Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fifth Column by Mike Hollow (Book Review!)

Fifth Column (The Blitz Detective, Book 2)

By Mike Hollow

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Fifth Column

Genre- Fiction / Suspense

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 336

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-186-5

We are taken back to the time of the London Blitz during WW II in Fifth Column, by Mike Hollow.

D.I. Jago is back to solver another mystery.  After a night raid, the body of a young woman is found.  She has no identity and can’t be tied to the area, so D.I. Jago is called in.  He quickly learns that her name was Mary Watkins and was strangled.  She worked for an engineering company which is now missing chemicals.

Is she to blame for the theft?  Who killed her?  And will the romance between D.I. Jago and the American reporter, Miss Dorothy Appleton. 

About the Author-

Mike Hollow currently lives in Hampshire with his wife.  He has worked for the BBC and Tearfund.  He is a freelance writer and editor.

My thoughts-

One of my favorite genres to read is mysteries, so I was excited when I was given the chance to read Fifth Column, the second book in the series.

While I enjoyed trying to figure out who killed Mary Watkins, my favorite part of the book was learning all the little interesting tidbits about the London area in 1940.  It helped me to know and feel what it was like for those in the area at the time.  I didn’t know that they had Dig for Victory gardens (vegetable gardens), similar to our Victory gardens in the States.  I didn’t know that there were people who liked Hitler in England and wanted to be a part of his world.  It was interesting that there were the superstitions like “knock and wood” and that a magpie by itself means bad luck.  Those superstitions came from a lady from Scotland. 

I liked the map of the area in the front of the book, but I would like to see a list of characters in future books.  I kept getting the characters mixed up.  The acknowledgements were interesting, because I learned that this mystery was based on a 1939 trial about a man who tried to extort money by threatening to accuse someone of spying for Germany. 

I enjoyed learning more about Detective Inspector John Jago and meeting new characters in this book.  Fifth Column stands alone, but it is still a good idea to read Direct Hit first.  I look forward to reading more books by Mike Hollow.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Fifth Column, by Mike Hollow, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Bible and Me retold by Lois Rock and illustrated by Alida Massari (Book Review!)

The Bible and Me: Stories with a message to live by

retold by Lois Rock and illustrated by Alida Massari

(received in exchange for an honest review)

The Bible and Me

Genre- Nonfiction / Christian / Bible Story

Published by- Lion Children’s Books

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 128

Age Group- Juvenile

Description of book- hardback, listed price- $14.95, ISBN 978-0-7459-6495-9

This Bible storybook is sure to inspire all who read it.  It covers some of the most popular stories from the Bible.  In the table of contents each chapter name has a list of the chapters from the Bible, so that the reader can find the exact stories.  Each story begins with a quote from the Bible and ends with either a selection from Psalms or a prayer.

About the Author-

Lois Rock has written Bible stories, prayer books, and infomation books for children.  Her books have been translated into over thirty languages.  She is a mother of three.

About the Illustrator-

Alida Massari considers her art work as modern with an ancient atmosphere.  She studied in Rome at the European Institute of Design.

My thoughts-

I think this book of Bible stories is going to become a family favorite, to be passed down for generations. 

One of the best parts of this book was the illustrations, by Alida Massari.  I could study and learn from them on a daily basis.  They would also work for art study.  I liked how there were the same stories, but they were told in a new way.  Lois Rock included more of the back story and a little bit of the future of God’s people.  The quotes were from the Good News Bible, so they are easier for young children to understand.  I appreciated the extras between the chapters, it was nice having different Psalms, poems, and prayers between the chapter.  I also liked how the table of contents included all the books of the Bible that the stories were taken from.

I really recommend this book to families of young children.  It will become a classic in your family.  Find a copy for the young children in your life.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Bible and Me, retold by Lois Rock and illustrated by Alida Massari, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Hearing God in Conversation by Samuel C. Williamson (Book Review!)

Hearing God in Conversation:

How to Recognize His Voice Everywhere

by Samuel C. Williamson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

Hearing God in Conversation

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 216

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4424-1

Do you think that we should have a relationship with God where we communicate with him?  I do, and this book shows how to do just that.

