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

Many Sparrows

 

Title:  Many Sparrows

Author:  Lori Benton

Pages:  400

Year:  2017

Publisher:  WaterBrook

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

If you have never read any of Lori Benton’s novels, now is a great time to start!  Her newest novel grabbed my heart and attention from the first words all the way through till the very climactic conclusion!  Lori Benton brings together threads of Scripture, faith, romance, action and adventure plus more to weave a masterpiece that was worth waiting for!

Set in the prerevolutionary times in the Ohio and Kentucky lands, readers will be instantly drawn into a story when a family enters territory that is set to explode with an Indian uprising.  There is palpable tension between the wife and her husband which only escalates when he leaves to find help after their wagon breaks down.  Soon, it becomes apparent that Philip isn’t coming back to Clare, who is near her birthing time, and their small son Jacob.

When the pangs of birth begin, much sooner than she thought, she goes to a place to give birth away from her small son to spare him the sight.  What Clare didn’t count on was Jacob disappearing and a stranger appearing to help her in her greatest hour of need!  Readers are quickly set on a heart-pounding path of discovering what happens to Clare, Philip, and Jacob along with the new baby that is very hard to put down!

Lori does a masterful job of placing before us the truth of how hard at times trusting in God is especially when there is nothing anyone can do to change the circumstances.  Her characters reflect the sorrow of soul, tears of pain, and those moments of the glorious hope and peace that God alone can give to those who release their hearts and problems completely to the Lord.

For me, I could relate to Clare in her struggles, tears and learning that God hears the cry of His children.   We also learn the truth of Matthew 10:29-31 (NASB): “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent?  And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.  30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.”

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  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.”

A Dangerous Legacy

 

Title:  A Dangerous Legacy

Author:  Elizabeth Camden

Pages:  339

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Bethany House

My rating is 3 out of 5 stars.

Sir Colin Beckwith has come to the United States from Britain to improve Reuters subscriptions and hopefully marry a rich heiress to infuse his crumbling estates, Whitefriars, with much need cash to make repairs.  He also supports 90 tenant workers on his estate.  He knows he is marrying for money and not for love, but he is determined to carry on the family legacy and lands.  He meets Lucy and soon wants her to be in his life permanently, but she has no money to provide as a dowry so they go their separate ways.  That is until she learns of an assassination plot and reels him into the fray.

Lucy Drake has fought her wealthy relatives all her life.  A 40-year-old lawsuit has cost her just about everything.  She works as a telegrapher for the AP, which is housed in the same building as their competitor, Reuters.  To keep tabs on the case, her brother has installed a wire that allows her to eavesdrop on her relatives’ lawyer.  The lawsuit stems from an invention of a water valve that revolutionizes water delivery.  While eavesdropping she learns of an assassination plot.  She takes her information to the police, but realizes they think she is just a distraught woman and don’t take her seriously.  She tells Colin of her finding and he agrees to help her get definitive proof.

I have read all of Elizabeth Camden’s books and have found her to be a wonderful writer with great historical details and settings for her tales.  This story, however, I just couldn’t get into.  I saw very little mention of God or faith to make this a Christian book.  Lucy and Colin both are tied to their pasts and think that by doing something in the now it will change their futures.  Colin never mentions God, so readers don’t know where he stands as far as his faith, and Lucy only mentions God once or twice.  I kept waiting for more revelation of a spiritual awakening or realization that God is their source of joy, but that never came.  I didn’t really like the relationship between Colin and Lucy.  The ending of the story felt hurried and left me feeling unfulfilled.  I will continue reading this author’s books because her past works have been very good.  Occasionally, a book and a reader just don’t mesh and this was such a book for me.

Generous Lies (Hidden Truth #3)

 

Title:  Generous Lies (Hidden Truth #3)

Author:  Robin Patchen

Pages:  386

Year:  2017

Publisher:  CreateSpace

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Generous Lies is the third installment in the Hidden Truth series.  The first two novels are Convenient Lies and Twisted Lies.  Robin Patchen’s stories are very riveting with a mixture of adventure, danger, mystery and a touch of romance.  Here, a former FBI agent, Garrison, and his son are in a small town while his son recovers from a mixture of drugs he took at a party.  At the same time, a young man’s father has given him a mysterious package to hide until the time for delivery.

