Friday, March 27, 2015
"The shackles of Lucifer have been loosened, and his Chalice remains lost. It will take the light of all three to forge the Chalice anew and banish him again to his eternal darkness." (book jacket).
This is the ancient immortal prophecy, one found in the Blood Gospel, a tome written by Christ and lost for centuries. Now it is a race against time in the final book, Blood Infernal, in The Order of the Sanguine series from authors James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell.
This is one series you can't pick up and begin reading out of order. You need to understand the components in order to make this novel enjoyable. It is for readers who like a bit of fictional prophecy blended with ancient creatures known as Sanguines, think vampires who want to be holy who have vowed to give up drinking blood and instead drinking holy wine or the blood of Christ in attempt to keep the balance of good and evil at bay against vampires known as strigoli, who are the blood thirsty vampires of legend.
Combine that with elements from notable novels like the DaVinci Code and a bit of Indiana Jones tossed in and you get an idea of what this series is about. In this epic conclusion to the series, we see that Erin Granger, one of the three in the ancient prophecy is referred to as the Woman of Learning, she needs to figure out what exactly the Chalice is and how to contain the evil that has been released in the world known as a demon called Legion. As she works together with army sergeant Jordan Stone, the Warrior of Man and Father Rhun Korze, the Knight of Christ, who is also a Sanguine priest with a past, they uncover some dark secrets from history in order to protect the world from the evil that has been released. It is a true battle of good versus evil and time is running out.
I received Blood Infernal by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are my own unless otherwise notated. This is the third novel in the Order of the Sanguine series. To read these novels out of order would create an incomplete storyline and confuse the reader. I am glad I had read the previous ones to understand where our trio is at in this novel. As control to gain entrance by ancient alchemies into the angelic side of spiritual world, they opened a portal into a demonic one instead. As souls of former strigoli were captured into a green diamond in hopes that when all 666 were contained, they would have access to speak with angels. Only the angels they found were not from God but instead from Lucifer instead and now the trio must find all three stones to form a Chalice to contain the evil threatening to take over the world in time. I rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars and loved how it ended. Although there is an opening for a possible fourth book in the storyline.
For more information about Blood Infernal, James Rollins, Rebecca Cantrell or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find James Rollins on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.
You can find Rebecca Cantrell on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on Blood Infernal, please visit Harper Collin's website.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
If you have anyone who is a photographer or loves photography, I've got a great product and gift idea to tell you about! It is the iCooker Coffee Mug!
Just looking at the iCooker Camera Lens Thermos Coffee Mug leads you to believe it is simply another camera lens for your 35mm camera! But it's a great 12 oz stainless steel thermal coffee mug instead! Being a novice photographer, this was definitely something I could relate to!
It looks authentic and fits perfectly in your cars cup holder depending on your car, so it makes the perfect gift for any photographer or fan of photography. It is the identical shape of a Canon 24 to 105mm lens. It is BPA safe and keeps your favorite beverage hot or cold for hours. It comes with a lid that offers a slide opening to allow you to drink your beverage and helps keep spills under control. It does have a rubber seal on the lid to ensure a perfect fit on the lid. For those of you that have Keurig coffee makers this size is perfect to fit under your coffee maker so you can enjoy your favorite beverage in stylish fun coffee cup. It is dishwasher safe as well!
I received the iCooker Camera Lens Thermos Coffee Mug compliments from iCooker and VIP Power Club for my honest review of their product. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. What I love about this product besides the stainless steel inside is the size. Just perfect for that single serving of coffee. For me, I've had mugs that are the equivalent of almost 2 1/2 cups and knowing I need to watch my intake of coffee, this makes it easy to track how much I am drinking. I even bought one of these for my daughter who loves something a bit unique for her coffee drinking and it keeps it from looking like all the other cups at work. It definitely is an eye catcher for those looking for that perfect gift for a photography fan! I easily give this product a 5 out of 5 stars and love the great price on it at this time. It's a weighted cup so its definitely not a cheap product. It feels like a true camera lens!!!
For more information about iCooker Camera Lens Thermos Coffee Mug, or where you can order it, please click on the links below:
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Some would say that Maggie Grace Veck has the "perfect" life. She is married to a handsome upcoming attorney who hopes to make partner, who supports her decision to leave the working world once they begin to start to family. They live in an elite subdivision known as Bridgeport Cove, in the heart of Bluffport, Florida. She has always known that she carries a threat for ovarian cancer in her side of the family but suspects the reason she is feeling worn out might be a indicator that it has found a new home in Maggie. Fortunately for her, she has the all clear for now, but her family planning has started a bit early. After the initial shock has worn off her husband, Travis, they are eager to trust God with whatever plans He has in store. In the next few years, that will mean an additional two children in their home.
