Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Book Review for "What the Bishop Saw"

What the Bishop Saw 

(The Amish Bishop Mysteries #1)

by Vannetta Chapman


30556119

Somewhere in the Embers Lies the Truth

A fire blazes out of control in the San Luis Valley of Colorado, leaving an elderly Amish bachelor dead. Bishop Henry Lapp rushes to the scene, and he learns the fire was no accident. Someone intended to kill Vernon Frey. But who would want to kill Vernon? Well, practically everyone—Amish and Englisch alike.

When the police point the finger at a suspect Henry knows is innocent, the bishop must decide whether or not to use his mysterious, God-given gift—one he's tried desperately to ignore all these years—to try and set the record straight. His close friend and neighbor, Emma, encourages Henry to follow God's leading.

Could the clue to solving the case be locked somewhere deep in his memory? Will Henry find the courage to move forward in faith and put the right person behind bars? Is his friendship with Emma becoming something more?

What the Bishop Saw is a story of extraordinary talents, the bonds of love and friendship, and the unfailing grace of God.
 

MY REVIEW:  Fires, blazes, mysteries, lost buildings, lost lives, lost livelihoods, and the main question and major concern:  Who is Doing It????   The small Amish community of San Luis Valley, Colorado, already struggles to maintain the farms and allow families to feel the move was a good one, and now fear may drive some of the families to leave.  Bishop Henry Lapp is anxious to calm the fears of the families he loves.  He is a good leader and the Amish under his leadership have great respect for him, but he is stumped and just wants the perpetrator caught and stopped.  The local police are involved and the Amish often choose to handle matters without allowing the police to interfere, but this time they have little choice if they want the guilty party apprehended.  
       Vannetta Chapman is one of my all-time favorite authors and this book is no disappointment for me.  I feel sure readers will be excited about her new Amish mystery.  Even those who do not typically read this genre will likely find themselves unable to stop reading til they reach the very last page.  Those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers will want to try to figure out who is causing havoc for Bishop Lapp and the Amish community.  Henry has much support and eager helpers, including the widow Emma, a dear friend of many years who shares meals and smiles with him. He is a widower and they are close in age and neither has looked for a new spouse even though the Amish encourage remarriage when a spouse dies.  Check out this exciting mystery and join the many readers who are joining me in recommending this book, the first in The Amish Bishop Mysteries Series
     Books are rated on a scale of 1-5 among reviewers with 1 being poor and 5 being excellent or I would rate this book a 10, but I am confined to give it an excellent rating of 5. Thank you, Vannetta Chapman, for giving me some delightful summer reading.   The lake is fun, but this book made it even more so.
       I received an ebook of this selection from netgalley and the publishers, Harvest House, and while I was encouraged to publish a review, it was not required.  All opinions expressed are my own.

About the Author:
Vannetta Chapman

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace. She is the author of many novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, Shipshewana Amish Mystery Series, and Plain and Simple Miracle series. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups. She currently writes Christian suspense, Amish romance, and Amish mystery. She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com. 

For more information, visit her at http://vannettachapman.com
https://twitter.com/VannettaChapman
https://www.facebook.com/VannettaChap...
http://vannettachapman.com/blog/
https://www.instagram.com/vannettacha...

Monday, July 3, 2017

"Threads of Suspicion" Book Review

Threads of Suspicion Book Review

(Evie Blackwell Cold Case #2)

by Dee Henderson

32510809

Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery
Evie Blackwell's reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor's new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results--and quickly.

Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn't be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.

With a deep conviction that "justice for all" truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

MY REVIEW:  I love shows like Cold Case, Criminal Minds, and CSI on television and this book is a wonderful one to fill my desire as it combines elements of each of these shows as Evie attempts to solve some unsolved missing person cases.  While she would love to find the missing person alive, it's been a long time and she knows that the best thing she can do for the families is to recover the body and give them resolution. Dee Henderson has truly given readers a sense of the hard work, determination, and compassion of investigators. Add a bit of romance to the mix and you have a great read.   Romantic decisions must be made:  one isn't sure she is ready to commit to love and marriage while one is eager to marry but his partner is not a Christian and he refuses to be unequally yoked.  
         The faith of the characters is woven naturally into the lives and conversations so that it is not contrived as is often the case in many works of Christian fiction.   There were too many details and characters at times for me to follow the story, but this may be due to the fact that I did not read book one in the series.  
         I rate this book 4 stars and highly recommend it to readers and I do recommend reading book one before tackling this one.   
        I received a complementary e-version of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  I was encouraged but not required to write a review and all opinions expressed are my own. 

