Lost in Pages

I enjoy reading and sharing my review of the various material I read. There is also the fun of communicating with authors and publishers

A Jensen Family Christmas

Title:  A Jensen Family Christmas

Author:  William W. Johnstone & J.A. Johnstone

Pages:  362

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Kensington Pub.

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Each year the Johnstones release a Jensen Christmas tale that is sure to entertain and engage the reader all the way till the end of the book.  A Jensen Family Christmas is the 9th book in the Christmas series, and it is fantastic and original!

In this multifaceted tale, the Jensen family isn’t the only one wrapped up in trouble.  There are other characters who become embroiled in a scam, attempted murder, missing railroad money and more!  Luke Jensen has just about got his man who is brutal and trying to escape justice.  What Luke ends up with will amaze you.  Then, there is Smoke and Sally Jensen who are trying to retain their land holdings on the Sugarloaf from two people who are trying to take it away.  Then you have Preacher, Ace and Chance plus other threads of stories all occurring at the same time.  What readers end up enjoying is a masterpiece when all the threads come together to paint a wonderful picture of a family that is tightly knitted.

Each Christmas story can be read as a standalone but the fun for me has been reading each one in the order they have been released.  If you are new to the Johnstone Christmas novels, here are the titles in order:  A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas, A Frontier Christmas, A Texas Hill Country Christmas, A Colorado Christmas, AN Arizona Christmas, A High Sierra Christmas, and this year A Jensen Family Christmas!

Grab a chair, shut out the noise and get lost in the Jensen Christmas novels that are filled with family, action, mystery, adventure and so much more!              

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 


A High Seirra Christmas



Title: A High Sierra Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 426
Year: 2018
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
I was deeply engrossed late into the night in this wonderful tale of a family overcoming obstacles of all sorts to be together for Christmas. If you haven’t read any of the yearly Christmas stories offered by the Johnstone family, then now’s the time to join the fun! The Jenson family is experiencing the holiday times together each year. Sounds easy, right? Well, for the Jenson family the holidays aren’t always peaceful.
The story begins in a museum with a little boy looking at a stagecoach, wondering if it’s the real deal. His mother isn’t sure it is authentic. As they are talking about the coach and the mysterious engraving of two letters, an older gentleman comes out and starts talking about it being real. The story then proceeds with a flashback to a time when a part of the Jensen family was in the stagecoach. From then on, the action is nonstop all the way to the last page, with the older gentlemen ending his tale. Can you just picture a wide-eyed youngster captivated by the tale being told?
I always wonder how each year the Johnstones can come up with such unique and exciting adventures, but they do! I thoroughly enjoyed this story as it shows how generations can share the stories of the past in a way that just captures the imagination of people no matter their age. The use of mystery, danger, daring escapades during a blizzard and so much more will keep you up reading this novel! I am glad the author took time to build the story and plot, using words to paint pictures that just popped into my mind.
I look forward to the Johnstone Christmas novels each year. They are well written and fun to sit with a hot drink and get lost in the book for a while. If you have missed the action and daring adventures of the past books, don’t wait any longer! The titles are: The Lone Star Christmas, A Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas, A Frontier Christmas, A Texas Hill Country Christmas, A Colorado Christmas, An Arizona Christmas and A High Sierra Christmas.
Many more Johnstone novels are available to read, enjoy and share with others!

An Arizona Christmas



Title: An Arizona Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 400
Year: 2017
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
Every year I look forward to the newest Johnstone Christmas novel and this year is no exception! I first started reading the yearly stories with the first novel titled, A Lone Star Christmas. Each novel is a stand alone with a unique story that brings together some of the most beloved characters in the Johnstone world. What makes this particular novel so adventurous is the use of flashback by the author. The tale begins on a battle field in Belgium in December 1944. While the fighting was fierce, there came a break where a small group wondered if they would live to see another moment. So, to take their minds off the war, their cold and hunger, a descendent of Smoke Jensen tells a story of one Christmas when the Jensens were to gather in Arizona.
From there, the readers are then propelled back into a time when there were still Apache uprisings, people traveling by stage, though more by trains as time was moving on, and sandstorms! What a heart-pounding, page-turner the author writes for us to enjoy and consider sharing with other readers! There is nothing that can take the place of a book and our imagination as we read and envision all that is being described on the pages!
I don’t want to tell you too much of the story as I hope you will read all the Christmas novels by the authors as they are unique, exciting, and filled with gun smoke when evil runs against those who stand for good. The best part of these books is the heart and desire of the families to gather no matter the danger and how they look out for each other or look for each other should danger be lurking.
In case you want to catch up the Johnstone Christmas novels are: A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas, A Frontier Christmas, A Texas Hill Country Christmas, A Colorado Christmas and finally An Arizona Christmas. These books make great gifts for the readers you know whether family or friends. Consider giving the gift of books this year!

