Saturday, November 5, 2016

Another Day, Another Dali by Sandra Orchard

Sometimes, reading is very heavy and thought provoking and can leave you needing to catch an extra breath.  It’s at that time that it’s nice to know that there are some great refreshing light reads out there to allow your inner reading monster a chance to take a break.  This book, this series, is one that will leave you feeling refreshed. 

This the second book in the Serena Jones series.  I would recommend that you read the first one in the series, “A Fool and His Monet” prior to reading this in order to enjoy all aspects of this novel. 

Serena is an excellent FBI Agent, one that focuses on high-dollar art theft and forgeries.  Thanks to doing a favor for her grandmother, Serena is drawn into a new mystery.  Serena is still torn between her two beaus and doesn’t seem to be any closer to deciding which one she likes more.  As the clues twist her one way and another, we are again entertained with her wit, her charm and of course, her family.  After two short books, we’re drawn into all of the antics and puns that make for a refreshing look at family dynamics.  Hang on for a wild ride when you go BUY THIS BOOK!!!

Is this a "Guys Book"?   I feel there’s always balance that’s needed when reading.  This will definitely provide the balance from all of the suspense, war, mystery, etc genres I normally read and review.  I think it’s a great book and will provide anyone with a feeling of delight when you turn the final page.

Connect with the Author

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

Irene Hannon is back with another great novel starring the McGregor brothers.  Even with her infusion of romance, this is another great book that any man can enjoy.

Dana Lewis and Finn McGregor are both out in the National Forest hoping to refocus their lives and turn from agony in their past.  Neither knows the other, but as attacks begin on Dana and the cabin that she’s staying in, Finn is drawn into her world to protect her.  As they both fight against the danger coming Dana’s way, a relationship that neither is ready for begins to form.  Meanwhile, Chief Burnett has turned a new page in his life, one that will surely test him and the character that he thought he had built in his life.  Who’s behind all of the mayhem directed at Dana?  Can they both open up to a relationship after all of the hurt?  Can the Chief stay on the right course?  You’ll know all of these answers when you BUYTHE BOOK!!!

Is this a "Guys Book"?   There’s not a lot of suspense in this novel like her other novels as we know who’s behind all of the attacks on Dana.  This is more of a romance then her previous novels, but still one that will keep you entertained.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Raven by Mike Nappa

A street performer known as The Raven picks his audience's pockets while they watch.  In one city councilman’s wallet, he finds not money, but compromising photos of the councilman and his "personal assistants", The Raven decides to blackmail him. Soon the Ukrainian Mafia is after him. It’s up to private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill to sort out the clues and save hundreds of lives..

What’s the best thing about picking up a book and realizing that it’s the second book in a series?  Getting to pick up the first book!!  This book, “The Raven”, is the second in the Coffey & Hill Series by Mike Nappa.  The first book in the series, “Annabel Lee” is just as action-packed and suspenseful and shouldn’t be missed.  With that said, you don’t really need to read these in order, but there are parts of “The Raven” that make a lot more sense if you do.  I will warn you that there is a lot of violence in these books, enough so that the author convened a roundtable of other Christian authors to discuss this topic (  Getting past all of that, this is a terrific book filled with a great storyline, a very well developed plot and witty banter that plays well with all of the character interaction.

Is this a "Guys Book"?   No doubt about it!  Ukrainian mobs, corrupt politicians, gun runners, etc!  This book has everything you would want to read in a great suspense novel, without all of the garbage that comes along with a secular novel.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, September 11, 2016

The Occupied by Craig Parshall

As a youth, Trevor Black unleashed spiritual forces he couldn’t comprehend. Years later, Trevor is a high-flying criminal defense lawyer in New York City, with a six-figure Aston Martin and a trophy wife. But in an extraordinary turn of events, he receives a burdensome gift: the ability to perceive the invisible. And the dark forces he now sees are all gunning for him.

When one of Trevor’s hometown friends is murdered, the MO is eerily similar to a shocking trail of murders that have already crossed the lawyer’s path. So Trevor must return home to find the killer. . . and face not only his own personal demons, but supernatural ones as well.

I enjoy a good mystery and I enjoy reading a great suspense novel, but put a piece of speculative fiction in front of me and I’ll devour the book.  This is one of those that doesn’t let you down.

Writing a story that breaks the veil between this world and the spiritual realm is not an easy task.  Craig Parshall has done this with the first book in his Trevor Black series.  I’m not a big fan of stories that use a lot of memories to tell a story, but you truly need those memories of Trevor’s as a kid to get the whole depth of this story.  Could there be more back story to the characters and more time spent fleshing them out?  Sure, but I feel Mr. Parshall gave me just enough of the story to still leave some to my imagination.  The story is wrapped up so it’s going to be interesting to see where the next book in this series takes us.

