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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Always Watching

Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of the Women of Justice, the Deadly Reunions, and the Hidden Identity series. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America.  She lives in South Carolina.

You can connect with Lynette through her website found at

The Bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have it all.

When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians to protect his son.  But when Wade's bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap.

Olivia's skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade's stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him - including Olivia.  But in her mind, even more dangerous than the threats to her life is the hold her handsome client has on her heart.

My Thoughts:
Lynette Eason is the master writer of mystery and suspense stories!  And what makes her novels even more compelling is the way Eason weaves the gospel and threads of faith into the lives of her characters.  Eason is also very artful with the way she develops her characters through the course of the book.  I also really like the way she fills in the backgrounds of her characters flawlessly through dialogue and circumstances throughout the story.
Always Watching is the first in Eason's new series, Elite Guardians, where we meet an amazingly skillful group of women who are bodyguards.  In this first book, agency owner Olivia is highlighted. Olivia is struggling with the past and her faith.  Eason does a fantastic job of portraying Olivia's faith journey.  Always Watching is a fast moving story and a certain page turner.  Eason keeps you guessing until the very last page! I think I read the last few chapters without taking a breath!
The next book, Without Warning, releases this Summer.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Saturday, February 20, 2016

The Prophetess: Deborah's Story

Jill Eileen Smith is the author of the bestselling Wives of King David series and The Crimson Cord, as well as the Wives of the Patriarchs and the Loves of King Solomon series.  her research has taken her from the Bible to Israel, and she particularly enjoys learning how women lived in Old Testament times.  She lives with her family in southeast Michigan.

Jill loves to hear from readers.  You can connect with her at her website,  You can also connect with her on Facebook here: or on Twitter @JillEileenSmith.

Canaan has ravaged Israel.
The people are in hiding.
All that stands between surrender and hope is one untested woman.

Deborah will never forget the day her father and brothers left to worship at the Lord's tabernacle - or the wails of her mother after finding their bodies at the city gates.  The memories of Canaan's cruelty haunt her and all of Israel.  Now in this dark time, the Lord calls on Deborah to lead His people away from the idols of other nations and back to Him.

Deborah never asked to be a prophetess or a judge over God's people. Still, she cannot deny His voice or the visions that accompany it.  Can her family ever understand?  Will her people believe God's calling on her life?  And can the Canaanite meanace be stopped?

My Thoughts:
The Prophetess: Deborah's Story is the second in Smith's Daughters of the Promised Land series.  I appreciate Smith's writing.  The research and attention to historical and biblical detail is impeccable. She brings such life to Deborah, who is only mentioned in two chapters of scripture found in Judges 4 and 5.  Smith's artistic liberties never take away from the Biblical narrative but only drives readers to God's Word.
Not much is mentioned about Deborah beyond the two chapters in Judges.  I really enjoyed the way Smith portrayed Deborah and brought out her "humanness".
"She ached for something she could not define and missed something she could not see.  Why was she not satisfied with her role as wife and mother?  What more was a woman to do in Israel?
Smith portrays Deborah as a woman like any other woman, who fears that on her best day, she may be missing the mark but moves forward in submission and faithful obedience to the One True God and His call on her life.
"War has come to all Israel, my son, because we fashioned the gods of Canaan to be true gods.  Israel caused her own testing by putting the Lord our God to the test. Sisera is evil, but he would hold no power if we had fully trusted our God."
Deborah's story reminded me of the powerful influence women have in our homes, our churches and our world. Smith highlights the importance of depending on God for our very next steps in all we do.
"I fear I do not always discern the voice of the Lord from my own thoughts."
Perhaps my favorite aspect of Deborah's story was Smith's portrayal of her marriage relationship and her role as a mother.  While Deborah's daughter Talya is a fictional write-in for the story, the struggle between she and Deborah as mother and daughter beautifully pictures a mother's heart.  I also connected with Smith's portrayal of Deborah's relationship with her husband Lappidoth. Deborah's struggle to love him well is one I'm guessing most wives come across in their relationships at one time or another.

Lastly, Smith's story in The Prophetess is highly relevant to current times.  As a nation, I'm afraid we find ourselves in the same spot Israel found themselves during Deborah's reign as judge.  Just like Israel then, we have turned our hearts to other things...we have "exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things" (Romans 1:23).

Read The Prophetess:  Deborah's Story today.  And don't miss the first book in the series, The Crimson Cord:  Rahab's Story.  Upcoming titles in the series will cover Ruth and Hannah.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any other way beyond the free copy of the book.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

The First Hostage: A J.B. Collins Novel

Joel C. Rosenberg is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of 10 novels and 5 non-fiction books with more than 3 million copies sold.  He is also the Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund, a non-profit and charitable organization he and his wife launched in 2006 to mobilize Christians to "bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus".

Joel and his wife have 4 sons and live in Israel and the United States.  You can connect with Joel through his website found at or on Twitter @joelcrosenberg. Joel also blogs at

What if the Islamic State captured the most valuable hostage in history?

"The president of the United missing."

