Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dead Dog Like Me by Max Davis



Check out "Dead Dog Like Me", courtesy of the CFBA, including my review at the end!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Dead Dog Like Me
Worthy Publishing (June 23, 2015)
by
Max Davis


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Max Davis is the author of over twenty books, has been featured in USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly, and has appeared on The Today Show and The 700 Club. He holds degrees in journalism and biblical studies. In addition to his own works, he’s done a variety of ghostwriting and collaboration projects. Max and Alanna have three grown children and a grand baby.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Nick Gregory regains consciousness after a horrific car accident to find he’s been transported back in time and that he has become Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son and King Saul’s grandson. Aware that he’s experiencing another man’s life, he has to learn fast. When mega-church pastor, Nick Gregory, regains consciousness after a horrific car accident, he’s on the ground in agonizing pain. Nick realizes he is in a bizarre place – a foreign, parched, ancient land, having been transported back in time to 800 B.C. Unbelievably, he is in the body of a prince named Mephibosheth, a son of Jonathan and King Saul’s grandson. Nick is fully aware of who he is and that he’s now living in Mephibosheth’s body, strangely able to speak and understand Hebrew. This experience helps him see that he, like Mephibosheth, is a broken man desperate for God’s outrageous grace and healing (2 Samuel 9:8). Returning to present day, Nick’s experience motivates a changed life.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Dead Dog Like Me, go HERE.






Buy a copy of the book here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1617955248 



My review...


With emotion-filled prose, Max Davis will grab your heart and your mind with his latest book, "Dead Dog Like Me". The story is quite well-written with an intriguing plot about a man who loses everything, and encounters the grace of God along the way. There is always a danger that when authors try to portray characters in the pit of despair that the story can drag along the way. I didn't find that to be the case here, except for one or two moments, but overall felt that there were enough drama filled scenes to keep the story moving along. The characters are realistically portrayed and Nick is one of those characters that you will both love and dislike at the same time, at least until God's done an amazing work in his life! I will admit to a tiny bit of disappointment that more of Nick's story didn't take place as the character of Mephibosheth. I was hoping for more time spent in ancient Israel encountering the life of this unique character in the Bible. However, the glimpses we did see made me want to race back to my Bible to find out more, and I always appreciate stories that do that. The themes of forgiveness and reconciliation that permeate this story are also wonderful to behold, and are sure to leave readers with an encouraging perspective on what really matters in life.

Readers who are looking for a contemporary novel that will encourage their walk with God while providing them with some well-spent hours of reading at the same time should pick up a copy of Dead Dog Like Me. I award this story 4 out of 5 stars.

A review copy has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the CFBA for the purposes of this unbiased review.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Another fun book from Jen Turano: "In Good Company"


Cover Art


about the book....


After growing up as an orphan, Millie Longfellow is determined to become the best nanny the East Coast has ever seen. Unfortunately, her playfulness and enthusiasm aren't always well-received and she finds herself dismissed from yet another position. 

Everett Mulberry has quite unexpectedly become guardian to three children that scare off every nanny he hires. About to depart for Newport, Rhode Island, for the summer, he's desperate for competent childcare.

At wit's end with both Millie and Everett, the employment agency gives them one last chance--with each other. As Millie falls in love with her mischievous charges, Everett focuses on achieving the coveted societal status of the upper echelons. But as he investigates the suspicious circumstances surrounding the death of the children's parents, will it take the loss of those he loves to learn whose company he truly wants for the rest of his life?


my review....


The oh-so-loveable Millie Longfellow, who we met in "After a Fashion", returns in hilarious form in Jen Turano's latest novel, "In Good Company". As with the first book in the "A Class of Their Own" series, I found myself chuckling from the beginning to end of this book, as Millie stumbles from one situation to the next with her well-intended ways. Her down to earth nature in the way she cares for children simply is not appreciated by the upper class, and made for quite the adventures! I enjoyed the way that the children in this novel bring many of the scenes to vivid life. I also thought that Turano handled the romance that developed between Millie and Everett with a sure hand. I did find that some of the dialogue was a bit wordy, and I think that may have been in an effort to emulate the prose of novels like "Pride and Prejudice". The result was that though much of the dialogue was quite witty, at other times it seemed to drag down the pace of the story a bit. All in all, however, there was plenty of action-packed scenes (many involving peacocks!) and dramatic moments to keep me riveted to the pages, and I am sure that fans of Turano will agree that this book is another fine addition to her growing collection. The author seems to be able to serve up just what readers are looking for - entertaining stories with both genuinely funny moments balanced with sweet serious ones as well, always accompanied by cleanly written romance sure to leave readers with a smile on their face. Really, what more could you ask for?

I greatly enjoyed this second installment in the series, and am looking forward to what Millie's friend, the talented actress Lucetta Plum, has in store for us in the next book! I award "In Good Company" a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

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



 about the author....