Is this a "Guys Book"?   For me, this is the ultimate type of a guy’s book.  I love the supernatural storyline, the battle between the spirits and demons always reminds me just what kind of world we live in.  It also reminds me that He saved me and protects me from the dark realm.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Domino Effect by Davis Bunn

Esther Larsen, a leading risk analyst at one of the country's largest banking institutions, is becoming more and more convinced that she has uncovered a ticking bomb with the potential to overshadow 2008's market crash. And as her own employer pursues "investment" strategies with ever-increasing levels of risk, she becomes convinced she must do something. Yet what can one person really do?

The markets are edging closer to a tipping point--like the teetering first domino in a standing row that circles the globe. And when Esther does sound the alarm, she wonders if anyone will take her seriously. But as public support grows for her ideas, so does the desperation of those whose conspiracy of greed she seeks to expose. With global markets on the brink, and her own life in danger, Esther is locked in a race with the clock to avert a worldwide financial meltdown

At no other time is this book more relevant then today.  Yes, this is fiction, but there is enough truth in this book to scare anyone.

I am by no means a business savvy guy.  I do understand basic concepts of business and the stock market, but when it gets into the nitty-gritty, I get confused.  This book is all about the corruption that happens with the stock market and the manipulation of it by Hedge Funds and banks.  Even with my limited knowledge, Mr. Bunn was able to explain the key concepts that keep me feeling like I knew what was going on and a part of the story.  Esther faces a rather daunting moral dilemma concerning how her employer is handling their investments.  The answer to that dilemma makes up the rest of the book so I won’t go into the specifics.  You get to see how her character evolves from a meager introvert to one that garners everyone’s attention.  There isn’t much of a spiritual element in her other than Esther’s new boyfriend attending Seminary.  That didn’t seem to detract from the story, but I’m always one that likes to see how Jesus can work in anyone’s life no matter the situation.
Is this a "Guys Book"?   There’s not a lot of action but there is intrigue as Esther’s plan is unhatched.  The famous battle of “can this be prevented in time…..” is clearly at work here.  Want to know if she “saves the world”???  Go BUY THIS BOOK!!  It’ll be the smartest business decision maybe you’ve made today.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, August 26, 2016

The Long Journey of Jake Palmer by Jim Rubart

What if there was a place where everything wrong in your life could be fixed?
Corporate trainer Jake Palmer coaches people to see deeper into themselves—yet he barely knows himself anymore. Recently divorced and weary of the business life, Jake reluctantly agrees to a lake-house vacation with friends, hoping to escape for ten days.
When he arrives, Jake hears the legend of Willow Lake—about a lost corridor that leads to a place where one’s deepest longings will be fulfilled.
Jake scoffs at the idea, but can’t shake a sliver of hope that the corridor is real. And when he meets a man who mutters cryptic speculations about the corridor, Jake is determined to find the path, find himself, and fix his crumbling life.
But the journey will become more treacherous with each step Jake takes.

Coming off the success of the “Well Spring” novels, Jim Rubart has written two additional novels.  The first one, “The Five Times I Met Myself” and now most recently, “The Long Journey of Jake Palmer”.  Take your pick on which to read first as you’ll want to read them both.  But let’s talk about his newest novel, “The Long Journey of Jake Palmer”.

If you had a “do-over”, would you?  Jake’s life was on a path that anyone would have wanted.  Great job and a great wife, who could ask for more.  Then the unthinkable happened and his life changed in ways he may not be able to come to grips with.  Fast forward 18 months later and Jake is finally beginning to come back out of his shell.  A yearly trip with a group of friends,  that he avoided last year, has hit the 10 year mark and he gives in and decides to go.  A “coincidental” run-in with a seatmate on an airplane leads him to recommend a new lake for the trip.  The legend has it that there’s a corridor that will lead to a place where his deepest longings will be fulfilled.  Jake is sure that all he needs to do to get his life back on track is to find the corridor and go through it.   Is it real?  Can anyone enter the corridor? What happens when you leave?  Don’t just sit there, head down to your favorite bookstore and BUY THIS BOOK!!

Can I see myself as this character?  If I can answer yes to that question, then I think the author has done the remarkable because he’s made me believe in the character and therefore believe in the story.  What would I do if my life encountered a train wreck and then I heard of a chance to undo that which has gone wrong?  The author spends a lot of time around discussing what the label on our bottle says (what others think about us) in contrast to what we think about ourselves.  Does that label change based on who we’re around?  Can others see things in us that we don’t see?  I love a book that entertains me, but also drives me to consider a deeper perspective.  This book definitely did that!

Is this a "guy's book"?  No action, no intrigue and nothing blows up, but you won’t want to miss this book.  If you allow it, this book will push you to look harder at your “label” and decide if you’d want to do it all again if you had a chance.  For this guy, my label says all it needs to say.

About The Author

Grew up: Pacific Northwest: Seattle, Spokane, Kirkland, WA
College: University of Washington. B.A. in broadcast journalism
Work history: Started off on air at a radio station, then went into sales
Other job: Since ’94 I’ve owned an ad agency/marketing firm.

