Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Cantaloupe Thief: Branigan Powers Mystery Book 1 By Deb Richardson-Moore

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description: 

Too many people are staying silent about a ten--year--old murder case--it's time for reporter Branigan Powers to investigate. Branigan Powers knows a good story when she sees one--and the ten--year--old cold case of wealthy Alberta Grambling Resnick's murder definitely makes the cut. Resnick was stabbed in her home after she let it slip that she was planning to change her will. There are plenty of suspects in the death of the matriarch of the town's founding family, but the killer has never been caught.

Now Branigan must do some serious digging to get her story. She knows the town's homeless community might have seen something; she also knows that the local cops wouldn't have thought of questioning these often--invisible people. There's a big problem, though; as Branigan starts digging, the homeless start dying. When her twin brother, a long--time addict, gets involved, the consequences of her investigation may hit a little too close to home.

Set in the fictional small town of Grambling, Georgia, The Cantaloupe Thief is the first in a new mystery series by Deb Richardson--Moore. The author is herself a former journalist and works extensively with the homeless, lending weight to the portrayal of a believable and engaging whodunit.
 

My Thoughts:

The Cantaloupe Thief is the first book in Deb Richardson-Moore's Branigan Powers Mystery and WOW it is fantastic. This is her debut book and I am so glad I read it. As a fan of  debut authors and mystery books, including Christian Mystery, I was very intrigued by the book description and knew I had to read it. I LOVE finding new authors to read.  Deb Richardson-Moore writes with great authority on the South including Georgia, homeless population, addiction, adoption, newspaper business, and the social hierarchy in the South. A big part of my family is in the South, my Dad was from Atlanta, GA and as I read this book I really felt like I was there. The Cantaloupe Thief goes between the present and 10 years prior. This type of writing takes special skill to make seamless transitions and Deb Richardson-Moore has it big time! I really felt like I was there with Branigan as she investigates this murder. The homeless aspect really spoke to me. Deb Richardson-Moore captures the inside look at the homeless, how they live, how they feel. The part that stuck with me the most was the statement made a few times in this book, " The worst thing about being homeless is being looked right through." This statement really convicts you to look at how we treat the homeless or feel about them. I really could see her heart and dedication in this book to the homeless. She gave me a real look at the homeless. This with definitely stay with me. All of the characters in this book are very interesting characters. They are real characters. I loved the different personalities and people portrayed in this book. My favorites would have to Malachi Ezekiel Martin and Branigan Powers.  Malachi is a homeless man who is looked up to in the homeless community. He is a smart man who sees things others don't, observes and hears a lot. He is a huge part of helping Branigan in her search. He helps so many people. Branigan is great!! She loves her job and truly has a nose for news! She has a heart for the homeless also and in her search for the truth she learns a lot. She is a twin and has a brother who left years ago but is back. I loved her sense of humor and her love for people. These characters offered so much to this book. A huge part of this book is relationships, relationships with people and with God. This book showed the importance of a relationship with God.  I could not put this book down once I started reading, action right from the start. This book kept me guessing until the end, lots of things I did NOT see coming. I cannot say enough good about this book and this author. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Mystery books and/or mystery books, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read the rest of this series and other books from this author. Deb Richardson-Moore is on my list of must read authors. I give this book 5+ STARS!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Don't Go To Bed Angry Stay Up And Fight By Deb and Ron DeArmond

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

We've all been there. He doesn't understand what she's really upset about. He thinks she blows things out of proportion. Neither of you can agree on the right course of action. In every marriage, there is conflict. And with every conflict, there is a choice for resolution. Will you ignore the issue until it seemingly goes away? Or will you work together to find peace?

In Don't Go to Bed Angry, Deb and Ron DeArmond give you permission to fight. Marriage is worth fighting for. Conflict isn't the problem, after all; the real issue is how we deal with the conflict. Combining a healthy dose of personal experience with relationship-affirming biblical wisdom, Deb and Ron demonstrate how communication through conflict can lead to greater insight and understanding of thoughts, feelings, and perspectives that can safeguard--and even strengthen--your relationship. Immensely practical features including worksheets, discussion questions, callouts, and prayers make this a definitive go-to resource to help you start fighting--together--for your marriage.


