Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A chilling mystery: "The Bones Will Speak" by Carrie Stuart Parks



Introducing "The Bones Will Speak" from CFBA. Read on for more info!

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Bones Will Speak
Thomas Nelson (August 11, 2015)
by
Carrie Stuart Parks


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.

Animals have always been a large part of her life. Her parents, Ned and Evelyn Stuart, started Skeel Kennel Great Pyrenees in 1960. Carrie inherited the kennel and continues with her beloved dogs as both an AKC judge and former president of the Great Pyrenees Club of America. She lives on the same ranch she grew up on in Northern Idaho.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.

When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.

Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter. The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor. When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bones Will Speak, go HERE.

The book can be purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1401690459 


My review....


"The Bones Will Speak" is a chilling mystery, and more than once I found myself shuddering as I pictured the scenes that Gwen stumbles across. The scenes are filled with tension, a tension that slowly mounts as the story progresses, to the point that I had to remind myself to relax because I was so caught up in the story I was a bundle of nerves! The serial killer is just down right creepy, and at one point I thought I'd figured out who it was - but I was wrong.

Parks has done an excellent job at weaving together a believable, fast paced plot with characters that you will feel a definite fondness for by the end of the story. There were a couple of moments where I questioned if a professional would truly act in the way Gwen does in the story, but then I remembered that desperate people will indeed do desperate things, making unwise decisions along the way. Gwen really grows as a character over the course of the story, and I love the theme woven within the pages, one of  the power but also the difficulty of forgiveness. Gwen has to confront her lack of forgiveness for her ex-husband, and how this spills over into every area of her life. I myself have talked to so many people about the importance of forgiveness, and I know that this is something that challenges all of us in our Christian walk.

I quite enjoyed this second addition in the Gwen Marcey series, and am confident that other readers will also not only be entertained, but even be challenged by what they learn about forgiveness along the way. I award this story 4 out of 5 stars.

Book was provided courtesy of the publisher and CFBA for the purposes of this unbiased review.


A fresh take on "Bathsheba" (by Angela Hunt)





about the book....


One of Ancient Israel's Most Famous Women--
As You've Never Looked at Her Before

One of the Bible's most misunderstood and misjudged women, Bathsheba comes to life in this new biblical reimagining from Angela Hunt. Combining historical facts with detailed fiction, this is an eye-opening portrait that will have you reconsidering everything you thought you knew about her. 

After receiving God's promise of a lifelong reign and an eternal dynasty, King David forces himself on Bathsheba, a loyal soldier's wife. When her resulting pregnancy forces the king to murder her husband and add her to his harem, Bathsheba struggles to protect her son while dealing with the effects of a dark prophecy and deadly curse on the king's household.



my review....


I have long loved the story of David and Bathsheba, not because the story in and of itself is necessarily inspiring. In fact, reading through Angela Hunt's "Bathsheba", I was reminded of the tragedy of the story, and that a man charged with tending to Israel as God's beloved engaged in adultery and murder. However, I just find it so amazing that God includes the stories of people in the Bible who mess up so royally, and yet are forgiven and loved by God, such as is the case here. Hunt does a marvellous job at bringing a fresh voice to their story, such that I gained a whole new appreciation for Bathsheba in particular, and the hardship that she endured. Despite the fact that I not only knew this story from the Bible, but from having read many versions of fictionalized accounts of these characters, I greatly enjoyed this novel and found new twists and an engagingly written plot. I felt Bathsheba's pain and mourned along with her as she lost her innocence and her husband and then her newborn child all within the span of a year. And yet despite that tremendous loss, God proved himself faithful to her. David is likewise a well-developed character, and I think what stood out from me in Hunt's account is how he so quickly admits his wrong doing and casts himself on God's grace. All of us struggle with sin in various forms, and there is a lesson to be learned here in watching David humble himself before God.

If you have never read a fictionalized account about Bathsheaba, then Angela Hunt's book is an excellent place to start. The story has been brought to life in a wonderful way, and you will not only enjoy the interesting plot but will walk away with a new appreciation for God and how he can take broken things and use them for good.