Favorite memories: They come from jumping off cliffs with my boys, water skiing together, long walks & talks with my wife, and going deep with friends.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Things We Knew by Catherine West

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to harbor animosity toward their father, silently blaming him for their mother’s death. Nobody will talk about that dreadful day, and Lynette can’t remember a bit of it.
But when next-door neighbor Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, he brings the past with him. But Nick has no intention of telling Lynette the truth. Besides the damage it might cause his own family, he doesn’t want to risk harming the fragile friendship between him and the woman he once thought of as a kid sister.

Let’s try something new, “he said”.  Let’s pick an author that writes like nothing you would normally read, “he said”.  You’ll enjoy it, “he said”.  It’ll stretch your reading limits, “he said”.  Boy, I’m glad ““he said”” all those things because this was one good book!

We’ve all been there.  A house full of kids and two doting parents.  Fast forward to the present and those kids are out on their own with no time to come back to the nest.  Life moves fast and sometimes families move further apart.  Lynette is the youngest of 5 children and the only one to remain at home.  With the death of her mother twelve years ago and everyone else out of the house, the care of the family homestead and her father has fallen on her.  As her father sinks deeper into the grips of Alzheimer’s, Lynette is pushed to the brink of frustration as the repairs and upkeep on the family home become more than she can handle.  She calls for all of the siblings to reconvene to discuss their next steps as there has to be a solution.  Nicholas Cooper, the neighbor with a history with Lynette, is home and all of those past feelings bubble up to the surface again.  This time, though, he may be bringing more than she can handle.  Can the kids agree on a medical plan for their father?  Will Lynette get help in dealing with their home?  What is all the secrecy around her mother’s death and what does Nick know about it?  Before things get too much for you to remember, head on down and BUY THIS BOOK!!

I’m not sure that I would have selected this book without the father in the book.  My mother was diagnosed 4 years ago with Alzheimer’s and it has been a daily struggle for her with this disease.  Though his character isn’t a major player, the inner workings of the family due to his illness are.  The upheaval of the everyday life for Lynette is written expertly. I found myself near tears in several points as I recognized events my mother would go through and thought how the author had captured it perfectly.  The story is so much more than that, though, so don’t get me wrong.  The author has taken 5 very different people and brought them back to manage life, together.  I “watched” all of this unfold in the pages of this book and was mesmerized by how graceful the author orchestrated the differences into a complete family. 

Is this a "guy's book"?  I won’t lie and say that it is.  It is a thought-provoking, heart-breaking look at a typical family when all the children have grown.  There’s a touch of suspense and intrigue built around the death of the mother that may hold your attention, but don’t miss out on this book for any reason.

Get to Know Catherine West
What’s your go-to activity to get out of writer’s block?
I like to do something active like walking or swimming, working in the garden. This gets me moving but also allows me to think and mull over new ideas.
When you were in kindergarten, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I always wanted to be a writer. I also enjoyed painting, but reading and writing were my thing from a very young age.
Favorite ice cream flavor:
Haagan Daz Macadamia Nut Brittle
If you had an extra room in your house, what would you use it for?
I would love to have the time to take up painting again, so I’d make an art studio.
What is the farthest place from home you’ve ever been?
South Africa
What book are you currently reading?
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
If you were a given a gift card to any restaurant, where would you want to eat?
An intimate, quiet place by the sea with great Italian food!
What was the best birthday present you ever received?
Ah, this one’s easy! I celebrated my 50 last year, and my husband surprised me by bringing my sister and her husband, as well as my son and his girlfriend, who all live in the US, down to Bermuda, and threw me a big party, too!
When do your best ideas come to you? Early morning or late at night?
Any time really. Usually when I’m doing dishes or something other than writing.
What task do you dread doing each day (or week)?
Grocery shopping! Hands down.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Without Warning by Lynette Eason

Kate Singleton is a bodyguard with The Elite Guardian Protection Agency. Her new assignment is to find out why restaurant owner Daniel Matthews has become a target of someone who wants him out of business.  He is unsure if a woman bodyguard is what he needs, until a 2nd attack.  Now he and Katie are on a mission to figure out who is behind the threats before another strike.

When you mention Christian Suspense Fiction, there may be several authors that come to mind.  I will tell you that if you don’t think of Lynette Eason as a part of that list, then you must be living under a rock somewhere.  Here tag line is “Infinite Suspense” and it couldn’t be more truthful as she continues to churn out some great suspense novels and she doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

We were introduced to the Elite Guardian Protection Agency in the first book, “Always Watching”.  It was there we met Olivia Edwards the owner of the agency.  This time, we welcome Kate Singleton into our lives and hope that she is as successful at protecting clients as Olivia was.  In no time at all, we see that Daniel seems to have made someone mad.  Between the body hanging in the basement of his restaurant to the fire breaking out at another, it’s become pretty evident to his niece that that he needs someone watching out for him.  She places a call to The Elite Guardian Protection Agency and Kate comes to the rescue.  As the attacks continue “Without Warning” (hahaha), Kate must struggle to stay one step ahead to keep Daniel safe.  Who could be behind this attacks? Did Daniel’s niece make the right decision to call in Kate?  Can they stop them before it’s too late?  Hire your own private detective to hunt this book down and GO BUY THIS BOOK!!!