About the Author:
Dee Henderson

Dee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O'Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA's RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers' Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"The Angel Answer Book" Book review





The Angel Answer Book 

by Robert J. Morgan



23647135

Uncover the mystery of angels and their roles in our lives!


Angels have been present since the beginning of time, yet we’re filled with more intrigue and myth than with facts about these heavenly creatures. In this practical Q&A format, bestselling author and pastor Robert J. Morgan uncovers the mystery of angels—in the teachings of the Bible, in their role in relation to Christ, how they impact Christian beliefs, and in personal accounts of our present-day lives. This is an up close and revealing look at what angels do for us as they carry out their purpose in God’s overall plan for His kingdom. 

MY REVIEW:  Even people who don't profess to be religious or spiritual will acknowledge the presence of angels or will say that someone who has died is now an "angel".  This book is one of the best and most informative books I've read about angels.  Angels were not always in heaven with God. He created them when He began his work of creation and Satan along with his followers did not get removed from heaven by God until sometime in the first three chapters of Genesis.   Satan first appears in the Garden of Eden in chapter 3 of Genesis, so we know that Satan attempted to take over and become God sometime before that point and the creation.

         Robert J. Morgan uses scripture verses and personal stories where possible to examine and explain the existence and purposes of angels.  The book examines both a presence of angels who work toward good, those who delve out punishment and judgement and the fallen angels.   So many of the verses used were given new meaning for me.  I saw them in a new light and understanding.  I highly recommend this book to those who are simply curious as well as the more serious seeker and those who wish to use it for reference.  It would be very helpful to anyone teaching on the subject.  The one addition I would like to see would be artwork or photographs.  
      
        I rate this book 5 stars.   I received an ebook of this work of non-fiction from netgalley and the publishers..  I was not required to give a review but I was encouraged to do so.  It is my pleasure to provide this book review and all opinions expressed are mine.

About the Author:
Robert J. Morgan

Robert J. Morgan is the teaching pastor of The Donelson Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee, where he has served for 35 years.  He is a best-selling and Gold-Medallion winning writer with more than 35 books in print and more than 4 million copies in circulation in multiple languages.  He is a writer for Dr. David Jeremiah and Turning Points Magazine, and has many articles published in other leading Christian periodicals.  He is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. Rob has appeared on numerous national television and radio shows.
He and his wife Katrina have three daughters and fourteen grandchildren.  He is also co-owner of Roan Mountain Bed and Breakfast in Roan Mountain, Tennessee (roanmountainbedandbreakfast.com). In 2014, Rob was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree from his alma mater, Columbia International University.  Visit his website at http://www.robertjmorgan.com/

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Delilah" Book Review

27066703

Delilah:  Treacherous Beauty Book Review

Dangerous Beauty #3

by Angela Elwell Hunt


Book Description:
A Complex and Compelling Glimpse at One of the Bible's Baddest Girls 

Life is not easy in Philistia, especially not for a woman and child alone. When beautiful, wounded Delilah finds herself begging for food to survive, she resolves that she will find a way to defeat all the men who have taken advantage of her. She will overcome the roadblocks life has set before her, and she will find riches and victory for herself. 
When she meets a legendary man called Samson, she senses that in him lies the means for her victory. By winning, seducing, and betraying the hero of the Hebrews, she will attain a position of national prominence. After all, she is beautiful, she is charming, and she is smart. No man, not even a supernaturally gifted strongman, can best her in a war of wits.

MY REVIEW:   Delilah is often used as an example of the sort of woman one does not want to model their own life after....the Bible has little to tell us of her background or details about her life before she became involved with Samson, the one whom God had instructed should never have a razor put to his hair.  This story is of course fictional and supposes what led an innocent baby named Delilah to become one of the Bible's baddest of the bad girls.  We know from historical facts that it was not easy being a woman in a man's world in Biblical times.  
       I did of course read the story of Samson and Delilah from the scriptures in the Bible and what I glean from God's Word is that he intended for Samson to do exactly what he did when he destroyed the entire company of Philistines along with the rulers, giving up his own life as he killed more people with his death than he had in his entire lifetime.  God used a weak man, one who loved beautiful women and ultimately lost his eyes and his strength due to one of these women, the beautiful Delilah.  He used a woman we truly know little about for his purposes, but we can imagine what her life was like and it has been very captivating to follow Ms. Hunt's version of the possibilities contained within Delilah's life.  Her secrets have been given wings with the words of this book.  I also must say that the cover of this book is stunning in its beauty.
      I rate this book 4 stars as I did have to keep referring back to the title of each chapter to remind myself whether this was Delilah or Samson's "voice".  This did slow my reading down a bit but did not take away from my desire to keep reading ahead.  While this book is the third in a series, it is a stand-alone as well since each of the books features a different "dangerous beauty" of the Bible.
      I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers and I was not required to write a review, although it was encouraged.  The words here are my own and all opinions expressed belong solely to me.

