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.