This is the second book of the Elite Guardian series.  Aside from the fact that Kate works for the Elite Guardian Protection Agency, you really wouldn’t know that the 2 books are related.  That being said, don’t miss the first book in this series as it is just as much an intense suspense-filled ride as this book.  I love the wit that Ms. Eason applies to her characters, the sense that they are people that you root for and miss once you read the final word.  That to me is what creates a great book, one that is memorable and you want to continue to visit with the characters as often as you can.  This book grabs you from the start and doesn’t let go until the final scene, twisting and turning around every page.

Is this a "guy's book"?  Any book that has a hanging body and offers buildings on fire is definitely a guy’s book.  Throw in all of the other great twists and chasing the whodunit part of the book and you’ve got a book that any guy won’t be able to put down.

About the Author:

Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a Business Degree she used for a very short time, she moved to Spartanburg, SC to attend Converse College where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. She started her teaching career at the South Carolina School for the deaf and blind. In 1996, she met the man she would marry—the boy next door!   She is married to Jack Eason, who speaks, leads worship, and consults ministries around the country. They have two teenage children.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, August 5, 2016

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

Death has always been part of Gwen Marcey’s job. But when faced with her own mortality, everything takes on a different hue.

Forensic artist Gwen Marcey is between jobs and homes when she accepts temporary work in Pikeville, Kentucky. The Eastern Kentucky town, located deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, has been plagued by a serial rapist and a series of unexplained deaths. Before Gwen can develop a composite drawing, the latest witness vanishes, just like all the previous victims.

Turning her attention to sketching the face of an unidentified body, she discovers a link between his death and a Pentecostal serpent-handling church. Serpent-handling is illegal in Kentucky, and the churches have gone underground to avoid the authorities and continue to worship as they believe. Gwen is offered a handsome reward to infiltrate the renegade members, a reward she desperately needs as it seems her breast cancer has returned.

Joined by her digitally-obsessed, Generation Z daughter, Gwen goes undercover to a nineteenth century revival, planning to draw the faces of the snake handlers so they can be identified and arrested. Instead she uncovers a murderous plot and a festering evil.

I hope you enjoy this review of a new to me author.  This book is the 3rd book in her Gwen Marcey series of books.  While each of the books could be read on their own, I wouldn’t recommend it.  The underlying storyline is much clearer and flows better if you read each of the books in their specific order.

Gwen Marcey is back and this time she’s been asked to assist the Pikeville PD sketch the remains of a body.  There’s also a rapist on the loose, but all of the victims vanish before anyone is able to get all of the details from them.  When a connection is found between the body she’s sketching and a local church of snake handlers, Gwen takes the local government big-shot’s promise of a huge monetary reward to heart and heads undercover.  Soon her daughter is with her and the danger becomes real.  Is this church practicing the illegal art of snake-handling at its services? Is there a connection between this church and the serial rapist? Can Gwen complete her job and keep her daughter safe at the same time?  Put that snake down before it suffocates you and head down to your local bookstore and BUY THIS BOOK!!

Confession time.  I did not like the first book in the series.  Not sure why, just really couldn’t get into the storyline.  The character was a little flighty to me and seemed to be where she didn’t need to be.  Ok, with that out of the way, I will say that I read the 2nd and 3rd books in this series with a more voracious appetite.  It probably only took me two days to finish both of these books and it was nice being able to read them back to back and continue the story.  I’m still not sure that I care much for the main character, but I will say that I’ve read worse.  The main character’s friend is more grounded and inserts the religious themes into the storyline and always brings a sense of humor when she arrives.

Is this a "guy's book"?  This novel is full of police procedures, snake-handlers and a great sense of adventure and suspense.  Start with the first book in this series, but don’t let it keep you from getting to these better ones at the end.

When Death Draws Near Carrie Stuart Parks
Connect with the Author:

About the Author:

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity. 

