Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Review-The Thief Taker by C. S. Quinn

The Thief Taker
By: C.S. Quinn
Publisher:  Thomas & Mercer, Seattle

Setting:  1665 London, England
The Plague is running rampant in England, but along with it is also a murderer…taking the lives of young women in witch-craft style.  Charlie Oakley, a thief taker, is framed for the murders.  Being on the run for his life he begins his journey into the dark world of witch craft and political corruptness of the new King and his cabinet. 

This historical thriller revolves around the Plague in the summer of 1665.  It is filled with intrigue, mystery, murder, witchcraft and even a little romance.   The twists, turns and subplots will keep you turning the pages.  From what I have read of the Plague and political corruptness of this era it seems to run pretty true to form.  It was an interesting read and I am wondering if there is a sequel in the offing, since for me it seemed to end unfinished.   It left me wanting to know what happened to the trunk and its owner???  I would recommend this book.

Disclosure:  I was given a copy of the book by the author, C. S. Quinn, to review.  I was not required to give a favorable review, only my honest opinion.  The opinions of this review are my own.  

Book Review-Love Letters from God by Glenys Nellist

Children's Book Ages 4-8

Love Letters from God Bible Stories
Ages 4-8
By:  Glenys Nellist
Illustrated by:  Sophie Allsopp
Publisher:  ZonderKidz


“I had so much fun making the world!  But do you know the very best thing I made?  It was you!”

Every child loves getting mail, so can you imagine their excitement when they open this book and turn the pages to see actual letters from God written to them?  It is a beautifully written and gorgeously illustrated interactive-lift-the-flap envelope-style book.  It is written for children ages 4-8.  There are a total of 18 Bible Stories with nine from the Old Testament and nine from the New Testament.  Each story culminates with a Bible verse and a letter from God.  At the end of the book there is a blank space for your child to write their own letter to God. 

What a FABULOUS book!  I found this to be such a fascinating way to introduce your child to the Bible and listening to how God may speak encouragement and inspiration to your little ones through His word.  This book begins by making your child feel so special. 

This book would make an excellent gift to a child for birthdays or holidays, but can you imagine the inspiration and encouragement it would give to a child who is ill?    This will be a book that will be read over and over again.  I would highly recommend this book for any child ages 4-8.  I completely adored this book!

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, ZonderKidz, for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review-Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari by Jill Osborne

FaithGirlz-The Good News Shoes Series for Tween Girls

Riley Mae and the Sole Fire Safari
By:  Jill Osborne
Publisher:  ZonderKidz
 

Third in the  Faithgirlz! Good News Shoes series, Riley Mae is off and running again for a new adventure.  This time she will end up in Kenya, Africa.  She and her mother are hiding out from enemies they left behind while on a shoot in Northwest Montana.  Africa is not the place Riley Mae wants to be…she’d rather be at home in California or on vacation in Hawaii, but it seems God has plans for her in Africa!  While in Africa she comes face to face with a wild rhinoceros, adjusting to a new culture, learning food is not the greatest but you have to eat it anyway.  Nothing is easy in Africa, not even going to school as it is several miles away and you have to run to get there on time, all the while keeping a lookout for a lurking lion.  She did find that Africa was the best place to learn how to train to run due to the high elevation.

Although you do not need to read the first two books in this series I would highly recommend them.  It is amazing to see how much Riley has grown in her faith and the ability to share the Good News about God from the first book to this one.  While in Africa she visits friend, Sunday’s village and visits with orphaned children.  While there she leads her friend Fawn and newly orphaned Hannah to the Lord.  At that time she feels her calling, when she grows up is to be a Missionary, but little does she realize she has already begun her mission work. 

These books are truly inspirational.  They are a wonderful series for any Tween age girl who is struggling with her faith, girlfriends or even self-image.  They are a great way to inspire them to not be afraid to share their faith.   I thinks these books should be required reading. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book by the publisher, ZonderKidz, for an honest review.   I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-Destined for Doon by Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon

Fantasy at it's Best- Young Adult

Doon
By:  Carey Corp & Lorie Langdon
Publisher: Bling

MacKenna (Kenna) left Doon to pursue her dream of being a Broadway actress.  She felt in her heart she was making the right decision, but after a year she couldn’t put the prince, Duncan, she left standing on the Brig O’ Doon out of her mind.  She had betrayed him into thinking she was taking him back to Chicago with her.   She felt she was making the right decision to leave him behind as he would not fit into her modern world.  Now she wonders if she made the right decision and if he hates her.  Suddenly Duncan shows up in her dressing room begging her to return to Doon because her friend Veronica, the queen of Doon, needs her help…something sinister is attacking Doon and only she and Veronica can keep it from happening.  Will she return?  Will Duncan be able to forgive her?  Will they be able to stop the attack?  Will she stay in Doon this time?  You will only be able to find the answers to those questions as you turn the pages of “Destined for Doon”.

