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Children’s Corner — God Made The World

20 Sep

Charming illustrations help infants and toddlers discover God’s natural world, from dolphins to foxes to kittens! This squishy fabric book features crinkle cloth for sensory development and hours of baby fun. God Made the World also includes a child-safety mirror so baby can see herself and know she’s a part of God’s design.

For parents, a Velcro closure keeps the book shut, and a hanging tab can attach the book to a stroller, purse, or toy so it can go wherever they do. It comes packaged in a bag to keep it clean and includes a header card for easy hanging display.

Debbie Rivers-Moore is the author of several children’s picture books, including Tractor Ted, Lamb Loves Springtime, and God Made The World.

My Impressions:

It is never to early to share about God with your children. And now the littlest member of your family can have his or her own book that speaks of the love God has for all His creation, including them. God Made The World is a colorful, soft cloth book filled with cute pictures that has the added feature of crinkly noise. My kids loved that when they were babies. As your child hold this book (and probably stuffs it in his mouth too!), you can whisper truths about God in his little ear. The last page of this book is a mirror — to reinforce that along with the world, God made them too! I am excited to share this book with the newest addition to our family, and I think you will be too.

Recommended.

Audience: Infants and Toddlers 

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Kregel for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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Book Review: Rule of Law

19 Sep

What did the president know? And when did she know it?

For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.

But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.

Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?

Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.

Equal justice under law.

It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned more than ten legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel “Directed Verdict.” In addition to his law practice and writing, he serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors.

Find out more about Randy at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

My Impressions:

Rule of Law by Randy Singer is fiction, but to this cynical reader, it could just as easily be the depiction of a real-life scandal with wide-ranging implications. And that’s what makes this novel not just an unputdownable adrenaline-laced book with both courtroom and battlefield drama, but a really believable story of intrigue, deception, and cover-up at the highest levels of government. Filled with well-developed characters and a plot that is all too possible, Rule of Law is suspense at its best. It gets a very highly recommended rating from me.

Paige Chambers is a young prosecutor who specializes in appellate cases when she meets Patrick Quillen. Patrick, or Q, as he is known to friends and colleagues, is a dedicated and determined Navy SEAL. An all-in kind of guy, he soon wins Paige’s heart. But the unbelievable happens, and Paige is left to grieve. She soon becomes embroiled in uncovering a military mission gone horribly wrong. But power often corrupts, and Paige has to decide just who has caused the unthinkable to occur.

There is so much right with Rule of Law — page-turning suspense in the courtroom and in war zones, a plot that seems inconceivable, but you fear is all too plausible, and characters that you can cheer for as they fight corrupt government officials. Set in the highest halls of D.C., courts of law, and the war torn middle East, it portrays an Executive Branch that has seized power for its own agenda. Written before the 2016 election concluded, the novel is pure fiction, but draws on the actions of previous administrations and trends in our fight of terrorism. Singer has done his research to make Rule of Law highly readable and believable. A bonus to this military/legal suspense novel, is the faith thread that Singer weaves throughout the novel. Not preachy, it, nevertheless, makes a clear statement of the power and sovereignty of God in our lives. There is one chapter in particular in which main character Paige comes to terms with the turmoil and sorrow in her life. The images are profound and made me think long after I closed the covers.

If you love military or legal suspense novels, then you have got to read Rule of Law. I could not put this one down and will not hesitate to recommend it to everyone I know. Excellent and insightful, this novel will be on my best of 2017 list.

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Review: Journey into Grace

14 Sep

Life is a journey of joyful moments and painful moments, including twists and turns that threaten to undo us. But if we allow God to work through the joy and the pain, that journey can lead to the life-sustaining richness of His Grace and an intimate relationship with Him.  That truth is the core of international speaker and teacher Darlene Sala’s new women’s devotional, Journey into Grace. With Darlene’s heartfelt voice alongside two coauthors, including her daughter, Bonnie, the 150 readings explore themes such as fear, forgiveness, learning, loving, prayer, and relationships.  This book offers women quiet moments with God as they bring their real life challenges to His feet.

 

Darlene Sala has had an active ministry role as pastor’s wife, counselor, Bible teacher, missionary, author and leader of Guidelines International Ministries, which reaches, teaches and touches lives with the love of Christ throughout the world.

