Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book Review: Lethal Remedy by Richard L. Mabry, MD



Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2011

A "killer bug" resistant to known antibiotic treatments has been claiming the lives of numerous patients, until an experiential drug arises that has a 100% success rate of curing those who enroll in the trial. Though the creator of the drug and the pharmaceutical company set to produce it claim no known side effects of the drug, Dr. Sara Miles and her colleagues discover that the actual truth is being hidden. Their quest to discover the truth and determine who is hiding the evidence entangles them in a web of danger, making them fear for their lives, and the lives of their patients.

Mabry excels at creating medical drama, and his writing clearly reflects his expertise as a retired physician. Lethal Remedy was an enjoyable read, with a quick pace throughout that kept the pages turning. The excitement and intrigue in this story will definitely appeal to lovers of medical-based mysteries. I did find it interesting that in an afterword to the story, the author asks the readers to extend "the traditional suspension of disbelief that is the hallmark of some fiction". Prior to reading that statement, I was indeed questioning some aspects of the plot, whether a pharmaceutical company would truly take the actions that are depicted. I don't want to go into further details as I would hate to give any spoilers, but readers of this story will want to keep Mabry's request in mind. Overall, the actual writing was excellent, the dialogue well done, and the faith elements were handled well. Readers looking for a quick read and who enjoy medical drama should add this book to their planned reading list. 4 out of 5 stars.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Many new FREE fiction ebooks this week!

Summer vacation may be almost over, but the free ebooks are still coming! Here are a few more options that have recently shown up on some websites (some as nook books, kindle ebooks, or epub on christianbook.com), including mystery/thrillers, great historical fiction, and a quirky contemporary (the last one) that has gotten great ratings!

For shoppers in the US, Christianbook.com & Barnes & Noble (nook) have a great new book that is free:

Thunder in the Morning Calm by Don Brown: NOOK Book Cover

For all shoppers, the following books are free as nook books, kindle ebooks, and on christianbook.com:

Steppin' into the Good Life by Tia McCollors: NOOK Book Cover  Soon: The Beginning of the End (Underground Zealot Series #1) by Jerry B. Jenkins: NOOK Book Cover  The Oak Leaves by Maureen Lang: NOOK Book Cover

And currently free just in kindle format at amazon.com:

Charlotte Figg Takes over Paradise by Joyce Magnin: NOOK Book Cover


So there you have it! Lots of options for anyone with an ereader, iphone or blackberry with kindle or nook apps, etc. Enjoy :)



Sunday, August 28, 2011

Book Review: The Daughter's Walk by Jane Kirkpatrick



Publisher: Waterbrook Press
Publication Date: April 5, 2011

Hoping to save their struggling farm, Clara Etsby and her mother, Helga, agree to walk across the country in the hopes of receiving a $10,000 prize to prevent foreclosure. What follows is an incredible journey with life-changing adventures, a journey that is based on historical fact. However, Clara and Helga meet with unforeseen circumstances, and their return to the farm reveals that tragedy has struck while they were away. A family disagreement results in Clara leaving the family home and embarking on her own, encountering success and hardship on her way.

Jane Kirkpatrick has written a beautiful tale of faith, family, and friendship. The historical detail woven into her novel is fascinating, depicting a journey I had never before heard of, the walk across an entire country by a mother and her daughter. Clara's journey that follows this event is also expertly told, and the author succeeds in bringing Clara's character to life in a compelling manner. Readers will celebrate with her, hurt along with her, and be swept up in her realization of the importance of family and forgiveness. Although her relationship with God isn't spelled out as clearly as it could be, God's truth shines through the pages of this story and in the priceless value of reconciliation.

I greatly enjoyed this well-written historical novel, and give it 4 1/2 stars out of 5. Highly recommended.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Book Review: Shadow in Serenity by Terri Blackstock



Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: September 27, 2011

The town of Serenity, Texas, has become a safe haven for Carny Sullivan after she left the world of a travelling carnival far behind. When con man Logan Brisco arrives in town with a gleaming smile and a promise of riches for all who invest in a future amusement park, Carny's instincts tell her that what he's offering is a scam and she vows to protect the town, and especially her son, from his plans. However, as time goes on she begins to question whether her instincts are right and starts to fear she is losing something else of great importance to her - her heart.

