in her career.  The story is set in Wichita, Kansas in the present.  Hilde Higgins is a young, single woman with a very interesting and some might say strange job.  She is a hairdresser for the deceased.  She styles the hair of dead people before their funeral services.  Her mother is not happy with her career choice, especially since she quit college to pursue this job.

Hilde is called to one of the local funeral homes for a job, but accidentally goes into the wrong room to discover the body of Mabel Winnemaker, awaiting delivery to the coroner’s office for an autopsy.  Hilde is supposed to dress the hair of another woman.  Hilde quickly leaves the room and finds the correct body and proceeds to do her job.  A few days later she is called back to the funeral home to dress the hair of Mabel.  The only problem is the Hilde has a photographic memory and the body she has been told is Mabel is not the same Mabel she saw a few days ago.  She notifies the funeral home owner, but he thinks she has made a mistake.  Then, Hilde is accused of stealing an expensive ring from Mabel’s body and Hilde fears her reputation and career will be ruined.  She sets out to find out where the real Mabel is and to notify Mabel’s family of the situation.

An old friend contacts Hilde to renew their acquaintance and Hilde can sure use his help to find out what happened to Mabel.  Hilde also makes friends with a crusty old gentleman, Gabe, across the street from the boarding house where she lives.  They interaction between Hilde and Gabe were just so funny!  Those conversations were one of my favorite parts of the book and I hope Gabe appears in the other books of the series.  I also liked how Hilde’s faith in God was evident in how she lived her life.  Her best friend was not a believer, but Hilde prayed for her and tried to show her the love of God in how she lives her life.  Hilde’s renewed friendship with Adam also revealed his faith, which I thought was so important for the beginning of a relationship.  I am looking forward to book two in the series, Blown Away.

A Rebel in My House


Title:  A Rebel in My House

Author:  Sandra Merville Hart

Pages:  250

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Smitten Historical Romance

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Sandra Merville Hart’s novel is gripping from beginning to end!  The first novel she wrote is titled, A Stranger on My Land, both stories take place in the historical timeframe of the War Between the States.  When I finished reading her first novel, I couldn’t wait until she published another story.  The tales she writes touch the heart and soul of readers in a unique way that defies words.

A Rebel in My House is a novel that brought tears to my eyes and that’s saying something.  The detailed scenes and the characters seemed so alive to me that it was as if I was there witnessing what was occurring at the time.  Sarah Hubbard is a single woman making her living as a dressmaker in Gettysburg when a stranger knocks on her door and requests aid.  As time goes on it seems the danger is increasing near her home from the war so Sarah goes to live with her sister and niece in town.  Yet, Sarah cannot help but think of the stranger who is once again in the thick of battle.

The knock that began the change in Sarah’s life continues to bring more conflict of the heart than anything else.  Of course, Sarah’s conflict with her sister Martha doesn’t help Sarah in any way.  Towards the end of the story is when I was near tears as the author depicts a very touching scene that I can imagine took place many times during the war.  When I read how Sandra prepared to write this story for us to enjoy, I could tell it really touched her heart with the real people behind the fictional ones.

Please read both of her novels and enjoy them.  I sure did and again I cannot wait to see what flows from her pen in the future!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Leviticus Live

In Our Hands (The Battle for Jerusalem)


Title:  In Our Hands (The Battle for Jerusalem)

Author:  Erin Zimmerman

Year:  2017

Publisher:  CBN

Website:  http://www.inourhands1967.com/

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Recently, I had been reminded of the Six-Day War in Israel by hearing about the movie, though it didn’t come to a theatre in my area, and through some articles in magazines.  To realize it happened 50 years ago when I was 6 brought me up short as I don’t remember being taught in school about what occurred in another nation.

When my husband and I sat down to watch this docudrama, we were not sure what we would hear or see.  What we did learn was an amazing testimony of how God miraculously brought confusion to the enemy, some of the Jewish people back to Jerusalem and the legacy the soldiers left behind!  The cost in lives was high, but when we listened to the soldiers who fought or their children retelling what they knew, it touched out hearts!

We learned it wasn’t something to just listen to and then go on with life; it really made us aware of God’s presence and power.  I hope many take time to watch the DVD together and then share what touched their heart or what they learned.  Equally amazing was learning what current IDF soldiers do before they start their time in service to their country.  It really touched our hearts and at times we felt like we had a lump in our throats!

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue #3)


Title:  A Matter of Trust (Montana Rescue #3)

Author:  Susan May Warren

Pages:  336

Year:  2017

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The series includes two other outstanding books titled, Wild Montana Skies and Rescue Me.  The characters from these novels continue in this third installment.  Gage Watson is the man who had it all:   fame, wealth and notoriety until he lost it all.  Now, he serves on a rescue team known as PEAK.  Everything is going along smoothly for Gage until some people try some very dangerous stunts and a woman from his past makes an appearance.  Ella Blair is a senator and is one Gage has mixed emotions about.  Ella herself carries guilt for her part in Gage losing so very much.