A Colorado Christmas



Title: A Colorado Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 336
Year: 2016
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating is 5+ stars.
Each year the Johnstone family releases a Christmas novel that brings together some of the best of both older and newer characters into a blazing, riveting story! Here is another one that is without parallel to other Christmas Westerns. There were other novels written the last few years by the Johnstones and I highly recommend reading each and every one. While they are standalone books, it is fun to see what Wild West ride the author schemes to take the audience on! Prior Christmas novels are as follows: A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas, A Frontier Christmas, and A Texas Hill Country Christmas with the newest one this year titled, A Colorado Christmas.
As usual I was captured by the story, especially when the author brought back a couple of older characters like Preacher and Eagle Eye Callahan. There is a stranded orphan train in town with twenty orphans needing new homes, a detective trying to find a lost boy among the orphans and if that isn’t enough, there are romance and holiday celebrations to boot!
I don’t want to give away all that is brought together to tell such a story that has a plethora of happenings both on Smoke Jenson’s ranch and in town, especially when the antagonist who is an ex-con that has recently been paroled and goes on a killing spree as he carries out a plan of revenge and mayhem on an unsuspecting town. When I started reading, I knew I was hooked as the story first begins in 1926 with flashbacks to what happened many moons ago, then returns to 1926 with a climactic conclusion that I never saw coming! It was great!
So grab some of these wonderful books, sit back and enjoy going back to the Old West with familiar characters and surprising plots!

A Texas Hill Country Christmas


Title: A Texas Hill Country Christmas
Author: Willliam W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 336
Year: 2015
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating is 5+ stars.
Each year a new Christmas novel is released by the Johnstones that includes some of their most beloved characters. Each Christmas novel stands alone and the previous ones are A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas, A Big Sky Christmas and A Frontier Christmas. Now we can add to the Christmas themed novels this year’s story, A Texas Hill Country Christmas.
Each year I have read the newest book, enjoyed it and shared my review with you. For me, this year’s novel is my favorite one thus far with the Jenson family members coming together in several ways that really is genius! The year is 1975 and a descendant of the Jenson family sits down to tell yet another story of her ancestors to the youngest generation about the “old, old days”. So, Helen Sievers begins to talk about Smoke, Matt, Ace, Chance and other Jenson members and their family adventures. This is a new way for readers to learn about the Jenson’s adventures and I loved it! In my mind, I could see the youngsters sitting on the floor at her feet waiting for the tale to begin. The tale wove together the main Jenson men and how they eventually run across paths that place them together, but each one has traveled a totally different looking road.
The action and adventure really is gripping, causing readers to not let down their guard or set the novel aside. How the author kept all the details and multitude of plot lines straight is beyond me, but the ending was worth its weight in gold! If you like action, adventure, intrigue, old west, rugged and unsettled lands that’s just part of what will keep you reading the Johnstone westerns for a long time!
As stated above, each of the Christmas novels is a standalone but really readers will love each Christmas tale for years to come! They would make a really great gift for any western fans or book worms in any family!


A Frontier Christmas



Title: A Frontier Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 416
Year: 2014
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
This is a simply heartwarming story set in the west with characters that I am familiar with, being a fan of Johnstone books. However, whether you are familiar with the characters or authors matters not as readers will be engrossed not just in the budding romance between Meagan and Duff, but the action with increasing tension will keep you glued to the book! A Frontier Christmas is the fourth book in the series Western Christmas Stories that also includes A Lone Star Christmas, Rocky Mountain Christmas and A Big Sky Christmas. Each book can be read as a standalone or grab all four and be prepared to be entertained for hours!
The Johnstone’s Western Christmas Stories will capture your imagination, heart and emotions that run a wide range with each book. A Frontier Christmas tells the story of small towns preparing for Christmas and coming together to fight against those who would trade life-giving medicine for money when one town is quarantined with diphtheria. The small town has but one doctor who runs from one bedside to another in a race to save lives. When Duff learns who the men are who have taken the medication, he enlists the help of old friends Smoke & Matt Jensen along with his ranch partner Elmer.
When I began reading, I instantly fell in love with the characters and the story because I love westerns! Even if someone is not a fan of westerns these Christmas tales remind us of what is most important along with sacrificial giving without a second thought in order to save lives. Readers need to remember there are a couple of swear words sprinkled lightly in the book, but hardly noticeable with a story so stunning and fast moving as shared here for the audience. Many other western writers have come before and left stories for generations to enjoy long after they are gone; the Johnstones are no different.
I hope you read all four wonderful tales in this series and share them with others who love the world of imagination sparked by a good book!