Terri Blackstock has provided an entertaining read in Shadow in Serenity. The book was somewhat of a departure from her most recently published works in that this book was less of a suspense thriller (there's no shooting or dead bodies in this one) and more of a high-paced drama. The characters are well-fleshed out and have interesting pasts, and their faith journies are well-developed and believable without being preachy.  The author acknowledges that this book was previously published in the mid 1990's prior to her decision to write fiction exlusively for the Christian market, and that she re-wrote the book to include more Christian themes. I believe she did a good job, as I was initially worried that these themes might feel "tacked on" to the book; instead, they felt like a natural part of the character's development. I didn't find a lot of surprises in the book, but it was definitely an enjoyable read. A solid recommendation, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.


3 free fiction ebooks from Abingdon Press

Woot Woot!

Abingdon Press has temporarily made 3 of their ebooks free for a limited time. I haven't read all of them myself, but here are links to the books to try them if you'd like. They are available on Christianbook.com and Amazon.com.







Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review: Falls Like Lightning by Shawn Grady



Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Book Synopsis as provided by the publisher:


Smokejumper Silas Kent never expected to see pilot Elle Westmore again. In fact, reuniting makes him realize what a mistake he made all those years ago. But before he has a chance to try to make amends, he's called to lead a new crew into battle against a massive fire in the Sierra Nevadas.

And then things go very wrong, very quickly.

A suspicious engine explosion forces the crew to parachute early while Elle barely survives a crash landing. Silas reaches the ground safely, but in beginning a desperate race to reach the downed plane, he soon realizes he has more to fear than just a raging forest fire.


MY REVIEW: 

Shawn Grady has offered a fascinating look into the world of those fighting forest fires, from the pilots flying through dangerous conditions to the smokejumpers launching themselves into the sky and parachuting to the edge of a roaring inferno. I have never before read a book that took place in such settings, and the author did an excellent job describing the scenes and using the tension created by fighting fires to great effect.

Unfortunately, while I found that the book started off with great promise, after the first few chapters the introduction of more characters and viewing the story through their eyes (i.e. Bo and then Caleb) slowed down the novel for me and impacted my ability to get caught up in the story. Some of the scenes where the characters relived past occurrences also seemed a bit awkward. Fortunately, the book picked up in pace in the middle, though the ending was wrapped up a bit too neatly for my liking. Overall, though I loved Shawn Grady's first two novels, this one did not quite live up to the same standard for me.

I would still give this novel a solid recommendation, however, as it was entertaining and written with careful attention to detail. 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Book Review: The Bone House by Stephen Lawhead



Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: September 6, 2011

The Bone House continues the tale begun in The Skin Map, as Kit Livingstone furthers the quest given him by his great-grandfather, to restore a map that charts the ability to travel the multiverse using ley lines. His girlfriend, Mina, who was caught in seventeenth-century Prague, is likewise furthering her establishment among the powerful of the age while developing her own knowledge of ley travel. Both are racing against others also intent on pursing the pieces of the skin map, others willing to do whatever necessary to succeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this second installment in the Bright Empire Series, a series with such a vast scope that it is truly an ambitious accomplishment. Lawhead is a master with the pen, and his ability to set the scene and create tension are superb. His writing is powerful, and I was immediately caught up again into this fantastic fantasy world that he has created, a journey winging through space and time and history into dimensions uncharted. The characters are intriguing and only growing more so as their respective histories unfold. Kit's experience at the end of the book was absolutely fascinating and I did not want the story to end! Although there are a number of characters to keep track of, their collective focus on ley travel and its secrets kept the story focused and easy for me to follow.

I absolutely loved this book, and am left craving for more. I cannot wait for the next installment, The Spirit Well, coming September 2012. I highly recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Note: I would greatly advise reading the first book in this series prior to embarking upon The Bone House in order to fully appreciate the grandness of this series.

This book has been provided courtesy of the publisher via the Booksneeze program for the purposes of this unbiased review.

Book Review: Ten Plagues by Mary Nealy



Publisher: Barbour Books
Publication Date: October 1, 2011

Detective Keren Collins is investigating the disappearance of a missing woman when a building explodes, starting a cascade of evil acts. She and her partner, O'Shea, end up joining forces with a cop-turned-pastor Paul Morris, to hunt down a demon-possessed killer. Keren must use her spiritual discernment combined with her investigative skills to help catch the killer before it is too late.

