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Monday, July 21, 2014

Firewall



Sometimes whenever I pick up a novel I'm not sure it will be a great one or just an O.K. one. But then there are those so great that you simply can't put them down until the end. The action level in them is fast paced, heart-stopping and literally on the edge of your seat, that when life comes along, like doing dishes or laundry, you have to put those things aside. I mean honestly, how can you leave your character's lives hanging in the balance, while you wash and dry a sink full of dishes? Answer, you can't!

I am one of those readers that will take the time to read the comments posted about the novel or the author and then consider how accurate or completely wrong some may be. I mean, be honest, they all can't be that great right? In the case of DiAnn Mills latest novel Firewall, they really are! This one completely grabs your attention from the first few pages and immediately you are hooked. We meet a lovely couple just on the verge of celebrating their honeymoon. Taryn Young and her new husband Francis Shepherd are heading to the airport to begin their honeymoon on the islands of San Juan. Everything is perfect including putting away all of Taryn's technology so they can truly celebrate and spend time as husband and wife. Just before boarding their plane, Taryn makes a final restroom stop and a bomb goes off in the airport. Realizing she is lucky to be alive at all, she is immediately taken to the hospital for her injuries.

She certainly doesn't expect to be interrogated by the FBI when she wakes up. They believe that Taryn and her husband, whom she refers to a Shep, are responsible for the bombing at the airport. They have video footage that clearly shows Taryn heading into the restroom and Shep departing the airport in the same limo that brought them both there. Clearly she believes that they are making a mistake, because why would her husband be leaving the airport? They were leaving on their honeymoon and even if something came up, he wouldn't leave her behind. Right? But everything Taryn believes about the last three months of her whirlwind romance with Shep is about to be drawn into questioning and soon she'll begin to realize the man she married isn't who she thought he was after all. Even more troubling, he is out to find her at all costs and get the one thing he desperately needs that could be her entire country at risk for terrorist threats.

I received Firewall by DiAnn Mills compliments of Tyndale House Publishers 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. I have to agree with those that commented, "Firewall is a gripping ride that will keep your blood pumping and your imagination in high gear. ~ Dani Pettrey" or "Firewall is an up-until-2 a.m. book...I had no idea who the mastermind was until the last two or three pages. ~Lauraine Snelling." I agree with them 100%. If you love a book that will keep you glued while life simply has to wait until you finish this novel, please pick it up. It's like Mission Impossible rolled together with a bit of Jason Bourne and a definitely a shot of sizzling romance on the side! By far one of the best action adventures I've read and thanks to DiAnn Mills for signing my copy with the word, "Expect an adventure!" That is definitely what I got and more. Well worth every one of the 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion! This is the first book in the FBI: Houston Series! Can't wait for even more action to come!

For more information about Firewall, DiAnn Mills or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can also find DiAnn Mills on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Firewall, please visit Christian Fiction Blog Alliance's book tour page. 




Friday, July 18, 2014

Remains of Innocence



Two murders in two cities, presents a challenge and a possible connection. When Liza Manchett, begins to go through her mother's house, she discovers something she can't explain. Growing up she lived in poverty with no electricity or hot water, yet in going through her mother's things after she has died, she discovers money in various places that amounts to a small fortune. Not sure what this means about the way her mother dealt with raising her and her step brother Guy, she is more than puzzled to come up with a valid explanation. Since she can't ask her mother, she tries to pieces things together as best as she can. She knows her father left them all for another women and died many years ago. Guy had no problem attending Harvard and John Hopkins to become a doctor but he earned it all on his own.

Now he refuses to have anything to do with Liza or helping her try to figure things out. When she attempts to renovate her mother's home to something that is suitable for sale, she receives a warning from a man at her mother's funeral. He warns Liza that people don't forgive and forget. One by one, people in Liza' life begin to come up murdered and she seems to be the only connection. Is it possible Liza is hiding something? Something she is keeping from the police? Is Liza responsible for the string of murders that begins to follow her everywhere she goes?

On the other end of the spectrum, Sheriff Joanna Brady struggles to come to terms with an apparent serial killer in the small town of Bisbee, Arizona. The man in question, Junior Dowdle, has the body of an older man, but mentally has the age of a young child. Combine that with the effects of Alzheimer's and it's no wonder that Junior has wound up missing. When all all out search reveals Junior has fallen to his death in an abandoned cave, they discover three mutilated animals beneath his body. Only on further investigation, do they find a small kitten that has escaped death but is injured beyond belief to even seasoned officers and yet managed to survive. How is Junior responsible? Did his mental capacity lead him to commit these horrible crimes when his parents were forced to lock him inside his room or is there another explanation?