A Big Sky Christmas


Title: A Big Sky Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 416
Year: 2013
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars
J. A. Johnstone has authored, The Big Sky Christmas, with as much heart as the previous tales titled, A Rocky Mountain Christmas and Lone Star Christmas. Each novel is thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable with a mix of adventure and romance. Here, in the latest Christmas book, A Big Sky Christmas, readers are introduced to characters with a true moral or spiritual compass and others with evil intent along with a host of surprises in the story line.
In the fictional tale, Johnstone uses flashback as a way to tell the story of a set of elderly twins and their experiences growing up on a wagon train bound for Montana. McAllister is a mountain man whose years were originally filled with locating those who took the life of his beloved wife Katie. When a brawl causes the original wagon master to sit this trip out, McAllister feels duty-bound to lead them safely to their new homesteads before the harsh winter snows begin.
Each page is filled with action, adventure, danger, romance and more that will keep the audience entertained for hours in the setting of the Old West. Time flew by as I kept reading and seeing the novel’s climax build then come to a place of resolution when all of a sudden the story took off again on another fight to live through more perilous moments.
It was easy to form the picture of the story in my mind. At times, I felt like I was watching the action play out through the eyes of one player or another. The risk pioneers took to start new homesteads and raise families is something that intrigues my imagination for hours on end. I thought it was a brilliant stroke of the author’s pen when an unexpected character from another of the western series appears here in the story.
The gift of family, faith and friends through life’s adventures was the main theme of the whole novel. Banding together to care for each other, to fight to stay alive and learning new skills for life on the prairie were other added pieces of the tale that kept me reading well into the wee hours of the morning. No matter when you read this novel, I guarantee it will be time well spent. I also suggest reading the other two Christmas novels mentioned above as they are unique unto themselves.



Happy 4th of July!

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A Rocky Mountain Christmas



Title: A Rocky Mountain Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone & J. A. Johnstone
Pages: 336
Year: 2012
Publisher: Kensington
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

A Rocky Mountain Christmas is the latest in Johnstone’s writing repertoire, taking place during the Christmas holidays. Some of the characters from the previous book, A Lone Star Christmas, continue to develop in this story. Here, the story enlarges to include a corrupt judge and a rancher accused of murder being taken on a train to go to jail along with another convict.
Rebecca is now an older woman, but was 6 years old at the time of a train accident that would change her life forever. She was the daughter of a senator and his wife. Her parents were going to a speaking engagement when an avalanche changed every passenger’s plans. Rebecca is now being approached for an interview before her flight leaves. The only reason she agrees to participate in the interview is due to a delay in her flight. Her only condition for the interview is that she be allowed to tell her story without interruption. She begins by telling how she came to be on the train.
Luke had been a sailor until an inheritance changed all that. Matt is going to spend Christmas with people who have been like family to him. Jenny used to be a hostess on the Mississippi River when her life changed in more ways than she ever saw coming. Luke, Matt, and Jenny are on the same train that is stranded at the top of a mountain pass due to an avalanche begun by a single gunshot. Who made the mistake of not thinking before firing their weapon during a heavy snowstorm?
The use of flashback makes the novel really intriguing. I was so absorbed in the adventure I forgot about the flashback until the very end of the book! There are many stories going on at the same time, but not where it would make things too hard to follow for a reader. In fact, the more strands added, the deeper the plot.
There are a few curse words sprinkled over the course of the story, but not so much as to distract the reader or become the focus of the story. Sometimes when I read books, it seems like the author writes it with the intent to shock the reader by using foul language. One thing I appreciate about Johnstone’s novels is that isn’t the case at all. I believe storytellers can hone their art to such a fine point that they would actually be able to tell an excellent tale and not use any foul language.
The Seeking with all Yur Heart blog exists for two main reasons: First, it exists to help readers locate excellent novels that truly entertain without the “extra” stuff added. Second, it exists to encourage authors in writing tales that entertain readers without the use of negative modern day verbiage or sexual content in the book.