Animals have always been a large part of her life. Her parents, Ned and Evelyn Stuart, started Skeel Kennel Great Pyrenees in 1960. Carrie inherited the kennel and continues with her beloved dogs as both an AKC judge and former president of the Great Pyrenees Club of America. She lives on the same ranch she grew up on in Northern Idaho.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

The summer of 1972 was the most pivotal of Matt Plumley's childhood. 
While his beloved Pirates battle for back-to-back World Series titles, Matt's family moves from Pittsburgh to Dogwood, West Virginia.
A fish out of water, Matt forges a fast bond with two unlikely friends: Dickie Darrel Lee Hancock, a mixed-race boy, and Jesse Woods, a tough-as-nails girl with a sister on her hip and no dad in sight. 
As the trio traipses the hills and hollers, Matt begins to fall for Jesse, and their promises to each other draw him deeper into her terrifying reality.
One night, Matt joins Jesse in a rescue that saves one life and ends another . . . and severs the bond of their friendship.
Years later, Matt is pulled back to Dogwood and to memories of that momentous summer, determined to learn the truth behind the only promise Jesse Woods ever broke.

I enjoy reading.  I enjoy reading pretty much anything from Contemporary Fiction to Mystery & Suspense all the way to Science Fiction.  As much as I enjoy reading, though, I have a special place in my heart for authors that write books that include areas that I’m familiar with.  This book, The Promise of Jesse Woods, is set in areas of West Virginia that I grew up around.  The author lists several different places and activities that brought back a lot of memories for me while reading this book.  This helped my enjoyment level of this book reach new heights.

There’s that time in Matt’s childhood that changed everything.  Riding around the small town with his friends Dickie and Jesse, Matt is finding his way being the son of the new preacher in town.  Do this and don’t do that, hang with them and avoid them, go here and don’t go there.  A world filled with rules and small town bigotry culminates between these friends on that one fateful night.  Years later, Matt is drawn back into this world.  But this time, it may all turn out different than before.  What happened on that night that changed it all?  What does Matt hope to accomplish by going back home? What was the promise of Jesse Woods?  You’ll find the answers to those questions plus so many more if you’ll GO BUY THIS BOOK!!!

Characters that are flawed, places that are descriptive and story lines that flow magically towards a meaningful conclusion.  These are the elements that are included in all of the books by Chris Fabry that I’ve read that also keep me picking up his newest novel.  Mr. Fabry writes a story line that invites you to immerse yourself in the daily lives of the characters, wants you to cheer with them and cry with them.  His characters are real and full of emotion, your emotion as you read the story.  The byproduct of all of this fluidness is a book that you won’t be able to put down.
Is this a "guy's book"?  There’s not a lot of action, no great chase scenes or explosions.  This book offers a story of redemption, one that may have played itself out in so many lives over the years.  Take a chance, you may just enjoy this book as I did.

About the Author:

Chris Fabry is an award-winning author and radio personality who hosts the daily program Chris Fabry Live! on Moody Radio. He is also heard on Love Worth FindingBuilding Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, and other radio programs. A 1982 graduate of the W. Page Pitt School of Journalism at Marshall University and a native of West Virginia, Chris and his wife, Andrea, now live in Arizona and are the parents of nine children.
Chris' novels, which include DogwoodJune BugAlmost HeavenNot in the HeartBorders of the HeartEvery Waking Moment, and his latest release, The Promise of Jesse Woods, have won three Christy Awards, an ECPA Christian Book Award, and Christianity Today's Book Award of Merit, but it's his lyrical prose and tales of redemption that keep readers returning for more.
He has also published more than 65 other books, including nonfiction, film novelizations, and novels for children and young adults. He coauthored the Left Behind: The Kids series with Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye, as well as the Red Rock Mysteries and The Wormling series with Jerry B. Jenkins. RPM is his latest series for kids and explores the exciting world of NASCAR.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

The Valley of the Dry Bones by Jerry B. Jenkins

A 17-year drought, earthquakes, and wildfires leave California uninhabitable and irreparable, forcing its citizens to relocate. Fewer than 1% of its population remain— by choice or necessity. 

But a contingency of 16 feels called of God to stay at their own risk to minister to the stragglers. Calling themselves The Holdouts, they face a clash of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and politics that pits friend against friend, with the future of the country at stake. 

In the midst of the chaos, while facing their most menacing opponent, the leader of The Holdouts becomes convinced he’s heard directly from God Himself. The result is a finish you’ll never forget.

If you’ve been a part of the Christian world over the last decade then you’ve undoubtedly come across the “Left Behind” series and understand the name Jerry Jenkins as being one of the great masterminds behind this foretelling series.  What you may not know is that that series for Mr. Jenkins was only a small part of the 186 books that he has authored, with over 70 million copies sold.  This book is the latest book from such a prolific writer.

The world is seemingly coming to an end and the start of that is in the state of California.  A never-ending drought and pot-shots from Mother Nature have left this state ruinous and declared uninhabitable by the U.S. Government.  A small band of believers have elected to stay behind and continue to minister to the remaining population.  With adversaries coming at them from every angle, “The Holdouts” must use subterfuge and misdirection to keep themselves safe.  Now Ezekiel, “Zeke” or “Z”, one of the elders of the group, becomes increasingly aware that the Lord is speaking directly to him.  Can the holdouts continue to minister without getting caught?  Can they seek His direction and work together as a group?  What message is the Lord impressing upon Zeke and what will he do with it?  You will find the answers to these and other questions when you drink some water on the way to the bookstore to BUY THIS BOOK!!

