Monday, August 26, 2013

Memory's Door by James Rubart

With a victory against the Evil One under their belts, the four of the Prophecy have managed to bring even greater adversity their way.

In Soul’s Gate, Reece, Dana, Brandon, and Marcus—the four of the Prophecy—were set free from some of their deepest wounds.
Now the four must stand against the Enemy's continues assaults—and try to determine how to prevail against the dark manifestation of The Wolf mentioned in the Prophecy.

But the Enemy isn’t going to make that easy. Circumstances in each of their personal lives affect their unity and commitment to the group. Three enigmatic men appear and none of the four can get a true sense of whether these men are intimate allies . . . or diabolical enemies. And if that’s not enough, the Enemy has begun torturing them with visions of what their lives would be like if they could reverse their greatest regrets—if they’d made the right choices.

These four have seen amazing things in the spiritual realm. But faith can become even more difficult when it's influenced by sight.

Oh sweet day!  Another novel by Jim Rubart.  And not just any novel, this is the continuation of the great “Well Spring” novels.  Hang onto your hats, we’re going in!

The members of the Warriors Riding are back and preparing for an even bigger battle this time.  Reese is still struggling with the loss of his vision and how that will affect the warring that is taking shape against The Wolf.  Brandon’s singing career continues to skyrocket, but an injury to his vocal chords may spell trouble for his future.  Dana is enjoying a rise in her employment status at the radio station and Marcus is battling with personal issues at home with his teenage daughter and a new boyfriend.  If all of this isn’t enough, the group comes under fire from a charismatic radio personality bent on outing the Warriors Riding for the malicious group that they are.  When will the prophecy foretell Reese will get his vision back? Can Brandon get his career back on track?  Will Dana continue to climb the corporate ladder? Are Marcus’ personal issues an attack from The Wolf and can they be overcome? Questions, questions and more questions that can all be answered when you BUY THE BOOK!

There’s nothing more exciting to me than to be able to read a book that causes me to do research.  As he did in “Soul’s Gate”, Jim Rubart opens my eyes to possibilities that I’ve never considered.  I love the descriptions that he uses as the Warriors enter a soul, such vivid details that paint such a realistic picture of what those battles would look like.  The battles that rage in this book showcase the battles that we face each day in our walk, but battles that are important to who we become.  The introduction of Carson as “the mainstream Christian”, sure brings a lot of great discussions to the table.  One of the main themes through this book is “regret” and how we need to release those things that are holding us prisoners to decisions and actions of the past.  These “regrets” keep us from enjoying the life that He has planned for us.  Once again, Jim Rubart has another great hit on his hands!

Is this a man’s book?  This book is definitely a man’s book.  Not only for the action and pace of the book, but because it also has a message that we all need to hear loud and clear!

Some thoughts from Jim Rubart

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
No! Which is tragic. I love finding new authors, but my life has been slammed with writing so I haven’t had a great deal of time to read lately. I am reading a few novels for endorsement, but as wrong as this seems, I’m reading less nowadays than I did before becoming an author. 

What are your current projects?
As you know, Memory’s Door, the second book in the Well Spring series just released. That means book three has to be in the works and it is. It’s finished and is in the polishing up stage. It’s called, The Spirit Bridge and releases next spring. Also, I’m starting work on the novel after which comes out January of 2015. It will be a stand-alone novel and I’m just starting to play with ideas for that one.

How are you the same/different from you main character, Reece?
A great question. People ask me how I’m like my characters, or where they come from. I think you can only write what you’ve experienced, either in reality or in your imagination. So there’s a great deal of me in all four of my main characters.

I worked at radio stations for ten years, so there’s a lot of Dana (a radio station manager) in me. I play guitar so Brandon (world-wide musician) is the expression of my dreaming of being a recording artist as a kid, Marcus is the part of me that loves teaching and exploring things like quantum mechanics, and Reece is that part of me that likes to lead, that wonders why I took so long to step into the arena I’m in now, and that loves photography and the outdoors.

And their struggles are mine as well, some real, some imagined. You’ll have to guess which are which.

Why do you feel you had to tell this story?
There are two major themes in Memory’s Door: An attack from what I believe is the greatest enemy of the church; religion. The second theme is regret. Regret is devastating because it not only chains us to the past; it keeps us from living in the present and future. As I wrote this novel I was going through my own personal and spiritual crisis revolving around regrets in my own life. I had to get free, and I did. So in a sense, this book is like a personal journal played out for the world to see.

