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Category Archives: book reviews

Living Lies – Natalie Walters

Lane Kent returns to her home town of Walton, Georgia. Fighting a dangerous depression after the death of her husband, she and her 5 year-old son hope to start a new life.

Out on a walk, she finds a highly disturbing find – a murder has occurred in this quiet town. And the discovery of the body gives a sizeable challenge to the new Deputy, and this all occurs on the first chapter!

Natalie Walters has given her readers an gripping mystery. I found myself not able to walk away from this read, until the last page was turned. She brings the audience into the lives of her characters, and fully into the mystery of the death that affects the whole town.

Lane’s father is less than supportive – unless it makes him look good in the press, and her mother is a willing participant in that behaviour. Her boss is a loving “grandma” who cares for the town through her cooking at the town cafe, where gossip and news get shared with equal zeal, right alongside of caring for others.

While both Lane and Charlie try to establish new normals in their lives, this murder is at the centre of everything. The novel is engaging, a mystery that holds on.

I would recommend this to a “new to Christian Fiction” reader, a John Grisham fan, and those who enjoy intrigue. Natalie is an author I’ve not read before, but be very sure – she’s one who’s work I will seek out again!

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2019 in book reviews

 

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Cost of Betrayal – Henderson, Pettrey and Eason

the cost of betrayal pictureI am a complete suspense fan – perfect reading for travels and time away. This offering for review as just that. 3 novellas in one edition, and a chance to “meet” 2 authors I’ve not read before.

The first story is by Dee Henderson, Known for her suspense filled series. “Betrayed” returns Paul and Ann Falcon to the reader. This time, they trip into the mystery of a murder, and the case the woman who’s been convicted of it – all because of an auction purchase. Ann thinks she’s picking up props for a new painting…

It was with this novella that I was reminded why I don’t often read this form of fiction. There just isn’t the space for the development and details that a full novel offers. Dee’s Known for her forensic details, and this presentation just doesn’t allow for it. Perhaps this is just the jumping point for a new trilogy?!

Dani Pettrey is an author I’ve not read before, but I know I’ll be picking up again. “Tenni” and her cousin, Julia have a tradition of racing each other to the buoy off the island as a way to end the season. But this time was different. When Tenni arrives at the marker, there is no sign of Julia, but there are signs that something terrible has happened to someone! A storm requires her return to safety, and the dark mystery begins to unfold. And how well this novella draws you in!

Lynette Eason’s contribution is the final section of the book, and “Code of Ethics” is the tale.  An officer is wounded on duty, and despite surviving the surgery – his life is in danger during recovery.  That threat comes because of retaliation of his having reporting a dirty fellow officer.  Lynette weaves this tale with great suspense and is yet another author to add to my list.

This book is a must for church libraries, as well as the readers who want to read the story quickly or for those who are fans of a well constructed suspense story.  Each author skillfully writes the characters faith into the plot line – without it feeling like an afterthought.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2019 in book reviews, Uncategorized

 

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88 Great Daddy-Daughter Dates – Rob & Joanna Teigen

I’m always on the lookout for great parent resources. Conversation starters, activities and ways to have God-conversations are tools I love to provide. This book will be one 8 add to the list of recommendations.

Some of my best memories are ones that include my dad. Studies show that a woman’s self-confidence is directly related to how much she was supported by a significant, reliable male in her life. Yet today,  so many dads struggle with how to pour into their little girls’ lives Life is busy, and time together is a challenge to carve out.

Each date is a special experience, and set up with a list of things you’ll need, how to set the date up, and what to do and a scripture focus for the evening. Things like an indoor camping experience, bug collecting, reading together, etc…

I love the simplicity of these, and that while the authors target daddy-daughters, I don’t see why the experience wouldn’t work with sons, and/or the whole family. Throughout the book, are also included lists of helpful things: song suggestions, things girls need to hear from her dad, conversation starters, etc.

Rob even gives the perfect solution should the date not be going well, “…just drop everything and get some ice cream.” How can it go wrong with that as the escape clause?

A wonderful resource that will enrich any dad-daughter relationship and ultimately the whole family.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2018 in book reviews

 

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One Dominion – Celebrating Canada

One Dominion book coverThis offering from the Bible League Canada is a collection of beautiful pictures from across this great country of ours, and short pieces of historical facts that remind the reader of just how deeply connected to faith the founding and shaping of Canada was.

Fittingly produced for the Sesqui-centennial of the founding of the Dominion, I throughly enjoyed this book.  I have always known that the faith of the Founding Fathers, and influencers was instrumental in shaping the core values of our Nation, but it was fascinating to see just how much.

I did not know the story of how the passage from Psalm 72 was chosen as the basis for the naming of the Dominion of Canada.  Nor did I know that what became Sick Kids Hospital was founded by a strong and visionary woman of faith.  Even our education and health care systems came about by the deep caring of Pastor’s hearts.

The photographs used throughout the book highlight what a beautiful and diverse country we call home.  My one disappointment is that nowhere was there any indication of the locations shared here.  While I recognized many locales, there are others I would love to visit and enjoy.