I won’t begin to say that I’ve read everything by Mr. Jenkins, but I will say that all of the books that I’ve read by him I’ve enjoyed immensely.  This book, similar to his other books (“Riven” specifically), always seem to open my heart to a much deeper desire to read more about Him.  The characters seem to be facing dire straits but are open enough to His calling that a hedge of protection appears to always circle around them.  Mr. Jenkins weaves a story that allows us to see a life that is wrought with danger but that can be weathered by staying in a constant walk with Him. 
Is this a "guy's book"?  Any guy would enjoy this book due to its suspense and continuous “end of the world” talk.  I enjoyed it for the all of the reminders that He is always in control, not matter what obstacles may be in my way.  Especially if the biggest obstacle is myself.

About the Author:

Jerry Jenkins has been steeped in the craft of writing for more than 40 years. With 21 New York Times bestsellers (seven debuting at #1), 186 books, and over 70 million copies sold, he has become one of the most commercially successful writers of our time.
Lucky guy? An overnight success? Hardly.
Jerry's from-the-trenches perspective on how to achieve success is quite the opposite of a conventional approach. He espouses working fiercely and with discipline and leaving the results to the marketplace.
"Left Behind was my 125th book — but not a lot of people realize that."
Jerry wrote that 16-title culture-shifting series for Dr. Tim LaHaye, and the publishing world now refers to it as "the Left Behind phenomenon." Several books in the series hit the New York Times bestseller list, selling over 62 million copies.

Even with such milestones defining his career, Jerry remains a generous and enthusiastic mentor to writers around the world serious about improving their skills and realizing their dreams to be published.

Connect with the Author:

Monday, July 4, 2016

Medical Judgment by Richard Mabry, MD

     After losing the two people she loved the most, Sarah Gordon doesn’t think life could get worse. But, after a fire in her garage is ruled an arson, she begins to realize someone is after her – and that person wants to see her dead.
But first, they want to see her suffer.

      Her late husband’s best friend, Kyle Andrews, and a recovering alcoholic detective, Bill Larson, are trying to solve the mystery before it’s too late and they’re both trying to win her heart, too. Not only does Sarah feel torn between two men, she also feels as though she cannot trust anyone.

 With creepy threats that become more and more sinister, Sarah finds herself in constant fear but even the best home alarm technology won’t protect her. Who is doing this and why are they after her?

You open a Coke or a Pepsi you know that it’s going to taste refreshing. You pick up a slice of pizza and know that it’s going to be delicious. That’s the way it is for me with any book by Dr. Mabry. I know that anything that I pick up with his name on it is going to satisfy my reading fix for the moment (This one only took a day to read!)

 Overcoming the loss of a husband and child is not something that is done overnight. For Dr. Sarah Gordon, it’s been almost 8 months and she can’t begin to think of moving ahead with her life. Now, not only is she having to work through her loss, now it seems that someone is out to get her. Detective Bill Larson is hot on the case and determined to get to the bottom of who is terrorizing Dr. Gordon. The events are escalating and he’s sure that the next step might be an attempt on her life. Her late husband’s best friend, Kyle Andrews, feels like it’s his place to keep her safe, no matter how uncomfortable it makes her feel. Who is out there wanting to make her life even more miserable? Is the detective going to be able to find the culprit before it’s too late? What are Kyle’s true intentions? Don’t worry about any medical bills here, just go BUY THIS BOOK!!!

 I always enjoy a great story, especially one that is filled with suspense and intrigue around every corner. Even better, when there’s a great twist that you never see coming. The story fit together superbly and kept you moving like being on a fast moving rollercoaster, up and down and around the corners at breakneck speed. The characters that Dr. Mabry has created are flawed, real and forgiven. These are characters that anyone can identify with and keeps me interested to read about them and care about their outcomes. Is this a "guy's book"? This is a great book for anyone that enjoys a great thriller. Even though this may be characterized as a Medical Thriller, there’s a lot of scenes in this book outside of the medical arena, so don’t worry about not having a lot of medical knowledge. Dr. Mabry once again has crafted a terrific book of suspense that needs to be read and enjoyed by everyone!

 About the Author:

 In addition to the practice of medicine, my past includes a stint overseas in the US Air Force, several periods as an interim music minister, and an all-too-brief experience as a semi-pro baseball player. In other words, there’s more to me than “M.D.” covers. Let me share a little about myself.

 Hobbies: Primarily golfing, usually once a week with the same golf partner for the past ten years or so. We don’t keep score (heresy to purists, I suppose) and we enjoy the fellowship. I’m also a voracious reader, mainly fiction, although I do read non-fiction books.

