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Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The Menu - Book Review



If you had a chance at doing your life over again, just one part you wanted to go back and change, would you?

What if you simply wanted to find that soul mate? True Love? Deeper Faith? Wisdom to make different choices? Most of us, don't understand those questions, because in our minds, we still have time left to make those choices. It's not til we get to our death bed, that those questions would be answered with deep conviction and certainty. Yet what would you give up to have those do overs?

In his latest book, The Menu, author Steven Manchester invokes a sense of searching our hearts and questions how we have lived our lives to this point. Through the character Phinn Reed, who sits in heaven with the possibility of choosing from a list of life desires, to get a second chance at something he never had. A menu of possibilities but also the cost you will need to endure to gain that life. Once a choice is made, all memories of heaven and your past is completely erased.

"This is your life. Order whatever you wish, but keep in mind - whatever you choose to taste, you have to finish," He told Phinn before sending him into the world. God reminds Phinn that he will encounter others that have also chosen changes, and he is likely to encounter them during his time on earth. God also reminds Phinn that with each choice, a price must be paid to obtain it. If you choose compassion, you can have it but not before experiencing pain and suffering. You can have commitment and wisdom, but not before conquering trials and tribulations. Courage after overcoming fear, honor after facing shame, success after much failure."

I absolutely LOVED this direction that this author took with a concept of second chances, because its not a simple Happily Ever After novel. There is a payment to acquire that which we all seek and while most of us just want the menu item, we don't want the price necessary to achieve that even in our lives today. We all want the results, but not what it took to get there. This makes us re-evaluate our lives a bit and take into account what we not only achieved but what we had to pay to get it.

I would highly recommend The Menu by Steven Manchester, and I received a complimentary copy from the author for my honest review of this novel. I have to say this is a really great read and I think there is some wisdom to be gleaned through this fictional novel. As a believer, you can appreciate the ideas behind this fictional book, with understanding it is fiction novel with a point. I would easily give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

If you would like to get a copy of this book, please click on the link to Amazon. 

To find more novels from Steven Manchester, please visit his website.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Three Shoeboxes



I've been a huge fan of Steven Manchester's novel since I read my first one. I guess what draws me to continue to read anything he writes is his ability to cut to the core of what we all feel deep down inside ourselves. Those are often places we hope we never have to visit in our lifetime and being exposed to them from a safe place allows us to see things from different perspectives and wonder if we were in the same situation, how might we deal with what the characters face.

In his latest novel, Three Shoeboxes, Mac Anderson, is living the dream. He has a successful career as an ad executive, a wonderful home, loving wife, three wonderful children and the support of those in his community. Yet he would never have expected that the one night as he was driving home from an anniversary dinner with his wife, that this would be the catalyst that would change everything and strip it away piece by piece.

As he begins to experience what can only be described as panic attacks, Mac refuses to let anyone into what he is dealing with. Perhaps that is that manly pride that as the head of the house, one needs to hold it all together at all times. Even though his wife Jen can clearly see he is dealing with issues, he continues to keep her at bay. As each of these attacks grows more frequent and out of control, Mac finally relents to getting some personal help. Yet even the therapist can seem to grasp the sudden turn around in his life and be able to help him deal with things.

So Mac gives up and tries to resolve the issues on his own, becoming more and more hostile, argumentative and even resorting to alcohol to put this attacks to rest. Only it just drives a deeper and widening gap between his family until he loses control one night and from then out out, even is family no longer wants anything to do with him and now he faces the loss of his job, the support of family and friends and now living on the street he faces his demons alone. Is it all lost? Can he find his way back home? Or is he just one bullet shy from ending it all? You'll have to find out by picking up this novel.

I received Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester compliments of The Story Plant. This is an emotional story that could face anyone at anytime, and makes us all understand how precious moments are in life and how quickly it can all change. It makes the reader reassess what it the most valuable things in your life and how you might face the challenges Mac faces. Does he have the faith in himself to fight his way back to the man he used to be? I'll let you decide when you pick this one up. For me, again a stellar 5 star novel in my opinion.