My Thoughts:

Don't Go To Bed Angry Stay Up And Fight is the latest book by Deb and Ron DeArmond and it is FANTASTIC. I had the pleasure of reading Deb DeArmond's book: I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last, a philosophy I have had throughout our almost 21 years of marriage. I loved this book and read it two times so that I could make sure I didn't miss anything. I am a huge fan of Deb DeArmond's writing and felt honored to have the opportunity to read this latest book from Deb and her husband, Ron. The DeArmond's take the old philosophy "All's fair in love and war" and shows how dangerous that is to a marriage and how fighting with rules brings marriages together. I personally grew up in a home where I never remember my parents fighting. I thought fighting was a death sentence until I found out that other people's parents fought but still loved each other and that the fighting actually can bring you together. This book not only looks at the DeArmond's marriage, but it also talks about others they have counseled and how their marriages found healing. I found a few quotes that really stuck with me in this book. They include: "A marriage without intimacy is on its deathbed. It may remain there for many years, but no life or breath remains." , It is not the vented pot that blows its stack, it's the one with the lid screwed on too tight that explodes.", "The sun going down on your anger is about dealing with your own anger, not keeping inventory of your spouse's anger or discussing how well he/she deals with it. Let it go until a more beneficial time when you both have fresh perspectives.", and "The Bible is clear that it is  possible to be angry without it becoming sinful." These quotes actually stay with me as I go through my feelings of anger and help to give me pause to wait. The DeArmond's truly have a heart for couples and helping them have healthy marriages. I love their writing style, it is honest and they are completely transparent in their own marriage and mistakes they have learned from. The advice they give is advice that they follow and have tested over their 40+ years of marriage. I read this book on my own but it is recommended that you read it with your spouse. I personally found myself learning so much by reading it myself. I do hope to read it with my husband eventually. The activities at the end of each chapter definitely challenged me to look at myself  and how I can control my behavior in order to fight fair. I do not feel I have given this book justice in this review! I loved it and highly recommend it for anyone who is married whether married a few days or years, or couples that are getting married to start life together off right! I also recommend Deb Armond's other book:  I cannot wait to read more from The DeArmond's as a couple and/or individuals.  I highly recommend Deb's other book:I Choose You Today: 31 Choices to Make Love Last. I give this book 5 STARS.

Please check out this giveaway!! https://promosimple.com/ps/9e7e

Like A River From Its Course By Kelli Stuart

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hopeThe city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.
Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.
Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.
Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.
Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer's plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Thoughts:

Like A River From Its Course is the first book by Kelli Stuart I have read and it is just FANTASTIC. This book is a work of fiction based on true events that happened in Kiev and the Soviet Union during the Nazi occupation, not something you hear much about. Kelli Stuart writes with authority about World War II, Ukrainian people, the different countries and peoples affected by the war, different places people were killed and taken prisoners especially Babi Yar (the killing ditch), and how the people of these places were affected when the war ended. This book is unlike any I have read before. I learned so much about Kiev, the Soviet Union, Babi Yar, and the atrocities these people saw and endured. I learned that not only the Jewish living in Kiev and the Soviet Union were targeted but the citizens of Kiev were also sent to camps and murdered. This story also looks at the effects this war had on many of the soldiers, German and Ukrainian who saw first hand how the lines get blurred and how extremes happen. I love the style of Kelli Stuart's writing, telling this story from many different perspectives of the same things was beautiful and seamless. The fluidity was flawless. The characters in this book are interesting and complicated. No one's life turns out the way they planned it and as they find ways to cope, they find out their strength and beliefs. The stories of Luda and Frederick Hermann really got me. Luda lives in Kiev and is raped by German soldiers and becomes pregnant. Her friends family takes her in and love her. She finds out that her friends family is closer to her than she knew. Her strength and tenacity are inspiring. Fredrick Hermann is German and has been raised to be a soldier for the Nazi Party. His whole life has been about being faithful to Hitler and the Nazi's. His faithfulness to the Nazi's is completely connected to how his father feels about him. He truly has blind faith in the Nazi beliefs and carries out these acts believing this is right until he finds himself at Babi Yar. Babi Yar and other events cause him to question what they are doing. His story shows the toll it took on some. His story is truly a haunting one. One of the big themes in this book is faith. Faith in God, faith in Nazi beliefs, and others that start out with no faith but find it in the events. This story shows how the these horrible events could help solidify faith.  I could NOT put this book down once I started it. I found myself completely enthralled in this story, feeling like I was there as these events took place. This is a book that will stay with me for a LONG time. The stories really spoke to me and taught me so much more about this time in history. So much I didn't know, but now do and will continue to learn more. I am excited to share this book with others. I honestly feel like I cannot do this book justice. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction especially about WWII, you will NOT be disappointed. Kelli Stuart is on my must read author list and I cannot wait to read more from her. I give this book 5+ STARS.