With these words, New York Times foreign correspondent J. B. Collins - reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists on an Arab-Israeli peace summit in Amman - puts the entire world on high alert. Israeli and Palestinian leaders are critically injured.  Jordan's king is fighting for the very existence of his kingdom.  And the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Collins finds himself becomes a wanted man, he finds himself in the thick of the hunt for the president.  Can the leader of the free world be rescued before the leaders of ISIS commit genocide to usher in the global reign of their Islamic messiah?  The fate of the world may depend on it.

My Thought:
I've been hearing about Rosenberg's books for quite some time now, but I've never read one of his novels until The First Hostage.  The book was written as if it could have been ripped straight from the headlines on the evening news.  As a matter of fact, the book was kind of eerie to read.
The First Hostage is fast-paced and gripping beginning with the very first page and leaves the reader breathless with the last.  Rosenberg gives his readers an in-living-color view of the life of a reporter in the middle of the action and shines a bright light on the real threat that faces our country in real life. This is not a book to be missed and it will not be my last by Rosenberg to read.  He has a solid pulse on one of our nation's greatest threats.  Rosenberg's voice should be heard.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher, Tyndale, for the purpose of this review.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Keeper of The Stars

About the author: 

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heart-warming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over sixty novels.

Connect with Robin: websiteTwitterFacebook

About the book: 

Keeper of the Stars (Thomas Nelson, January 2016)

Because it's not always love at first sight!

When her mother died from pneumonia, Penny Cartwright was heartbroken. But now, after burying her younger brother just 12 years later, she is devastated. Anger, guilt, and sorrow cloud Penny's mind, and the last thing she wants is to be reminded of her pain---but that's exactly what happens when a stranger comes to town.

Trevor Reynolds has been chasing fame for more than a dozen years, but his musical career can't get off the ground. While on the road, an accident kills his young drummer, Brad Cartwright. Trevor wasn't behind the wheel, but he still blames himself . . . and so does Brad's sister, Penny. Now Trevor finds himself in Kings Meadow, determined to follow through on his final promise to his friend.

Still feeling the pain of Brad's death, Penny and Trevor must learn that forgiveness is the only thing that can heal their hearts. And if they do forgive, something beautiful may rise from the ashes of heartbreak.

Purchase a copy:

Read a sample chapter:

My Thoughts:
I can't quite put my finger on why, but Hatcher's Keeper of the Stars didn't resonate with me in the much so that I almost didn't finish the book.  It was too easy to lay down and come back to a few days later until about 1/2 way through the story.  The first half kind of trudged by with the same thoughts and story elements being repeated over and over.  It seemed like it took quite a while for the story to really begin going anywhere.
The one thing that kept me reading when I wanted to walk away was the thread of Brad's thoughts.  Hatcher did an excellent job including this thread to the story. Rather than your typical flipping between past and present events to tell a story, Hatcher filled in the past from Brad's (Penny's deceased brother) perspective.
All in all, Keeper of the Stars is a sweet read filled at points along the way with emotion that Hatcher keenly portrays.  I do have to add that I did not read the previous two books in the series and this could have played a part in my finding it hard to connect with the story.

*I received a complimentary copy of the book for the purpose of this review from the publisher.  I was not expected to give a positive review.

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Happy Reading Ya'll,

If I Run

About the author: 

Terri Blackstock has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of InterventionVicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

Connect with Terri: websiteTwitterFacebook

About the book: 

If I Run (Zondervan, February 2016)

Casey knows the truth. But it won't set her free.

Casey Cox's DNA is all over the crime scene. There's no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she's arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn't matter anymore.

But what is the truth? That's the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren't adding up. Casey Cox doesn't fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan's skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn't guilty, why did she run?

Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan's damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:
I have to say that I have read other books by Blackstock and have just not been able to connect well with them.  With that said, I was highly intrigued by the synopsis of this book and wanted to give Blackstock's writing another chance.  I am so very glad I did!  If I Run is such a well written book with an intricately woven plot that will run throughout the series of three books.
Blackstock literally drops the reader in the middle of Casey's life.  I was immediately drawn to her character.  Blackstock does an exceptional job of giving bits of Casey's backstory along the way which helps explain some of Casey's actions and helps readers to understand some of what she is feeling along the way.
I appreciated hearing the story from both Casey and Dylan's perspectives in first person point of view.  The cast of characters in If I Run are well-developed and have a genuine feel to them that draws readers in easily.  I became emotionally invested in this story early in and can not wait to see where Casey's journey leads her next.  The next installment in this series can't come fast enough!

*I received a complimentary copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for this review.  A positive review was not expected and I was not compensated in any other way.  All opinions are my own.

If I Run Terri Blackstock

Happy Reading Ya'll,

Friday, February 12, 2016

Soul's Prisoner

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Soul's Prisoner
(WhiteFire Publishing (December 15, 2015))
Cara Luecht

A Word from the Author:I never planned to be a writer. In fact, it took me a while to finish college. But I did, and here I am. And I now I can’t imagine not being a writer. By day, I am an English Instructor for a local college, mother to four amazing children, and wife to an eternally patient and supportive husband. In the evening, when I can squirrel away some quiet time, I read and write historical fiction. I have a B.A. in English Lit. from UW Whitewater and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. If you have a question for me, or if you are local and would like me to stop by your book club or writer’s group, please drop me a line via the “Ask the Author” tab. I always love the opportunity to meet with others who share my love of books.