When these two events collide, the party and hiding the package, tension ramps up when undesirable repercussions occur.  Aiden, who is recovering from his drug affects, now faces the only real choice he has, which is rehab.  Garrison, who has been talking with Samantha, who owns the cabins on the lake where they are staying, are falling hard for each other, but their pasts are causing some obstacles they must decide to be honest about or let the possible future together go.

Each tale in the series is riveting and grabs not just the attention of readers like myself but the heart too.  The perfect balance of real life issues, with a climatic ending makes for very exciting reading for me! There will soon be another novel in the series to be released by the author, so if you want to catch up in the story make these books a part of your holiday wish list.  Maybe you know readers who would enjoy the series and give them a book or two to start their journey of adventure!

Don’t pass up Robin’s wonderful Hidden Truth series; it is the best with more to come!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  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.”

Giver of Wonders

 

 

 

Title:  Giver of Wonders

Author:  Roseanna M. White

Pages:  321

Year:  2017

Publisher:  WhiteFire

My rating 5+ stars out of 5.

I read the synopsis of the novel when trying to decide which novel to pick up and read after just completing a book.  Before reading Giver of Wonders, I went to the back of the book to read the author’s note, which I like to do to see why the story was written.  With the holidays right around the corner, it’s the perfect time for this book to be published and read by many people.  Some are tired of the commercialism of the times, which the author is as well and that propelled her to look for a fresh perspective.  Giver of Wonders is the result of her search, and I thank her for sharing this wonderful and inspiring tale with audiences.

The tale was written to share the truth, set in fiction, of a man known by many as Saint Nickolas or Santa Claus.  Readers are propelled back in time to a faraway place where tension between the Jewish people and Hellenists was real where living as a believer unashamed and vocal could be costly.  This is the story about the Visibullis family with three grown daughters whose father has put forth a façade.  Only the truth is known by his wife for a time.  Dorus was a man who lived well beyond his means.  To have the money for his daughters’ dowries, he sends his wife begging to her father for her inheritance when tragedy strikes.

From that point forward, readers will become more engaged with each page turned to see what will befall the family the townspeople despise.  The only hope for the three daughters is the faith they put in Christ alone and that faith becomes sorely tested.  I loved the book; it really was inspiring and challenging.  The characters’ faith standing or falling, depending on what was happening in the household, or whether each man who agreed to marry each daughter would stay true to his word despite pressure from family or others.

Watching the slowly revealing faith of Nickolas, learning his true calling in life and whether he would trust and obey the Lord above all else.  Here is a book that can be given to readers that will touch hearts, minds and souls with the message of God’s love, His gift of sending Jesus and remaining faithful in the face of intense trials.  For me, the lasting impression was how important it is to share the testimony of our faith with generations that follow us, and tell and retell the true history of people like Nickolas to inspire the next generation to carry that Light forth! 

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. A positive review was not required.

 

Rescued Hearts

 

 

 

Title:  Rescued Hearts

Author:  Hope Toler Dougherty

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Mantle Rock Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

What an exciting story!  First, readers meet a woman out on a bike ride named Mary Wade.  The next thing you know she is kidnapped.  From that point on, Mary tries to start a business, heal from her encounter, try not to like the detective who rescued her and so much more!  Believe me, at the end of the book, I thought the story was over only to find out there was a touch of genius I had yet to discover in the plot!

Mary is trying to find her way in a world where parents are encouraging her.  She is danger or pain, needing to learn to rely on God more and that’s hard for Mary.  Plus, when the man she is smitten with can’t make up his mind as he argues within himself for and against a relationship with her, well that sure doesn’t help quiet the insecurity in Mary’s heart.

Add to that an experience with a hurricane, a teenager asking Mary hard questions about God, and more and what do you find?  A story that is intriguing to read, and enjoyable along with a few serious and funny moments.  Mary has such a hard time when it seems like all her friends are married.  She just isn’t someone who grabs the attention of a man worth spending time with until danger is right in her face!

However, don’t take my word for it.  Grab a copy, enjoy the adventure and tension in the plot along with learning to believe in God in good times and in bad.  I hope you really make time to soak up the tale and share the book with readers you know because it is one nobody should pass up!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  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.”

The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon (His Earliest Outlines & Sermons Between 1851 & 1954 Vol. 2)

 

 

Title:  The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon (His Earliest Outlines & Sermons Between 1851 & 1954 Vol. 2)

Author:  Christian George (editor)

Pages:  576

Year:  2017

Publisher:  B & H Academic

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I came to know and love Spurgeon’s writings mainly through my son who loves reading and contemplating what those who have gone before us have left behind for us.  The volumes of Spurgeon’s outlines, sermons, the pictures and introduction by the editor give us glimpse of one of those who is among the “great cloud of witnesses” as Hebrews 12:1 states.  Charles Hadden Spurgeon wrote constantly and left for those who are here to carry the mantle of sharing Christ with the world a wealth of wisdom!