I received Remains of Innocence by J.A. Jance 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 strictly my own. I really enjoyed this novel due to the complexities of the two cases that eventually converge for Sheriff Joanna Brady and was more than surprised at who was responsible. Completely missed it on my end and so glad I am not a detective. This one rated a true 4.5 out of 5 stars and is a definitely must read for fans of criminal murder mysteries!

For more information about Remains of Innocence, J.A. Jance or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find J.A. Jance on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Remains of Innocence, please visit William Morrow's website. 

 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home



Sometimes as we grow older we look back at our lives and remember fond memories of times spent with our family and our children as they grew. Those are often shared memories between our family as we reflect back on those times with admiration and love. Too often when life grows too busy, we forget to take time out of our day and plan for more of those memories we can share with our children or teens. We don't want to get to the end of our life and realize our time has run out and we never took the time to make plans. That is why I love the book, 101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home from David Bordon and Tom Winters.

Each page offers some suggestions to help us make time for some incredible activities that are bound to create a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of our children and perhaps create their own traditions that they will continue on with their own families. This book was written to help you map out those precious years. It's filled with ideas and advice designed to help you maximize your ability to send your children out into the world with all the tools they need to succeed, while making sure you and your kids enjoy every precious moment. Here are a few of the ideas you will find tucked inside this cover:

Plant a Family Tree
Make Your Kids All Home-Movie Stars
Conduct a Laundry Seminar
Thank a Soldier
Spend the Night in the Zoo
Pick Up Trash in a Park
Have a Paper Airplane Flying Contest
Organize a Search for Teddy Bears in the Dark
Trace Your Child's Silhouette

There are so many more great ideas and values to teach your children that when they grow older, they will appreciate the time you spent with them, helping them become better people and children of God. What a wonderful gift this would make for new parents, grandparents or even teachers or youth group leaders. There is a powerful message behind all the activities and provides additional time to reflect and open communication lines with our children now so that it will hopefully last in the future. Even though my children are almost grown, I hope to incorporate these ideas with my future grandkids or any children that I have time to spend with like my nieces and nephews. I am hoping that these will create so many great memories that they will take them with them when they arrive on heaven's doorstep! For me, this one rates a 5 out of 5 stars!

I received 101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home by David Bordon and Tom Winters compliments of Faith Words, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained in this review are strictly my own. For more information about 101 Things You Should Do Before Your Kids Leave Home, David Bordon or Tom Winters or where you can pick up a copy of this amazing book today, please click on the links below:





Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Outlaw



Ted Dekker writes some pretty amazing novels. Stuff you don't even think about or consider but by the time you reach the end, you realize you've gone through something pretty amazing. Such is the case for the novel Outlaw. It defines the foundation for his series, the Outlaw Chronicles through even more novels. You need to understand the issues of what makes one an true outlaw. This is the real "Survivor" story and not like the reality series!(Spoiler alert below:)

The story behind Outlaw is one that Ted elaborates on in the conclusion of the novel where he shared his own experiences being the son of a missionaries. He traveled to some pretty remote locations where some tribal people that came upon didn't even speak the same language and their cultural differences allowed him some unusual insight to share with the reader. The main character Julian Carter grew up in Atlanta, Georgia in a prominent and wealthy family in t 1933. Servants were still employed and Julian grew up understanding how her parents treated them as such. Even though they were treated well, they were still considered hired help and had their place in society as well.

She dealt with life as best as she could being pressured by her parents to marry into a suitable family and bear her father a son to whom he could pass along his inheritance and wealth. During this time, Julian was plagued by dreams that she was in a jungle flying high over the tree tops being drawn to someone through a song. She never understood the significance but was puzzled by its meaning. After finally giving birth to a son that she loved more than life, her parents both passed away and her husband feel into a deep depression. When a group of missionaries can to her church sharing the news of their trips to remote locations to share the gospel. Julian felt compelled to go. Little did she realize how much her life would change after that.

