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

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. 

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Case for Christ, the movie

My Opinion: I went into this movie with high expectations as I had heard a lot about the book. Admittedly, I've never read the book so I can't claim whether or not the movie is a good reflection of the novel or not. However, I had the feeling while watching the movie that the producers went to extreme effort to include as many aspects from the novel as possible. If it makes sense, the movie played out a lot like a book. 

It wasn't as glitzy and fast paced as most Hollywood movies we are seeing these days. The Case for Christ was slow, methodical, and not in a rush to impress. This movie followed the personal story of Lee Strobel, an atheist news man whose wife came to know Christ. Throughout this movie, Lee goes to extraordinary effort to prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Jesus is not real and that the resurrection did not happen. He figures that, if he can prove Christianity is false, that his wife will give up her new found faith. This is an amazing story of one man's battle against Christ and his eventual surrender.

The movie is an excellent apologetic and/or faith building movie. From the viewpoint of a non-believer, I think this movie would be a bit hard to understand as it uses a lot of Christian terminology that a non believer would not be familiar with. There was an assumption in the film, I believe, that the viewer had a base knowledge of Christianity.

I did not find this movie exciting or thrilling, but it was a hearty film filled with great content and education on the facts behind Jesus and the resurrection. This would be a very good film to watch in a small group Bible Study. 

Thank-you to Graf Martin for a link to view this movie. 

Watch the trailer HERE

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career. What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company's dangerous new drug. But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved. 

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate. He's still haunted by mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again. But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything--even commit murder--to keep the case from going to trial. 

As danger closes in, Landon can't help but admire Kate's courage and resolve--but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk? 

Review: Kate Sullivan is smart as a whip and cares deeply about her chosen profession as a lawyer. While most of her colleagues are chasing the all mighty dollar all the way to the top of their legal firms, Kate is battling it out for the underdog. A plaintiff's lawyer, Kate has devoted her life to her profession and is a rising star in the legal realm. Her success comes at a high personal cost as she has no time for anything but her work. However, her determination and dedication pay off as she is chosen to be the lead lawyer on a massive case against Big Pharma. Honest, a true lover and follower of the law, and with a keen mind, Kate is the perfect person to lead the tragic law suit. Unfortunately, not everyone plays by the rules and things turn ugly when old friends and powerful corporations decide that money and power are more important than anything else. 

A private investigator Kate has hired to find information on an informant soon finds himself rapidly switching from information sleuth to guardian as Kate's hunt for the truth begins to make some rather frightening people angry. As her personal danger heightens, army ranger Landon James has to pull out all the stops to keep her safe. The chemistry between the two of them is not overstated and plays out well within the plot of the story. Their teamwork and faith discussions are fantastic and moving.

This novel is a wonderfully entertaining read and kept me quickly flipping the pages from start to finish. Deadly Proof had the perfect amount of legal terms and plot to definitely make it a legal thriller  (I actually learnt some things about law in this book!) but not so much that it was confusing or boring. I really liked how the ins and outs of the law really drove the plot of the book and decisions of the characters. This was a well thought out and intelligent book. The cast of characters were fantastic too - I'm hoping to see more of Kate and Landon in another book. 

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

Friday, 29 September 2017

Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

When Danger Arrives, It's More Than Just Her Heart on the Line
Grace Mallory is tired of hiding. She hungers for a normal life, perhaps even a suitor like two of her friends in Harper's Station have found. But when the man she believes responsible for her father's death discovers her whereabouts, survival takes priority. 

Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His fellow telegrapher, the mysterious Miss G, has been the ideal companion. For months, their friendship--dare he believe, courtship?--over the wire has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intends for him. However, when he intercepts an ominous message and discovers her life is in peril, Amos must shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.

Review: If you haven't already been reading Karen Witemeyer's new series, "Ladies of Harper's Station", then I really must insist you remedy that immediately. This series is filled with gutsy women who claw themselves up out of the ashes of their lives to not only survive, but thrive at the women's only town of Harper's Station. Harper's Station is a town for women, and it is filled with women who have fled from abusive husbands, unsavory occupations, and desperate need. Together, these women have built their own viable community. 

