Thursday, September 29, 2016

Another winner from Clark & Gould: "My Sister's Prayer" (Cousins of the Dove Series)

about the book....

Virginia, 1705

Celeste Talbot is usually such a sensible young woman—until she falls for an English soldier reassigned to the Colonies. Leaving her Huguenot family behind, she sets sail for America, only to realize that her younger sister Berta has been kidnapped and forced on board the very same ship. Whom can Celeste trust? The dashing soldier? Or the vigilant carpenter who remains by their side in the perilous New World?

Virginia, present day

Madeline "Maddee" Talbot has her hands full when she agrees to take in her younger sister Nicole following a serious car accident. The young women grew apart when Nicole fell into drug addiction, and Maddee prays this will be the start of a better life for her sister. But as they investigate a trauma from their childhood, Maddee must keep a diligent eye on Nicole—and the shadowy figure watching them from afar.

my review....

Once again, Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have co-written a winning novel that expertly moves between past and present in a way that is thoroughly enjoyable. It would be hard to say which plot I enjoyed following more, that of modern sisters Maddee and Nicole, or their ancestors Celeste and Berta as they brave the journey to the New World. Maddee and Celeste each tell their stories from their points of view, and I quite admired the way that the authors fleshed out the characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Each story complemented and built on the other, and showed that while time and place may change, there seems to be nothing new under the sun! The characters experienced similar struggles of betrayal and loss, love and forgiveness, and of course a dash of romance as well. Each story moves along at a good pace, and there were some unexpected moments for all of the characters that kept me glued to the pages as I was eager to find out how things would resolve. And, although in general I was quite satisfied with the ending, I was left wanting to see how things would ultimately resolve regarding the ongoing mystery of who the modern cousins found murdered in the cabin, a plot point that is carried over from the first book in the series and appears set to come to a conclusion by the end of the third. I only wish I didn't have to wait so long for the final book in the series to see where things are going to go from here!

Each book in this series just gets better and better, and readers will find much to enjoy in the pages of "My Sister's Prayer". Fans of stories that expertly blend history and contemporary plots with wonderful spiritual elements are going to love this one. I award this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Harvest House. Available at your favourite bookseller!

 about the authors....

Mindy Starns Clark
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction (more than 800,000 sold) including coauthoring the Christy Award–winning The Amish Midwife. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. 

Leslie Gould
Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including Beyond the Blue and Garden of Dreams. She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. 

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Another thought-provoking read from Rubart: "The Long Journey to Jake Palmer"


Jake Palmer is at the top of his game, a sought-after corporate trainer with the ability to stir up within people a new understanding of who they are and what their potential is. But a horrific accident causes him to question everything he believes about himself and his own purpose in life. All hope seems lost until his friends convince him to attend an annual vacation with them, even though that's the last thing he wants to do. His reluctance soon runs up against a local legend of Willow Lake about a hidden corridor at the end of which is a place where your desperate desires will be fulfilled. As Jake begins his search, he comes to realize nothing is as it seems.

The vivid imagination of James L. Rubart has again resulted in an entertaining, thought-provoking novel in "The Long Journey to Jake Palmer". The book is filled with vibrant spiritual imagery, and it would be impossible to read this book and not be left contemplating the state of your own soul. The characters are interesting and unique, and you will wish that you had such intriguing friends as Jake does in this novel (although perhaps a friend like Camille would take extra patience). Jake is my favourite character with his complex past and deep brokenness, and I think any reader will be able to relate to some of the struggles that he deals with. The truth and healing that spills from the pages of this book are beautiful to behold! Rubart throws plenty of unexpected moments and twists into the book that kept me turning through the pages, not only in terms of what the corridor beholds but regarding the future of Jake's friendships and potential love interests. Consequently, I read through the book in short order, having thoroughly enjoyed myself along the way, and feeling a bit let down that I had to walk away from these characters so soon.

