Wednesday, 15 November 2017

The Assault by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky

Back Cover:

As Darkness Threatens, Four Gifted People Will Give the World Its Best--And Maybe Only--Chance to Survive. This is Harbingers.

In Invitation, four beloved and bestselling suspense authors introduced supernaturally gifted characters on a race to stem the tide of growing evil. Now Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky return with the next cycle of fast-paced and riveting tales.

In Bill Myers's "The Revealing" the team finds themselves in Rome trying to retrieve the mystical spear Hitler once stole. The task will take them from hidden chambers inside the Vatican to a mysterious seaside cave with unexpected and dangerous powers.

Frank Peretti's "Infestation" tells of a microscopic plague unleashed on the world that deceives, blinds, kills, then spreads and kills again. The Harbingers team must confront this faceless evil bent on seducing and destroying humankind.

In "Infiltration" by Angela Hunt, a seaside respite intended to buy time for the wounded team turns deadly when misplaced trust leads the Harbingers into dangerous waters.

Alton Gansky's "The Fog" reveals a supernatural mist unlike any other, filled with vicious monsters that kill whatever they find. When one team member realizes the only way to stop the fog is to enter it, the ultimate sacrifice must be made.

Review: YIKES! I couldn't put this book down.... literally.... I couldn't unlock my terror frozen knuckles (haha). Joking aside, I'm really enjoying this Harbringers series. As mentioned in a previous review, this series runs like a TV show. There are four authors and each author writes one novella for each book. Each novella contributes to the overall theme/story that the authors are telling together. Each author writes from a different character's point of view. Sound confusing? It's not. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if this series brings in a whole new chapter of book writing where this type of style becomes very common. I love being able to pick the book up and read a complete story in thirty minutes.... but yet have that story adding to an overall story. It's very cool.

The characters in this series are all so different from each other and very engaging. The uniqueness of this cast of characters is so entertaining - from an atheist ex-priest, to a soft heart ex-football player with the gift of healing, to a little boy that can see into the spiritual realm, to a tattoo artist that tattoos prophecies, and lastly, a genius who sees patterns and numbers in everything. When these five get thrown together - watch out! Sparks fly and action happens. This series is fast paced and very exciting.

Of note.... it is scary. Like...chew my nails off and keep my feet covered in a blanket scary. I personally wouldn't give this book to anyone under about 16 years old (I am quite conservative, FYI). In my opinion, it is an older-teen/adult read.

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and Baker Publishing House for a copy of this book!

Monday, 30 October 2017

The Day the Angels Fell by Shawn Smucker

Review: A smashing success for Shawn Smucker with his debut novel, The Day the Angels Fell! It was beautifully written, plotted brilliantly, and I fell in love with his cast of characters. I was asked minutes after finishing this book how I liked it. My reply was that I haven't read such a fantastic fairy tale in a long time. What was brilliant about this book was that it was an amazingly clever twist off the story of the two cherubim who were left to guard the Tree of Life from the Bible. I tell you, this book is a must read. In trying to find another way to describe it, I would also add that it had some definite ways it reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia (I don't say that lightly, those have been my all time favourite books since I was five years old). 

The story is told from the point of view of an old man - an old man we almost immediately find out is the young boy in the story, Samuel. Samuel is about twelve years old, and he and his best friend are the main drive behind this story. Samuel and Abra find themselves thrust into the craziest adventure of their lives when the veil between physical and spiritual is pulled back and a thousand year old drama begins to play out on the land of Samuel's farm. Ancient foe, heavenly hosts, devilish monsters, legend, and a supernatural weapon weave their way through Samuel and Abra's summer as they fight to deal with the scenario they find themselves at the head of. 