I think there are many in our leadership today who would be surprised at the very things they are seeking to remove God and Scriptural foundations from – are the important systems we have because people of faith carried out the call God placed on their lives to see them into existence.

I can’t wait for my next visit to Ottawa, and to take an opportunity  to see the Scripture passages that are engraved in stone – quite literally – on our House of Commons.  A great reminder to continue to pray that these will once again become reminders that all we have in Canada is from God’s gracious hand.

Thank you to Graf-Martin Communications and Bible League Canada for giving me the opportunity to independently review this book.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2017 in book reviews

 

Invitation – Harbingers, Cycle One

HarbingersI was completely intrigued when I learned about a new book by 4 of my favourite authors – Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt and Alton Gansky.  A collaboration by the 4 of them could only be a good thing.

Each of the 4 central characters have their own story to contribute to the larger novel.  Each of their accounts is voiced by a different author, yet each has beautifully interwined all of the experiences so that it becomes a seamless novel.  At times, I forgot that I wasn’t reading one continuous writing.

The four strangers who come to realize they are a reluctant team : Brenda, a tattoo artist; the professor, and unbelieving ex-priest; Andi, the professor’s pattern-seeing assistant and Tank, an injured football player with a very special gift, begin to see disturbing and very dark happenings.

After meeting at the Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies, where they rescue a boy who seems to have a spiritual understanding of everything that is to come. Together they experience a house that holds dark secrets, discover gruesome deaths of masses of animals all over the world, meet and care for a little girl with a strange affliction.

Weaving suspense and gripping action with can only be describe as some form of spiritual warfare – it makes for quite a ride.  While it was an emotionally hard read for me, it was a book hard to put down.  And may I add – so refreshing to read a book that doesn’t have a “tied up with a bow” ending.  It was good to have the hard reality of what is to come in the next volume sit and demand to be wrestled with.  It certainly was an excellent reminder to do a gut-check on the health of my prayer life!

I would highly recommend this to those who enjoy fantasy, suspense and mystery writings.

Thanks to Graf-Martin Communications and Bethany House for the opportunity to independently review this book.

 

 
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Posted by on June 22, 2017 in book reviews

 

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller – A Review

Chapel Car BrideIt seems fitting that for the first long weekend of the summer – I would finish reading a light, but engaging historical fiction book.   Judith Miller has created an opportunity for the reader to enter into a mining town in West  Virginia in 1913.

As I was reading, I did some research into the Chapel Car program and finding the actual car that Judith has based the book on added to the authenticity of the story line.  As Hope Irvine and her dad set up services in Finch, WV – with the hopes of establishing a significant congregation that will result in a permanent church plant – they encounter a community on edge.

The miners are feeling undervalued by the mine’s owner, who sends his son into town to thwart the talk of a union forming.  When he arrives, he simply wants to find ways to make easy money, and has no real interest in the people who work for the family business.

Hope and one of the miners, Luke Hughes,  strike up a plan to begin to help bring the conditions of the homes up to a livable, safe standard.  He and his sister become an important part of Hope and her father’s lives, and Luke begins to follow a call on his life.

Historical fiction – especially romance – is certainly not my genre of choice, but I enjoyed this book.  It was a great escape, and was refreshingly good a being intentional regarding faith issues.  I would recommend this book as for teen girls, ladies who want to read something that can be read as they catch a few minutes of quite time, and to those who enjoy Christian Historical Fiction.

Thank you to Graf-Martin Communications and Bethany House in providing the book that allowed me to complete this independent review.

 
 

(re)union by Bruxy Cavey – A review

41UbJk1Y59L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I wasn’t sure what to expect when I agreed to review this book, but because it was by Bruxy – I was intrigued.  I have known about Bruxy for years (he was my husband’s small group leader in Seminary!), and have watched as the church he leads has become a model for church ministry in today’s culture.  So, a new book was an exciting proposition for me to read.

Let me begin by saying this book is like sitting and hearing Bruxy share his heart and passion for reaching people with the Gospel.  He has put on no airs in writing this, and it is truly a reflection of his approach and way of communicating – so refreshing in a world that has people who think they need to sound like a less than authentic self.

Bruxy shares the gospel in 1, then 3 and finally 30 words.  His desire to bring the Gospel down to its basic roots is laudable.  This will be a fantastic resource for people to share with family and friends who are seeking, but don’t want a ton of church-y speak.

In a society where people have been turned off Jesus because of what they see religious people doing to each other (and truly, we need to just stop behaving badly to other Jesus followers!), this book is a refreshing approach.

I do, however, have some points that I disagree with – some theological issues.  But those can be attributed to Bruxy and I coming from very different traditions, and our basic tenants to approaching Scripture vary.  Those differences though, are not enough to dismiss the book at all.  I highly recommend this for those who want to more about the Jesus who came to save the world, and his call to follow him.

I am grateful to Graf-Martin Communications and to Herald Press for giving me the opportunity to independently review this Advance Reader Copy.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2017 in book reviews