Samuel Williamson shares how to recognize God’s voice, properly meditate, hear God in our ordinary day to day life, and more.

About the Author-

Samuel C. Williamson currently lives with his wife in Michigan.  He is the founding director of Beliefs of the Heart.

My thoughts-

When I saw the cover of this book I was confused.  I didn’t think it had much to do with hearing God, and I didn’t really want to read the book.  I’m glad I did though, because Williamson thoroughly explained how to hear God in everything.

I liked how he took the time and effort to add his life stories and to keep it very biblically based.  He always stressed that the reader should follow the what the Bible says.  He also made it clear what Christian meditation should and should not be.  We are to meditate on the Word and fill ourselves, not to empty.

The two appendices were informative, because they discussed different beliefs that people have today and how we should approach them when our beliefs are different than others.  I thought it was interesting that he included Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.  I had heard that some people question her focus, but while Williamson appreciates what she has done, he tells us we need to remember that we need to make sure that we are listening the right way.

I think this is an excellent resource to read and pass on to others.  Enjoy reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Hearing God in Conversation, by Samuel C. Williamson, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Realm of Darkness by C. F. Dunn (Book Review)

Realm of Darkness

The Secret of the Journal, Book Four

By C. F. Dunn

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Suspense

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 496

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-0-78264-196-4

Realm of Darkness

Emma has been working hard to put current life first and forget about the past.  It has been very hard, but she is confident she has succeeded.  She is looking forward to living with Matthew and is getting close to her family again.

Unfortunately her past is catching up to her, and she doesn’t know how scary it will become.  Who or what is it going to be?  Will she be able to get past it?

About the Author-

C. F. Dunn lives in South-East England and has written Mortal Fire, Death be not Proud, and Rope of Sand.  She has a specialist dyslexia and autism school.

My Thoughts-

Realm of Darkness, by C. F. Dunn, was the fourth book in The Secret of the Journal series.  It capitvated me.  The first book focused on Emma’s infatuation with Matthew, the second book focused on their relationship and Matthew’s secret, the third book focused on their relationship and the trials they faced with Matthew’s long life, and this book focused what their future could be like, until her past comes to town.

I was liked that this book had a list of characters from Maine and England.  I also liked the synopsis of the other three books.  It really helped me remember who was who and what happened in each book.  Seeing what the Lynes Coat of Arms looked like was fun. 

Once I was reminded of what happened in the other three books, I was ready to get started.  Dunn did a wonderful job of including a lot of detail, which kept me captivated until the end.  I had to keep reading.  I wanted to know what Guy wanted from Emma and more about Emma and Matthew’s wedding plans.

You don’t need to read the other books in the series first, but I recommend it, so you can know everything that has happened.  I’m looking forward to the last book in the series, Fearful Symmetry.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received Realm of Darkness, by C. F. Dunn, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Power of Presence by Neil T. Anderson (Book Review!)

The Power of Presence

By Neil T. Anderson

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Nonfiction / Christian Living / Devotional

Published by- Monarch Books and Lion Hudson

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 144

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-0-85721-731-8

The Power of Presence

Neil T. Anderson’s wife has been by his side for over fifty years.  Now she has dimentia and is slowly declining at a local nursing home.  She depends on Anderson greatly for the comfort and care he gives her.  Conversation is hard these days, so Anderson spends the time in God’s presence. 

This book has six chapters:

  • The Absence of Presence
  • Suffering in His Presence
  • Coming into His Presence
  • Ministering in His Presence
  • Resting in His Presence
  • Fully in His Presence

About the Author-

Dr. Neil T. Anderson founded Freedom in Christ Ministries and been the President Emeritus.  He has written many books, like The Bondage Breaker.

My Thoughts-

I thought this book was an interesting read.  I liked how Neil T. Anderson made this book about his current life as a caretaker for his wife and his growing closeness with God.  I like being able to have a story that mirrors the rest of the text.  It makes it easier to understand.

I appreciated the list of Bible verses about being accepted, being secure, and being significant for God.  The list of resources was helpful.  It would have been nice if there had been resources that weren’t written by or with him, but that’s okay.