You were just given a new Yacht, what would you name it?
If I were to go with a woman’s name, there’s no question it would be my amazing wife’s name: Darci. On this rollercoaster writing journey she has been my editor, counselor, best friend, inspiration, and muse. There’d have been no chance of success without her.

If I went with another name, it would be, Freedom. I think everyone has a theme/message at the core of their lives, be it grace, forgiveness, joy … mine is freedom. Jesus came to “heal the broken hearts and set the captives free.” My desire is to be a small part of his doing that through my novels and my life.

If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be?
On my website the first thing you see is, “live free.” That’s the slogan for my life. It’s what I often don’t do, but want to do. I want to live in the freedom Jesus came to give us. (Gal 5:1). It’s what I want to help others step into when they meet me. It’s what I want to see for my wife and sons and friends. If we know the Son, we will be free indeed. So I want to know him, and know the freedom that comes from that intimacy. All joy, all life, all freedom starts and ends with our friendship with him.

Twitter: @jameslrubart

James L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award winning author of, ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, SOUL’S GATE, and MEMORY’S DOOR. During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and teenage sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at

James L. Rubart takes readers deeper into the world he began in Soul’s Gate (a 2013 Christy Award winner) with Memory’s Door (Thomas Nelson), the second book in the Well Spring series.

James is celebrating the Memory's Door release with a fantastic Kindle Fire HD giveaway.

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle Fire HD
  • Soul's Gate and Memory's Door by James L. Rubart
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on September 7th. All winners will be announced September 9th at James' blog.

Don't miss a moment of the fun; enter today and be sure to visit James' blog on the 9th to see if you won! (Or better yet, subscribe to his blog (enter your email in the blog sidebar) and have the winner announcement delivered to your inbox!)

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.  I was not required to write a positive review.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Serpent's Grasp by C. Kevin Thompson

Dr. Evelyn Sims, a brilliant marine biologist, is being watched. Her husband's mysterious death at sea-with the only survivor of the Greenback telling a shocking, unbelievable tale-has thrown her personal life into chaos. Her scientific views are being scrutinized. Her husband's office and their home are investigated. Called in by the FBI to help solve the mystery, Evelyn is thrust into her toughest research project ever and forced into a maze of deception and betrayal.

Micah Gregson, the Coast Guard captain who rescued the Greenback, is determined to find out why a special unit at the FBI-the one assigned to cryptozoological cases-is involved.

Together Evelyn and Micah will uncover a plot more deadly than anything the ocean could ever produce. One that will either save Evelyn's life and redeem her career, or destroy everything she-and myriad others-stand for.

I always like to give a personal insight into any book that I’m reviewing.  For this one, I met the author during a chat one evening on the Book Fun Network (  We were discussing his new book, “30 Days Hath Revenge”, and he agreed to send that book to me to review.  When the book arrived, I found that Mr. Thompson had been nice enough to include “Serpent’s Grasp” as well.  Long story short, I reviewed “30 Days Hath Revenge” and forgot all about “Serpent’s Grasp”.  The other night, while ribbing Mr. Thompson about getting his sequel written for “30 Days Hath Revenge”, he mentioned that I hadn’t yet reviewed “Serpent’s Grasp”.  So I picked it up from my church library and had it done in a few short days.

Dr. Evelyn Sims seems to be barely hanging on.  Her scientific views aren’t the “norm” in the science world, her science lab needs some serious updating and her marriage of 6 years appears to be falling apart.  When a boat is attacked off the Florida coast, her lab is sent in to investigate what may have attacked the boat.  Unfortunately, this isn’t just any regular boat, this is her husband’s boat.  Micah Gregson is the captain of the vessel that intercepted the distress call from the boat.  With a background in Naval Intelligence and many years on the seas, this is the first such attack that he’s ever seen.  Micah and Dr. Sims join forces to find out what exactly is happening in the ocean, especially when another ship is attacked.  A roadblock to their joint effort, though, is FBI Agent Jackson.  Jackson runs an elite group of FBI Agents that track down and investigate “paranormal” occurrences.  Agent Jackson will do whatever it takes to keep the truth hidden, even if it means murder.  What is in the ocean attacking these ships? Can Dr. Sims and Micah expose the truth?  Is Agent Jackson able to keep the facts from being investigated?  Who really is Agent Jackson?  Pick up the book and keep reading and you’ll find all of these after you BUY THE BOOK!