Mary Nealy has crafted an interesting plot with her concept of a killer who follows the Biblical ten plagues to unleash evil on the city of Chicago. I think that the scenes written from the killer's perspective were very well done and he is a fascinating character. However, many of the scenes between Keren and Paul seemed a bit jeuvanile and unrealistic, and I got frustrated with the wild swings in their relationship from utter dislike one moment to attraction the next. Although I tried hard to like Keren as a character, and did admire her grit and determination to see justice accomplished, she left a sour taste in my mouth. I hope that in reality a professional would not act like Keren does. She appeared quite angry in many scenes, possessing a very ungodly attitude when she is supposed to be a strong, discerning Christian. In my opinion, the plot itself was strong, but the characterization made the book less enjoyable for me.

Unfortunately, I can only give this book a mild recommendation of 3 out of 5 stars. 

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book Review: Pattern of Wounds by J. Mark Bertrand



Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Book Synopsis as provided by Bethany House:

 
A brutal murder.
An unraveling conviction.
To catch the killer, Roland March must decipher the
PATTERN OF WOUNDS

It’s Christmas in Houston, and homicide detective Roland March is on the hunt for a killer. A young woman’s brutal stabbing in an affluent neighborhood bears all the hallmarks of a serial murder. The only problem is that March sent the murderer to prison ten years ago. Is it a copycat—or did March convict the wrong man?

Alienated from his colleagues, and with a growing rift in his marriage, March receives a series of taunting messages from the killer. The bodies pile up, the pressure builds, and the violence reaches too close to home. Up against an unfathomable evil, March struggles against the clock to understand the hidden message in the pattern of wounds.

MY REVIEW:

With a wholly believable plot, crisp writing, and a conclusion that both resolves and leaves you wanting more, Bertrand's second novel in the Roland March Mystery series is an astonishing read. If I wasn't convinced by Bertrand's first book in the series, I couldn't help but be convinced now - he is a fantastic author who has created a character that I would gladly see starring in many future works. Despite Roland's insular focus on his homicide cases at the neglect of all else in his life, despite his workaholic flaws, you can't help but really like the guy. If there was an unsolved murder in my life, I'd want Roland on the case! I have also enjoyed how Bertrand has handled Roland's journey towards faith, which is being slowly, realistically drawn out, like a blind man groping for the light.

I should note that there are some gruesome scenes that may turn some readers off,  but those who enjoy criminal thrillers will absolutely devour this smart page-turner. I simply loved this book and highly recommend it, giving it 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Book Review: 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son by Vicki Courtney



Publisher: B & H Books
Publication Date: June 1, 2011

Relying on biblical advice and drawing upon her own experience as a parent, author Vicki Courtney has written a “how-to” manual for teaching sons about what it truly means to be a man in the midst of a culture that sends out confusing messages. She outlines five main “conversations” to have with your sons in such areas as defining manhood, learning self-control, an honest look at sex,  and how to launch boys into adulthood.

I thoroughly enjoyed this refreshingly candid book. As a father myself, it was with much interest that I began to read because I wanted to see what a mom had to say on the subject of raising “real men”. The author did not disappoint. Her personal stories and anecdotes kept my interest throughout the book. She  writes in an easy to read, conversational manner that immediately makes you feel like you are sitting down together enjoying a cup of coffee while talking about the joys and trials of parenting. I also liked the interactive nature of the book where readers are encouraged to go to the author’s blog, learn practical ideas for both moms and dads, and share ideas. Although the book is written primarily for mothers, it offers guidance useful to all parents and caregivers and I give this book a solid recommendation. 4 out of 5 stars.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.

Friday, August 19, 2011

More free Christian fiction ebooks!!

Happy Friday to you!

Make sure you download a couple more FREE christian fiction ebooks to get you through the weekend. Remember, these are always temporary offers, so download them while you can!