If you are a fan of Brigadoon then this is definitely a book you will want to read.  I read the first book, “Doon” but you do not have to read it to understand this one.  It would help to set the characters and lend history for this book, however there is enough information to be able to read it without any problems.  Although it is geared for young adults I have to say I was mesmerized.  It has enough romance, fantasy, science fiction and witchcraft to keep most any reader interested. “Destined for Doon” had a little more of the cult side intertwined than in Doon, but it was not overkill.

I would recommend this book for the young at heart even if you are beyond the age of young adult and love a good fantasy.  I am looking forward to the next in the series as I am sure the authors will not leave the cliff hanger at the end. 

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Blink, through Book Book Look Bloggers, program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Book Review-Rapture's Rain by Chris Pennington

Rapture’s Rain
By:  Chris Pennington
Publisher:  Chris Pennington

A weird sensation, chills down the spine, weak knees, loss of balance, inability to think, blinded by bright flashes of light and numbness from head to toe, all happening within the twelve chimes of the clock.  In that short amount of time life as Jason Stover (a high-school teacher with a degree in Physics) once knew no longer existed.  His wife Kristina and daughter Nikki had completely vanished along with others. 

I am blown away by such thought-provoking book such as “Rapture’s Rain”.  Although it is loosely based upon the book of Revelation in the Bible, it somewhat describes the events of the Rapture and Tribulation that follows.  I don’t think Mr. Pennington expects us to believe he is a Theologian, but wants us to entertain the thought that Revelation’s chapters will become a reality. 

I was a little surprised that it was written using the Roman Catholic Church as its basis, since most of my Roman Catholic friends do not believe in the Rapture, Millennial Reign or Tribulation.  Maybe he felt since they do not necessarily believe they would be the ones helping those left behind deal with the events that would follow, which is pure speculation on my part.

I was so captivated by this book, I read in one afternoon.  Long after I finished reading it, I still find myself mulling over the possibilities of how I would cope were I one who was left behind.  It has caused great soul-searching in my life and maybe that is what the author really wanted.

Although you may find the events a little scary, true believer or not it is a book well worth reading.  For those who do not believe the Bible, it has just enough Science Fiction overtones to make it interesting.

This is one book that will remain in my library and will be re-read and recommended often. 


I was given a copy of the book by the author, Chris Pennington, to review.  He did not require me to give a favorable review, only my honest opinion.  The opinions of this review are my own.  

Book Review- Experiencing the Loss of a Family Member by H. Norman Wright

Experiencing the Loss of a Family Member
By:  H. Norman Wright
Publisher:  Bethany House

Losing a loved one is one of life’s most difficult journeys.  Grief has no time table.  Its effects can last from weeks to months or more and will be overwhelming at times.  In the book “Experiencing the Loss of a Family Member” offers a guide as you deal with grief in assuring you, you are not alone.  God walks every step of the way with you, guiding you to true peace and comfort.

This book deals with general grief, the loss of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, friend and even the loss of a pet.  However I was particularly drawn to the section on the loss of a parent.  Recently I have been struggling with accepting that my parent’s death is imminent.  I didn’t realize when caring for a terminally ill parent, the grieving process can start long before the actual loss occurs.  I have often felt guilty because the feelings I was experiencing were not what I would have expected of me.  In reading this book, I have found that I am not alone.  My feelings don’t make me a bad person---just human.  I learned that grief can steal the ability to pray, leaving you lost and empty, that grief can cause riffs in your family, but more importantly I learned that through it all….no matter the loss God’s spirit is walking with me, even when I am overwhelmed and can’t feel His presence.  In His gentle sweet way He reminds me of His love in a beautiful memory or a kind word from a friend.
Once I finished the section on the death of a parent, I went back and read the other sections.  I am so glad I did as there is such a wealth of information that can be integrated into any situation of loss.

I would highly recommend this book if you are actively dealing with a loss or know that loss is imminent.  It would also be a great reference to those who deal with grief counseling.  There is peace and healing.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this Book by the publisher, Bethany House, through Bethany House blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review- Hot Pursuit by Roderick Thorp

Hot Pursuit
By:  Roderick Thorp
Publisher:  Open Road Integrated Media

Sam Murelle, a young Coast Guard Lieutenant, finds a “ghost” yacht filled with one billion dollars in gold, money and contraband.  He becomes a spokes-person for American’s war on drugs.  The government rewards him by sending Sam and his wife Amy on an all-expense paid vacation to the Bahamas.  The nightmare begins when Amy is kidnapped.  Sam must find his wife before drug kingpin, Chino, kills her.  He knows he is in way over his head and is out of his league, but he is determined to find his wife.  Will his determination help him find her before it is too late?