Darlene speaks at family conferences and churches in the United States as well as internationally.  She leads the Guidelines Women’s Ministry Team in presenting the THRIVE:  Journey into Grace Seminar. Contact luisa.ampil@guidelines.org for more information.

Darlene is the mother of three adult children and grandmother of eight, seven handsome grandsons and one Princess.  She likes black licorice, does her best writing in the middle of the night and has an African Violet named, well . . . Violet.

My Impressions:

Darlene Sala, along with her two co-authors Bonnie Sala and Luisa Reyes-Ampil, has compiled a devotional just for women. Filled with daily wisdom, each of the 150 entries speaks to issues that all women face. Journey into Grace is divided into topical sections so that the reader can find devotional thoughts specific to what they are facing on any given day. Some of the topics include finding grace in every day experiences, forgiveness of self and others, help with carrying heavy burdens, strengthening relationships, getting through the hard times, and living a life of obedience. Each day’s entry starts with a scripture verse on point with the devotional thoughts explored. Many of the thoughts shared are personal experiences of the authors or their friends. The authors pose a question for reflection and then a starting point for prayer. Journey into Grace is a good choice for those who are struggling with specific problems or for those who need an extra dose of encouragement. I found the entries I read to be perfect for the day I was facing. It is so cool how God can arrange that!

The back cover describes life as a journey filled with good and bad, Journey into Grace is a good compliment to daily Bible reading and prayer time for the reader to find an extra measure of grace for her day.

Recommended.

Audience: women.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner: Ready, Set, Find Noah’s Ark

13 Sep

Noah has an important job. He needs to build a huge ark and fill it with animals too. Now there are things and animals along the way he needs your help to find, like the hammer, the hen, and the hedgehog. Are you ready to help Noah? If so, on your mark, Ready, Set, Find! Read the classic story of Noah’s Ark in this engaging look-and-find book for young children.

 

To purchase, click HERE.

 

My Impressions:

Ready, Set, Find Noah’s Ark combines God’s word with a fun picture book for your preschooler. The account of Noah’s building of the Ark, the Flood, and God’s provision for Noah’s family, complete with Bible references, is accompanied by colorful illustrations. As your child hears about this beloved Bible story, he or she can search for the small details within each picture. The pictures are fun and will engage your kids. Be sure to point out what the people and animals are doing on each page. Great for teaching about God and expanding your child’s vocabulary, Ready, Set, Find Noah’s Ark is a recommended read!

Recommended.

Audience: preschoolers.

(Thanks to Zonderkidz for a complimentary book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Mercy Triumphs

10 Sep

Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God.

Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God’s mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don’t deserve it.

Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader’s eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors.

Author of the captivating novel Side by Side, Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. She and her husband married a month after she graduated, and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. After 13 years living in Africa and the Middle East, Jana, her husband, and their three boys moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.

Find out more about Jana at http://www.janakelley.com.

My Impressions:

It should be stated up front that Mercy Triumphs is the third and final book in Jana Kelley’s trilogy set in the Muslim world of Sudan. You really have to start at the beginning of this series to get the full impact of these books. But you are in luck, because you can binge read the whole series from start to finish and not have to wait to find out what God has in store for the Mia, Halimah, and Rania, the three young women you will come to love, respect, and consider sisters in Christ. Yes, this book is a work of fiction, but Kelley knows first hand what it means to live in a world that is hungry for God, yet is closed to His message of freedom in Christ. I cannot recommend Mercy Triumphs (really the entire series) enough. For those who have a love for people of different cultures, for those who have a love for God’s command to make disciples, and for those who feel a stirring in their spirit to find out where God is working, this book is for you.

Mia and her family have been living in Sudan for three years. Her husband works for an aid organization and Mia spends her days raising her children and trying to speak words of truth to those who God has put in her path. Not formal missionaries, for Sudan is a closed country, the Weston family nevertheless looks for opportunities to share Jesus. Meanwhile two sisters with whom Mia has crossed paths, Halimah and Rania, are living outside their beloved Sudan because they have become Christians. Danger is as much a part of life as the dust is in Sudan, yet God is good and merciful and has plans for the three women that they don’t expect.