About the Author:


Angela Hunt

     Christy-Award winner Angela Hunt writes for readers who have learned to expect the unexpected in novels from this versatile author. With nearly five million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the best-selling author of more than 100 works ranging from picture books (The Tale of Three Trees) to novels.

Now that her two children are grown, Angie and her youth-pastor husband live in Florida with Very Big Dogs (a direct result of watching Sandlot too many times). This affinity for mastiffs has not been without its rewards--one of their dogs was featured on Live with Regis and Kelly as the second-largest canine in America. Their dog received this dubious honor after an all-expenses-paid trip to Manhattan for the dog and the Hunts, complete with VIP air travel and a stretch limo in which they toured New York City. Afterward, the dog gave out paw-tographs at the airport.

When she's not home writing, Angie often travels to teach writing workshops at schools and writers' conferences. And to talk about her dogs, of course. 

Readers may visit her web site at www.angelahuntbooks.com.


Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Dark Deception" book review

32510786

DARK DECEPTION Book Review

by Nancy Mehl 

New Edge-of-Your-Seat Read from an Established Romantic Suspense Author Kate O'Brien has been leading a quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas, for the past four years when her past suddenly comes roaring back to life. Four years ago, she and her twin sister were attacked by an elusive serial killer. Only Kate survived, and it was her drawing of the attacker--along with some last-minute evidence--that convicted the suspect.
She's been in witness protection ever since, but new evidence suggests the convicted man isn't the murderer and she's been subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Nervous about the risk, she'll only agree if the same marshal who protected her during the original trial escorts her to St. Louis.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Tony DeLuca accepts the assignment to bring Kate to the trial, remembering how her strength impressed him. While in Shelter Cove, however, he gets a call from his chief, advising them to stay in Shelter Cove until a new development in the case can be straightened out. But when Kate's safety is threatened, Tony must race against the clock to keep her alive and put this ugly case to rest before anyone else gets killed.
 

MY REVIEW:  Nail biting suspense...murder....intrigue....romance....faith expressed by characters.....if you like all these elements, you will love Nancy Mehl's 2nd book in her Defenders of Justice series.   Kate is in witness protection after testifying against the man believed to have killed her twin sister.  He is sent to prison, and she fears for her life if he ever finds her....and then he is released from prison.  Will he come after her?  He would have to locate her first in the small town where she is hiding.  When evidence comes to light suggesting he is not the killer, Kate must testify again.  She is frightened and rightly so.   
      Nancy is one of my favorite authors and she did not disappoint me  in this book.  I did read book one in the series, and while this book can stand-alone, I think it would be helpful to read book one first.  I had a lot of trouble keeping the characters straight as there were so many different characters.  This did cause some confusion for me as I read.  
I highly recommend this book.   Readers who love suspense, thrillers and Christian fiction will be delighted.

      I am rating this book 4 stars.  I received a copy of this book from netgalley and the publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review.   All opinions expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nancy Mehl

Nancy Mehl lives in Festus, Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She's authored fifteen books and is currently at work on a new romantic suspense series for Bethany House Publishing. 

All of Nancy's novels have an added touch - something for your spirit as well as your soul. "I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing," Nancy says. "It's a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn't be writing at all if I didn't believe that this is what He's called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can't overcome with His help." 

You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: www.nancymehl.com or find her newsletter at: www.nancymehl.blogspot.com. She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com and on FaceBook!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Prince Charles" Book Review

Prince Charles: The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life Book Review

by Sally Bedell Smith

31575697

From the New York Times bestselling author of Elizabeth the Queen comes the first major biography of Prince Charles in more than twenty years--perfect for fans of The Crown.

Sally Bedell Smith returns once again to the British royal family to give us a new look at Prince Charles, the oldest heir to the throne in more than three hundred years. This vivid, eye-opening biography--the product of four years of research and hundreds of interviews with palace officials, former girlfriends, spiritual gurus, and more, some speaking on the record for the first time--is the first authoritative treatment of Charles's life that sheds light on the death of Diana, his marriage to Camilla, and his preparations to take the throne one day.

Prince Charles brings to life the real man, with all of his ambitions, insecurities, and convictions. It begins with his lonely childhood, in which he struggled to live up to his father's expectations and sought companionship from the Queen Mother and his great-uncle Lord Mountbatten. It follows him through difficult years at school, his early love affairs, his intellectual quests, his entrepreneurial pursuits, and his intense search for spiritual meaning. It tells of the tragedy of his marriage to Diana; his eventual reunion with his true love, Camilla; and his relationships with William, Kate, Harry, and his grandchildren.