Travel back in time in Kelli Stuart's new novel, Like a River from Its Course, as the city of Kiev is bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union. This sweeping historical saga takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little-known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River From Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

Celebrate the release of Like a River from Its Course with Kelli by entering to win a Kindle Fire Prize Pack.

like a river - 400 

One grand prize winner will receive:
like a river - prize collage (1) 

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on July 18th. The winner will be announced July 19th on Kelli's blog.

like a river - enterbanner

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Like A River From Its Course By Kelli Stuart

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

An epic novel exposing the ugliness of war and the beauty of hopeThe city of Kiev was bombed in Hitler's blitzkrieg across the Soviet Union, but the constant siege was only the beginning for her citizens. In this sweeping historical saga, Kelli Stuart takes the reader on a captivating journey into the little—known history of Ukraine's tragedies through the eyes of four compelling characters who experience the same story from different perspectives.
Maria Ivanovna is only fourteen when the bombing begins and not much older when she is forced into work at a German labor camp. She must fight to survive and to make her way back to her beloved Ukraine.
Ivan Kyrilovich is falsely mistaken for a Jew and lined up with 34,000 other men, women, and children who are to be shot at the edge of Babi Yar, the "killing ditch." He survives, but not without devastating consequences.
Luda is sixteen when German soldiers rape her. Now pregnant with the child of the enemy, she is abandoned by her father, alone, and in pain. She must learn to trust family and friends again and find her own strength in order to discover the redemption that awaits.
Frederick Hermann is sure in his knowledge that the Führer's plans for domination are right and just. He is driven to succeed by a desire to please a demanding father and by his own blind faith in the ideals of Nazism. Based on true stories gathered from fifteen years of research and interviews with Ukrainian World War II survivors, Like a River from Its Course is a story of love, war, heartache, forgiveness, and redemption.

My Thoughts:

Like A River From Its Course is the first book by Kelli Stuart I have read and it is just FANTASTIC. This book is a work of fiction based on true events that happened in Kiev and the Soviet Union during the Nazi occupation, not something you hear much about. Kelli Stuart writes with authority about World War II, Ukrainian people, the different countries and peoples affected by the war, different places people were killed and taken prisoners especially Babi Yar (the killing ditch), and how the people of these places were affected when the war ended. This book is unlike any I have read before. I learned so much about Kiev, the Soviet Union, Babi Yar, and the atrocities these people saw and endured. I learned that not only the Jewish living in Kiev and the Soviet Union were targeted but the citizens of Kiev were also sent to camps and murdered. This story also looks at the effects this war had on many of the soldiers, German and Ukrainian who saw first hand how the lines get blurred and how extremes happen. I love the style of Kelli Stuart's writing, telling this story from many different perspectives of the same things was beautiful and seamless. The fluidity was flawless. The characters in this book are interesting and complicated. No one's life turns out the way they planned it and as they find ways to cope, they find out their strength and beliefs. The stories of Luda and Frederick Hermann really got me. Luda lives in Kiev and is raped by German soldiers and becomes pregnant. Her friends family takes her in and love her. She finds out that her friends family is closer to her than she knew. Her strength and tenacity are inspiring. Fredrick Hermann is German and has been raised to be a soldier for the Nazi Party. His whole life has been about being faithful to Hitler and the Nazi's. His faithfulness to the Nazi's is completely connected to how his father feels about him. He truly has blind faith in the Nazi beliefs and carries out these acts believing this is right until he finds himself at Babi Yar. Babi Yar and other events cause him to question what they are doing. His story shows the toll it took on some. His story is truly a haunting one. One of the big themes in this book is faith. Faith in God, faith in Nazi beliefs, and others that start out with no faith but find it in the events. This story shows how the these horrible events could help solidify faith.  I could NOT put this book down once I started it. I found myself completely enthralled in this story, feeling like I was there as these events took place. This is a book that will stay with me for a LONG time. The stories really spoke to me and taught me so much more about this time in history. So much I didn't know, but now do and will continue to learn more. I am excited to share this book with others. I honestly feel like I cannot do this book justice. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction especially about WWII, you will NOT be disappointed. Kelli Stuart is on my must read author list and I cannot wait to read more from her. I give this book 5+ STARS.

Please check out this contest to win a Kindle Fire: http://litfusegroup.com/campaigns/like-river-course-kelli-stuart


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lethal Harvest: Bioethics Book 1 By William Richard Cutrer MD and Sandra Glahn

I received this book from Kregel Publications for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

"A Machiavellian plot . . . [and] a satisfying medical thriller." —Library JournalIn order to save the president's life, a brilliant embryologist— the president's nephew & MD has made a "devil's bargain" with a secret group of federal agents. But Tim Sullivan's illegal genetic manipulations of human embryos place everyone he knows at risk. Before he can finish his work, a freakish accident kills him and leaves only troubling questions behind.
Now his partner, Ben McKay, and Tim's widow, Marnie, must uncover the hidden truth about Tim’s research before more lives are swept away. In the process, they’re forced to face their feelings for each other and the dark secrets in their own pasts. This story of love, loss, and danger crosses international borders from Mexico to the former Soviet Union in order to answer one searing question: if Tim's research is completed, what form will the strange and dangerous harvest take?
Ambition, jealousy, and the ultimate meaning of love move this riveting story through the dark labyrinth that may lie buried under breakthroughs in genetic research and cloning.


