Psalm 27:1

The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Vendetta Book Review

The Nikki Boyd Files Series
Book One

SUMMARY:  No one needs to push Nikki Boyd to excel on the Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force.  The case of her own missing sister, still unsolved after ten years, is the driving force in her work.  When a Polaroid photo of a missing girl shows up at a crime scene, Nikki quickly recognizes similarities to the past.  The closer she gets to the abductor, the more she feels this case has become personal, and she is not the hunter . . . but the hunted.
     With this explosive first book in The Nikki Boyd Files, award-winning author Lisa Harris takes you on a fast-paced pursuit of justice that will have you holding your breath until the heart-stopping finish.

REVIEW:  The complexity of the story combines the current abduction of Bridget with the abduction of Nikki's sister, Sarah, ten years earlier.  Also throw in revenge from an accidental shooting and the vastness of the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, TN for a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat.  There were many times I wondered if Nikki would be able to find Bridget in time and how she, and her co-workers would get out of a couple of very sticky situations.  The emotions you go through as you read are all over the place.  You might feel frustration with Bridget for the things she did leading up to her abduction; scared when Nikki gets a strange phone call in the middle of the night; anxious when Nikki and her co-workers are put in some very dangerous situations and happiness when family is reunited.  The way the book wrapped up the story was very good.  It kept me turning pages, eager to see what happened next and wondering how everything would work out.
     This is a great book and I am excited to read the next few books in this series.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.
Lisa Harris is a Christy Award winner and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times.  The author of nearly thirty books, including Dangerous Passage, Fatal Exchange, and Hidden Agenda, Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa.  They currently live in Mozambique.  Learn more at

Keeping Christmas Book Review

SUMMARY:  Nothing is more beautiful than family.
     For the first time since their children were born, empty-nesters Judith and Stan Winters spent Thanksgiving without the kids, and it's looking like Christmas will be the same.  Judith can't bring herself to even start decorating for the holiday; her kids always hung the first ornaments on the tree, ornaments they had made each year since they were toddlers.  Sure, the ornaments were strange-looking - some were downright ugly - but they were tradition.
     With Judith refusing to decorate the bare spruce tree in their living room, Stan's only hope for saving the holiday is found in a box of handmade ornaments . . .

REVIEW:  Judith's life is wrapped up around her kids.  Even though they all are married and living on their own, having family together to celebrate was what made the holidays.  Now that all three and their families have moved out of state, the first holiday without them sent Judith into a depression tailspin.  I love how Stan does what he can to help pull Judith out of her despair.  He encourages her and enlists friends to do the same.  He doesn't give up when she doesn't respond at first.  My favorite part was the end when Stan makes a HUGE sacrifice that not only affected him but his best friend, too, to help his wife. 
     This story encouraged me to find ways to make the holidays special with my kids as they grow up before they leave the nest. It also reminded me that time with our families at home is going by very quickly and to take advantage of having them close.
     This is an AWESOME book that I highly recommend everyone read.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Dan Walsh is the bestselling author of several books, including The Unfinished Gift and The Restoration Series with Gary Smalley.  He has won three Carol Awards, and three of his novels were finalists for the RT Book Reviews Inspirational Book of the Year.  A member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Dan served as a pastor for twenty-five years.  He lives with his wife in the Daytona Beach area, where he's busy researching and writing his next novel.  Learn more at

An Endless Christmas Book Review

SUMMARY:  Both in their eighties, Dodie and Wilson Binder celebrate every Christmas as if it were their last.  This year, their only grandson, Micah, asks his girlfriend, Katie to marry him - in front of the whole family.  But things go terribly wrong when she says no.  Now Katie is stuck.  Too many people, too much snow, and too little room should be a recipe for disaster.  But, sometimes too much is just enough.  Especially, when it's Christmas.
     Will Katie let herself love and be loved before it is too late?

REVIEW:  Thinking about this book while waiting for it to arrive, I started getting anxious.  How would the story work out?  If this were me, I would feel like the walls were closing in on me and like I was under a spotlight.  Would Katie feel the same way?  My fears were for naught.  This story was awesome and so sweet!!  The Binders have everything down to organized chaos.  Everyone has a comfortable place to sleep, even if it is in a window seat, plenty to eat and lots of wonderful memories to be made.  They open their doors to anyone in need of family and no one is a stranger.  When Wilson has some health issues, everyone pitches in to make sure Christmas Eve dinner is taken care of, the younger kids are taken care of and that Grandpa gets the help he needs.  I love the surprises towards the end of the story.  This is a family everyone longs to have.  They've learned the hard way that tomorrow is not guaranteed so live for now, with no regrets.
     This is an awesome book that should be read every year.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Worthy Inspired Books 
for review without compensation.

Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of "Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark" through her novels and novellas, speaking for women's events and retreats, writers' events and retreats, and nonfiction books and devotionals, drawing from 33 years of on-air radio ministry.  Her books have been recognized by the RT Reviewers' Choice Award, Selah Awards, Gayle Wilson Award of excellence, Christian Retailing's BEST Awards, Family Fiction Readers' Choice Award and Carol Award nominations, among other honors.  She and her plot-tweaking husband live in the heart of Wisconsin, not far from their three children and five grandchildren.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Reluctant Bride Book Review

An Amish of Birch Creek Novel

SUMMARY:  She never wanted to marry.  He hopes to make amends for past wrongs.  Can love find a way to heal both of their hearts?
     Sadie Schrock swore she would never marry.  All of her other Amish friends could court and marry - she was content to manage the family business and eventually take it over when her parents are ready to retire.  But all of that changes when a reckless driver kills both of her parents and seriously injures her younger sister.  With mounting hospital bills adding to the pile of debt her parents left behind, Sadie is left with no choice; she must marry.  And not just any man - the man who saw her at her weakest and walked away.
     Aden knows what his brother did to Sadie years ago was inexcusable.  And every day since that incident, Aden has lived with the guilt for not intervening sooner.  When he is faced with the chance to protect Sadie once again, he can't let her down - even if it means living with the scorn of the woman he loves for the rest of his life.
     Working alongside Aden at the store, Sadie realizes he isn't the same boy who once betrayed her.  Just when Sadie starts to let her guard down and perhaps develop feeling for her new husband, dangerous secrets are revealed.  Now everything Sadie has worked so hard to protect is threatened, and she must find a way to save her family - and herself.

REVIEW:  This book's underlying theme is how keeping secrets can eat at your soul and little by little destroy you.  Aden and his brother Solomon both carry the shame of abuse.  Their father beats them over even small infractions then forces Solomon to continue the beatings on Aden.  Aden has tried to not let it get to him; Solomon drinks away his pain, causing other problems along the way.  Sadie never told a soul what Solomon tried to do to her, because she is ashamed.  The bishop keeps the community funds hidden from everyone as he doesn't want to follow in his father's footsteps and squander the money.  He even has the families in his district sign over valuable property to him, to keep the money safe.
     This story grabbed at my heart, tugging on it with every page.  I loved how the love and respect Aden shows Sadie, and eventually Solomon, changes their relationships for the better.  I admire Aden and his determination to not be like his father and let anger take hold of him.  Solomon's change is miraculous and is also to be admired.  
    The only thing I have against this story is the time line of Sadie and Aden's relationship.  Even though they grew up together, they didn't have much to do with each other unless they had to.  Aden had strong feelings for Sadie but it was at a distance. Sadie's feelings for Aden does an 180-degree change from barely tolerating him when they are forced to marry to being completely in love with him in about two or three weeks time.  But, this is a common complaint I have with novels. 
     That said, this novel was very enjoyable and eye-opening.  It is definitely worth reading.

This book was provided by Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson Publishers 
for review without compensation.

Kathleen Fuller is the author of several bestselling novels, including A Man of His Word and Treasuring Emma, as well as a middle-grade Amish series, the Mysteries of Middlefield.  Visit her website at, on Twitter at @TheKatJam and on Facebook at Kathleen Fuller.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

On This Foundation Book Review

The Restoration Chronicles
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Stone by Stone, the Wall Will Rise Once More Around God's City
     When news reaches him that Jerusalem's wall is shattered and its gates burned with fire, a distraught Nehemiah seeks God's guidance in fasting and prayer.  Granted an unexpected leave from his duty as cupbearer to the Persian king Artaxerxes, Nehemiah sets out for Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall - never anticipating all the dangers that await him on his arrival.
     The leaders of the surrounding nations become his fierce enemies, plotting to assassinate him and stop the wall's reconstruction forever.  A drought, meanwhile, has left the country impoverished, with many families resorting to selling their children as bondservants just to keep from starving.
     Capturing the rebuilding of the wall through the eyes of a number of characters, On This Foundation is the powerful conclusion to The Restoration Chronicles.  This exploration of faith in the midst of oppression offers hope that, in spite of appearances, the gracious hand of God is upon those who believe.

REVIEW:  Trusting God to follow through and trusting Him to be there during difficult times is the crux of this novel, even when it seems like He isn't listening and has turned His back.  Nehemiah has to trust the Lord is leading him to rebuild the wall surrounding Jerusalem against opposition by Israel's enemies and those inside Jerusalem determined to stop him from upsetting the new normal.  Nava has stopped trusting God after she is forced to work as a bondservant to protect her family farm after years of drought and leave her childhood boyfriend, whom she was to marry. Chana doesn't know if she can trust Yahweh after her fiance' is killed by robbers just before their marriage.  When she is pledged to another in marriage, she has to decide if God is with her after all or if she will turn her back on Him.
     This novel is a wonderful wrap-up to the series about the Jewish nation's return to Israel after the Diaspora.  The author shows how difficult life was in Jerusalem.  But, when the people obeyed God's law, His provisions and blessing came in abundance.  I like how the author showed Nehemiah's humanity and didn't put him on a pedestal.  He wanted to become king, like some of the "prophets" claimed but knew it wasn't God's plan for him.  Not everything was tied up in a neat little bow but the twists and turns the author placed kept me turning pages to see how situations would play out. 
     This book is wonderful.  It ties the books of Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah together in a seamless way that is interesting and never dull.  Check it out for yourself.

This book was provided by Bethany House for review without compensation.

Lynn Austin is a bestselling author who has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide.  She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions.  Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live in Michigan.  Learn more at