For more information about Steven Manchester, Three Shoeboxes or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Steven Manchester on Facebook to stay up to date his latest novels.


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Heart Between Us



When you think about it medical technology has come a long way in the way of being able to offer patients the ability to have a heart transplant. The one thing sustaining life within all of us can at any time and without any reason, suddenly stop working. There isn't a reset button or the ability to power cycle a human being like we can with technology but to take a once beating heart from one person and transplant it in someone else is truly a miracle in of itself.

Megan Jacobs is just such a person. Struggling with growing up her entire life watching the life she wished she could have be lived out in her twin Crystal. She had to be the one carefully watched by not only her friends but her family who understood the implications of living with a weak heart. Who could fault any of them for wanting to make sure she didn't overexert herself trying to play sports, the one who spent most of her time in hospital beds than her own. Who could even blame Megan for wanting everything she felt denied to her all because of something she was born with and couldn't change.

This would be a pattern that would set itself up for both girls during their adult life as well. Megan would remain the secluded single girl taking the only job that offered no health risks, a librarian while her sister gets the perfect life of following her dreams and starting her own family. Yet when she is given the opportunity of a life time to receive a donor heart from a young girl named Amanda, she wants to make a connection to know who the girl was that lost her life so she could have a chance at another one for herself. Amanda's parents gift her with a journal in which Amanda wrote a Bucket List of all the things she wished she could have done but unfortunately never had the time to do. Megan finds that she can gift them both by following her dream to travel and visit the places Amanda always wished she could go. But will she be able to convince her parents to let up on the tight reins that have kept over her life to allow her to live the new one God had blessed her with?

I received The Heart Between Us by Lindsay Harrel compliments of TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers. I absolutely LOVE this novel because it conveys so many of the emotions one can feel being on both sides of the fence. To love a daughter enough you'd do anything to keep her safe, and for the one who wants to experience all life has to offer even if it only lasts just one more day. Will Amanda's heart heal more than just one person in the process at giving Megan a new start at a life she could only dream about before? Pick this one up to find out. I easily give this one a 4.5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion.

For more information about The Heart Between Us, Lindsay Harrel or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Lindsay Harrel on Facebook to stay up to date with all her latest books.

To read more reviews on The Heart Between Us, please visit TLC's Book Tour page. 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Man He Never Was



There is only one novel of James L. Rubart's I haven't read and I will correct that very soon. However to understand his style of writing, it is not going to be something you can easily figure out like most novels. Most of his take the reader on a journey that may have not been expecting and with that I believe comes a greater understanding that we share similar qualities with the characters he pens to life in his novels.

The Man He Never Was is exactly like that. You have the main character Toren Daniels who mysteriously wakes up in a hotel room with no recollection of why he is there. He believed he went bed beside his wife in his own home, but that is not what has happened, nor will he like what he is about to discover. Eight months of his life have completely vanished without a trace. He has no memory other than the rage he used to have to contend with is no longer present in his life, leaving his with a calming peace in places where only there used to be burning rage and anger. His only clue is a mysterious package that arrives, telling him that the anger that has robbed him not only of his chance with the NFL but also with his family.

He vaguely remembers that anger as it seems that he is looking outside of the former person he was and all he knows from those he talks with is he apparently wrote a suicide note, and vanished into thin air, leaving people to believe he followed through on his threat. Even his wife and children have moved on and his wife is now in love with someone else. Through vague recollections and pieces of what might have occurred he struggles to get back what he has lost, without losing himself to the former man he was. Using the examples of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, along with the Hulk, Toren believes he may have been experimented on, giving some kind of mind altering drink but as he feels that peace and contentment slipping away, he knows he is running out of time and the dark beast within is threatening to become unleashed again.