The Day the Angels Fell is clever enough for an adult or teen to be fully engrossed. The content could have been written quite easily for an older audience, but the way Shawn Smucker penned this book I would be comfortable giving it to a young teen, no problem. There are some mature questions asked about right and wrong, "just because you can do something, should you?", what is death?, is death a gift or a curse?, and so on... The Day the Angels fell definitely made me think in addition to thoroughly entertaining me. I really hope that this book is the start of a long series (ten or more books please!). Congratulations to Shaw Smucker and his team for an excellent job well done. I am quite spellbound and waiting for me. 

Back Cover: It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers. The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard. The summer his mother died in a tragic accident--and young Samuel Chambers would have done anything to turn back time. Even today, he can hardly believe it all happened . . .

Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Sam begins his search for the Tree of Life--the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. 

His quest to defeat death will entangle him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict, forcing Sam to grapple with an unwelcome question.

Could it be possible that death is a gift?


Thank-you to Baker Publishing House and Graf Martin Communications for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Wings of the Wind by Connilyn Cossette

What an interesting angle to approach these Bible stories! I applaud Connilyn Cossette's imagination and creativity - and even more so, her authentic retelling of some incredible Biblical events. "Wings of the Wind" is told from the unlikely angle of Alanah, a Canaanite on the wrong side of a battle against the Hebrews.

Captured after the battle, Alanah knows what happens to women on the battlefield and resigns herself to a horrid fate. Tobiah, a Hebrew warrior, knows that the badly injured, female archer will likely not survive the day if he doesn't act. Compelled to save her, he does the only thing he can do and marries her.

A mortified Alanah finds herself married to her enemy. A fate like this she could have never imagined. She expected death. Torture. Rape. She did not expect to find compassion and life. Wary and distrustful, Alanah struggles to escape and then finally understand the strange people and their terrifyingly powerful God.

This was another amazing installment in the "Out from Egypt" series. I would highly recommend this book as well as the series in its entirity.

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of this amazing book.

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

I loved this book so much! I started reading "High as the Heavens" intending to just read a couple of chapters before bed...and I ended up finishing it in one sitting. I could not put it down. It was like it was glued to my fingers or something. What a talented author...

For me, historical romances make it or break it in the details. This book was clearly well researched and felt so genuine and true to its era. I was immersed into World War I occupied Brussels and honestly felt like I was there.

Evelyn or Eve Marche is a nurse in a German hospital during the day and a spy for the Belgian resistance by night. With her mother, aunt and uncle aiding her they have designed an elaborate scheme for getting information from the front back to British Intelligence. No mission is ever easy or safe and Eve doesn't expect to make it through the war alive. And why should she? Her two younger siblings and her husband have already been lost. With only her mother left, Eve takes the risks she needs to in order to help conquer the Germans.

Dancing a delicate and dangerous line between flirting with the enemy and feeding information to the Allies, Eve's living on borrowed time. When she is called on another midnight mission, Eve has no reason to believe that this one will be anything extraordinary - until she recognizes the package. In that moment, Eve's life is dramatically changed and is now much more dangerous than it was hours before. Eve is flung into a rapid series of events where one misstep will mean the demise of all those she holds dear to her heart.

I loved this book and give it full marks. A definite must read.

Back Cover: A British nurse in WWI German-occupied Brussels, Evelyn Marche spends her days at the hospital and her nights working at a cafĂ© . . . or so it seems. Eve's most carefully guarded secret is that she also spends her nights carrying out dangerous missions as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.

When a plane crashes as she's en route to a rendezvous, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to recognize the badly injured pilot as British RFC Captain Simon Forrester. She risks her life to conceal him from the Germans, but as the secrets between them grow and the danger mounts, can they still hope to make it out of Belgium alive?


Thank-you so much to Graf Martin and Baker Publishing House for a copy of this book - you can send me more by Kate Breslin ANY time :)

Under A Summer Sky by Melody Carlson

A Savannah Romance....


Review:  

~A dazzling, fashionable art gallery. 
~An assistant with the well earned moniker "Vampira". 
~Two handsome brothers. 
~A confused teenager. 
~One beautiful woman...
This cast of characters set in the memorable Savannah sun is a story that will keep you turning the pages.

