Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Threads of Suspicion (An Evie Blackwell Cold Case) by Dee Henderson

This is another great installment in the continuing story of Evie Blackwell, a police officer and member of an elite Cold Case team. In this story, the team is just taking their first set of cases and each team member gets a different case to research in the location where they are working. Evie and her partner David Marshall are working together. He has the case of a missing PI and she has the case of a missing college student but the cases have odd aspects that mirror each other and Evie’s case is oddly mixed up with David’s fiancé, a popular music star. I love the detail of how they research the case and lay out the face and the possibilities to try to find clues to solve the case. This kind of research is right up my alley and I am fascinated by the stories of solving these cold cases.

Dee Henderson is one of my all time favorite authors and this Evie Blackwell series is a winner! I can’t wait for the next installment.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for a review. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes this genre.

Do Baby Bears Have Mommies? By Crystal Bowman and Teri McKinley

This is a sweet little picture book that has some rhyming verses in it that answer some questions children might ask. I like the theme of it and the story line, but I think the rhetoric needed to make a nice rhyme might be more on an adult’s interest level than a child’s. It is charming, nonetheless, and the illustrations are very colorful and fun. It basically discusses different aspects of different animals and some of their quirks. My granddaughter loves animals and any knowledge about them she can soak up so this book is right up her alley. I would say this is a nice addition to your child’s bookshelf.

I received a copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for a review. I’m very pleased with the selections Tyndale has and this book is no exception.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

INVITATION Harbingers – Cycle One By Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky

This is an interesting book. It is in four sections, each written by one of the four authors. Each one is from the point of view of a different one of the characters in the story. The story is moving forward in time with each section. It is the story of strange paranormal activities that astound the characters in the book: Brenda (a tattoo artist who sees people she will meet in the future), The Professor (a former priest who now lectures on the non-existence of God), Andi (the professor’s assistant who has some talents of her own with number sequences), and Tank (a football player who has a strange healing gift). They all come together to experience these strange happenings because they seem to be being drawn to these circumstances at the same time.

I love anything by Angela Hunt and anything by Frank Peretti. Bill Meyer’s book list has a couple of titles that sound familiar but I don’t remember his work at all. I don’t believe I have ever encountered Alton Gansky’s work before. That being said, I enjoyed the writing of all four and look forward to future installments in this Harbingers series. I see that there is already another installment in the works and I’m anxious to obtain it when it is available.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for a review. The names Hunt and Peretti on the cover ensured that I would be very interested and I was not disappointed. For a different type of Christian fiction, give this a try.

GIFTS FROM HEAVEN True Stories of Miraculous Answers to Prayer By James Stuart Bell

This book is a collection of people’s true stories about miracles in their lives. Some are so amazing that doctors can’t explain them. Others, equally miraculous could be explained away, I suppose, by people who did not share the Christian faith of the people who experienced them. However, the people involved “know that they know” that they are miracles and that God is the author. Miraculous healing of mental conditions, Angelic presence, protection, provision – all are included in these varied accounts. I found them inspiring and they also inspired my memories of some of the miraculous things God has done in my life and inspired me to bless others with those experiences so they can be inspired to look for God’s intervention in their lives.

I received this book from Bethany House in exchange for a review. I’m so glad I received it. I have been savoring it a story or two at a time as a devotional. I recommend this book to any and all to enjoy true stories of God caring for his children.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Deep Extraction (An FBI Task Force Novel) by Diann Mills

This book is about a murder and a bombing of an Oil & Gas company property. FBI Special Agent Tori Templeton and her partner team up with Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers to solve the case. Tori’s partner is ill and on his last case before retirement so Tori and Cole find themselves working together much of the time. In addition, they are both family friends of the victim and the victim’s family.