Now that Travis has made partner and with two busy kids to raise, Maggie has taken Travis up on the notion of being a stay at home mother. He ensures her that once things settle down a bit, he'll be able to stay home more. But soon late nights and working weekends, make Maggie feel that she has lost the husband she once knew and has become a bit of a single mother at times. When she struggles to come to terms with it, she knows her best place for advice is with her long time childhood friend, Peter McKnight, who is both friends with Travis and Maggie and even uncle to their children. She wishes for a return to a more simple life and has urges to return to the home her grandmother had left her. Something seems to be beckoning her back to Sunnyville, Alabama and she soon realizes that Peter has made Sunnyville his new hometown as well. As she sits as the crossroads of her life, which path will Maggie choose?
I received Imperfectly Perfect Love from debut author Shauna Williams for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions are strictly my own. I don't doubt that anyone who has been married for quite some time, would wonder what their life might have been life if they had chosen a different path. I could relate to Maggie's character quite a bit when I found my own husband called away on business trips and wondered if that was God's plan for my married life. It truly calls into play your faith in God and your commitment to marriage when absence creates a divide in your relationship. There are often insurmountable odds working against you at every turn, and I love how that struggle comes across for Maggie. This is what I believe really works for this novel and shows us that relationships aren't perfect but they are worth working hard for. The author employs the techniques of fast forwarding through chapters of the children's subsequent births to move the story into the meat of what you'd want to find instead of sorting through all the fluff that doesn't need to be there. I can't wait to see what's next from Shauna Williams in the sequel to her Surrendered Hearts series and for that reason give this one a 4 out of 5 stars. This is the first novel in the Surrendered Hearts series.
For more information about Imperfectly Perfect Love, Shauna Williams or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Shauna Williams on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
You can also enjoy Shauna's Blog "Recreating Ever After" by clicking here to visit.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015
A man's faith will be called into question when $30,000 of the churches money goes missing. The pastor of the church along with the accountant and secretary know that if they involve the police it could cause quite the scandal among the community. They agree that hiring a private investigator to solve the crime might be a better issue. They just aren't prepared to be questioned by Detective Bill Broadly not only in regards to the missing money, but their belief in God as well.
Bill sees the labels Christians wear as hypocritical and vows to whomever he engages in a conversation that it's only a matter of time, before they are exposed for being liars and their faith is simply a cover. No matter how friendly people treat him, he vows to expose all the people he interviews as not only possible suspects but also to expose their less than favorable pasts. He truly believes that the churches caretaker, (Lorenzo Lamas) who not only has had a past riddled with theft, but also supports his family who is struggling with their sins. He believes that forgiveness is best played where people can see your actions not just hear your words.
As the investigation continues feelings between Bill and Constance, the church secretary emerge. They both talk about how life has handed them both some unlucky cards in life with both of them dealing with the affects of divorce. Constance holds on to her faith in God while Bill still believes its simply an excuse and doesn't see the true side of her faith. Despite all their best intentions to keep the rumors of the theft a secret, someone exposes the true to the local paper and soon the church is placed on the stand to defend not only the decision to not involve the police but to protect the integrity of the church members as well.
I received Grace of God: A Story of Easter Traditions compliments of Phase 4 Films and Flyby Promotions for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is a moving movie that showcases what the real meaning is behind our faith in God and following His commandments. The movie stars such notables as John Razenberger and Erin Bethea in this 99 minute long DVD that is Dove Faith Friendly Approved for ages 12 and up. The main message of the movie is that through faith and belief, there is really rebirth and redemption. I was a bit disappointed by the way the movie ended and felt something must be sitting on the cutting room floor. It left you feeling like something was missing, but perhaps it's simply up to each viewer to decide for themselves how this movie will impact changes in their own lives. I give this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.
Thanks to the generosity of FlyBy Promotions, that are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog Reviews From The Heart. Here's all you need to do to enter:
1. Be a follower of my blog Reviews From The Heart.
2. Be a resident of the US or Canada, or have a US or Canadian mailing address. No P.O. Boxes please.
3. Leave me a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of Grace of God. Don't forget to include your email address so I can notify you if you're the lucky winner. You can use the words (at) and (dot) instead of the symbols.
I will notify the winner by email once the giveaway ends on March 31st.