Jen Turano

Jen Turano, author of six books, is a graduate of the University of Akron with a degree in clothing and textiles. She is a member of ACFW and lives in a suburb of Denver, Colorado. Visit her website at www.jenturano.com.










Buy now from Amazon.com:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Another heart-warming novel from Ann H. Gabhart: "The Innocent"


Cover Art


about the book....


She longs for peace--for her land and her heart--but can it truly be found at Harmony Hill?

Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. When the war ends without further word, Carlyn finds herself penniless, in debt, and forced from her home. With nowhere else to go, she seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill.

The Shakers profess peace through simple living, but to Carlyn, the Shaker life seems anything but simple. When mysterious deaths disturb the peace of the village, Carlyn falls under intense scrutiny. Can a kind sheriff help her expose the true culprit?

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.

my review....


With an engaging plot that is sure to warm your heart, Ann H. Gabhart's latest addition to her Shaker novels was probably my favourite Shaker book to date. Carlyn is one of those characters who seizes your sympathy from the first page as she struggles to survive in the years after her husband has been proclaimed missing - including fending off the unwanted advances of a frightening man. I honestly don't know what would be worse - to know your spouse is dead, or to be told they are missing and then to just wonder as years go by, all while trying to eke out an existence. As Carlyn moves into the Shaker village, an ominous feeling begins to build in the story until you aren't sure who is good and who is seeking her harm. So much about the Shakers seemed good hearted, and yet they were so very confused in their beliefs! I can't imagine embracing a belief system that preaches that marriage is wrong and evil, and involves elders whose job is to simply stay up in their rooms and watch who is and isn't obeying the rules. In this day and age it seems bizarre, but for the time this novel is written in I can certainly see why people in desperate situations, with no where else to turn, would embrace the simplicity of the Shaker lifestyle. I really enjoyed encountering their belief system through the eyes of Carlyn, someone who wasn't afraid to ask the hard questions, even when they led to hard consequences.  The novel moves at a moderate pace throughout, with plenty of twists and surprising events to keep me engrossed in the book from start to finish.

Fans of Gabhart will be pleased to not only find another Shaker novel, but one that has been deftly woven together. I recommend this book and award it a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

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



 about the author....


Ann H. Gabhart

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author ofAngel SisterSmall Town Girl, and Words Spoken True, as well as several Shaker novels--The OutsiderThe BelieverThe SeekerThe Blessed, and The Gifted--and The Heart of Hollyhill series. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Learn more at www.annhgabhart.com.









Buy now from Amazon.com:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Action-packed tween fiction: "Jack Staples and the Ring of Time!




This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Jack Staples and the Ring of Time
David C. Cook (September 1, 2014)
by
Mark Batterson and Joel Clark


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mark Batterson serves as lead pastor of National Community Church (www.theaterchurch.com) in Washington, DC. One church with seven locations. NCC is focused on reaching emerging generations and meets in theaters throughout the DC metro area. NCC also owns and operates the largest coffeehouse on Capitol Hill. Mark holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Regent University and is the New York Times bestselling author of 11 books, including The Circle Maker, In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, Wild Goose Chase and the two most recent, The Grave Robber and Jack Staples and the Ring of Time. Mark is married to Lora and they live on Capitol Hill with their three children: Parker, Summer, and Josiah.



ABOUT THE BOOK

Eleven-year-old Jack's ordinary life is upended when mysterious creatures attack his hometown and he is whisked into a fantastical adventure filled with danger at every turn.

Jack learns that most live in a shadow of the world, their vision blinded by invisible scales that have covered human eyes since the beginning of time. But the Awakened experience the world as it truly is, where war rages between good and evil—and Jack is at the heart of it. The Awakened are searching for The Child of Prophesy who will both save the world and destroy it. When Jack joins in their epic battle he must learn to trust his friends and face his fears if he is to make his life count.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, go HERE.




Buy a copy of the book here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0781411076 



My review...


"Jack Staples and the Ring of Time" is an action-packed adventure that the 8-12 year old child in your life is going to enjoy.  My 10-year-old daughter roared through the book in short-order as she wasn't able to put it down! She loved the colourful characters and the exciting plot. Now, she did say that she found some of the book confusing as she couldn't always figure out who was good and who was bad. Sometimes she had to go back and check what she'd read because she didn't always understand it the first time. However, this didn't detract from her pleasure in reading the book, as she enjoyed all the different well-drawn characters and interesting details in the book.  The book is very allegorical and points to God, with a classic battle between good and evil that is told in a truly unique way. As a parent, I am always a fan of books that are clean, have good morals, and are entertaining at the same time. Too many books publisher in this day and age have questionable storylines and characters you just don't want your child reading about, but I'm glad to see this is not one of those books.

When asked to rate Jack Staples and the Ring of Time, my daughter gave it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars - and as she is the best authority on whether this book is a good fit for your youth, I concur. I strongly recommend this book, and my daughter is looking forward to finding out what happens next in the series.

A review copy has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the CFBA for the purposes of this unbiased review.