Enjoy :)

Book Review: Deliver Me From Evil by Kathi Macias



Publisher: New Hope
Publication Date: September 5, 2011

Deliver Me From Evil depicts the story of several youth whose lives could not be any different from each other. 18-yr-old Mara has been a victim of sexual slavery since her uncle brought her across the U.S. border from Mexico at the age of 6. Jonathan, also 18, and his 16-yr-old sister, Leah, reside in the comfort of suburbia, pastor’s kids who have known relative security their whole lives and who have been largely unaware of the seedy undercover world around them. When Jonathan drops off a pizza at a motel as part of a routine delivery, his path crosses that of Mara and starts his whole family on a journey they never could have anticipated.

Kathi Macias has penned a heart-wrenching, well-written story, from the haunting beginning to its satisfying conclusion. The author writes with a steady hand, with beautifully developed characters and a keen insight into the world of human trafficking. The transitioning scenes between Mara’s situation of being a sex slave and the home of Jonathan & Leah provide a stark contrast between the world of those where God is given priority, and the world of those where evil rules the day. The additional stories of other children being used for perversion, both in the U.S. and in Thailand, are also powerfully told. I found the novel to be engrossing, and the story impossible to stop reading as I had to find out what happened in the end.

This novel is not a light read. To be honest, I found it incredibly difficult to read about the horrific abuse suffered by the children trapped by human trafficking. At some points I wasn’t sure I could even keep reading because the story made me sick to my stomach, but I’m glad I did as the story is an incredibly important tale, one that will stay on my mind for some time. My heart broke as the author vividly put a face to the experiences of millions of children every day, and I find myself wondering how can I respond? What would God have ME do about the situation?
I challenge everyone to read this book and have their eyes opened to a situation that is real and is likely occurring in their very own backyards. If your heart isn’t touched by this book, then nothing will. Highly recommended, I give this story 4.5 out of 5 stars.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.

++A warning is in order. The content of this book is highly disturbing and should not be read by any teens without approval of their parents.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book Review: Courageous by Randy Alcorn



Publisher: Tyndale House
Publication Date: August 1, 2011

Courageous, a novelization of the screenplay of the same name written by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick, follows the story of four men serving their country in one of the hardest jobs there is, as law enforcement officers. As each of them face tough situations on the job, they face equally difficult circumstances at home, learning to draw upon God and each other to sustain them.
I greatly enjoyed reading Courageous, not only for the entertainment it provided through it’s fast-paced read, but for the men that were held up as heroes. The characters are well-developed, three-dimensional men who struggle with real problems while trying to live out godly lives. I laughed out loud at many parts, such as when Adam gets off the phone with his wife, and moments later also talks to the Sheriff on the phone and then proceeds to bid him “Love you. Bye”. I particularly found this funny as I’ve done the same thing to my own boss! Other parts, such as when a child dies, are heart-wrenching. I couldn’t believe it when I found tears in my eyes!
The book was very well-written, not only entertaining me but creating much food for thought. Topics like fathering, being a good husband, or trying to make sense of tragedy are handled in a refreshingly honest and direct way. Some of the book seemed a bit preachy in terms of driving home the point about the importance of fatherhood and the impact that not having a daddy has on children. However, that message is so vital I can’t really fault the author for trying to make sure the reader understands what he’s saying. Fathers have a high calling, and we need other guys in our life to hold us accountable to that calling. When Adam is contemplating the fact that so many men think asking for help is a sign of weakness, I couldn’t help agreeing that this is all too true. Who knows how many men could be better husbands, help save their marriages, turn away from pornography, be better fathers, if they’d reach out for help when needed?
I highly recommend this book to all readers, but especially to men out there who are fathers or who may be fathers one day. The book is sure to get your adrenaline pumping while it stirs your soul. 5 out of 5 stars.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Book Review: Vigilante by Robin Parrish



Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Book Synopsis as provided by Bethany House:

Nolan Gray, the country's most decorated and skilled soldier, is dead. At least that's what all the news reports are saying. Gray, together with a small team, has faked his murder so that he can tackle his most important mission ever. Everywhere he looks, society is being destroyed by evil men who don't care who suffers or who they destroy. Crime is rampant. The innocent are scared. Nolan decides to do what no one else can, what no one has ever attempted. He will defend the helpless. He will tear down the lawless. He will wage a one-man war on the heart of man, and he won't stop until the world is the way it should be.