For more information about where you can pick up a copy of this DVD today, please visit Walmart.com or visit your local Walmart store today.
Monday, March 23, 2015
I can honestly say without a doubt that Stephanie Landsem is one of the finest biblical fictional authors I've read to date. Her ability to take the well known Bible stories that are masked in so much unknown and breath such life into them, you'd swear that they were a part of the Bible. The elements that she utilizes to create the back story for such well loved characters in her previous novels in the Living Waters Series, such as "the thief on the cross," the Samaritan woman at the well," and now the beloved character so many women can relate to, Martha, the sister of Lazarus and Mary.
In her latest novel, The Tomb, is the third novel in the Living Water series. Trust me when I say, if you love those well known stories from the Bible, you will want to pick up this entire series. Before the story opens, the readers are in for an explanation by Stephanie Landsem about how these stories evolve and one I had never really considered, until I got the "A-ha" moment hit over my own head. In The Tomb: A Novel of Martha, is not her attempt to recount the historical events that took place in Bethany two thousand years ago. Instead, it is a re-imagining of how Martha, a woman who was "anxious and worried about many things," might have been transformed into the faith-filled woman of John 11:22, who said to Jesus - as her brother lay in his tomb - "Even know I know that whatever you ask of God, God will give you."
Another author Jill Eileen Smith, in her praise for the Tomb, captured the essence of this entire Living Water series when she adds, "Often when we read the biblical story, we don't stop to think about who these people were, what they thought, how they lived - especially when we are unfamiliar with the culture of the day. The Tomb gives us a rich glimpse into that culture and into the lives of these characters: their hopes, their joys, their fears. You will never see Martha quite the same way again."
That is precisely what the reader will glean from this inside look into what really made Martha, the beloved character from the Bible, the proverbial worrier, the woman who never stopped and was always busy working hard to make sure everything was perfect, couldn't see where all her efforts were truly going. I had never really considered what her story might be. The Bible doesn't speak of their parents and with Martha being the oldest, one might assume that all the household responsibilities of raising her younger brother and sister would fall naturally to her. Thoughts of her own future would pale with making sure everything else would be addressed before her own needs were considered.
This translates so beautifully in this novel and it truly saddens me every single time, that the novels are over too soon. I feel like I have truly been given a look into the lives of characters of the Bible I had never considered before until I have finished another one of Stephanie's novels. Her introductions to other secondary characters is woven so seamlessly you often find yourself asking if you missed connecting those pieces together when you read the Bible so many times before. From the demon possessed man, to the plots against Jesus by the Sanhedrin, the story is breath-taking, magical, and one I know I will read again and again. These novels are so rich in detail, you can't put them down. You simply won't want to. So be sure to set aside time to take a virtual vacation back to the time of Christ and see for yourself one of the most unforgettable miracles from the Bible as you read, The Tomb.
I received The Tomb: A Novel of Martha by Stephanie Landsem compliments of Howard Books and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own unless otherwise notated. Such a beautiful novel that captures the demon possessed man, Simon the leper, Martha, Mary and Lazarus, as well as the saving grace that can only come from time spent with Jesus Christ as you witness first hand these events as though you are part of the action and not just reading a novel. This is one of those novels when you read it, you want to tell every single person about it, so they can enjoy it as much as you have. My only hope, is that like most series, it doesn't end at the third one and Stephanie has plans for another one, fingers crossed!!! Hands down, a well deserved standing ovation and worth every one of the five out of five stars.
For more information about The Tomb, Stephanie Landsem, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can also find Stephanie Landsem on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.
To read more reviews on The Tomb, please visit Christian Fiction Blog Alliances' book tour page.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Sometimes the best books are ones that contained a bunch of short stories geared for specific holidays. When I was asked to review Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season, by various authors I knew this would be something that would help get me in the mood for Easter. I had read a similar book from Plough Publishing House during Christmas and hoped this would be along the same lines.
While there are some notable authors like C.S. Lewis, Leo Tolstoy, Oscar Wilde, Elizabeth Goudge, and many others, that were selected for their spiritual value and literary quality. While most of them do meet those standards there were a couple that I would not be able to read to a young child based on the language used to describe why a donkey has long ears. It would be one I would have to pass on sharing with my children or simply remove that part of the story that tells why a Robin has a red breast.