To see the pictures of writings in his own hand of what he learned from the Word of God and preparation of sharing with others is staggering.  In a day where so much is instant, quickly said, noted or texted and then forgotten even quicker, these volumes remind us to take time to leave behind for others what the Lord teaches us.

While no man will ever state or write complete truth for only the Bible is inspired and without error, we can learn, meditate, and share in the joy of the Lord from Spurgeon.  When I look at the dates and realize our country would soon be thrown into Civil War within a decade of his writing, it makes what he wrote very poignant and pragmatic.  Please don’t dismiss these books right off because you’re from a different denomination or theological stance; there is truly a treasure trove of wisdom here to be opened and enjoyed.

The sermons cover a multitude of different portions of Scripture sometimes being about one verse and other times more than one verse.  Spurgeon’s volumes cover both the Old & New Testaments.  Next summer, volume 3 will be released and I will be adding it to my personal library for my enjoyment and then for my sons’ families after I go to be with the Lord.  Our personal libraries are something we can pass on to our children and grandchildren or strangers.

So, view this with a heart and vision that look past today to what may be, and add Spurgeon’s wisdom to your library to meditate on and leave for the next generation to glean wisdom from too! 

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  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.”

Enigma (An FBI Thriller #21)

 

 

Title:  Enigma (An FBI Thriller #21)

Author:  Catherine Coulter

Pages:  496

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Gallery Books

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

While this is the 21st book of this particular series, it’s the first for me!  I kept coming across other readers sharing how captivating and thrilling it was along with the synopsis I read that I found intriguing.  The science part of the book linked with nefarious ways people wanted to use it was extremely suspenseful.  There were several different situations occurring almost simultaneously and I wondered how they would all fit together like a puzzle or if they even would fit together.

So many nights I was up reading and turning pages as I was going deeper into the story so very well crafted by the author.  The various FBI players exhibited unique strengths and weaknesses, but when placed in a team they sure seemed unbeatable.  The team of FBI agents doggedly kept investigating and considering possible suspects and some of what came about you’ll find quite amazing.

In the novel, I would have to say that my two favorite characters are the married FBI agents Savich and Sherlock.  Sherlock’s approach to the Kara character was amazing and touching.  While also helping Kara deal with her crisis, Sherlock helped her to vocalize information that might help the FBI.  Savich is a great FBI supervisor and yet he goes out in the field not to micromanage but to get information that other members of his team need to solve the case.

I plan on going back and reading the other books in this series by Catharine Coulter because I found Enigma focused on telling a great story without the other nuances (i.e. foul language, sex) writers tend to think help build an audience, when in fact they detract from the story.  I cannot wait to see what the older books in the series are like and what might come next from a new author whose stories I plan on reading more of!

 

 

 

Storming the Black Ice (Pacific Rim Series #3)

 

 

 

Title:  Storming the Black Ice (Pacific Rim Series #3)

Author:  Don Brown

Pages:  356

Year:  2014

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This is the third book of the Pacific Rim Series, and it introduces some new characters.  All the books in the series could be read as standalone stories.  The setting begins in Antarctica with an Argentinian officer uncovers petroleum sources previously discovered, but kept secret by Great Britain.  Great Britain and Chile come to a secret accord to develop and share in the profits as they both share overlapping territory in this region.  However, now that Argentina is aware of this accord, they join with Venezuela to fight against Britain and Chile.  Britain asks the U.S. for help.

Meanwhile, submarine commander Pete Miranda has been thinking about retirement from the Navy.  However, his superior asks him to stick around for one last mission that should take approximately six months, perhaps a year to complete.  He will be training Chilean sailors on how to man a submarine as Chile is bolstering its Navy due to increasing tensions with Argentina and Venezuela.  Also, Pete’s father is from Chile and Pete looks forward to connecting with family and exploring his heritage.  Pete agrees, thinking this will be an easy way to close his career and during his time he will be up for promotion to Captain, so what does he have to lose?  Boy, does he have it wrong!