Religion: I’ve been a Christian for six decades. For almost forty years, I was a Deacon in the Baptist church, serving as a Sunday school teacher and singing in the choir. After a recent move across the city, I’m proud to be a member of the Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where I get to hear Dr. Chuck Swindoll preach regularly.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Deep Shadows by Vannetta Chapman

Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe—until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology.   Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn't changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare.

Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority—to keep Shelby and her son safe—could prove to be the biggest challenge of all.   As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby's faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive.

Isn’t it great when two great products combine to become one really super, duper thing?  What would Reese’s be if there wasn’t chocolate in my peanut butter, what would Twix be without that soft nugget and caramel?  In this same way, I’m so excited that Vannetta Chapman has finally penned a novel in the suspense genre!  I can finally read a book by Ms. Chapman and be able to find out what makes this author so exciting to everyone else.                                                                                                                                                                   

Seeing the Northern Lights should always be on a bucket list, but never as far south as Texas.  Shelby knows this is a sign of impending danger and the airplane falling out of the sky put an exclamation mark on that thought.  As Shelby, her neighbor Max and their friends make their way down the mountain, it becomes apparent that those beautiful colors in the sky are causing havoc everywhere.  As the sounds of additional explosions continue, the friends hastily make way for their small town.  All power is down, cell phones are silent and most of the cars are dead weights in the middle of the road.  Amateur CBers are finding out that this interruption of the power, etc. isn’t isolated to their small town, it’s happening around the globe.  The government and the townspeople begin strategizing on short and long term solutions to their current situation.  Within days, criminal elements are already looking for a way to exploit “The Flare” to their own gain.  Can they join together as a community and help each other out during this time or does every man begin to fend for himself?  If the power does every fail, you won’t be able to read this on a Kindle, so go to your local bookstore and BUY THIS BOOK!!!

This is the first in a new trilogy by Vannetta Chapman.  I tell you that so that you understand this book doesn’t provide you with a final resolution, it only gets you 1/3 of the way there.  The good news is that means you still have 2/3 of this series to long for, I know that I will.    Have you ever woke from a nap and had such a vivid nightmare during that nap that you feel you are still inside that nightmare?  That’s how I was reading this book.  No one was home so I had the TV off and only 1 lamp on in the house.  Whenever I’d stop and take a drink of water, my mind would be telling me to conserve that water since I wasn’t sure when the power would be back up and water would be flowing freely again.  Yes, I know that’s silly, but that’s how I felt while I was reading this book.  Ms. Chapman has developed characters and a small town that just beg to be helped and I for one am ready to offer my assistance!

Is this a "guy's book"?  Yes, Yes a thousand times YES!!!  Planes falling from the sky, police chases, political upheaval, gun fights, etc!  This book has it all and has such a great story flow that I was able to finish this in one afternoon.  I can’t believe I have to wait for the next book to come out and then even longer for the ending in book 3.  Either way, this is a definite MUST PURCHASE for any guy who loves these end of time stories.

About the Author:

The first thing you need to know about me is that I write Fiction full of GRACE.  Every plot is different. The characters change. Some of my books are mysteries, others are novellas, and some are romances. But they all are stories of light, hope, and truth. Stories that at least for a moment touch the deepest places in our heart.  Tales that whisper hope. That speak of family and community. That remind us of God and His love.

What do I write? If I had to reduce it to four words, I suppose I’d say I write Fiction full of GRACE.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Murder Comes By Mail by Ann Gabhart

Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane doesn't particularly enjoy being touted as the hero of Hidden Springs after pulling a suicidal man back from the edge of the Eagle River bridge in front of dozens of witnesses--a few of whom caught the breathtaking moments with their cameras. But the media hype doesn't last long as a new story pushes its way into the public consciousness of Hidden Springs' concerned citizens.

Photos of a dead girl arrive in the mail, and Michael becomes convinced she was murdered by the man he saved. With a killer one step ahead, things in Hidden Springs begin to unravel. Now Michael must protect the people he loves--because the killer could be targeting one of them next.
Imagine, if you will, sitting down with a hamburger made by Coke or watching a television manufactured by Ford.  While Coke and Ford excel in their perspective fields, don’t you ever wonder if they could translate that same type of success into another business venture?  Ann Gabhart has done that with this quirky series of books around Hidden Springs.  Ms. Gabhart is best known for her contemporary novels as well as her Shaker novels, but she sure has a hit on her hand here in the mystery and intrigue genre.

You see a man about to jump off a bridge, your natural instinct is to do everything you can to save him from ending his life.  That’s exactly what Deputy Sheriff Keane did and he may have just set in motion a chain of events that may cost him a life close to him.  The chilling last words from the jumper after Michael took him down come back to haunt him as pictures of dead bodies begin to arrive in the mail.  Are these pictures taken by the life of the jumper he just saved or is there someone more sinister lurking in their little town? As the pressure mounts and more photographs are received, Michael races against the clock to make sure the next picture isn’t of someone close to him.  So what are you waiting for??  Put down the camera and go BUY THIS BOOK!!!