MY REVIEW:

Robin Parrish is a master of suspense, writing unique thrillers that push the boundaries of Christian fiction...in a good way. Vigilante certainly lived up to his reputation. The action was so explosive, the writing so taut, that I felt like I was watching a movie. The dialogue was crisp, and the characters well-developed with surprising depth for a book that seems to be aiming at being action-based.

I found the book to be enjoyable on two levels. On the one hand, the book provided good, clean entertainment free of swearing or sex scenes. On the other hand, it raised thought provoking questions about justice and self-defence in light of Jesus’ teaching on love and turning the other cheek. The author allows the reader to ponder this without necessarily answering such questions either way.

While I have no doubt that many female readers will enjoy this book, for those looking for a book for the man in their life, this one should be at the top of the list. One caution for some readers is that the book contains numerous scenes of violence, which may be too much for some readers.

A solid recommendation, I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.





Sunday, August 14, 2011

Book Review: Petra: City of Stone by T.L.Higley





Publisher: B&H Books
Publication Date: September 15, 2010

Cassia and her son Alexander arrive in the city of Petra hoping for a new beginning in the wake of the death of Alexander's abusive father. Soon after arriving, Cassia is viciously attacked, but a rescue by people of the Way sets their lives on an unexpected course. When the Queen of Petra forces Alexander from Cassia's care and plots his death, Cassia must rely on her new friends and a God she's not sure she can trust to save herself and her son.

Weaving rich historical details with heart-pounding action, Higley has provided a captivating read. Petra is a masterpiece, and I greatly enjoyed this book from start to finish. I loved reading about a setting I've never even heard of before, the stone city of Petra, and the intense battle between the false gods and demons of Petra and the powerful name of Jesus was brilliantly written. Higley writes with grace and beauty, and has created an enjoyable cast of characters that I wish I could read more about.

I especially resonated with Julian's journey, his struggle to grow beyond his past to become who God has called him to be. I was convicted by Julian's thoughts, where he wonders "What would happen if he gave up his need for approval, if he walked away from the safety of praise and their admiration? If he rested in the acceptance gained through Jesus' death for him? Risked everything to answer the call to lead through humility to be a servant?" These are questions any of us would benefit from asking, to worry less about what others think of us, and instead respond to the call Jesus has on our lives.

I highly recommend this novel, and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Review: Lion of Babylon by Davis Bunn



Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: July 1, 2011

Synopsis of book as provided by Bethany House:

Marc Royce has been a State Department agent involved in covert operations—that is, until personal issues lead to his dismissal. When Alex Baird goes missing in war-torn Baghdad, State comes calling again. Alex is a CIA agent—and a close friend of Royce. Three others have also dropped out of sight—a nurse, an aid worker, a wealthy young Iraqi. Are these cases linked?

Rumors circulate about a kidnapping conspiracy, yet both American and local officials refuse to pursue it. Blocked at every turn, Royce eventually unearths a trail of secret encounters between sworn enemies. What he discovers could transform the course of rivalry and reconciliation throughout the Mideast. As the human and political drama escalates, can one man summon the courage to make a difference?

MY REVIEW:

Nothing makes me so sad as to finish a book written by Davis Bunn and know that I will have to leave the world he has invited me into. Lion of Babylon captured me from the first page, and proves once again that he is an expert wordsmith like none other, with the power to take me on a pulse accelerating ride while plumbing the depths of my emotions. The book was impossible to put down as I raced to find out what would happen next.  His descriptions brought the scenes alive and were often highly entertaining, such as when Marc's comrade, Sameh, reflects that "Miriam, his wife, was the most gently ferocious interrogator Sameh had ever known. She could winnow the truth from a cadaver". Page after page of such carefully crafted words drew me ever deeper into one of the most riveting stories I have read so far this year.

In Lion of Babylon, Bunn has offered me a glimpse into a world I've never really read about, putting a human face to the passions and tragedies of the Iraqi people. Bunn reveals what Hell must be like, where fear rules the Iraqi night and children are kidnapped for reasons of greed and power, but also gives a foretaste of Heaven, where all people, regardless of race or color or background, stand shoulder to shoulder calling on the name of Jesus. I was educated, entertained, and inspired, all in one sitting.