As with the other two books in this series, there is plenty of action and tension that will keep readers glued to their seats from start to finish.  I liked the look at the different ways various churches put their beliefs into practice.  I know very little about these South American countries, so I enjoyed reading about them.  The maps that were included were a great help too.  The family interactions also made me want to read further in the story to see how those issues were resolved.  The realism the author brings to the story to me makes the story so much more believable, ramps up the tension and keeps readers involved and invested in the story to the end.  I would recommend this entire series for those who enjoy suspense and action.  There is no foul language or sex, which is such a blessing when looking for something good to read.  These would make a great gift for Christmas, birthday, or any time!

A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)

 

 

Title:  A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)

Author:  Charles Todd

Pages:  378

Year:  2017

Publisher:  William Morrow

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Bess Crawford is once again called on to help a soldier in need.  This time the soldier, Alan Travis, claims that a soldier in a British uniform tried to kill him, a British soldier himself and not once, but twice.  The soldier looks very much like Alan’s cousin.  Alan suffers a head wound that causes the aid station to doubt his claims.  He is returned to active duty after being cleared by the Base Hospital.  When he is returned to the aid station with a bullet wound in his back, claiming the same soldier tried to kill him again, the authorities investigate his claims.  It is discovered that the man Alan claims tried to kill him is dead.  Now, the hospital staff begins to doubt his sanity and perhaps the first wound to his head was more serious than they thought.  He is transferred to a mental hospital until he can be further evaluated.  Bess feels responsible and tells Alan she will see what she can discover.

Bess is home for two weeks leave after the war is finally over.  However, instead of spending the time with her parents, she ends up chasing clues as the mystery surrounding Captain Travis goes deeper than she originally thought.  She has Simon Brandon at her side for protection and help, but can he truly keep her safe when a murder happens in the small village of the Travis family?  Bess is convinced Captain Travis is sane and won’t rest until justice for him clears his name, freeing him, but at what cost?

In her role as a nurse, Bess has been involved in quite a few mysteries so now that the war is over I am very curious to see how this series will continue.  I thoroughly enjoy the time frame of this series as well as the setting.  I love reading about all the small villages and their intricacies of life, how townspeople interact with one another and strangers.  Bess leaves no stone unturned, even though many times she has no authority, in her investigations.  She just can’t leave a mystery alone, even when she should for her own safety.  I also liked seeing more of Simon in this story and would like to know more about his background.  Maybe there might be a mystery with Simon and his past as the focus?  I’m looking forward to seeing how Bess encounters her tenth mystery!

Frontier Destiny (Preacher: The Epic Continues)

 

Title:  Frontier Destiny (Preacher: The Epic Continues)

Author:  William W. Johnstone

Pages:  568

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

First, let me say I cannot wait until another book like this is released!  I loved reading 40 Guns West followed by Blackfoot Messiah.  Preacher is a mountain man who avoids towns and prefers to be out in the wilderness.  He knows the mountain range like the back of his hand.  He is known by many tribes and names.  While some are friendly towards him, others at least respect his ways.  Preacher is a no-nonsense man and cares little for those who harm others, rob, cheat, steal or are in his neighborhood bringing destruction to the beauty of the wild.

While he is very different from his siblings, he loves his parents.  Once in a while, he visits them in town though not for long.  Preacher’s siblings think he is crazy and have really very little understanding or tolerance of the man.  Preacher refuses to fit anyone’s mold but his own.  I like that while he also fears little, he is not one to jump into the thick of a matter without first thinking and planning his moves.

I really enjoyed being able to curl up and enjoy a good, solid story and want to read more of Preacher’s adventures.  While one may think being called Preacher makes him a clergy man, trust me that isn’t why he is called that name.  The reason why is one that you will enjoy discovering for yourself!  So, grab a copy for yourself and maybe for another reader you know to give as a gift, and get lost in the adventures of a mountain man called Preacher!

12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Book #1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas)

 

Title:  12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Book #1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas)

Author:  Michelle Griep

Pages:  192

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Barbour Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Like a well-woven Dickens tale, Michelle Griep has amazingly accomplished a well-crafted tale with the flavor of a mystery.  The characters are various and few, but don’t let that fool you as what happens the moment one starts reading the book is before too long you just must keep reading! The story is set in the year 1850 which helps also bring atmosphere to the tale being told.

The lead female is a young woman with a broken heart, living with her aunt near the poverty level.  This picture of her current situation is opposite to where and how she once lived.  The lead male is to be married a year by now, but instead he is cold, starving and beaten in a cold jail cell in London.  Out of nowhere envelopes are timely hand delivered to specific individuals with various promises if they remain for the 12 days at the manor.  Who is the mysterious head of the manor or writer of the invitations?

