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?

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Honor Redeemed Book Review

Keys of Promise Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  Her future - and her heart - hang in the balance.
     Two year ago, Prosperity Jones waved farewell to her beloved David as the army sent him to faraway Key West.  Now with her parents gone, she has but one prospect for the future:  make the dangerous journey from Nantucket to Key West to reunite with David and secure a happier life.
     But when Prosperity arrives penniless in the South, she is dismayed to find David has not been eagerly awaiting their reunion.  In fact, he is married to someone else.  Scrambling to survive and nursing a broken heart, Prosperity gains the friendship - and the affection - of a kind doctor.  Could he be the answer to her loneliness?  Or will her life be upended by circumstance yet again?
     With a deft hand, Christine Johnson fills the senses with the sights, sounds, and smells of Key West in this heartwarming story of honor lost, honor redeemed, and a love forged in adversity.

REVIEW:  Prosperity is at a crossroads. Her parents are dead and she has nowhere to live.  For the last two years, her fiance David has been stationed in Key West with the Army and has at least another six years before he can return home.  So she makes the only decision she could, which goes against convention of the day: she must join David in Key West. 
     Even though she doesn't necessary believe it, Prosperity is a strong person.  After the death of her father, she supports and nurses her sick mother until her death.  Prosperity knows the trip to get to David is long and dangerous but she takes it anyway.  After learning of David's marriage to someone else, she does what she can to stand on her own two feet, finding a job and a place to live in a strange place where she knows no one.  Not many people I know nowadays could do what she does. 
     David's sense of honor is one to be admired.  After some horrible truths come to light about his wife, he is determined to still honor her, in spite of his hurt.  He faces many tribulations and trials because of it but does not give in.  In the end, his efforts do not go unnoticed and helps him overcome many problems.
     This is an interesting book which I enjoyed reading.  It is the second in the series but the author does a good job of briefly describing key characters and their relationships.  But, to fully understand how they relate to David's situation and final solution, you should read the first book, Love's Rescue

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Christine Johnson is the author of Love's Rescue, as well as several books for Steeple Hill and Love Inspired.  She was twice named a finalist for Romance Writers of America's Golden Heart Award.  When not writing, she loves to hike and explore God's majestic creation.  These days, she and her husband, a Great Lakes ship pilot, split their time between northern Michigan and the Florida Keys.

What Matters Most Book Review

Texas Gold Collection

SUMMARY:  Just when she can't take it anymore, Leta finally catches a break.  But when things seem too good to be true, they often are.
     Finding her dream job went right out the window when Leta Breckenridge had to quit school to help care for her mothering suffering from dementia.  When a delinquent account may force her mother into a less desirable facility, Leta is thrilled to land a high-paying job at an Austin public relations firm.  But her seemingly ideal job turns into a nightmare when she learns the firm is a front for a political opposition organization - and that the research she's been collecting will be used against Nathan Emerson, the handsome senator she's swiftly falling in love with.
     Nathan is a rising political star being pressured to run a bid to unseat the current governor of Texas.  He's already in a relationship with a woman much better suited to be a politician's wife, but he's never met anyone like Leta.  Could this feisty woman hold the key to his heart - and his future?
     With emotional depth and keen insight into what drives us, Kellie Coates Gilbert offers a salient story that calls us to consider what we value most in this life.

REVIEW:  Kellie Coates Gilbert's novel shows you that no matter your circumstances, you can still come out ahead by sticking to your principles and trusting God.  Leta is a great role model.  She supports her very ill mother by working two part-time jobs, budgeting her money down to the penny and doing what she can to stay afloat while trusting God to provide.  After landing a job making mega bucks, Leta pays off her accumulated debts while praising God for His provision.  When her bosses ask her to look for incriminating evidence against her friend State Senator Nathan Emerson, she does what she is told while trying to stick to her principles.  Her faith and struggle to honor her work contract while maintaining her convictions is very admirable. 
     Nathan Emerson's character is almost too good to be true.  I like how even though he has had a life of privilege, he does not look down on anyone.  He is perfect for Leta and does what he can to help her with her mother.
     The story line is interesting.  I like how the author shows her reader the length political opposition organizations will go into to smear a candidate without boring them.  The intrigue and underhanded tactics kept me reading to see if Nathan and Leta would come through it and how they would respond.  The only problem I had was towards the end.  It looks like a character would try to cause more problems but instead defuses the situation and comes clean.  The scene was anticlimactic.  But, overall, I really enjoyed this novel.  Even though this is the fourth novel written in this collection, each one is independent from the others. 

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Kellie Coates Gilbert is a former legal investigator and trial paralegal and the author of A Woman of Fortune.  Gilbert crafts her emotionally charged stories about women in life-changing circumstances in Dallas, Texas, where she lives with her husband. 

Missing Book Review

The Nikki Boyd Files Series
Book Two

SUMMARY:  Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides; her forte is missing persons.  But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start the investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson.  When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend Tyler Grant - and another dead body - Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons.  The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business - including Nikki.
     Christy Award-winning and bestselling author Lisa Harris puts you right into the action in this face-paced thriller.