I received The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart compliments of TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson Publishers. There are so many spins in this novel that unless you are familiar with James' work you might just get lost before you settle in and wait for the outcome. Most often than we'd like to admit, there is a bit of darkness in all of us. Some can make peace with it while keeping it under control and there are others that allow it to dominate the person they become and in the process are lost like children who can't find their way home. "Henry Jekyll says that he and every other man and woman is not truly one, but truly two, and he sees the human soul as the ultimate battleground of our lives - one part of us an angel and the other a demon, both struggling for mastery and destruction of the other." You'll have to see what you get from this when you finish, but for me, another well done masterpiece. There is even a reader's discussion guide included which would make this a great novel for book clubs. For me, another well deserved 5 out of 5 stars.

For more information about The Man He Never Was, James L. Rubart or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find James L. Rubart on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.

To read more reviews on The Man He Never Was, please visit TLC Book Tour page. 

Monday, March 26, 2018

High Cotton



What do you think when you hear the word "Family Reunion?"

For some, it might be the opportunity to get together with those wonderful members of the family that are separated by the miles on rare moments like a family reunion.

For others it might be cringe worthy. Those are the times when you know family drama is about to become a full-blown theatrical production and that is just what Shay Henke has on her mind when she receives another invitation to the Bucklin Family Reunion. It seems like her family is always finding a way to bring everyone together even though its not all that it is cracked up to be. But then again, it's probably like that for most families. Time to reunite, share some beloved family memories and traditions and leave the drama hopefully in the closet for now and just smile and get along right?

Well if you have read any of Debby Mayne's novels, you know you are about to join in, whether you're ready or not to join in with the Bucklin clan. So grab a glass of sweet tea and sit back and unwind as all the wonderful characters she has created in her latest novel High Cotton is unveiled in the first of her series, the Bucklin Family Reunion! This is truly all about bringing a bit of the South and all it's traditions, sayings, accents and more to those who have never been privy to such a family affair. And you just know its not going to go off without a hitch either.

Just the cover alone is what got me wanting to read this, besides the premise of a wonderful drama filled family reunion that doesn't involve me personally and being a fan of anything Debby Mayne rights just makes me pick it up without having to know if it's going to be good or not. That's the thing with exceptional authors that write books that take you into the story line transporting you right in the middle of things. You've got those well-meaning elderly women who are wondering when you are going to find the right man and settle down before one becomes an old maid, the men in the family who would rather be doing anything but attending another one of these lively events and those in the family who believe it is their job to be a personal savior to anyone needing help.

I received High Cotton by Debby Mayne compliments of Litfuse Publicity and Gilead Publishing. I can't wait to read the very next novel Fit to Be Tied coming on the heels of this one, but as all exceptional series are, they are never soon enough for those of us that want even more. This is a wonderful summer novel and one I highly recommend and that is why I am giving this a 4.5 out of 5 stars. If this is your first Debby Mayne novel, you will want to check out everything else she has written, they are all wonderful novels that would definitely make it to my summer reading list.

For more information about High Cotton, Debby Mayne or where you can pick up a copy of this novel today, please click on the links below:


You can find Debby Mayne on Facebook to stay up to date on all her latest novels.

To read more reviews on High Cotton, please visit Gilead Publishing's website. 


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Adverse Possession



It takes a lot to scare me and make me want to not turn off the lights.

Especially books lately because I am very selective on which ones I will review or read anymore. This excludes most of the best selling authors because they don't line up with the same spiritual values that now dictate my reading choices for the most part. However with that being said, Jess Hanna, managed to do just that.

In his second book, Adverse Possession, the best way I can describe it is the Exorcism with a Christian twist. If that doesn't peak your interest I don't know what will and trust me this book gives it all to you in just the right doses to make you reconsider whether you should finish it or not. Not because it isn't a great book, but the suspense, thrill factor is on steroids. Finally an author who gets it. Gives it to you in small amounts so your mind begins to wonder what could it be and what is going on.