Fans of James L. Rubart are no doubt going to devour this latest addition to his growing collection of stellar novels. It is easy to see why his books win awards - and this one will no doubt win similar accolades! 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...

James L. RubartJames L. Rubart is a 28 year old trapped in an older man's body, who loves to water ski and dirt bike with his two grown sons. He's the bestselling, award winning author of seven novels, including his latest, The Five Times I Met Myself. He lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Sure to put you in the mood for Christmas: "God Bless Us Every One" by Eva Marie Everson

God Bless Us Every One

about the book...

Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job.
For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.
When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie prickles at working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher and her old crush from schooldays, but is even more put out at that the choice of the Dickens’ classic for the holiday performance. When she discovers her estranged father’s involvement her world turns on its head once more. But when Sis and Dustin encourage her to take a deeper look at the story behind A Christmas Carol, Charlie learns about trust, faith, and forgiveness and the needs of people in their own community.
my review...

I have to admit that I love Christmas so much that I start humming Christmas tunes in July, much to my family's chagrin; so, when I saw that this latest book from Everson was Christmas themed, I was indeed ready to dive in! "God Bless Us Every One" is just what you are looking for to put you in the mood for Christmas, as the story will surely warm your heart with its themes of forgiveness and grace. I quite like the main character, Charlie, who instantly earned my sympathy as she loses her job and has to return home feeling unsettled as to what the future holds. I love how the author throws in lots of twists and turns that end up bringing so much good out of that difficult experience, showcasing the Biblical truth that God can bring good out of the bad! Readers who love romance will appreciate the relationship that blossoms between Charlie and Dustin, and the author uses just the right touch in setting the scene between them. The dialogue between them is witty and moved the story forward well, often in a fun manner. But perhaps the scenes I most enjoyed in the story are those between Charlie and her father, and I think that readers will really be able to relate to the struggles in their relationship and find inspiration in how they move forward. Perhaps things resolve a bit too easily, but for a Christmas-themed novella I would expect nothing less! I closed the final pages of this book with a smile on my face, and wishing that I didn't have to wait 3 more months for Christmas to arrive!

Eva Marie Everson has added yet another solid book to her repertoire, and I encourage you to grab a copy for yourself to get your mind on the wonderful holiday that lies ahead. I award this book a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher and the Litfuse Publicity Group, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Eva Marie Everson
Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of “The Road to Testament,” “Things Left Unspoken,” “This Fine Life,” “Chasing Sunsets,” “Waiting for Sunrise,” “Slow Moon Rising,” and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer’s Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.
Find out more about Eva Marie at


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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A powerful read: "More Than Rivals" by Ken Abraham

Cover Art

about the book....

Lydia King knows what it's like to be in need, so she joins the Teaville Moral Society hoping to help the town's poor. But with her father's debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poorhouse herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn't hurt that his mother is the moral society's president. Lydia's first task as a moral society member--to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town--seems easy . . . until the man flat-out refuses.

Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresees the harrowing complications that will arise from working together, and when town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs--and hearts--truly align.

my review....

It definitely shows talent when an author can take a true story and weave it into an entertaining tale that reads like fiction - and Ken Abraham has shown he has that talent in spades with his novel, "More Than Rivals". Within only a few pages of the book, I found myself immersed in Eddie and Bill's story to the point that I was rooting for them to win every basket ball game they were playing, and cheering on the unlikely friendship between black and white. I was shaking my head at the racism displayed in Gallatin, Tennessee - though shifting uncomfortably in my chair while I considered the racism in my own backyard of a different type. For the most part, the story moves along at a good clip, although there were a few places in the book that I thought got bogged down in a few too many details. Nevertheless, as I encountered the racial tensions growing in Gallatin, through the eyes of the characters who lived through it, I found myself glued to the pages until the final, dramatic chapters. What made me pause all the more was the fact that I wasn't reading scenes from an author's imagination, but instead was reading about actual events. If you didn't believe in the power of God before picking up this book, it would be difficult not to believe afterwards, as only God can explain what happened to the citizens of Gallatin!