Ranging from his glamorous palaces to his country homes, from his globe-trotting travels to his local initiatives, Smith shows how Prince Charles possesses a fiercely independent spirit and yet has spent more than six decades waiting for his destined role, living a life dictated by protocols he often struggles to obey. With keen insight and the discovery of unexpected new details, Smith lays bare the contradictions of a man who is more complicated, tragic, and compelling than we knew, until now.

MY REVIEW:  While I have always been fascinated by the British royal family, I found                    some of the lengthy details boring in this book about the future king of England  Prince Charles. He seems to have a propensity for irritating the parliament and World Leaders with his unusual stances on important issues.   He rocked the world when he married Lady Diana Spencer and then he further shocked the world when he continued an affair with then married Camilla Parker-Bowles and divorced Princess Diana.  Surprisingly, the world seems to have accepted his marriage to Camilla even though there was much initial protest concerning the union between the two divorced middle-aged Charles and Camilla.
         I must state that I was and still am a huge fan of Princess Diana and I still feel that Prince Charles never loved her and only married her because of her purity and his need to produce an heir to the throne.  I believe that Diana was madly in love with him however, and suffered a broken heart which then led to several of her own affairs.  I woke at 5 a.m. to watch their wedding.  I did the same to mourn along with millions as she was laid to rest with her two precious sons walking behind the cortege with Prince Charles by their side.  I did have great respect for Prince Charles in the way he conducted himself at Diana's tragic death....traveling to return her body home, planning her funeral, and publicly showing his grief and supporting their sons.   My feelings of affection for Diana and distaste for Camilla likely colored my appreciation of this book, but the writing was impeccable even if a bit tedious at times.                                                                                                                                                
           I am giving a four-star rating to this book.  I highly recommend it to those who enjoy reading biographies as I do.  
           I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Random House to read.  I was encouraged, but not required to write a review of this book.  All opinions expressed are my own.  

About the Author:
Sally Bedell Smith


Author of six biographies: Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch (Random House 2102); For Love of Politics: Bill and Hillary Clinton: The White House Years (Random House 2007); Grace and Power: The Private World of the Kennedy White House (Random House 2004); Diana In Search of Herself: Portrait of a Troubled Princess (Random House 2004); Reflected Glory: The Life of Pamela Churchill Harriman (Simon & Schuster, 1996); In All His Glory: The Life and Times of William S. Paley and the Birth of Modern Broadcasting (Simon & Schuster, 1990).
Contributing Editor at Vanity Fair since 1996.
Previously cultural news reporter for The New York Times, staff writer for TV Guide, and reporter-researcher for Time Magazine.
Awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Distinguished Service Award for magazine reporting in 1982; fellow at the Freedom Forum Media Studies Center at Columbia University from 1986 to 1987.
B.A. from Wheaton College and M.S. from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"Discipline That Connects with Your Child's Heart" Book Review

Discipline that Connects with Your Child's Heart 

by Jim and Lynne Jackson

15704373

Ever feel stuck in a discipline rut? This book will help you develop a new "lens" for effective, caring discipline with your child. "Discipline that Connects" is a profound and deeply Biblical way of thinking about corrective discipline. In these pages you'll grow in insight about yourself and your child. You'll learn to: Prepare your heart and stay calm when your kids are not.Think on your feet and respond with confidence and wisdom.Turn behavior problems into opportunities.Help children learn to be responsible for their own actions and truly reconcile with others.Use creative consequences that build skills, values, and faith in your children.Get out of the discipline rut and into your children's hearts! 

MY REVIEW:  It would definitely have been useful if this had been available when I was raising my three daughters, but I wanted to read it to be a better grandparent to the precious little ones God has blessed me with.  I feel that I can also  be a resource to my stressed out daughters and stepchildren as they seek to raise their children with Christian principles.   The authors use scripture references to support the principles they address.   They encourage an approach to parenting that is sure to reach the soul of their children and be a balm to innocent little ones entrusted to their care by God.  Listening with love is a large part of the discipline plan they present in the pages of this book.   I would recommend this book to parents, grandparents, and those foster parents and others who are raising children.   I did feel that some of the book's discipline techniques could have been explained with fewer words.  Stressed out parents do not have much free time for reading.
     I give this book a 4 star rating.  I felt some principles could have been discussed in a shorty manner.  
    I received a copy of this book from netgalley and Bethany House Publishers.


Jim and Lynne Jackson:
Jim   Jackson