I read a lot, so I like a lot.  It really takes something really bad in a book for me to say that it didn’t bring me enjoyment.  “Serpent’s Grasp” is one that not only brought me enjoyment, it held my attention and give me some great research material.  This book, while being a great mystery/suspense novel about a creature under the sea, is also a book about evolution and thoughts on science in general.  As this is a work of fiction, I understand there are times when the creative license gets to be used, so keep that in mind while reading this book.  The pace is very fast, the author breaks down time lapse by doing mini chapters within a main chapter.  This keeps everything moving quickly and the action never time to stop.  Mr. Thompson provides some witty repertoire for his characters so I found myself chuckling at their interaction sometimes.  I enjoy a book that gives me a comedic pause in the midst of all of the suspense.  It’s almost like being on a rollercoaster and having a chance to catch my breath before the next big drop.

Is this a man’s book?  With the suspense and the intrigue, this book would fit into any man’s “to be read” pile.  This book has government conspiracies, fishing and monsters.  Everything you need to make it a perfect book for a man to read.

Kevin is an ordained minister, having served churches in New York, Mississippi, Texas, and Iowa. He holds a B.A. in Bible from Houghton College (New York), an M.A. in Christian Studies from Wesley Biblical Seminary (Mississippi), and an M. Ed. in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University (Illinois).

Married, he has three daughters, two sons-in-law, and five grandchildren. He speaks in churches on occasion, presently works as an assistant principal, and plays the drums in his church's praise band. He is a huge fan of the TV series "24" and "Criminal Minds," loves anything to do with "Star Trek," "Sherlock Holmes," and reads lots of books, thrillers mostly, but is known to do a great deal of research in the non-fiction realm, too.

He has published articles in such publications as "The Wesleyan Advocate," "The Preacher," and "Vista," as well as in newspapers such as "The Des Moines Register" (Iowa) and "The Ocala Star-Banner" (Florida).

I received this book from the author for the purpose of posting my honest opinion in this review.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Critical Pursuit by Janice Cantore

Officer Brinna Caruso has built a reputation at the precinct as the cop to call when a child goes missing. For Brinna, it’s personal because she was once one of them. Brinna and her K-9 search and rescue dog, Hero, will stop at nothing to find a missing child, no matter the stakes.

Detective Jack O’Reilly isn't ready to return to his homicide duties, after losing his wife to a drunk driver. He’s on the downside of his career, and bent on revenge, when he’s assigned as Brinna’s partner. While on patrol, Jack struggles between his quest for personal justice and his responsibility to those around him, especially his partner.

Skeptical of Jack’s motives, Brinna isn't sure she can rely on her new partner, whose reckless abandon endangers the safety of those around him. But when a man surfaces with an MO similar to the criminal who abducted Brinna twenty years earlier, Brinna and Jack must cast aside previous judgments and combine efforts to catch the kidnapper, and finally allow Brinna the peace stolen from her as a child.

This is the first book in a new series by Janice Cantore.  It looks as if this was originally published several years ago by a different publishing house, but it now being republished by Tyndale Publishing.  

Brinna Caruso has a personal connection to wanting to protect all of the missing and abducted kids, she used to be one herself.  As a young girl, Brinna was abducted and left to die but was miraculously found before she could face certain death.  As the years went by, Brinna kept in touch with the detective that found her and he became a mentor to her.  Now as a police woman handling a search and rescue dog, she has made it her mission in life to find abducted and missing children and to find those accused of doing it.  Jack O'Reilly has lost all drive since he lost his wife.  He's taken a step back into patrol from being a detective just to see if there's anything left in him.  Not only has he lost his motivation at work, he's also turned his back on God and anything to do with religion.  The two of them are paired together and begin to bond over the job, the burnout and their dislike of religion.  As the days continue, Brinna's father's health takes a turn for the worse and a set of twin girls are kidnapped.  Will her father's health improve?  Can they find the girls before something terrible happens?  Who's sending the personal notes to Brinna? Will they ever find a pathway to God?  Some great reading will be in store, when you get up and go BUY THE BOOK!