This story has a lot of twist and turns and a lot of suspense. It keeps you wondering throughout. This is not a book you are going to want to start if you don’t have time to read straight through with minor stops for everyday life routine. There is a lot of dramatic action and unusual turns of event. Throughout, Tori is searching for a faith in God that she can’t seem to find since her brother died of cancer. Cole has a strong faith in God and finds himself falling for Tori. The subtle way this subplot is woven through the story is uplifting without being preachy. The main thrust of the book is the mystery involved. I have enjoyed every book by Dian Mills that I have read and this one seems even more suspenseful than previous ones. I love how authors grow as they go and their stories get more and more intense the more books they write.

Tyndale sent me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Book Trailer


Long Time Gone (The Cimarron Legacy Book 2) by Mary Connealy

This book is classic Mary Connealy. It has it all – drama, twists and turns and a little comedy. I read the last book in the series and found the characters a little too naïve at times but they seem to have grown up a little for this book and, while still funny, are not unrealistically goofy. I love Mary’s books and haven’t missed any. I can confidently say, she gets better with each one. I can barely wait for Book 3.

As the tale of the attack on the Boden homestead continues, Justin, the younger son, becomes the hero and Angie Dupree, who we met in the first book, becomes the heroine. Everyone’s life is still in danger and the fate of the ranch is still in peril at both the beginning and end of this book, but a lot of mysteries were solved and bad guys unmasked in this story. Mary’s books are always full of sassy, independent heroines and slightly befuddled, manly heroes and this book is no different. If you don’t have so much fun reading this that you fail to put it down for mundane household duties, I will be very surprised.

Bethany House gave me a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Truthfully, this book would have found its way to my bookshelf in any event because I have a full set of Connealy novels on my shelf.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Without Warning by Joel C. Rosenberg

I've seen Joel Rosenberg on news programs on TV and have a great respect for his opinion so I recognized his name right away when I saw this book. I thought to myself, this guy knows what he's talking about but can he write an interesting novel. The answer is YES -- not only can he write an interesting novel, he can write a blockbusting novel! The minute I started reading I was hooked and couldn't put it down. Situations right out of the news headlines jumped out and the characters in the story made it all interesting and making perfect sense. This novel should be read by anyone who cares about the world stage and our very future. Yes, it's a Christian novel, but the way that is woven into it makes it an integral part of the story and does not detract from the timeliness of the story.

The story involves ISIS attacks on the United States and the involvement of J. B. Collins, a reporter for the New York Times and his family as they are pursued by ISIS leaders. The story goes all over the world including most of the countries in the Middle East. It's an insider's look into the intelligence operations of major governments and the intrigue that is a large part of those operations. I challenge you to pick this book up. I'm guessing you won't be able to put it down either.

Tyndale House gave me a copy of this book for the purpose of writing a review. Thanks Tyndale! Because of this choice I now have a new favorite author to watch for when new books are introduced (and I need to find all his older books too so I can catch up).

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Still Life (#2 in Chesapeake Valor series) by Dani Pettrey

This is the second book in the Chesapeake Valor series. I was so excited to receive it from Bethany House in exchange for a review since I loved the first book and was waiting for the sequel. Now I have to wait several months for Book 3 (oh man!).

This story concerns Avery, whose past comes back to her when her friend Skyler comes up missing. She has been taking forensic pictures for a crime scene analyst, Parker Mitchell, who becomes involved with her on this case along with their other friends who consist of several other law enforcement types (FBI, etc.). Avery goes to a showing at an art gallery as Skyler’s guest but Skyler does not arrive and the portrait of Skyler that was the featured portrait in the show has been replaced by another picture which was not done by the featured artist. The artist is incensed and Avery is devastated because her friend never arrives. The artist orders the picture thrown away but Avery manages to sneak it out and save it so they can check it out for clues. There are several things going on as they retrace the steps of Skyler and others. In the midst of the investigation, another investigation comes along when a terrorist makes his way ashore after being smuggled into the country. There is a lot going on but it all builds into the conclusion which is unexpected, to say the least.