It is into this established community that Grace Mallory finds herself after her father is tragically murdered. Determined to remain hidden from her father's killer, Grace seeks refuge in a town where no men are allowed. Despite her careful efforts, Grace is sent an urgent message that the murderer will soon be arriving at Harper's Station. As expected, the women of Harper's Station rally in epic fashion, but hope also arrives in another rather surprising - and rumpled - way. A Heart on the Line is a well written novel with a delicate, sweet romance between two flawed beings. Their love-story is worth reading.

It is worth mentioning that I also really appreciated that the love interest, Amos, was not the "rippling tower of gorgeous muscle" that most male heros are in these types of books. This guy is nerdy, not well built....and well, not the perfect specimen. He is, however, clever, loyal, and a really good man. It was nice to read a book where a normal guy was shown to be a hero. 

I also really liked the addition of morse code in this book and all the non-stop action. Karen Witemeyer is excellent at keeping the adventures coming. There is even a revolver toting granny in this book (like seriously, how do you beat that!?)
Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and to Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of Heart On the Line in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano

Back Cover: After spending the last six years banished to the wallflower section of the ballroom, Miss Permilia Griswold has finally figured out a way to pass the time at all the New York high-society events she attends. Under the pseudonym "Miss Quill," she is the author of society gossip columns filled with tidbits only an insider in society--albeit one on the fringes--would know. 

When she overhears a threat against Mr. Asher Rutherford, the owner of one of the most up-and-coming department stores in the city, she's determined to warn him. But the irritatingly handsome man doesn't believe her, leaving her no choice but to take matters into her own hands. What she doesn't anticipate is that she'll end up putting herself at risk in the process--or that she and Mr. Rutherford, a man with secrets of his own, just might end up joining forces after all.

Review: What a tongue-in-cheek, hilarious romance these ridiculously ironic characters find themselves in! This whole novel was so mock-serious. If you stop and really look at the story line and concentrate what these two are actually saying, you won't be able to stop laughing. This was a really fun read that had me groaning and shaking my head the whole way. 

Jen Turano specializes in writing sweet, hilarious romances set in colonial America. This book is no exception. What is unique to Behind the Scenes, however, is the sly humour that threads its way through its entirety. This was truly a funny book, but definitely in a tongue-in-cheek way. I enjoyed it.

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

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Dark Deception by Nancy Mehl

Back Cover: Kate O'Brien's quiet life in small-town Shelter Cove, Arkansas is shaken 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 she's been in witness protection ever since.

When new evidence arises to suggest the convicted man wasn't the murderer, she's subpoenaed to testify in the new trial. Afraid to go back into that world, Kate only agrees if Tony DeLuca, the deputy Marshal who protected her during the original trial, escorts her to St. Louis. 

Tony readily takes on the assignment; Kate's beauty and inner strength made more of an impression on him than he expected. 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.

The second book in the Defenders of Justice series by Nancy Mehl did not disappoint. Following on the heals of Fatal Frost (See the link HERE ) Dark Deception maintains the clever, fast paced action that I loved in the first book. Nancy Mehl has a knack for turning out a nail-biting thriller and the book had me hooked from the first page to the very last.

In addition to being wonderfully entertaining, Dark Deception never failed to give honor to God. I say this because the characters were reminded of Biblical principles during their struggles and also grew in their faith throughout the story. It was wonderful to see a Christian author seamlessly weave a Christ filled message into her story. Too often these days "Christian" authors get by with only a brief (if that) mention of God. Bravo, Nancy Mehl!

I do have a warning for those wanting to read this book, however.... I had to turn all the lights on while reading it and I was jumpy for hours after finishing it. The story totally hooked me and the 'bad guys' were certainly twisted! So, stand warned: You will likely have to finish it in one sitting and you'll want to tuck your feet safely up on the couch while devouring this mystery.

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