Setting sail on board a small sailboat, Julian along with her young 2-year-old son, Stephen, get caught in an unexpected violent storm that threatens their very lives. After witnessing their captain attempt to save the boat and fall overboard, she now realizes it is up to her to save their lives. She hopes and prays that God will answer her prayers to keep them both alive until the storm passes. But the ship capsizes and Julian is injured. When she wakes, she finds herself floating among the debris and her son is no where to be found. Realizing her loss, she is captured by a tribe known as the Tulim who believe that all women are sub-species of pigs and treat them as such unless they can bear children. Now Julian's nightmare truly begins.

I received Outlaw from Ted Dekker compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. I love the direction that Ted took this novel and like all of his books in a great series, you have to really get to the meat of the meaning behind them all. Outlaw does just that.. You learn about the meaning behind "deditio," Latin for unconditional surrender and how the corresponds to the life of Jesus Christ for believers. You realize as well that we are all outlaws in comparison to the world's views and are often treated as such by society that doesn't like that we uphold God's law and belief in the Bible as the absolute truth. We're not perfect, but when we can see things from that perspective it makes things so much easier to deal with when faced with persecution of any kind. I easily rate this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Outlaw, Ted Dekker, or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can Ted Dekker on Facebook to keep up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Outlaw, please visit Center Street Publishing's website. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Penny Wise



I remember when I was a child growing up in a small beachside neighborhood. All the neighbors knew one another and we lived in a small cul-de-sac. Holidays were celebrated in a big way because we got outside and hung out with the people who lived around us. Even late at night, parents would keep an eye out for all the kids, not just there own. But it seems like we have forgotten those great times where we look out for one another. Call it being busy or simply not interested enough, but Neta and Dave Jackson take us back to an old Chicago neighborhood on Beecham Street in each of their novels in the Windy City Neighborhood Series. In the third book, Penny Wise, we meet the Jasper family. The hard working father, Jared works crazy hours as an air traffic controller so the time he does spend with his family is split between work, church and family obligations. His wife, Michelle carries the weight of raising three growing teens, Destin who loves basketball and wants to attend summer camp to enhance his skills for a potential scholarship when he graduates from high school. The twins Tavis and Tabby, are growing 13-year-olds who are desperately seeking their own identities and trying to stay away from the gangs and drugs.

Michelle attempts to hold it all together while working at Bridges Family Services, along with volunteering at Lifeline, a crisis pregnancy center that helps young girls deal with the implications of dealing with the emotions of abortion and teen pregnancy. When she isn't there or working, she is raising a growing, busy family alongside helping out when she can at her church. What the Jasper family is dealing with the most is finding family time again with everyone being so busy in their own personal lives. Sure Jared and Michelle have to work to pay the bills, but it seems as if they are spiraling out of control and unexpected expenses keep piling up when they least expect them, which adds to the pressure that their marriage has to deal with. It isn't hard to understand even in today's tough economic times, that we can all relate to the Jasper's situation. Just how they work it all out is the premise behind this novel. It will showcase just how important family and neighbors can be and by the time you get to the end, you hope that we can all get out and meet with our neighbors a bit more.

Your favorite neighbors that you have met in the first two novels are back, from fun loving, blunt and honest Estelle Bentley, to Christian singer Grace Meredith, and Mattie Krakowski finally makes it home from recovering from her hip injury to take residence in the Bentley's new town home. You gain insight into the strengths and weaknesses that Michelle and Jared face in their marriage and in how they choose to work things out. It challenges us in our own marriages and parenting situations to see things from a different perspective.

I received Penny Wise by authors Neta and Dave Jackson compliments of Castle Rock Creative Publishing and Litfuse Book Tours for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained are strictly my own. I would recommend that even though you can read this as a stand alone, you would get more enjoyment reading this series in order, with Grounded being the first and Derailed following that one. I can't wait for the next one Pound Foolish to come out this fall that picks up the homeschooling family we meet in this novel and one I am sure I will relate to as well. I would rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion.

For more information about Penny Wise, Dave and Neta Jackson or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can also find Dave and Neta Jackson on Facebook to stay up to date with all their latest novels.

To read more reviews on Penny Wise, please visit Litfuse Publicity's Book Tour page. 