I would recommend The Power of Presence to those who feel a desire to grow closer to God.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Power of Presence, by Neil T. Anderson, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, July 29, 2016

When There Are No Easy Answers by John S. Feinberg (Book Review!)

When There Are No Easy Answers

Thinking Differently About God, Suffering, and Evil

by John S. Feinberg

(received in exchange for an honest review)

When there are no Easy Answers

Genre- Religion / Christian Life / Death, Grief, Bereavement

Published by- Kregel Publications

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 151

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN 978-0-8254-4412-8

Do you struggle with doubt when terrible things happen?  Does it threaten your faith?

John Feinberg had that exact scenario happen in his life.  His wife, Patricia, was diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, currently uncurable, and Feinberg felt his faith trembling.

He wrote this book as a testimonial to what happened in his own family.  He felt he had a different way of telling the story of affliction.

About the Author-

John Feinberg is currently a professor of biblical and systematic theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.  He is a former pastor.

My thoughts-

I thought this book was well written.  John Feinberg covered many different subjects like, what to say and do, what not to say, and how to accept what is happening.

I learned that timing is crucial to what you say to someone who is suffering.  I learned that if I am the one experiencing the suffering to take it one day at a time and what to do during that time.

There is a must read appendix in the back about affliction and Feinberg’s viewpoint on how it can be used in our lives.  He questioned and had problems with his wife’s diagnosis and struggle with Huntington’s disease, so he wrote this book about affliction and how to deal with it. 

I know that there are many people around the world, who are dealing with similar situations, so this book was written for them.  It was also written for those who know the ones who are struggling, it will help them better relate.

I think this is an excellent resource to read and pass on to others.  Enjoy reading it.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received When There Are No Easy Answers, by John S. Feinberg, for free from Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

Friday, July 22, 2016

The Cantaloupe Thief by Deb Richardson-Moore (Book Review!)

The Cantaloupe Thief

A Branigan Powers Mystery, Book 1

By Deb Richardson-Moore

(received in exchange for an honest review)

 

Genre- Fiction / Christian / Mystery

Published by- Lion Fiction

Copyrighted- 2016

Number of pages- 299

Age Group- Adult

Description of book- paperback, listed price- $14.99, ISBN: 978-1-78264-192-6

The Cantaloupe Thief

 Branigan Powers, local reporter, is investigating the ten year murder of a wealthy widow, Alberta Resnick.  This is the only murder than this town hasn’t been able to solve.

Branigan knows that there was a homeless person living in the pool house at the time.  She also knows that the homeless often have a lot of information to share, but are often overlooked.  She contacts a local shelter to see if they can help her find those who were living in the area ten years ago.  The more she asks questions and goes to where they live the more dangerous it becomes.  The killer must be back, the homeless who knew something are beginning to die.

Is Branigan safe?  Who is living in her barn?

About the Author-

Deb Richardson-Moore is currently a pastor in South Carolina.  She has been a journalist and worked with the homeless.  Her website is www.debrichardsonmoore.com.

My Thoughts-

This was a great book to begin the series.  I have been interested in homelessness and this book brought it back into focus for me.  There are many homeless and we need to help them as much as week can.  I could tell how much Richardson-Moore had worked with the homeless and cares about them. 

This book showed me how much drugs can take you from the great works you might accomplish in life to a life of being homeless or to a life of crime.  Branigan’s brother, Davison, and Rita, a former retail clerk, I thought were the best examples.

There are a lot of people who help the homeless in this book.  There are also those who are homeless who are try to help those who live around them.  It was interesting that there were people who had excepted that lifestyle and chose to stay that way.  I think it really helped them stay anonymous in life.

The murder mystery to me was a side note on the bigger social issues being discussed.  It was captivating though.  I did not guess the guilty person.  I didn’t even have any idea. 

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series to see what other social issues are talked about.  I recommend that you read this book if you like mysteries or if you want a different viewpoint of the homeless.

If you want to learn more about Richardson-Moore’s work with the homeless, read her book, The Weight of Mercy.

Disclosure of Material Connection- I received The Cantaloupe Thief, by Deb Richardson-Moore, for free from the Kregel Publications’ Blog Tour.  All links were current when posted.  I was not required to write a positive review.  The opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.