REVIEW:  The author does a great job with this book.  It is entertaining; it captured my attention from the very beginning and kept it until the end; and it kept me guessing all the way through as to who the mastermind and killer was.  The way everything slowly unraveled was frustrating as I wanted to Nikki to find Lucy and solve the mystery quickly but was brilliant in the way everything in the story was configured.  As I read, I was glad the clues were slow in coming because it kept me reading trying to figure everything out.  
     This is the second book in the series.  Lisa Harris does a great job making this a stand alone novel.  She briefly explains key elements from the first book that are relevant to this story but doesn't leave you feeling confused or goes overboard retelling the story.  Reading the first book, Vendetta, is helpful as it gives you a better background story on Nikki and Tyler's friendship and more details about the kidnapping and disappearance of Nikki's sister, but is not necessary.  I am so looking forward to the third book in this series to be released because I know it will also be a big hit.

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times.  She is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Southern Crimes series and Vendetta, winner of the Romantic Times Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2015.  Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa.  Learn more at

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Like a River from Its Course Book Review

SUMMARY:  Enter the often-overlooked history of World War II Ukraine as told through the eyes of four unforgettable people caught up in the chaos and heartache of a country torn asunder by Nazi armed forces.
     As the characters confront the pivotal event of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch" where 34,000 men, women, and children were lined up and shot, the horrors of war are laid bare.  How can faith withstand such atrocities?
     Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a moving and epic story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

REVIEW:  This book was different from other World War II novels I've read before. There were four main characters, each telling their story about life in Ukraine under Nazi rule and how it affected them.  Luda, about 16 years old, becomes pregnant by German soldiers.  After being abandoned by her father, she is taken in by friends who love her as one of their own.  Frederick, about 20 years old, is a Nazi soldier who is determined to advance the German ideal and tries to live up to his father's impossible demands of perfection.  Maria is about 14-15 years old who is forced to leave Ukraine and work in Germany.  Ivan, Maria's father, lives with the guilt of not being able to save his Jewish neighbors and their daughter from the Nazis and his children being forced to work for the Nazis in Germany.  As each one explains the events around them from their point of view, you see their anguish and sometimes despair but also the resilience of the human spirit to perseverance.  They are determined to survive.  Sometimes the stories were difficult to read.  You see the depth of human depravity and the lengths people will go to advance their "ideals."  Then there are stories of those who try to help those around them, even if it puts their lives in danger.  You also see how God will use difficult and hard circumstances to show He is still there and is still in control.  I like how the author wraps up the stories of these people you come to know.
     This was an excellent book!  The fifteen years of research and interviews of people who lived during this time and experienced this hardship shows in the details and the depth of the emotions that is conveyed.   This is a book that should be required reading for high school students.  It will tug on your heart strings but it's well worth it.

This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group and Kregel Publications 
for review without compensation.

Kelli Stuart is the coauthor of Dare 2B Wise and Life Creative, and has written for several brands including Disney, American Girl, and Short Fiction Break.  She has served as editor-in-chief for the St. Louis Bloggers Guild and as a board member for the St. Louis Women in Media. Kelli lives in Florida and blogs at

Friday, July 1, 2016

Every Bride Has Her Day Book Review

Brides with Style Series
Book Three

SUMMARY:  Katie's determined to make it down the aisle this time - but it may be easier said that done.
     Katie Fisher is ecstatic.  Pro basketball star Brady James has proposed, and she can't wait to start planning their life together. But it's hard to focus on her own happily ever after when her calendar is filling up with celebrations for friends and family.  Beyond that, it seems everyone around her has an opinion - and a strong one at that - on what Katie's special day should look like.  Will she ever manage to settle all of the details for her storybook wedding?  Or will she overzealous friends and relations make a mess of everything?

 REVIEW:  With the craziness of life, sometimes you just need to read a book where everything is coming up roses and in the end everyone is happy.  Every Bride Has Her Day is the book to fit that bill.  I've enjoyed this series and this book is probably my favorite.  Katie's fiancee finally proposed so now the wedding planning start.  It drove me crazy to see how everyone was giving Katie their opinions and ideas on the wedding plans without giving her time or any chance to make any decisions.  I like how she is inspired by Crystal's determination to buck tradition and have her dream wedding but also smooths ruffled feathers by offering reasonable compromises.  It was also commendable that once Katie's wishes were know and put into place, no one criticized them and she was able to make everyone happy.  Towards the end, it seemed like the author was trying to wrap up all the different relationships that were mentioned throughout the series.  And wrap up she does!!
     This is a fun and light-hearted book and series.  Every Bride Has Her Day is the last novel in this series and you have to read the others or you will be lost as a ball in high weeds. 

This book was provided by Revell for review without compensation.

Janice Thompson is an expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, especially when it come to romance.  She is the author of the hugely popular Wedding by Bella series, the Backstage Pass series, and the Weddings by Design series, as well as Every Bride Needs a Groom and Every Girl Gets Confused.  She lives in Texas. Learn more at