Andy Forrester is a buy it and flip it investor who finds a house he might just promise his family that will finally be their forever home. Lately what has been happening is that the family will stay in on of his latest fixer uppers long enough for the work to be done, before its time to move out so that can be sold. But he realizes that this isn't the kind of life for his wife and two small children, Jonathan and Alexis. So he really chooses a fixer upper in a small isolated part of town where the house has been sitting vacant and unsold for some time. (Clue 1).

As the construction gets underway the first accident occurs when a construction worker has his fingers severed while standing next to a power saw. He claims it just started itself and soon he is rushed off to the hospital, but not before Andy attempts to clean up the blood, and realizes the only place it remains is on the saw. (Clue 2).

While the family attempts to live in the home, a random power outage occurs in the home, twice a day and both at the same time. 10:27am or pm, the power will go out and resume at exactly 10:28 am or pm. There is nothing they are doing and it replays itself like on an endless loop every single day and night. The family just passes it off and old wiring in the house since it is causing any harm. Yet will the beginning of the families complacency attitude be just the thing that leaves the door open for even more chilling things to come? Have the family moved into a haunted house or something even more sinister? You'll have to pick this one up and find out.

Adverse Possession by Jess Hanna is a powerful book that reminds us all of the power of complacency in our own faith and how much the power of God can do and can't do when it is wielded by those who know Him and those who don't. For me, this one really spooked me pretty well as it should because people far too often don't realize how innocent activity in their own life can open the door for other spiritual beings to make themselves quite at home. No pun intended. For those of you that LOVE your books to be a bit on the edge of your seat, don't read it alone, keep the lights on kind of fiction? This is it! I give this one a 5 out of 5 stars because it did what it was intended to do.

You can find more information about Adverse Possession, Jess Hanna or how to pick up a copy of this book today, by clicking on the links below:


You can find Jess Hanna on Facebook to stay up to date on all his latest books.


Monday, March 19, 2018

The Road to Hell



I don't know how I passed this book up?

I kept coming across fellow Book Reviewers that I know, that said how amazing this book was for a first time author, Jess Hanna and for those that love supernatural and spiritual warfare fiction genre's this was a must read. To say that it got my curiosity up was a bit of an understatement. I was even willing to pay for this one since I respected the opinions of my fellow peers not to steer me wrong. Thankfully, I had uploaded it some time ago, along with the second novel when it was offered FREE and never had the time to fully dedicate some time to reading it. Last night I finished it and so glad I did.

First of all if you love that supernatural, spiritual warfare novels like from such greats as Frank Peretti's Piercing the Darkness and This Present Darkness, do yourself a favor and pick this one up. It focuses on the life of one man Lucas Stone, who has made a name for himself working for Valiant Public Relations and never really considered at any point in his career he would find himself jobless. But that is just what happens to him, caught up in thinking he would skate by with another client who wanted to be "served" by Lucas but was left high and dry instead. It was the straw that broke the camel's back with the agency.

Now jobless and without any future prospects the drive home that day would forever change his life when he gets into an accident he failed to see coming. In an instant both is physical mobility and his spiritual outlook on life would change in a heartbeat as he fights both for his physical life and his spiritual one as well, when he finds that instead of taking that journey into the tunnel of light, he is pulled down into the vacuum of hell only to realize what a tragic mistake he took. After a handful of days in the hospital enduring physical therapy, he now is faced with mounting medical bills and no way of paying them. God sends him a man named Mike that would teach him about unconditional love and what a true Christian walk looks like with human skin on.

Throughout the book, Lucas' life is moved with other characters that have crossed his path and will play a pivotal role in the culmination of the purest evil known to man in the physical world as Lucas is once again faced with a public relations nightmare when one of his clients seeks him out to help him launch his career as an author who has written a controversial book on what the real definition of hell looks like. Is it the same as the one Lucas experiences or it this a wolf in sheep's clothing. For me, this is a phenomenal novel and one I couldn't wait to finish. It is well worth all 5 out of 5 stars in this reader's opinion and now I can't wait to read his other novel Adverse Possession. 


You can find Jess Hanna on Facebook to stay up to date with all his latest novels.