For the majority of the book there are some great stories that I had never read before that capture the true essence of what Easter is supposed to be about without all the world's hype on Easter bunnies, marshmallow peeps, basket hunting and egg dying. These stories capture the meaning of the sacrifice that Jesus made when he came here as Savior to the world and how it changed how we treat one another. All the stories in this book are not 100% religious in their content but do tell fables that encourage us to change how we perceive and treat people today with kindness and hospitality. This book could be used for any purpose besides Easter and for those that are looking for a great book that captures some of those older stories from notable authors, you might just want to pick this one up.
I received Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season compliments of Plough Publishing House and FlyBy Promotions for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. One of my favorite stories was from Leo Tolstoy, Two Old Men. It is about two older men who decide it might be the perfect time to take a trip to Jerusalem before they get too old to go. Along the way they become separated but what each learns truly is life changing for them both. There are 27 incredible stories to chose from in this book. For me this one rated a 4 out of 5 stars due to the fact that not all the stories I read would NOT be suitable for all ages in my opinion.
For more information about Easter Stories: Classic Tales for the Holy Season, Plough Publishing House or where you can pick up a copy of this book today, please click on the links below:
You can find Plough Publishing on Facebook to stay up to date on all their latest books.
Thanks to the generous folks at FlyBy Promotions, they are offering a giveaway copy to one lucky follower of my blog, Reviews From The Heart. This giveaway will end on March 30th and the details to enter this giveaway are listed below:
1. Be a follower of my blog Reviews From The Heart.
2. Be a resident of the US or Canada or have a US or Canadian mailing address. Please No P.O. Boxes.
3. Leave a comment below telling me why you'd love to win a copy of this book. Please make sure to include your email address, so I can contact you if your are the lucky winner.
The winner will be notified by email on March 30th and you will have 72 hours to respond before another winner will be selected. You can enter as many times as you wish and be sure to tell a friend!
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Angels were created long before humans were and as such, they have been there to witness the creation of the world. They hold some valuable positions in the Heavenly Realm, some act as messengers like the Archangel, Gabriel, others are warriors like the Archangel, Michael and still others have found another purpose like Lucifer, once the most beautiful of all of God's created angels before he believed he was higher in authority than God and succeeded in persuading a third of the heavenly angels to follow him to the earth.
In the amazing new young adult series from Chuck Black, Wars of the Realms, Rise of the Fallen is the second book to make its way into the series. While I was anticipating a continuation of sorts from the first novel, Cloak of the Light, this was a very different sequel. In this one, Chuck takes readers back in time to the creation of the world and showcases how the rebellion of the fallen took place and how it will subsequently impact the lives of the characters we find in this series. From the initial rebellion, to the many events in history that showcase how evil has tried to take precedence over the humans God so lovingly created from that moment in the Garden of Eden with Eve, to the corruption that impacted the God's decision to cleanse the Earth with the flood.
While this is merely written from a fictional perception, Chuck references biblical facts through the use of bold text and a great reference at the conclusion of the book that highlights the biblical implications used to complete the storyline. In this novel, we see how an angel Validus who was the last created angel feels less than worthy considering his angelic role at first, not a warrior, not a messenger, he finds himself in without a place among God's elite until the fall of Lucifer. He is then assigned a role before the birth of Jesus Christ, as a warrior angel to help control the evil that is taking both human lives and angelic lives in the spiritual and physical realms. He soon finds allies with a group of angels known at the One Hundred who befriend him and make him feel like a part of God's plan. It won't be until the rebellion in Heaven when Validus will have to make up his own choice to be part of God's plan or find his calling in Lucifer's domain on earth.
The novel is written as a chronological look back into the history of earth and how evil might have played a role in being instruments of the fallen to use humans to gain an upper hand in taking over the earth. It moves slowly forward to the present where we find Validus has been assigned a new role that of an assistant guardian to watch over Drew Carter, the main character in the first novel. It is through the marriage of these two novels that the reader can see what is happening though the eyes of the angels in the spiritual world while at the same time, connecting these events to the first novel in a quick look back before the end of the book. Now the two stories are complete and can move forward to the final epic battle between good and evil in both world in the next novel in the series.
I received Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black compliments of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own. I absolutely love how Chuck decided to write this novel because there is so much information you want to pass along before you move your story forward for readers to truly understand the impact that demons and angels have in our lives as both believers and non believers in Jesus Christ. It is truly eye opening and made me really consider just how much goes on in our daily lives where we are simply unaware and just how powerful prayer really is. Now I can't wait for the next novel in this exciting new supernatural spiritual warfare series and one I can easily give a 5 out of 5 stars too!
For more information about Rise of the Fallen, Chuck Black or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:
You can find Chuck Black on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.
To read more reviews on Rise of the Fallen, please visit Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers website.