A Lone Star Christmas


Title: A Lone Star Christmas
Author: William W. Johnstone
Pages: 336
Year: 2011
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.
Since I was a little girl, westerns have been the one genre I knew I could best use to identify who I was. Whether it was watching westerns on TV, a movie, reading non-fiction as well as fiction, I always wanted to know more about the West with a passion. Recently, with my sons having become men, I joined the NRA, took a class, and bought my first firearm. I am also a member of SASS. Even though I don’t attend anything, I learn a lot from this group. I knew a few western writers growing up though because of my Nana I knew more about Louis L’Amour and his books. Growing up and watching my parents get her the latest novel or seeing her read those books are memories I will always remember. When Nana died, I was blessed with her entire collection of westerns that included a few Luke Short books and some others. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I came across the name of William W. Johnstone. You can go to his website to learn more about the author, books, and book club. (http://www.williamjohnstone.net/index1.html)
Every author of any genre has a unique way of telling a story. The western genre encompasses a whole lot of territory. What I like best in this author’s writings is the depth of the story and the painstaking time taken to place details in a scene. There is some cussing in the novels, but no sexual content whatsoever. There is romance though as well as gunfights. Deeper still is the portrayal of the cowboy’s code of being willing to place his life on the line for another, taking care of matters of law and justice, or even seeing to family matters. Yet, even what I have listed fails to encompass the western genre. I can only say the novels are worth the time to read.
A Lone Star Christmas was released in 2011, and this year A Rocky Mountain Christmas has been released. In the near future, I will be reading and reviewing this work of fiction as well. I have no doubt that it will be as excellent as its predecessor.
There is so much enjoyment in the pages of this novel. It would be hard to put words on paper to adequately describe everything, so here is a very short summary. Remember there are a few cuss words interspersed in the story. Rebecca is the daughter of a wealthy rancher in Texas. She doesn’t know her birth mother. Who was she? With love on the line and questions to be answered, Becca leaves the ranch without anyone’s knowledge. Tom is running from a memory he never wants to rehash in his heart or mind. Leaving his former life behind, he sets out on a train for the west, ending up in Texas. His knowledge and experience as a cowboy become apparent very quickly, but there is no turning back now.

Ranch hands’ lifestyles, forged friendships, and a cattle drive through the winter are just a few of the happenings that take place. With a make or break deal to try a different breed of cattle, Big Ben sends his team of seven people to meet the train and drive the 2,500 head of cattle home through sandstorms, a blizzard, attempted murder, and cattle rustling. Will the cattle make it to their new home? On top of that, Big Ben wants everyone home for Christmas. Maria just wants her baby safely delivered at the ranch. Exactly what does occur on the cattle drive, before the drive, and months later that changes the lives of the characters? Interested in reading this yet? I sure hope so. You will be missing a great adventure if you pass up this novel!



Legion versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World

Title:  Legion versus Phalanx: The Epic Struggle for Infantry Supremacy in the Ancient World

Author:  Myke Cole

Pages:  288

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Osprey

Rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Legion versus Phalanx is a good, entertaining, and insightful book about the Roman Legion and the Greek Phalanx and how these two opposing forces faced off thousands of years ago.  I loved the book! I’ve always enjoyed reading military history and I liked the author’s writing style.  He makes the information easy to read and follow as well as entertaining and realistic.  Too often you see films on ancient warfare that while they are as close to source material as possible, filmmakers put certain things in that are just there for eye candy.  For instance, you see characters wielding swords and who fight with a style that has the main idea but is not always realistic or practical I should say.  I’m not saying I don’t enjoy these films myself, but I like as much accuracy as to sources and practicality in fighting styles as possible.  Myke Cole uses both ancient and modern sources.  He talks about how he has walked the battlefields that were examined in the book to help get his points across as to how the battles played out.  He writes in a way that isn’t confusing at all and he makes fine distinctions between subjects that people may have misconceptions of or just simply don’t understand.