She'll fight for her future...but can she escape her past?
Chicago, Winter, 1891
Rachel is in danger. She s seen too much.
She creeps along the cement walls through the dank underbelly of the asylum. She d never planned to leave her quiet farm life, never thought she d find a place in the city, never imagined she d be in the kind of danger that would have her cowering in Dunning s cold, labyrinthine basement.
Jenny has finally found her place. After a childhood of abuse, she has friends, a real job, and her only wish is to give her adopted son the kind of life she never had.
A life of stability, without the risk and uncertainty of a father.
But when Jeremy, Rachel s brother, stumbles into their warehouse, asking for help to find his missing sister, Jenny s carefully constructed life begins to crumble.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Soul's Prisoner, go HERE.

My Thoughts:
This book was hard to read because it literally fell apart on me.  The binding was not very good and every single page fell out!  With that said, the story was intriguing.  Luecht's second book in the Portraits of Grace series holds a harrowing story of the Dunning Asylum.  Having a background in Psychiatric Social Work and previously worked at a state mental institution, I was extremely interested in the subject matter of the book.  I was curious and did some research on the actual asylum in Chicago.

While Soul's Prisoner could be read as a stand-alone, I felt like I was missing some of the story.  I did not read the first book and felt like I couldn't connect as well with Miriam having not read her story first.  All in all Luecht writes a story full of mystery with well-developed characters. I appreciated getting to "hear" the story from the different points of view.

*I was sent a complimentary copy of the book from the author in exchange for this review.  A positive review was not asked for or expected.  All opinions are my own.

Happy Reading ya'll,

Saturday, February 6, 2016

NIV Beautiful Word Bible

The NIV Beautiful Word Bible in hardcover format is an exquisitely designed, full-color Bible filled with 500 illustrated verses that offers a one-of-kind visual treatment of Scripture, encouraging you to understand and experience God’s Word in a fresh way.

My Thoughts:
Bible Journaling has become a popular new way to engage with the Scriptures.  If you are like me and not extremely artistic, you will appreciate the organization of the NIV Beautiful Word Bible.  Each page offers wide margins with faint lines for either note taking or enough room for other artistic journaling.  Since I'm not very artistic, I appreciated that there are over 500 "examples" of how to artistically notate verses that stand out to me.  These are helpful in getting you kick-started in artistic journaling.  The Bible is beautifully and draws you into a unique engagement with the Word of God.  The only negative thing about this particular Bible is the size of the font - it is very small.

*I was provided a copy of this Bible from the publisher for the purpose of giving this review.  All opinions are my own and a positive review was not expected.


Bronner: A Journey To Understand

Sherri Burgess' life is a beckoning for you to know a Holy God like you have never known Him before. The wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, a nationally syndicated talk radio show, Sherri is someone who now passionately pursues holiness and inspires others to do the same. A seasoned Bible teacher, writer and blogger, she has in recent years answered God's call as a women's ministry speaker. This mother of five stays active with her family in Birmingham, Alabama.

Connect with Sherri: websiteTwitterFacebook,Instagram

About the book: 

Bronner: A Journey to Understand (New Hope Publishers, January 2016)

God teaches and refines us through pain and suffering. Author Sherri Burgess, wife of Rick Burgess of The Rick and Bubba Show, knows this to be true. After the earthly death of her youngest son, Bronner, Burgess asked, "Why?" And God answered.

Journey with her through this powerful testimony of healing to understand the purpose behind the pain. An empowering resource for book-club discussion or small-group Bible study, this is much more than simply a retelling of an inspiring story. It is a call to action beckoning us to know our Holy God like never before. 

Purchase a copy:

My Thoughts:
Sherri Burgess gives readers a gift in her book Bronner: A Journey To Understand.  This book is written straight from Sherri's heart - her mother heart.  She writes with a transparency and vulnerability but also with an urgency.  Sherri wants readers to have a clear picture of the One and Only True God that sustained her through the tragedy of losing her son - the same God that sustains her though her days now.
"He had walked me through many lesser trials before.  This time He was going to have to carry me, and I trusted Him to do that."
A Reader's Guide is included in the book.  This guide helps this book to be a perfect resource for use in a Grief Counseling group or a small group Bible/Book study.  Sherri shares the Scriptures throughout the book that were helpful to her during and after this tragedy.  She does an amazing job of not only telling her story, but of pointing to God and His sustaining grace.  And she longs for readers to know God in His fullness.
"Before that day, I only knew one side of God, the forgiving, kind, loving one.  But on the day Bronner went to heaven, I began to see God in a different light...I saw Him as King above all things, beyond understanding, beyond my reach or grasp."
 Read Bronner: A Journey To Understand and be blessed.

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my

Bronner Sherri Burgess