Kelley’s three book series would be perfect for a book discussion group or missions study. Mercy Triumphs examines a number of things — the real meaning of freedom in Christ, living without fear, following God wherever He leads, trusting God instead of others and self. The story is highly readable, and the characters are very real with flaws and failings, but strong faith. I learned so much about the Muslim culture and the role of women. It’s easy to view Muslims through the lens of the nightly news. Mercy Triumphs paints a true picture — the good, the bad, and the very beautiful.

Mercy Triumphs is a highly recommended read! Get the whole series and begin on a journey of faith and discovery — about the world and about yourself.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teens and adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to New Hope Publishers and LitFuse for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Mini-Review: The Knight

8 Sep

A unique clue is left for FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers at the scene of a ritual murder: a tape recording predicting Bowers’ own next move. At a subsequent murder, Bowers uncovers something else: an ancient manuscript being used as a template for the crimes. And the more he deciphers the codes of the text, the more he fears how it will end. Because Bowers isn’t closing in on the killer at all. The killer is closing in on him . . . .

 

 

 

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book The Bishop their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing”. Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game”. And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you”.

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, Story Trumps Structure, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

My Impressions:

The Knight is the third book in Steven James’ Bowers Files series. James has created another thrilling, chilling, and definitely creepy novel for those who are not faint of heart. I grimaced and cringed at some of the scenes. While it certainly can be read as a standalone, I would suggest reading the series in order. James slowly develops his characters and their relationships as the series progresses. There are also references to past and future cases that won’t spoil things for the reader, but can be used as clues for each subsequent book. The Knight uses a medieval classic as its basis for the crimes, making the perpetrator a very intelligent and sophisticated villain. Patrick is again up to the challenge despite very personal attacks. I never once guessed just who the bad guy was; it caught me completely unaware. This novel is masterful in its plotting and characterization, and one of James’ best.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Deadly Proof

7 Sep

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything — even murder — to keep the case from going to trial.

Rachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. The Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta kicks off with Deadly Proof. Lynette Eason described Deadly Proof as “a legal thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night”. In addition, Rachel writes the Danger in the Deep South including Lethal Action and Devoted Defender which appeals to fans of edge of your seat romantic suspense. Rachel also writes the Windy Ridge series including Trial & Tribulations and Fatal Accusation. These legal thrillers with elements of spiritual warfare are great for fans who enjoy books by Peretti or Dekker. Trial & Tribulations was a Selah finalist in 2016. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

My Impressions:

Rachel Dylan’s newest novel, Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, kept me guessing. And that’s is quite an accomplishment!  You see, my favorite all time genre is suspense, and I read tons of it. But one drawback is that I often figure out just whodunit even before the characters do. 😉 But I had no idea who the real bad guys were. Murder, dirty corporate tricks, and sabotage are just a few things that made the pages fly. Kudos to Dylan and the fabulous start to what promises to be a great series.

Kate Sullivan is a legal eagle for a plaintiffs’ law firm in Midtown Atlanta. She has a big case against a pharmaceutical company that will take all of her know-how and expertise. But threats from the other side and sabotage from within her law firm make it especially difficult and dangerous. Luckily she has ex-Army Ranger Landon Jones on her side investigating and providing protection  . . . and the promise of a sweet romance for this career-oriented and high-powered attorney.

Rachel Dylan is an attorney herself and her background in both litigation and corporate law makes Deadly Proof a credible read. There’s plenty of courtroom detail to keep things interesting, but she keeps it easy to understand. I loved the ins and outs of document research, depositions, and legal strategy. Main characters Kate and Landon are experts in their fields, yet are real and relatable. They have struggles, doubts and issues that everyone faces at one time in their lives. Flawed, yet ultimately faith-filled, their lives ring true. The novel’s fast pace and twisting plot will, as I stated above, keep you guessing. The stakes are high for both the legal case and the characters’ lives. There are bad guys and bad guys, if you know what I mean. The setting is Atlanta, a location I am very familiar with. It was fun to visit well-known locations with the characters. A strong faith message of God’s control over everything runs throughout the book. Some characters relay heavily on God, others are seekers, and still others are just not interested — also very true to life.

Dylan is not new to the writing life. She has a number of Love Inspired titles and two Indie published series. Her experience shows. Deadly Proof is well-written with characters you will love and care about. And if you are a fan of romantic/legal suspense, it is a perfect choice for you.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Bethany House and the author for an complimentary ARC. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)