My Thoughts:

Lethal Harvest is the first book in William Richard Cutrer, MD and Sandra Glahn series, Bioethics and it is fantastic. This book was previously published in 2000 and this is an updated version. Lethal Harvest is the first book from these authors I have had the pleasure of reading.  Cutrer and Glahn write with authority on genetics, OB-GYN practices, bio engineered life, Akenosis, missionary work, Chaplin duties, human embryos, and lab practices. From the first page, the action starts and continues until the end. This book keeps you guessing until the last pages. Lethal Harvest is a book that looks at controversial procedures of genetic manipulations of human embryos and stem cells, under the idea that a human being can be made with just one set of DNA. I found myself unable to put this book down. Cutrer and Glahn's writing style is very interesting, using terms that someone not of the medical field could understand what was happening medically. I can say I really learned a lot from their writing. The characters in this book are normal people dealing with extraordinary circumstances that they are thrown into. I really enjoyed Marnie's character. She was married to Tim who died and finds herself in question of everything. Her journey from non believer to believer is inspiring and real. Her strength throughout this book is inspirational, her ability to survive everything she went through and how she held on and leaned on her faith and God really gave me something to think about. I really found this book bring up many emotions in me. I found myself crying in parts and holding my breath in others. The medical research into Akenosis revealed that not only could this cure it but could cure Alzheimer's disease really hit home for me. I lost my dad 4 months ago to Alzheimer's and it really made me question how I feel about genetic research, cloning, and genetic manipulation when looking at it from a personal standpoint. Cutrer and Glahn present all sides of these issues including medically and spiritually. They definitely show where faith comes into this issue and how it does affect how this issue is looked at.   It is easy for these ideas to be black and white until you are looking at these diseases and the hope for a cure.  This story definitely looked at the dangerous side of ambition and the question of how far is too far in genetic research and cloning. I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Medical Suspense, you will not be disappointed. I cannot say enough good about this book and these authors. I look forward to reading the other two books in this series, to see where all of this goes. I give this book 5 STARS.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Murder Mezzo Forte: A Preston Barclay Mystery #2 By Donn Taylor

I received this book from Litfuse Publicity for no charge in exchange for my honest review of this book. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Book Description:

He is a reclusive history professor with musical hallucinations, she a headstrong professor of religion, a converted Wiccan. Earlier, they solved a campus murder, but now police say they formed two-thirds of an illicit love triangle with a newly-murdered female colleague and they're probably guilty of her murder. A leak of the alleged scandal to the college administration threatens their jobs. Their desperate attempt to prove themselves innocent of the triangle and the murder plunges them into a tangle of unsavory corporate relationships among college trustees. And it puts their lives in danger from a mysterious criminal organization that seems to have tentacles everywhere.

Can this ill-matched pair's stumbling efforts succeed against the entrenched forces of the police, the college's incompetent administration, and that powerful but unseen criminal organization? If not, they may end up unemployed, in prison, or suffering a fate much worse . . .


My Thoughts:

Murder Mezzo Forte is the second book in Donn Taylor's latest series, The Preston Barclay Mysteries, and it is FANTASTIC. These are the first books I have read by Donn Taylor and I am hooked.  This book is a Christian Mystery, one of my favorite genres. When I saw this book I knew I had to read it so I bought the first book, Rhapsody in Red, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Donn Taylor writes with authority on all things music, Wiccan beliefs, teaching college classes, Christian college policy, the military, computer terms, latest technology, homicide investigations, crime scenes, and the mob.  The action started right off the bat in this book and it continued until the end. I could NOT put this book down. I really enjoyed the characters in this book, they are definitely not what they seem. They definitely have messy lives that don't just work out in the end. It's hard to pick one character in this book as my favorite....I really enjoyed Preston, Mara, and Dr. Sheldon. They are such a great group and offer so much comic relief throughout this book. I love the way they do for one another and work together. I love Donn Taylor's style of writing. I really felt like I was there with Preston through his process. I found the music theme throughout fantastic and learned more about music. Preston's music hallucinations are so interesting and added so much more to the story. I cannot say enough good about this book! My review does not feel like it does this book or series justice. I do recommend reading Rhapsody in Red first, there is a lot of references to the events from it and helps clarify things in Murder Mezzo Forte. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mystery stories, you will not be disappointed. I cannot wait to read more books by Donn Taylor. He is definitely on my list of must read authors. I give this book 5+ STARS.