Rarely can I say that a Christian novel I'm reviewing would make the perfect gift for the man in your life - but "More Than Rivals" absolutely fits the bill! But if you are a female reader, don't let that comment dissuade you from grabbing a copy of your own, because this book will appeal to readers of all types. The true life drama, great characterization, and incredible truths of this story make for time well spent! I highly recommend this book and award it 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.

 about the author....

Ken Abraham

Ken Abraham is the New York Timesbestselling author of many books, includingAgainst All Odds with Chuck Norris and Let's Roll with Lisa Beamer. His work has been featured on 20/20DatelineLarry King Live,Good Morning AmericaThe CBS Morning ShowThe Today Show, and many more. At present, Ken has more than ten million books in print. Learn more at

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Thursday, September 8, 2016

Fast moving, suspenseful novel: The Occupied (A Trevor Black Novel) by Craig Parshall

The Occupied (A Trevor Black Novel) by [Parshall, Craig]

about the book...

As a youth, Trevor Black unleashed spiritual forces he couldn’t comprehend. Years later, Trevor is a high-flying criminal defense lawyer in New York City, with a six-figure Aston Martin and a trophy wife. But in an extraordinary turn of events, he receives a burdensome gift: the ability to perceive the invisible. And the dark forces he now sees are all gunning for him.

When one of Trevor’s hometown friends is murdered, the MO is eerily similar to a shocking trail of murders that have already crossed the lawyer’s path. So Trevor must return home to find the killer. . . and face not only his own personal demons, but supernatural ones as well.

my review...

The latest novel from Craig Parshall is a fast-moving, suspenseful novel that will keep you churning through the pages as fast as you can read! The scenes are filled with action and suspense as Trevor encounters forces of spiritual darkness that he can scarcely comprehend. I quite enjoyed the unique plot that underlines this story, as God chooses to use Trevor in a special way to combat the forces of darkness. Depending on your beliefs about angels and demons and the realms unseen, you may need to suspend your disbelief at a couple of scenes, but they will surely have you thinking! I did wonder at a couple of scenes where Trevor gets out of some perilous situations in a manner that seems a bit reliant on an outside source coming to the rescue. I may have appreciated more of a showdown between Trevor and evil beings in some scenes where he is relying on Jesus power to stop them in their tracks. But perhaps the author is trying to show that we all have to start our journey somewhere in our battle "not against flesh and blood" but against the evil one. As such, Trevor is not going to start off as a spiritual rock star, but will lack confidence and understanding and need to rely on God and his provision all the more. There is a lesson in that for all of us.

I am truly intrigued to think about where this series will be going next in a future Trevor Black novel, for The Occupied is a fine start indeed! Not only will it leave you entertained, but it will have you scouring God's word to see if what you are reading is even possible. Anything that draws you to the Bible can only be a good thing! I award this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

An egalley has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Tyndale, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Craig ParshallAs a New York Times Best Selling fiction writer, Craig Parshall has authored or co-authored 11 suspense novels. His novels have been translated into multiple languages and have drawn high praise from the likes of veteran Hollywood filmmakers and producers Ken Wales and Phil Cooke, Publishers Weekly, and on his military thrillers, stellar marks from Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson, USAF (retired) who carried the "nuclear football" for the President of the United States. In addition to his work as a novelist and magazine columnist, Craig is a constitutional lawyer and Washington insider who serves as Special Counsel to the American Center for Law & Justice. Craig has testified multiple times on civil liberty issues before committees of both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives and before the Federal Communications Commission regarding the future of American media, and has represented clients before the U.S. Supreme Court. He speaks across the nation on issues of free speech and religious liberty, faith, culture & creativity, and law, and was the founding director of a groundbreaking effort to develop a First Amendment paradigm for Internet-based social media and communication platforms. Craig is married to nationally syndicated radio talk-show host Janet Parshall.

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