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.”

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Beneath Copper Falls


Title:  Beneath Copper Falls

Author:  Colleen Coble

Pages:  368

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

There are other books in the series, but this was my first.  Colleen hasn’t lost her touch in writing a spell-binding mystery fraught with danger, twists and perhaps blooming romance.  The main character is Dana Newell who is a 911 dispatcher.  She returns to the area where she grew up in the hopes of escaping a man bent on taking her back to be alone with him forever.  What the stalker didn’t count on was the many people who care and know about Dana, and one man in particular who helps restore her confidence by training her in basic self-defense.

Just as Dana is hesitant to start a relationship, so is Boone as he was abandoned by his fiancĂ©e after an injury left him scarred.  Each character brings a different aspect to what is occurring in Rock Harbor.  I just kept reading the novel and enjoying the engaging tale amidst all the constant action with moments of friendship and romance.

I plan to go back and read the other novels in the Rock Harbor series.  I am sure they are as well-versed with danger, adventure and at least one or two characters who have a desire to cause harm.  If you have read the other books in the series, please leave a comment on this post and let me know which one was your favorite with a word or two of why it is your favorite!

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.”

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Messianic Judaism (A Modern Movement with An Ancient Past)


Title:  Messianic Judaism (A Modern Movement with An Ancient Past)

Author:  David H. Stern

Pages:  321

Year:  2007

Publisher:  Messianic Jewish Publisher

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

A friend and I were getting together weekly to discuss various chapters in the book.  One thing we quickly observed was that the book was ten years old and therefore a lot had changed in the Messianic community since the book was published.  So, we looked at the book with more of a historical perspective and for what we could learn about Messianic Judaism and the people.

We also observed that at times the author seemed inconsistent with his views almost as if he wasn’t settled with the issue he lays forth.  The other observation was that the author had some kind of heart wound about Christians in the past that we didn’t quite grasp why he brought it up in the book. There were some interesting ideas, views and thoughts that were quite interesting.  We both hope that the author will update this book because there has been such an explosion of Messianic material and more happening with the relationship between Christians and Jewish people.

When you read the book with discernment, glean what you can about the Messianic Community and how the bridge can be made between Christians and Jewish people.  My friend and I both love Israel and the Jewish people and desire to learn more about the Jewishness of the Scriptures, land and people.  We hope you will join us on this quest that has really opened our eyes and heart to the chosen people of God, and His Word!