Monday, July 14, 2014

Blink of An Eye



Imagine if you had the unique ability of precognition besides an IQ that was virtually higher than any human being had recorded, but in your mind you simply saw yourself as the average nerdy kind of guy that found college boring and were looking for something more out of this life? Then you would be describing Seth Borders, who maintains an IQ of 193, Einsteins was estimated to be 163 and only 1 percent of humans even have an IQ of 135, so you can see how Seth would be simply bored by most things. He simply thought ahead of what most people thought and can see things others can't. He has been offered a job at the National Security Association or NSA and can either be a huge asset or a huge threat depending on who's side of the fence Seth is interested in working with.

Just when he thought life couldn't get any more exciting, he encounters, Miriam, a beautiful Middle Eastern princess who is running for her life. He sees her a few minutes before even encountering her and knows that if he fails to act, she will die in the future he has seen earlier. Not knowing how or why he has received this uncanny ability to see into the future along with hundreds of possible outcomes, he is willing to take that risk and it is one that will forever alter both of their lives.

Miriam is running for her life quite literally, because she knew if she stayed in Saudi Arabia, she would be forced into a marriage to a man named Omar bin Khalid. He is one of the most powerful men in Saudi Arabia and he has plans to upset the balance of power in Saudi Arabia by staging a coup and providing a son of royal birth through Miriam which will ultimately give him the power to rule. But Omar is not without his faults and killing those who stand in his path of achieving his success is merely a fore thought. When he learns that Miriam has fled the country, he vows to punish her for making him look like a fool and will only keep her around long enough to provide a son to take over the existing throne in his country. Then she will not serve his purpose any longer and will be eliminated.

I received Blink of an Eye by best-selling author Ted Dekker compliments of Center Street Publishing, a division of Hachette Book Groups for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions contained here are strictly my own. Ever since my first Ted Dekker book, I've been hooked by his unique writing style to draw you in from the very beginning and before you know it, you're holding your breath, reading as fast as you can flip pages, to find out just what will happen next. This one is no exception and I've loved being a part of Miriam and Seth's journey from beginning to end. It conveys to readers just how difficult life for a woman living in the Middle East truly is when she is treated like property and lacking all the basic rights of a human being. Her life simply isn't worth anything but a means to an end. I can easily give this one a 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait to add this one to my growing Ted Dekker library collection!

For more information about Blink of an Eye, Ted Dekker or where to pick up a copy of this amazing novel, please click on the links below:


You can also find Ted Dekker on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on Blink of An Eye, please visit Center Street Publishing's website. 


Friday, July 11, 2014

Beneath a Navajo Moon



For as long as I can remember I love reading about the Native American people, their cultures and their love for the land and for the living things that dwell on the earth. Lisa Carter has taken this aspect, combining both contemporary and historical storylines to produce an amazing murder mystery and a bit of romance in her latest novel Beneath a Navajo Moon.

Cultural anthropologist Erin Dawson has been following the story of Olivia Thornton, from 1906 through her journal that captures a time from her life when she was taken captive by an Navajo Indian known as Silver Eagle. What she discovers is that this started out as a kidnapping but instead love was found. Despite the fact that Olivia's family tried to discourage her from reuniting with Silver Eagle, she made an attempt to find him at all costs when marriages between white women and Indians were frowned upon. Erin knows that there is more to this story that what is in the journal and she is going to do everything she can to unlock the mystery.

What she doesn't plan on is falling for tribal policeman Adam Silverhorn. He is in the process of investigating the murder of the chief of police in Cedar Canyon on the Navajo Reservation. Armed with a handful of clues he's been learning more about an undercover operation that has been threading its way through the police department and even he has his own secrets to hide. The one thing he hadn't planned on is becoming friends with Erin in the process and with them spending more time together, he has to remind himself where the boundaries of their relationship are, despite her uncanny ability to appeal to his appetite for a great meal!



I received Beneath a Navajo Moon by Lisa Carter compliments of Abingdon Press for my honest review and did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable one. The opinions contained here are strictly my own. This is such a great novel because of how Lisa has written this from two perspectives, one from Olivia Thornton's as she comes to terms with being kidnapped by a Navajo Indian who wants to learn more about the God she believes in and from Erin's perspective as she tries to figure out what happened to Olivia when she set forth to find the man she had fallen in love with despite the prejudices from both families based on their cultural differences. It is a great example of the power of love and how nothing can stand in the way. For anyone who loves a bit of mystery steep in Indian heritage, you will definitely love this one. I easily give it a 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about Beneath a Navajo Moon, Lisa Carter or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can also find Lisa Carter on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on Beneath a Navajo Moon, please visit Abingdon Press' website.