I don’t want to spoil it too much so I won’t share any more, but this is a book that many will want to share with others, or give as gifts.  In 2018, comes the second book, A Tale of Two Hearts, and I for one will be waiting to read it and share with my family and friends!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Too Far Down (The Cimarron Legacy #3)

 

 

Title:  Too Far Down (The Cimarron Legacy #3)

Author:  Mary Connealy

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

To really enjoy this story, please start with the first book in the series, No Way Up followed by Long Time Gone as the characters and plot are continued from book one all the way through to the final, Too Far Down.  Mary Connealy’s finale in this series kept me up through one whole night so I could read the book in one sitting.  That’s how exciting and adventuresome the Cimarron Legacy series is, and you don’t want to miss out!

The excitement began for me from the first page until the last.  Throughout the book, it never let up!  With many characters’ actions ongoing along with the threats to the ranch while at the same time the parents being in a different state and experiencing troubles there, makes for engaging a reader from the get-go.  I couldn’t read or turn the pages fast enough to see what was going to happen, or where the danger was going to come from next!

Plus, the “who” behind all that had occurred to the Boden family and the ranch was going to be revealed, and when it was, what a stroke of genius!  I never saw the “who” coming; it was great!  I will miss the CR ranch and many other holdings along with the Boden family as they became a part of my imagination world.  To take time to read is something I hope more people decide to do because the novels being published and tales being shared make reading an enjoyable pastime!  Whether I read alone or with other members of my family as each person reads what they enjoy, it makes for great sharing time with them!  I also get to share about these authors with other readers and friends.  So, with the holidays just around the corner, please consider buying the series for those who you know love a good book!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  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.”

Fire of the Raging Dragon (Pacific Rim Series #2)

 

 

Title:  Fire of the Raging Dragon (Pacific Rim Series #2)

Author:  Don Brown

Pages:  381

Year:  2012

Publisher:  Zondervan

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Stephanie Surber is serving as a junior naval officer aboard a submarine tender that suddenly is embroiled in a conflict involving Taiwan and China.  Her ship is the first on the scene of the conflict that began when China invaded a small island manned by Taiwanese forces.  China took over the island because of the natural gas abundancy.  Taiwan sends forces to retaliate and the U.S. sends the closest available naval forces to intervene in the hopes of preventing escalation to war.  Stephanie’s ship is sure to see action.  The only problem is Stephanie is removed from the ship so she won’t face danger as her father is the President of the U.S.

Gunner McCormick returns from book one and in this tale, he is advising on the relationship between China and Taiwan, where various U.S. forces are positioned and he is sent to retrieve the President’s daughter.  However, on the way, his chopper has a problem that leaves Gunner promising to God that he will make changes in his life if God will get him out of his current situation.

There is also a Chinese civilian tanker transporting medical supplies as well as ammunitions to the small island to re-supply the Chinese forces.  The first mate is curious about these supplies and opens one of the crates in the cargo area of the ship to make a terrifying discovery.  He is unsure what to do with his discovery, but before he can do anything definitive his ship is intercepted by Taiwanese helicopters and given an ultimatum.  If others find out what is on board ship, what disaster might be unleashed?

For those who like suspense with a military focus, this series is for you.  I don’t have much familiarity with the military, but I have thoroughly enjoyed the first book, Thunder in the Morning Calm and now this second book.  The plot is action-filled and will grab the attention from the get-go.  I have liked learning about the military and in layman’s terms how it operates in general.  The setting and conflicts could be taken from front page headlines today, making it current and interesting.  The author writes with a great deal of knowledge and insight into the workings of the military, which made the story more realistic and believable for me.  I look forward to book three, Storming the Black Ice, soon.

The Serpent’s Grasp

 

 

Title:  The Serpent’s Grasp

Author:  C. Kevin Thompson

Pages:  500

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Hallway Publishing

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

For three days, I couldn’t look at anything else; I was glued to the novel!  I’m not a fast reader by any means, but I sure love a good book.  What’s a good book?  Well, for me it’s one that is written to entertain, thought provoking, action packed, suspense filled and one wild and crazy ride!  Here is such a novel by C. Kevin Thompson!

The story uses many aspects including military, intelligence agencies, science community, fascinating and clandestine characters, etc.  At the beginning and throughout the novel, we are introduced to both the broken side of humanity and the hope that God alone can bring to peoples’ lives.  There is a touch of romance in the book, but mainly it is the search for truth about a possible sea monster that for some reason is beginning to become extremely aggressive.