The first three chapters of the book analyze the legion and the phalanx and how their respected cultures influenced the way that both militaries fought.  The first chapter focused on telling readers to be objective about the source material, as well as gave an historical background story and a description of ancient unit formation and deployment.  Chapters two and three analyzed the legion and the phalanx themselves and how the soldiers were recruited, organized, how they were deployed on the battlefield and what made these deployments effective.  Support units are mentioned but are not the primary focus of the book.  The next six chapters discuss six historical battles where the legion and the phalanx faced off.  Each battle can be broken into three sections:  1) The historical background leading up to the battle, 2) the battle itself, and 3) the aftermath.  The book ends discussing the legacy that each unit left on the world that is still relevant today.

So overall, Legion versus Phalanx brings some good insight on these two iconic armies, and on their effectiveness and value during that time period.  I would recommend this book to others who enjoy military history and want to learn more about ancient warfare.  

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 


Seeking the Truth (K-9 Unit series)


Title:  Seeking the Truth (K-9 Unit series)

Author:  Terri Reed

Pages:  224        

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

The book may not have many pages, but it is packed with mystery, romance, faith, police and dogs.  The setting is New York City, and the tale involves the Jamison family as they are police officers who are struggling with the loss of a brother.  The brother’s murder is not yet solved, and no new clues have been unearthed until a reporter decides to investigate on her own.

Rachelle has sought an unconventional path and career in journalism as far as her parents are concerned.  However, Rachelle is new to the hustle and bustle of the city and wanting to prove she can be a good reporter she decides to look into Jordan’s murder.  What Rachelle hasn’t counted on is the fall out of doing so!  Nor did she think that the murderer would come after her, multiple times.

Now she is ensconced with the Jamison family for protection, but more is happening in her heart than she counted on.  With Carter Jamison being her guard and his K-9, Frosty, Rachelle and Carter might have more building than the threats on her life.  Carter’s past hurt has caused him to build walls around his heart, and Rachelle doesn’t believe anyone can love her for any reason.

I enjoyed the tale, loved the dog’s unique name and hope that other readers will enjoy this story when it is released August of 2019.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 

When the Clock Strikes Fourteen


Title:  When the Clock Strikes Fourteen

Author:  C. Kevin Thompson

Pages:  322

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Independently Published

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Blake Meyer’s story begins with the first book, 30 Days Hath Revenge followed by Triple Time, The Tide of Times and When the Clock Strikes Fourteen.  If you have yet to read the series, let me share with you what you are missing!  The series focuses on Special Agent Blake Meyer who has dedicated his life to serving his country and fighting against evil.

The latest installment contains the continuing tale of Blake Meyer and his family.  Throughout the books listed above, the story slowly unfolds Blake’s desire to reunite his family as well as catch whoever attacked them.  Who is the mastermind who is targeting Blake?  What happens in the installment books after 30 Days Hath Revenge will keep you on the edge of your seat and wanting more!

When the Clock Strikes Fourteen is chock full of suspense with even more books to come!  I found the plethora of characters became intriguing when some who were enemies instead began to work to take down an adversary.  In a non-overbearing manner, the theme of human trafficking is well done.  It makes one aware of the reality but doesn’t leave the story there; it brings hope and healing.

If you haven’t read these thrillers with their various threads of politics, faith, and more woven in each novel, you are missing a high-octane series!   It is in some ways hard to write this review without feeling as though I am giving away too much of the story.  I hope that the review intrigues you enough to check them out, enjoy them and share them with other readers!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 


The Brides of the Big Valley

Title:  The Brides of the Big Valley

Author:  Wanda Brunstetter, Jean Brunstetter & Richelle Brunstetter

Pages:  448

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Shiloh Press

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

There are three unique stories inside this single book titled, Deanna’s Determination, Rose Mary’s Resolve and Leila’s Longing each by one of the authors noted above.  I found each story tugged on the heart as the tales drew me into what was occurring with the various characters and their situations.  Another aspect of the stories is that they reflected human beings as they are with good and bad qualities.  The stories in no way make the Amish appear more than human beings.

The tales take place in Big Valley, Pennsylvania, which I learned is also known as Kishacoquillas Valley.  There are three different types of communities know as the Black-Toppers, White Toppers and Yellow-Toppers.  Each is explained in the beginning of the book before reading the stories that are placed within these communities.  All this was new information to me and there is more history explained that I believe history lovers will be fascinated by.

