Friday, January 29, 2016

Fast-paced from start to finish: "Thin Ice" by Irene Hannon

Cover Art



about the book....


If Ginny Reed is still alive--who is the woman buried in her grave?

After losing her parents and her sister, Christy Reed has been mired in grief. Now, life is finally starting to feel normal again--until an envelope addressed in her sister's handwriting arrives in the mail. And the note inside claims she is still alive.

FBI Special Agent Lance McGregor, a former Delta Force operator, is assigned to reopen the case . . . but he's coming up with more questions than answers. Is Christy a pawn in a twisted cat-and-mouse game--or the target of a sinister plot? As Lance digs deeper, one thing becomes clear: someone in the shadows has a deadly agenda.

Bestselling author and three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon pulls out all the stops in this high-stakes thriller that races to a bone-chilling finish.


my review...


The second book in the "Men of Valor" series is a fast-paced story from start to finish, with plenty of plot twists to keep readers intrigued. The antagonist is truly creepy, and as Hannon reveals more and more of his twisted character over the course of the story, the tension mounts as you realize that Christy does not truly realize what she's up against! As with Hannon's first book in the series, the sparks fly from the beginning between Christy and FBI Special Agent Lance, and readers who love a good romance will appreciate watching their age-old dance as they fall in love. My one complaint about this story is that in some ways their relationship seems a little too formulaic, as Lance and Christy hold off from letting their relationship develop further until the case is solved and they are free to pursue their feelings. Such a plot line sounds a wee bit too familiar and it would have been nice if Hannon had developed this a little differently. However, on the whole I found this book to be more enjoyable even than the first book in the series, "Buried Secrets", as I really enjoyed these characters in particular, and felt that the suspense was developed quite well. The ending is completely satisfying, and leaves you wanting to know more about where these characters will end up in the future. Of course, that makes it a good thing that there is one more book to come in the series!

It is no wonder that fans of romantic suspense novels turn to Irene Hannon over and over to get their latest fix. Her books are always entertaining and are sure to find you reading deep into the night. I award "Thin Ice" 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....


Irene HannonIrene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty-five novels, including That Certain SummerOne Perfect Spring, and the Heroes of Quantico, Guardians of Justice, and Private Justice series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, three HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, a Booksellers' Best Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist, and Booklistincluded one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. She lives in Missouri. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.





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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Join the adult colouring craze! Hours of colouring awaits with "Live Loved"

Cover Art


about the book....

PRAY • CREATE • MEMORIZE • REFLECT • JOURNAL

How would your attitude, actions, and responses change if you lived in the unconditional, immeasurable love of God? What would it look like for you to live loved?

Live Loved provides an opportunity for you to pull away from the hustle and bustle of life to pray, journal, and unleash your creative gifts as you marinate in the truth of God's fierce love for you.

• Spend time in prayer, reflecting and growing in your relationship with God
• Commit Bible passages to memory and deepen your faith
• Share your fun artistry with others through what you create

Color and doodle and learn to live loved as you craft God's Word into your heart.




my review...


The simple truth is that I live in a family of doodlers, sketchers and colourers. My kids bring home their assignments from school with all sorts of random artwork displayed across the pages. My wife makes grocery lists with fancy flowers and budding vines. And any handout I get from work is immediately adorned with my preschool skill-level drawings. So, when "Live Loved" hit the market, it was only natural that a copy find its way into my home.

My wife reports that this adult colouring book is, indeed, a gem. She has greatly enjoyed sitting down to colour, whether on her own or with my kids while they focus on their own colouring books. The artwork in "Live Loved" is beautiful and simply waiting for a splash of colour to be added to bring the images to life. The accompanying verses are simple but profound, and designed so that as you are adding blues and greens and reds to the words that the truth of God's love is finding its way into your soul. The only thing my wife would like to see different is that the pages come with perforated edges so that if wanted you could easily remove a particular drawing to display it in the house. However, as this book can also act as a journal to capture your thoughts, perhaps the intent was to keep the pictures in the book next to the journal entries.

In an age where the busyness of life can seem overwhelming, I can see why adult colouring books are becoming popular, enabling people to slow down, create beauty, and reflect on their lives. If you are looking for a book that will help you do just that, then plan on adding "Live Loved" and Margaret Feinberg's other books to your collection! 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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



about the authors....


Margaret FeinbergA self-described "hot mess," Margaret Feinberg is a popular Bible teacher and speaker at churches and leading conferences such as Catalyst, Thrive, and Women of Joy. Her books, including The Organic GodThe Sacred Echo,Scouting the DivineWonderstruck, and Fight Back With Joy and their corresponding Bible studies, have sold nearly one million copies and received critical acclaim and extensive national media coverage from CNN, the Associated Press, USA Today, the Los Angeles TimesThe Washington Post, and more.

She was recently named one of 50 women most shaping culture and the church today byChristianity Today, one of the 30 voices who will help lead the church in the next decade byCharisma Magazine,and one of the 40 who will shape Christian publishing by Christian Retailingmagazine. Margaret and her husband, Leif, have an adorable superpup named Hershey. She believes some of the best days are spent in jammies, laughing, and being silly.