The author does a fantastic job of showing how one’s belief system whether creationism or evolution determines how one views every aspect of life.  Yet, he goes further and has the character engage in activities either really searching for the truth of the evidence before them or perhaps trying to undermine such search for reasons that will boggle your mind.

The ending was spectacular and unexpected, leaving the door open for a sequel though I don’t know if the author plans one.  One thing I did notice was the huge amount of research the author did in order to write such an informed, believable and captivating tale.  I cannot recommend this novel highly enough and hope that people will get a copy to read or give as a gift for those who love such thrillers.  I am not usually one to read a story with science in it because it isn’t one of my strongest subjects, but this fictional novel was out of this world!  It would be a shame to not read it or share it with others.

Plan some time to sit and delve into one of the best and favorite novels of mine this year, The Serpent’s Grasp.  Trust me, you won’t regret it!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  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.”

 

 

Bringing Maggie Home

 

Title:  Bringing Maggie Home

Author: Kim Vogel Sawyer

Pages: 352

Year: 2017

Publisher: Waterbrook

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

What a challenging story to write, I thought as I read the synopsis before even getting the book.  How can an author take a genre such as cold cases, family rifts, faith, and more to come up with moving book?  I don’t know how Kim did it but she succeeded beyond my imagination!

I placed myself with in the novel whether I was the mother, grandmother or daughter.  In any case I could understand the feelings expressed, words said and the healing that needed to be attempted after 7 decades of secrets.  Not just secrets but guilt, and we see how unreleased guilt can destroy or bring difficulty not just within the person carrying the guilt but others within that character’s sphere of life.

I thought of the movie The Shack as I read it which made imagining the scenes more realistic for me.  One of the reasons I read Kim’s novels is because as a reader one might conclude how the book will be ending only to find out the ending is breath takingly brilliant and unexpected.  Using flashback in the story really helps move the story along yet also brings clarification to what happen, or what a character felt.

What a thought that in one instance a life is changed, but more so three generations within one family are touched by the moment Maggie disappears.  So adding the aspect of a mystery really draws people into the book and before you know it time is flying by and the story is really causing the audience to become singularly focused.  I don’t how authors do it but Kim has in the latest novel Bringing Maggie Home.  Here again is another book to read, give as a gift or use in a book club near you.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  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.”

 

When the Bishop Needs an Alibi (The Amish Bishop Mysteries #2)

 

 

Title:  When the Bishop Needs an Alibi (The Amish Bishop Mysteries #2)

Author:  Vannetta Chapman

Pages:  352

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Harvest House Publishers

My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

Henry Lapp, the bishop for the local Amish community, is a widower.  As a result, he eats at a local diner often.  He develops a friendship with one of the young waitresses.  He notices that she always seems wary and looking over her shoulder to see if someone is watching her.  He asks what is wrong and she eventually confides a little of her suspicions to Henry.  Henry once again uses his amazing drawing talents to recreate scenes from the diner and others to help discover commonalities and perhaps what this young waitress was afraid of.

Henry is also an avid birdwatcher and goes to a federal nature refuge to watch cranes.  On one of his treks, he discovers a dead body.  Since the body was discovered on federal land, the FBI is involved.  Henry is the number one suspect in the crime from the get-go according to the agent in charge.  Of course, anyone who knows Henry finds the idea of him as a murderer ludicrous, but he has no alibi for the time of the murder.  He was at home alone.  His good friend, Emma, teams up with the decedent’s sister to clear Henry’s name and bring justice to the victim’s killer.  However, the closer they get to unraveling the mystery, the more danger to Emma.  Henry realizes he feels more than friendship for Emma and is going to protect her.  Does Emma feel the same for him? 

Henry Lapp is an example for all believers.  In the midst of his own personal trials, he kneels to pray.  His prayer includes supplication for his friends, community, even an ambitious FBI agent who is trying to hurry up and close the case to spur on his career.  He doesn’t pray, “Lord, get me out of this!  Amen.”  He encourages others to depend on God no matter what and he lives out that example.  He reminds his flock of appropriate Scripture at times when they need it most.  He is not afraid to share his faith with others outside the Amish community.  It was nice to read about a romance for Henry, a man in his mid-sixties.  I thought the mystery portion of the story was very original.  I hope there are many more mysteries to come in this series!