Every since Janice Cantore burst onto the Christian Fiction scene last year with her first book in the Pacific Coast Justice Series, Accused, I have eagerly awaiting each new book.  Sometimes, I think, it's hard for people with a certain background to impart onto others exactly what it feels like to do their job.  It's hard to portray with an accuracy the ups and downs of a profession without coming across as "talking over my head".  It's a good thing that Janice Cantore isn't the same way.  Even with all of her training and background in police work, she is still able to explain the police procedures in terms that even a simple layman like myself can understand.  I became so involved with Brinna and Jack, not only in their daily patrol, but also as they began to questions each other about their lack of interest in religious and a heavenly father.  

Is this a guy's book?  There are plenty of police procedures, car chases, search and rescue, etc. to keep any guy entertained.  I would definitely rate this as a new series that I will be waiting for each additional book to be published.


A retired Long Beach California police officer of 22 years (16 in uniform and 6 as a non-career officer), Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, patrol, administration, juvenile investigations and training. During the course of her career in uniform Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job and published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called “Cop and Christ”, and another for the monthly magazine “Today’s Christian Woman”

Janice has bachelor’s degrees in Biology (University of California at Irvine) and Physical Education (California State University at Long Beach).  She also completed graduate coursework in Criminal Justice (University of Southern California) and is currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writer’s and Sisters in Crime.  She attends Crescenta Valley Community Church in La Crescenta California and while a few years ago she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, she currently resides in Glendale California in order to help care for her aging parents. Janice is single and has three Labrador Retrievers, Jake, Maggie and Abbie. Janice’s hobbies are reading, cross-stitching, kayaking, hiking, walking the dogs and trying to stay fit.

I received this book from the Tyndale Publishing  in exchange for my honest opinion.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blood and Bones by Don Hoelsel

A decade after Serpent of Moses, Jack is married to Espy and back teaching at Evanston University. They have two sons, one of whom has cystic fibrosis. Despite this challenge, life is comfortable. But that all changes when the CIA, while combing through the papers of the late Gordon Reese, uncovers the secret of Elisha's bones. Jack's world is then turned upside down by an urgent call from his old friend Duckey, who's been alerted to the CIA's probing by one of his former contacts. Jack and his family escape from their home just ahead of the CIA, and he decides to do what he should have done long ago: recover the bones and destroy them. Except the bones aren't where he left them.

 This is the third book in the Jack Hawthorn series. I have read the first two and was excited to see that the third book was being published. I knew that another great adventure was just waiting beyond the cover of the book.

 This book finds Jack and Espy about 10 years after the end of “Serpent of Moses”. They have settled into a regular family life in North Carolina. Jack has returned to the profession of teaching that he has dreamed of. They have a comfortable, stable life with two sons, one which has cystic fibrosis. And all it takes is one phone call to shatter their tranquil lifestyle. With his family in danger, Jack and Espy set out to recover the bones of the prophet, Elisha and the healing power that they hold. Being chased from country to country by the CIA and a clandestine group bent on protecting their secrets, this story takes you on an adventure never seen before. Can they track down the bones after so many years? Who is behind all of this danger his family is in? If he can find the bones, should he turn them over to the group threatening him or should he keep them to heal his son? Danger abounds and questions are answered, but you will only find out if you BUY THE BOOK!

 Once again I was not disappointed with the writing style of Mr. Hoesel. The story hooks you from the beginning and takes you on a wild ride. He develops realistic characters, characters that make you cheer for them, characters that make you down when tragedy befalls them. Yes, I felt there were some issues with storyline, (ie – A couple on the run but can hop from country to country without fear of being stopped along the way, their children being kidnapped but the parents acting as if that happened to them every day and they had already gotten used to the ideal) but this is a fiction book, so I’ll let it slide this time.

 Is this a guy’s book? There doesn’t seem to be any reason that a guy wouldn’t read this book, unless they haven’t read the other books in the series, then they just need to buy them all. The action, the adventure, the settings all will draw you into this book and keep you reading for hours

About the Author

Don Hoesel was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but calls Spring Hill, TN home.
He works in the Communications Department for a Medicare carrier and hopes to one day sell enough books to just say that he's a writer. You can help with that by buying whatever his newest novel happens to be.

 *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.