The stories have a couple of characters that show up in the other tales in the stories that also drew me into the various plots.  One story reflects how people can treat others with disabilities with respect or not.  Another story shows how a young woman must relearn how to interact with others as well as not being bound by unforgiveness.  The final story shows the tension of choices that young people go through in Amish communities, though I think Amish as well as all people have that tension of choices they each must face some time in life.

I could wax on about the various characters I liked, the way plots progressed and so forth; however, I don’t want to diminish other readers enjoyment of reading for themselves.  The stories tug at the heart that is for certain and it is good to be able to sit and enjoy a story that reflects the faith, hope and love that can grow within the human heart.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 


Whose Waves These Are

Title:  Whose Waves These Are

Author:  Amanda Dykes

Pages:  368

Year:  2019

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars

Wow!  How can I share with you this amazing novel that really defies description?  Just as the tides of the ocean come in and then go out, I found my heart coming up in my throat many times and returning to a settled place as I read other parts of this story.  As I approached the end, the climax and my heart being pulled into the moment was so strong I couldn’t put the book down!

The minute one opens the cover is the moment the person will be captured by the opening scene.  It’s WWII and a man in Marine receives his draft notice.  His identical twin brother opens the draft notice and his heart drops to his stomach.  There are other factors in these twins’ lives that are going to affect the decision these two men make and the rippling effects last for more than just their generation.

While I am in no way revealing what comes next nor how the plot progresses, it is the heart of the reader that will be touched very deeply.  Seeing how a fictional small town and its people in Maine are changed by the war isn’t all there is to the book.  I was engrossed with the various characters’ background life experiences and how that played into who they became, how they lived, etc.

It was very easy to visualize in my mind what was happening, and I could almost hear the sounds or smell the ocean.  The conclusion brought tears to my eyes and it is one I won’t soon forget.  I have already told my friends and family members this is a must read for a whole slew of reasons.  So, I am asking others to grab a copy, read it, feel it, and share it with people they know.  Even though it is fiction it touches on the truth of the greatest generation’s sacrifice!

Whose Waves These Are will impact those who read it, share it and talk about it for days to come.  We need reminders written in fiction of the past events, people and repercussions both good and bad so remember who we are and how we became a strong nation.  Well done Amanda Dykes for writing such a moving story and thank you to the greatest generation who blessed this generation with their love, sacrifices and patriotism!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility. 


The King’s Mercy (A Novel)


Title:  The King’s Mercy (A Novel)

Author:  Lori Benton

Pages:  400

Year:  2019

Publisher:  WaterBrook

My rating:  5 out of 5 stars.

Lori Benton’s work is historical, captivating, a page turner set in the 1700s.  She takes readers back to when there were colonies and, in the tale, why a young man named Alex MacKinnon is an indentured man on a plantation.  Alex is far from his native Scotland and now he is going to be a smithy in a strange land, with no family ties and his faith in ruins.

One of my favorite characters was an itinerant preacher, Reverend Pauling, who spoke softly, lovingly and with conviction.  Reverend Pauling suffered physically, but he didn’t let that stop him.  In fact, he saw it as something permissible by God.  The man had a heart for people.  It didn’t matter how others did or didn’t respond to his words or the Scripture readings; he pressed forward.

Phineas Reeves really is a character who tries to hide his true evil self and actions from others, putting on airs but there are those who see through him.  Alex has Joanna, mistress of the plantation, and the reverend on one hand showing him love and encouragement, but Reeves is a thorn in Alex’s side constantly.

Joanna, being the plantation mistress, carries many responsibilities including caring for her sister who has limited mental abilities.  Joanna sees people as people regardless of faith, race, station, or any other social way of distinguishing people.  She too is one of my favorite characters who stood her ground, allowed God to grow her faith and yet was tender of heart.

There are other characters who fill in the story with richness and grace, and yes, wickedness too.  Throughout the book I was enthralled by the constant challenges people had living at that time, and how precarious life was every day.  I appreciated the climax at the end of the book that brought various consequences to some and set some others on a new path.

If you enjoy reading historical fiction, don’t pass up Lori’s book!  It is rich, filled with examples of what living by faith looks like, how evil is there to try and bring others down, and so much more!  It was an exciting tale that I thoroughly enjoyed and hope other readers do as well!

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.