I’ve read some novels that tend to take forever to get into and then pull you ever so slowly to the final resolution.  Those books can be as much fun as a root canal.  How nice it is that this book isn’t like that.  This is the second book in the Hidden Springs series, although it can technically be read without having to read the first book.  I will admit, though, that I did go out and buy the first book in the series and read it before I read this one and I wasn’t disappointed in the first book either.  Ms. Gabhart has created some believable characters and has definitely captured the essence of the small town.  Need to find the Sheriff, just go down to the diner, he should always be down there.  I loved the flow of the book, very light fare that allowed me to get whisked away in its simplicity.  I would liken this to a Mary Higgens Clark or an Agatha Christie novel, pure enjoyment with a great whodunit thrown in.

Is this a "guy's book"?  It’s light, it’s fluffy, but it’s definitely worth the time to read.  There are some tense moments, some police procedural items and plenty of “action” in this small town.  I think any guy would get some enjoyment by picking up this book, even both books in this series.

About The Author

Hi, glad you could stop by to get to know me better. I’m a country girl, born and raised on a farm in the Outer Bluegrass region of Kentucky. I know you’re thinking horse farm, but no, not out my way. Mostly cows on the farms around here. My grandfather did have a big old workhorse when I was a little girl. My family grew tobacco and corn. We had a few milk cows, some hogs and sheep, but mostly beef cattle. I grew up working on the farm and enjoying the woods and animals. My roots go deep in the land, and I now live on a farm just a mile away from the farmhouse where I was born and raised.

I started writing when I was ten and have been writing ever since. My first published writing (personal experience pieces, youth stories, and poems) was in church periodicals like Home Life. My first novel, A Forbidden Yearning, was published by Warner Books in 1978 and was a historical romance about the settling of Kentucky. Since then I’ve published over twenty-five other novels for adults and young adults. Some of the early titles are out of print now but still floating around out there as used books.

You can connect with Ann Gabhart at the following locations:
Web Site

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sins of the Past by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason

In Dee Henderson's “Missing”, a Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.

Dani Pettrey returns to Alaska with “Shadowed” introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of an open-water swimming competitor who may actually be a possible Russian defector.

Lynette Eason's “Blackout”,  delivers the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found--but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?

What’s better then a new book by your favorite author?  How about a new book with 3 great stories from 3 of the top Christian Fiction writers!!  Now if that don’t get you excited and running to your local bookstore, I don’t know what will.

In the first story, “Missing”, by Dee Henderson, there’s nothing worse than getting that call that a loved one is missing.  For Police Chief John Graham, not being in charge while the search was on for his mother takes a lot of restraint.  Luckily, the detective assigned to the case is just as determined to find his mother as she is.  Tip after tip is investigated leading to the twist that no one saw coming.

We are then presented with the next story, this one from Dani Pettrey.  Fans of Dani’s, “Alaska Courage” series will be delighted with this mystery as we are introduced to the parents of the McKenna clan.  A Russian swimming competitor is found murdered and the Russian authorities are on their way to claim the body.  Before that happens, though, the rumors of her being a Russian defector have got to be investigated or any information she was relaying to the Americans could fall into the wrong hands.  Can this mystery be solved in time?

Finally, Lynette Eason brings us “Blackout” about a young girl trying hard to remember that night that changed so many lives.  The robbery, her running away, the wreck, the deaths.  All of it rambles around in her mind.  She does what she can to remember it all, or should she.  Someone is doing what they can to make sure she doesn’t remember that night.  Some things are better left alone.

3 great authors, 3 great stories, all in one book.  I will say this was probably one of my favorite books over the last year and for a purely selfish reason.  I tend to be a speed reader and peruse through some of the background “fluff” that can be found in books.  Yes, I know that everything is important in a book, but sometimes I need to weed out the noise in a book and get to the bottom of the who, what, where and why.  With these stories and their shortened time frame, they fit perfectly into my style of reading.  Just the right amount of background, pace and mystery to keep me hooked and looking forward to turning the page.

Is this a "guy's book"?  These are light romance books, but plenty of suspense and intrigue.  Any guy would enjoy all 3 of these stories as they are like little fireworks; packed with just the right amount of explosive material to make you want to light another one.

About the Authors:

Dee Henderson is the bestselling, award-winning author of 15 previous novels, including the acclaimed "O'Malley Series" and "Uncommon Heroes Series".  She is a lifelong resident of Illinois.

Dani Pettrey is the bestselling author of the Alaskan Courage series and winner of the 2014 Daphne du Maurier award for Inspirational Novel, the 2014 Christian Retailing's Best Award for Suspense, and the 2013 Holt Medallion for First Novel. She and her husband reside in the DC Metro area. She can be found online at

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the the 'Women of Justice' and 'Deadly Reunions' series. A member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, Lynette's books have appeared on the ECPA and CBA bestseller lists and have won several high-profile industry awards.