Dani Pettrey keeps getting better and better! I love her books and they will always be permanent residents in my bookshelf.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Maybe Its You by Candace Calvert

I was excited to get this book since I have read the first two books in the series already. This one is about and ER nurse named Sloane who has had a rough time of it and has tried to lose herself in a new town at a new hospital to avoid scrutiny and publicity. However, she becomes close to Micah, who is the PR man for the hospital and is also best friends with an aspiring reporter. All things come to a head when they try to help girls caught up in a sex slavery operation operated by the Russian mob and Sloane’s past is exposed rather dramatically. There are lots of twists and turns in the story and it definitely is not a book you will want to put down while you do mundane things like every day life. I want to see more by this author so hopefully this series will continue or she will come up with a new series that is just as riveting.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review. So just to be up front about it, I would have bought this one the minute it was available anyway because I’ve been waiting for this third installment in the Crisis Team series.

The Sisters of Sugar Creek by Cathy Liggett

This was a fun English / Amish story with some surprises. It involves Jessica, whose aunt was killed in a fire at their church, leaving her with the aunt’s quilt shop as an inheritance. Aunt Rose’s friend, Liz, becomes close with Jessica after Rose dies and they decide to carry on one of Rose’s traditions, which was to deliver anonymous gifts to people with some sort of issue. Their first project together involves Lydia, an Amish widow, whose husband was killed as he was volunteering to help fight that same church fire. Lydia discovers their mission and they become friends. Since Lydia is an avid quilter and knitter and Jessica is not, Jessica hires her to work in the shop and do the classes and customer work while she does the managerial / marketing side of the business which is more her forte.

The really unusual aspect of this story is that all three women find a love interest in the course of the story and so all three have to come to a happy conclusion by the end of the book. If I could recommend one thing to this author it would be to not get in a hurry next time. Make it a three book series featuring on of the three ladies in each book and building on their story as she goes. I felt a little rushed and cheated having it all crammed into this one book. However, I am the first to complain when I read book one of a series and have to wait months for book two so she dodged that bullet. Actually, I enjoyed this story very much and would have taken it to heart either way.

I received this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review and am very grateful that I picked this one out of the offerings last month.

· Random Acts of Kindness Cards: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/RandomActsKindness_Cards.pdf
· Amish Friendship Bread Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Amish-Friendship-Bread-Recipe.pdf
· Lemon Bars Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Lemon-Bars-Recipe.pdf
· Shepherd’s Pie Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Shepherds-Pie-Recipe.pdf
· White Chocolate Chex Crunch Recipe: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/White-Chocolate-Chex-Crunch-Recipe.pdf
· Blank Recipe Card: http://blog.tyndale.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Blank-Recipe-Card.pdf
· Blog Post: http://readthearc.com/stitching-hope-through-random-acts-of-kindness/

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green

This is a wonderful historical romance which gave me a lot of new knowledge about the founding of New Orleans and how it was settled and populated. The first population was made up of soldiers and convicts that France shipped over to populate the “New World.” Then, due to other conflicts going on elsewhere, they were slow to send rations and supplies for the population and there was mass starvation. This story details the many hardships encountered in this rough place where the climate was less than comfortable (humidity, heat, mosquitos etc.).

Julianne is one of the convicts (falsely convicted) that is sent to New Orleans to help populate it. She is a midwife and hopes to help the other women give birth. She is also hoping to find her younger brother who ran off to be a soldier a few years earlier and was sent to New Orleans. She becomes aquainted with Marc-Paul Girard, an officer who was once aquainted with her brother.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it will be a permanent fixture on my shelf and become required reading when my homeschoolers reach the American History phase of their education.

I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review.

Bible Trivia, Jokes & Fun Facts for Kids by Troy Schmidt

What kid doesn’t love knock knock jokes? This book has its fair share along with other jokes and fun facts. There are some little quizzes to make you think and some scrambles and some matching and some Bible words that you see how many other words you can make using those letters. My 6th grader is reading the Bible through this year and she enjoys the offerings in this book as a way of processing some of what she is reading as well as a light change of pace from constant reading. We throw some of these exercises in as a little break time. The younger children are also enjoying the book so I will keep it with my homeschool curriculum for years to come.

I received this book from Bethany House in return for a fair and honest review.