That question will be answered as you read this book.  I was hooked from page one.  It is filled with nail-biting suspense.  I think this would make a good movie or TV series.  It has a great storyline.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Open Road Integrated Media, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review- The Competition by Marcia Clark

The Competition
By:  Marcia Clark
Publisher:  Muholland Books

Los Angeles District Attorney, Rachel Knight investigates a horrifying school massacre with Columbine-style shootings, shaking the community to its core.  It is believed that two of the dead students were the killers and they had committed mutual suicide.  However, as the investigation continues, Rachel, along with her best friend, Baily, LAPD Detective, begins to realize things are just not adding up.  Was it possible the suicides were staged? 

This book is filled with nail-biting high-drama suspense.  Tension and fear oozed from every interview of the survivors and the grief of the victim’s parents was almost unbearable. 
In my opinion this book is not for the faint of heart.  Although I love Marcia Clark’s books and this one is superbly written, in the wake of all the school shootings, I am not sure I would have finished it, had I not promised to review it.  I suppose you could say…I am faint of heart.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Muholland Books, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-The Lady and the Officer by Mary Ellis

The Lady and the Officer
By:  Mary Ellis
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers

Madeline Howard, Yankee, widowed by the Civil War is determined to  stay in Cashtown, PA to continue raising horses on the farm she and her husband built.  The War….had other plans.  Her home was ravaged by both the Union and Confederate Armies.  Her horses were taken, her home was burned and she only escaped with her life because General James Downing, of the Union, saved her.  With no family or friends left in Cashton, she has no choice but to take refuge with her aunt and uncle in Richmond, although her political sympathies were with the Union.  While in Richmond Colonel Haywood seeks her attention because during the battle of Gettysburg, during her one-day nursing excursion, she saved his life, even if he was a Confederate.  Because her uncle worked for Confederate President Davis, she had access to information that would help the Union so she became a somewhat reluctant short-term spy.  With the fall of Richmond the family must flee…leaving behind their beloved home and Madeline must sever ties with her family to save them from punishment for harboring a spy. 

MS Ellis did a fabulous job in developing the characters and story line.  She made me feel like I was personal friends with them and that I was part of the story.  However I was somewhat disappointed in the ending.  It left me wanting to know what happened to Madeline’s family after fleeing Richmond and what happened to Colonel Haywood.

If you love anything to do with the Civil War and Historical romance—you won’t want to miss this book.  It is a great book for those with a romantic heart.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Harvest House Publishers, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-Healer's Touch by Lori Copeland

The Healer’s Touch
By:  Lori Copeland
Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers

Rural Bolton Holler, Ozarks, Missouri
Folklore?  Reality?  You decide.

Lyric Bolton had always longed for acceptance in her community of Bolton Holler, but with her mother having an unnamed illness the community dubbed her as a mad woman, thus leaving Lyric and her younger sister to live in isolation.
Because of the mysterious appearance of a light, the locals call the “spooklight”; Ian Cawley literally bolts into Lyric’s life.  She finds him in her barn near death.  She thinks he might be an outlaw of the Younger gang and wonders if it is worth her while to nurse him back to health, knowing he will just be hung in the end.  As he continues to improve, she begins to doubt he is a wanted man.  However since he has amnesia he cannot tell her who he is.

“The Healer’s Touch” captured my interest from the first page.  What is not to love when you are mixing Historical romance with legend/folklore and mystery?  The characters were well developed.  Lyric had such a kind loving heart along with just enough resentment to make her character believable.

If you want an afternoon of easy entertainment…this book has it.  It will make you laugh and make you want to cry.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Harvest House Publishers , through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.

Book Review-Nest by Esther Erlich

Nest
By:  Esther Erlich
Publisher:  Random House Childrens

“Nest” is a book written for middle school aged children.  It takes place in the 70’s in Cape Cod.
 Eleven-year-old “Chrip”, Naomi Orenstein and her older sister, Rachel, live with their father, a Jewish Psychiatrist, and Hannah, their dancer mother.  When Hannah develops problems with her leg and is diagnosed with MS, their whole world changes.  Hannah suffers from her illness and debilitating depression.  Chirp’s saving grace is her love of bird watching and the development of an unlikely friendship with neighbor Joey, whose family is considered less-than-desirable to know.  Chirp and Joey come up with a plan to have adventure, discover and escape.

I found this book to be a great book for this age.  It was honest in dealing with subjects such as suicide, depression and loss.  This is one of those books that will linger with you long after you have finished reading it.  Chirp and Joey show that even though life is filled with unpredictable situations, love, faith and friendship can help you survive. 
In my opinion this book should be required reading for this age group as it gently introduces them to hard facts of life in an easy to understand format.


Disclosure: I was given a copy of this eBook by the publisher, Random House Childrens, through NetGalley blogger program for review. I was not required to write a favorable review nor was I compensated for my review. The opinions in this review are my own.