I highly recommend this book and grant it 5 out of 5 stars. Bravo, Davis Bunn. Please don't ever stop writing.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Book Review: Nobody's Child by Austin Boyd



Publisher: Zondervan
Publication Date: August 2, 2011

Laura Ann has lost her best friend, her father, who raised her on his own after her mother passed away. As she struggles to learn how to go on in his absence, she has to face a power hungry, abusive uncle, while also dealing with choices she made to give up a part of herself in exchange for finances to pay the bills. When an unknown woman shows up on her doorstep, she brings with her news that will change Laura Ann's life forever.

I started reading this book with great anticipation, looking forward to a novel that delves into the murky world of bioethics. Austin Boyd does indeed deliver in raising some fascinating questions about parental rights, harvesting eggs, and artificial insemination, and he wraps such issues in a tender story that contains beautiful descriptions and vivid detail. Unfortunately, I found the first half of the story to be quite slow and I had to force myself to keep reading until the novel improved in pace in the latter half. Because of that, I can only give this book a mild recommendation of 3 out of 5 stars, recommending this book for those readers who are in the mood for a slower moving story that deals with interesting issues.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Book Review: A Most Unsuitable Match by Stephanie Grace Whitson




Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: August 1, 2011

Synopsis of Book as provided by the publisher:

Miss Fannie Rousseau is a young woman of privilege traveling west to uncover the truth behind a family secret. Mr. Samuel Beck is on a mission to atone for past failures that still haunt him. Their meeting aboard a steamboat to Montana sparks an unlikely attraction. They are opposites in every way... except in how neither one can stop thinking about the other.

Will the end of the journey bring the end of their relationship, or is it just the beginning?

MY REVIEW:

It is not often that I finish reading a book and pause to savour the unexpected way that it has moved me. A Most Unsuitable Match is one such book that turned out to be so much more than I thought it would be. This is the first time I have had the pleasure of reading a novel by Stephanie Grace Whitson, as I previously assumed her books would be “too romantic” for me to truly enjoy. I was wrong.

Whitson has crafted a superb novel that has something for everyone – adventure, mystery, love, and flawed characters we can relate to. The different subplots and threads of the character’s lives were expertly woven together, and the pages simply flew by. I got so caught up in Fannie’s story that I ended up reading the book in one sitting because I wanted to see how everything would resolve. And in the end, what struck me most were the threads of grace visible throughout the book as characters forgave each other and found hope for the future despite their own flaws and shortcomings. The line that has stuck with me most was uttered by Fannie’s faithful housekeeper, Hannah, who tells Fannie, “but land sakes, child, if the good Lord couldn’t use fools and foolishness, He wouldn't get much done”. Thank God He does use our foolishness, and that His grace is there no matter who we are and what we do.

Readers who enjoy well-written historical fiction should plan on curling up with this entertaining and poignant read. I highly recommend this book, and give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Stephanie Grace Whitson, bestselling author and two-time Christy Award finalist, pursues a full-time writing and speaking career from her home studio in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her husband and blended family, her church, quilting, and Kitty—her motorcycle—all rank high on her list of "favorite things." Visit www.stephaniegracewhitson.com for more information.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review: Diagnosis Death by Richard L. Mabry, M.D.



Publisher: Abingdon Press
Publication Date: April 2011

Dr. Elena Gardner is trying to finish up her residency in the wake of her husband’s death after he was taken off of life support. When suspicious details surface about who took not only her husband but also a similar patient off of their life support, Elena begins to question whether she is responsible for something she cannot recall. Cryptic, midnight phone calls further add to her torment. Elena must discover what is going on or she stands to risk to lose everything she’s worked so hard for.

This third offering in the Prescription for Trouble series provides an entertaining ride for those who love reading medical-based thrillers. The author kept the plot moving quickly with new twists and turns, and the medical details were fascinating. The characters were realistically portrayed with human struggles that made them easy to relate to, such that I found myself getting upset on their behalf at the sense of injustice at the situation. I did find some parts of the mystery as they were resolved in the end to be a tad implausible, and for that reason I give this book only a mild recommendation of 3 out of 5 stars. However, I am looking forward to reading future works from this author who definitely appears to be growing in their craft.

This review is based on an electronic copy provided by the publisher via netgalley for the purpose of completing this review.