Now, they are on a mountain seeking to locate her brother and a friend who decided to go on a closed mountain side to try and ride the snow trail as Gage did years ago.  What happens I will leave for readers to enjoy discovering as well as meeting a few new people in the novel that I hope the author brings to her next Montana Rescue story. 

For me, this was a very nail-biting thriller at times, as well as enjoying the possible budding romantic relationships.  What is introduced in the first book about the founder, Ian Shaw, looking for his niece continues in the novel here so I people will enjoy the story more if they read the books in order.  The characters and their various work or personal relationships are evolving along with the multiple story lines Susan continues to develop with each tale.

If you like reading books with tension, thrills, romance and more, look no further.  This series is one of the best for 2017!

Friday, August 4, 2017

Searching for Irene review Plus!


Title:  Searching for Irene

Author:  Marlene Bateman

Bio

Marlene Bateman Sullivan grew up in Utah, and graduated from the University of Utah with a Bachelor's degree in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they live in North Salt Lake, Utah with their two dogs and four cats. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and wrote the best-selling romance/suspense novel, Light on Fire Island. She has written three other cozy mysteries; Motive for Murder, A Death in the Family, and Crooked House, as well as the romance, For Sale by Owner

Pages:  272

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Covenant Communications

My rating 5 out of 5.

The novel gripped me from the first page all the way till the surprise ending I never saw coming!  I kept turning pages and trying to figure out who was responsible for Irene vanishing.  Ana, being the oldest, comes to take her sister’s place without revealing whether she had or didn’t have a connection to Irene.  The head of the household, Lawrence, needs help getting his paperwork in order to submit taxes and to have a system set up to make it easier for him to keep track of the household’s financial status.

The brothers, Kent and Tyler, have different areas of interests and ideas for making their father’s estate grow.  Ana is well educated and listens to what various household workers share regarding Irene specifically and anyone else in general.  Ana is bearing up under a load of guilt she has placed on her heart that in time readers like myself hope she lets go in order to grasp a brighter future.

The ending was just surprising and astonishing as I never would have picked that character to be the one responsible for what occurred in the mansion along with another character that Ana remembers seeing but couldn’t remember where for most of the story.  The author has listed in the front of her book other novels she has published and I want to read them as well!  I loved the romance, mystery, intrigue and various personalities and quirks of the household members.

Be prepared to sit until you get to the end of the book as it is exceptionally written and engaging!


Purchase Links:


Seagull Book; https://goo.gl/gvGoUf

Barnes and Noble; https://goo.gl/mDjQeX

 Goodreads: https://goo.gl/avXj2E

Marlene’s website: www.marlenebateman.info




For Sale by Owner:  Stressed by a difficult year, McKenzie Forsberg quits her high-powered job to move back to her hometown. Desperate and determined to rebuild her life, Kenzie seeks to buy the home she grew up in. The only problem is that a handsome widower, Jared Rawlins, also wants the house. As a battle of wits ensue, sparks of attraction grow into something more. Then, Kenzie makes a stunning discovery about her past that changes everything. Will the power of love be enough to allow Jared and Kenzie to find their happily ever after?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Genesis Live

The Captivating Lady Charlotte


Title:  The Captivating Lady Charlotte

Author:  Carolyn Miller

Pages:  311

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel Publications

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

The year is 1814 and Lady Charlotte Featherington is presented to the Queen of England as part of her debut in society.  She wishes to marry soon and her eye is captured by a young man at her “come-out” ball.  Her parents, however, want her to marry a duke.  Charlotte wants to marry for love.  Her father is a well-placed aristocrat and will not be denied what he wants and that is for Charlotte to marry the widowed duke.  Can she ever love this man?  Is this what God really wants for her?

William Hartwell, the Duke of Hartington, is a widower.  His first wife betrayed him by breaking her marriage vows with the scandal known throughout society.  Now, all he wants is for his current wife to love him, not out of a sense of duty but because she truly loves him from her heart.  But can he trust her with his heart or will she betray him as well?  As they both struggle with their emotions, can they learn what love truly is?  Can they trust God to know what is best for them?

This is another exceptional Regency romance by Carolyn Miller.  Her first book published, The Elusive Miss Ellison, also was terrific.  It’s hard to believe this is only the author’s second published work!  The historical research done by the author that she used to build her story is interesting and grabbed my attention, holding it throughout.  The two main characters are likeable and had me rooting for a marriage of love and not one of duty.  To watch their marriage deepen their love for one another was thrilling!  William shows his love with his many acts of kindness to others he meets as well as to Charlotte.  I also enjoyed the appearance of characters from book one in the series, who actually had supporting roles and a story of their own.  I can hardly wait for book three in the series titled, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”