I award this novel a high recommendation and a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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



 about the author....


Angela Hunt

The author of more than 100 published books and with nearly 5 million copies of her books sold worldwide, Angela Hunt is the New York Times bestselling author of The Note, The Nativity Story, and Esther: Royal Beauty. Romantic Times Book Club presented Angela with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2008, Angela completed her PhD in Biblical Studies in Theology. She and her husband live in Florida with their mastiffs. She can be found online at www.angelahuntbooks.com.







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Friday, September 25, 2015

"War Room" will bless and inspire you!



Yesterday, I had the chance to go see "War Room" with my wife. It was an awesome film! The actors do a wonderful job, the storyline is engaging and will hold your attention throughout, and the best part is that you will leave the movie theatre inspired to hit your knees and change the world through prayer. "War Room" will remind you that God wants to release his power into your life, into your marriage, into every single struggle that you are having. Though of course this is a movie and so things may wrap up into a more tidy package than in real life, the truth remains the same, that God is calling up people to pray and to bring change to this world.

If you haven't yet seen "War Room", I encourage you to grab your spouse and/or your friends and whoever else you can get a hold of and go see this movie. You will be glad you did!

Here's the trailer....


Free ebook today: "Eve's Diary" by Mark Twain

Eve's Diary - eBook

Free for download on Amazon.com today. Here's the link:



Free ebook: "Jesus Wants All of Me (My Utmost for His Highest)" by Phil A. Smouse

Jesus Wants All of Me - eBook

Free ebook for download today on Amazon.com. Here's the link:



Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A triumphant, moving novel: "The Memory Weaver" by Jane Kirkpatrick


Cover Art


about the book....


Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. 

Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother's diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story.

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Get swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.



my review....


"The Memory Weaver" perhaps finds Jane Kirkpatrick at her very finest, as I can confidently say that this is my favourite book by the author that I have read thus far. Kirkpatrick has succeeded at weaving the facts of history into a fascinating story. She employs expert pacing as she gradually releases more and more of the details of the harrowing experience Eliza had when she was held hostage as a young girl by the Cayuse Indians, interspersed with Eliza's experiences growing into adulthood. In the midst of the trials that Eliza faces, from her childhood tragedy to the conflict with her father and the struggles with her husband, we can see how God's hand is at work and he is there in the midst of the pain, even when Eliza doesn't realize it. Eliza's journey is an emotional one, one filled with doubt and pain and misunderstanding, but also with faith and hope at the same time. Kirkpatrick has created characters who live and breathe on the pages, and I have no doubt that readers will be able to glimpse pieces of their own struggles in Eliza's story. Really, I think that's what I love about historical fiction like this. Though times and circumstances may change over the ages, the underlying human experience is so common for all of us. We all experience pain and loss, tragedy and triumph. I am so thankful that Jane Kirkpatrick chose to bring Eliza to life for our generation, so that we can learn from her experiences and also celebrate with her as good comes out of all of the trials. I ended this book with tears in my eyes, having to pause and reflect on the story I had just read. If you love historical novels, then I encourage you to plan on reading this one for yourself.

Eliza's story is a keeper, one that is equal parts haunting, emotional, and triumphant, all at the same time. I award this novel a high recommendation and a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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



 about the author....


Jane Kirkpatrick

Jane Kirkpatrick is the New York Times and CBA bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including A Sweetness to the Soul, which won the coveted Wrangler Award from the Western Heritage Center. Her works have been finalists for the Christy Award, Spur Award, Oregon Book Award, and Reader's Choice awards, and have won the WILLA Literary Award and Carol Award for Historical Fiction. Many of her titles have been Book of the Month and Literary Guild selections. You can also read her work in more than fifty publications, including DecisionPrivate Pilot, and Daily Guideposts. Jane lives in Central Oregon with her husband, Jerry. Learn more at www.jkbooks.com.







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