'Under a Summer Sky' by Melody Carlson is a winner. Nicole Anderson is a classy, artistic woman who really comes into her own in this novel. A high school teacher approaching her tenure and completely stuck in a rut, Nicole is convinced by her mother to spend the summer at her wealthy friend's exotic home and manage her private art gallery. 

Throughout this novel, Nicole undergoes a remarkable character journey as she leaves behind the old version of herself - a bored, uncertain woman floundering between the worlds of teenage dreams and adulthood.... and the confident, artistically thriving, successful woman she wants to be. 

With her shoulders back and chin held high, Nicole fakes it until she makes it as she takes charge of her new set of circumstances and the people now in her sphere of influence. Not only does her artistic journey take an interesting turn, but Nicole finds herself face to face with two very promising suitors - a love from the past and a new player for her heart. 

Under a Summer Sky is a well written telling of one woman's journey through a fascinating and complex summer in the romantic city of Savannah. 






Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. 
x

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Samaritan's Purse: Operation Christmas Child


Make sure to check out Samaritan's Purse this Christmas season.

We are so blessed ... time to spread the joy and bring a smile to a child's face this Christmas.

It's super EASY and FUN.

Get a shoe box. Fill it full of fun and useful items (the website give some good suggestions) and then drop the filled box off at pick-up location.

Check out more information HERE http://sampur.se/2xJMXaF

Fault Lines by Thomas Locke

Review: It felt mighty good to step out of the historical romance genre for a few hours and take a crazy ride through this psychological, futuristic thriller. If you are searching for a book that will refuse to let you go until you flip the last page, then you have found the perfect book for your autumn read.

Fault Lines surprised me in that it is not a continuation of where the last books (Trial Run and Flash Point) finished off. Instead, Fault Lines takes us back to the beginning to where Charlie Hazard and Gabriella first meet. If this were a superhero story (which, in a sense, it sort of is), then this would be the "origin story". And who doesn't love a good origin story? Fault Lines grabs hold of characters we have already come to love (or hate) and takes us back to their beginnings. In Fault Lines, you really get to know the characters on a much more intimate level - particularly Charlie Hazard.

Prior to Fault Lines, I considered Charlie a great secondary character. He is now, officially, my favourite character of the series. The dude is seriously kick butt awesome! Being an army ranger, he can out-plot, out-fight, and out-maneuver even the craziest strike teams - and hardly break a sweat doing it.

In this book we also get a glimpse into why Gabriella is so gun-shy on relationships and why the experiments had to be so top secret (won't get into more here.... you'll have to read it for yourself).

This book can be read first (where it is set chronologically) or if you are like me and have already read the first two books, this one fits in fine as a back flash story.

The concept behind this series is a little weird and some parents might want to have a chat with their kids before letting them read it. I don't think there is any harm in giving this book to your kids, but it is worth having a talk to them about outer-body experiences (books are about being able to "ascend" and leave your body and teleport yourself around and travel through the 'spiritual' realm, in essence).  Other than that, there is no inappropriate content. There is some violence, though it is not graphic, and there is a love interest, though it is entirely appropriate for a teenage audience. This was a fun read and a great addition to the series.

Back Cover:  There isn't much that can throw Charlie Hazard off balance. But the mystery woman with the striking eyes and the intense request to follow her--now--is about to shake his world. Knowing little more than her name, Charlie leaves his post as a guard at the Satellite Beach community center for what he thinks is just another risk-containment job. But Gabriella, an experimental psychologist, has far more in store for him than protection duty--if the two of them survive the test.

Reese Clawson relishes her work at the Combine and all the perks and power that come with it--including the ability to manipulate perceptions. But the Combine never anticipated this mind-shifting technology. If Gabriella's experiments succeed, the Combine would be destroyed. And Reese will never allow that to happen.


Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and to Baker Publishing House for offering me a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.