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Saturday, January 23, 2016

Curio by Evangeline Demark





Each morning, Grey joins the other occupants of her town to line up for their ration of the potion the Chemists hand out, a potion the townspeople need to survive to avoid starvation. Grey is a rule follower who only has a vague understanding of why her father and grandfather don't require the same potion to survive, instead secretly giving theirs away to those in need. When Grey's best friend, Whit, is caught by the Chemists' enforcers while he is trying to protect Grey, Grey ends up taking risks that place her very life in danger. Forced to flee, she runs to her grandfather's shop where an old curio cabinet is unlocked by her touch and she tumbles into a world that is like nothing she's ever known.

Evangeline Denmark has created a fascinating world unlike anything I've ever read before, with characters who are equally interesting and complex and have to be experienced to be believed. I'd never imagined a world populated by porcies and tocks and other such strange creatures. The Chemists who control the town where Grey grew up are frightening and oppressive, and as such immediately made me feel sympathy for Grey and the others who must survive under their control. The story has much to celebrate, from colourful characters to a unique plot, to courage and love in unexpected places. I do have to say, though, that the plot dragged a bit for me in several sections, slowing down the pace of the story to the point that half way through the book I put it down and wasn't sure I'd return. It may have been because I was just figuring out Grey's world when she was flung into another one, and I still didn't have a clear picture of what was going on with the Chemists and the potion and the rest. However, the unique flavour of the story drew me back in and I'm glad I kept going to see how things progressed to the end.

Teen readers who are looking for something a bit different than their ordinary fare should check out "Curio". They will enjoy the book on a number of levels. I look forward to what will come next from Demark's fertile imagination. 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the Booklook program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.




about the author...


Evangeline DenmarkEvangeline Denmark cannot sing. This tragic discovery led to bouts of angst-ridden poetry writing in her teens, an ill-advised relationship with Edward Fairfax Rochester, and the compulsive creation of her own fictional worlds. 


Having found her true voice, Evangeline writes fiction with hints of whimsy, glimmers of fantasy, and strokes of the supernatural. Her debut novel, Curio, sets coming-of-age and first love against a backdrop of steam-propelled greed and societal repression. For a peek into the origins of the Curio world check out the prequel novella, Mark of Blood and Alchemy.

Evangeline lives in Colorado with her husband, an engineer with a sense of humor and an artistic streak, two ravenous sons who steal her laptop and demand dinner, a cat, two turtles, and a cattle dog who runs the house.


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New from Terri Blackstock: ‘If I Run’ and a Fitbit Giveaway

Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer . . . but her DNA is all over the crime scene, and she's now a fugitive. Don't miss Terri Blackstock's next page-turner, If I Run. Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than Dylan has, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. But as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Join Terri in celebrating her new book with a Fitbit giveaway and a special $4.99 digital pre-order deal!

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One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry! The giveaway ends on February 16th. The winner will be announced February 17th on the Litfuse blog.

Plus don't miss out on the special $4.99 digital pre-order pricing, now through February 15. Pre-order the book through your favorite e-book retailer.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Now I can't wait for the movie! "Risen" by Angela Hunt, Paul Aiello

Cover Art


about the book....

The Story of the Resurrection as You've Never Seen It Before

Epic in scope, yet deeply personal, this novelization offers a unique perspective on the story of the resurrection. Roman Tribune Clavius is assigned by Pilate to keep the radical followers of the recently executed Yeshua from stealing the body and inciting revolution. When the body goes missing despite his precautions, Clavius must hunt it down.

His investigation leads him from the halls of Herod Antipas to the Garden of Gethsemane and brings him in touch with believer and doubter alike. But as the body still remains missing, Clavius commits to a quest for the truth--and answers that will not only shake his life but echo throughout all of history.



my review...


"Risen" is a powerful novel that not only has a gripping and entertaining plot, but will fill you with fresh wonder over the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! As I haven't seen the movie, I can't comment on how well Angela Hunt captures the spirit of the film in her novelization of "Risen", but I can say this - I can't wait for the movie now! Hunt does warn that one of the characters that is in "Risen" does not appear in the movie as there wasn't room for this character to remain in the movie script, and I do find that unfortunate as they add a whole new level to the novel. I won't say who as I don't want to spoil it for you. But the characters in this novel are wonderfully drawn, written with emotional depth and brought to life with interesting historical details. The plot races along from scene to scene, with action and suspense and drama combining to make a compelling book that is hard to put down - not something I can always say about Biblical fiction. I will warn parents though that the book contains an extramarital affair, and so the intended audience is aimed towards teens and up, even acknowledging that all of the scenes are completely appropriate.

Readers who are new to Christianity should definitely plan on picking up a copy of this book, as it would be a great way to be introduced to Jesus (though Hunt does acknowledge some liberties taken with the story as it is a work of fiction). And those readers who have faithfully followed Jesus for much of their life will also enjoy seeing Jesus in a whole new light. I strongly recommend this novel and award it 4 out of 5 stars.

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



about the authors....


Angela HuntThe 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.

"Risen" is written based on the screenplay by Paul Aiello and Kevin Reynolds.


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