Thursday, March 29, 2018

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

  • Series: Hidden Justice (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718083482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083489

About the Book:

“This is the way legal thrillers are meant to be—compelling, intelligent, and deeply satisfying.” —Randy Singer, author of Rule of Law
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. 
Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

My Thoughts:

Putman has hit her stride in the genre of legal suspense. I enjoyed her first novel in the series, but I'm blown away by "Imperfect Justice". While I had no problem identifying the person giving Em the heebie jeebies, figuring out the actual mystery seemed simple, but Putman threw in a last second twist that had me exclaiming "No way!"

I'm a huge Randy Singer fan, and when he states that THIS is the way legal thrillers are meant to be, I sit up and take note.  He is completely right--which is a hard thing for me to admit, because I love his books so much.  But that just demonstrates just how well Putman writes.

I'm eager to see what she writes next!  I'm giving "Imperfect Justice" five out of five stars, and my thanks to the publisher for my advance copy of the book with no obligations in return.

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fugitive Spy by Jordyn Redwood

  • Series: Love Inspired Suspense
  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (March 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1335490272
  • ISBN-13: 978-1335490278

About the Book:

A spy with amnesia—and a mission he can’t remember

When Casper English lands in her ER with amnesia, Dr. Ashley Drager learns he has a picture of her…and the same tattoo as her long-missing father. 

With a dangerous man after Casper, and his memories possibly holding the key to finding Ashley’s father, she secretly whisks him away from the hospital. 

But can she keep him alive long enough to help him regain his memories?

My Thoughts:

Definitely one of Jordyn's best! Thrilling, at times chilling, I had to keep reminding myself that this was fiction. Rich detail, incredible characters, and a twist you won't see coming combine to create an excellent book!

We hear a lot in the news these days about bio terrorism, but I'm fairly sure the average citizen lives with the concept by thinking it could never happen here. Redwood did some deep and thorough research on the subject, and that dedicated research adds extra weight to her story.

She also has this thing about a kind of bullet that...well, I'll let you discover that for yourself!

Agent Casper English has lost all memory of what he was doing when he was attacked, and his brain holds highly important information. ER Doctor Ashley Drager has the sense she knows this agent, and that sense is confirmed when she discovers he has a photo of her on his person.

It's a race against time and an unseen enemy with hidden dangers at every turn. Will Casper regain his memory in time? Will Ashley be able to trust this man and go where he leads?

You'll have to read the book to find out! But you'll enjoy it!  I'm giving Fugitive Spy five out of five stars (the first time I've ever given a Love Inspired Suspense novel a rating of 5!).  My thanks to the publisher for a complimentary copy with no services in return.

Until the next page turns,


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Storm Surge by Christy Barritt

  • Series: Lantern Beach
  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: River Heights (March 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0999834525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0999834527

About the Book:

A storm is brewing hundreds of miles away, but its effects are devastating even from afar. Laid-back and light: that's Cassidy Livingston's new motto. But when a makeshift boat with a bloody cloth inside washes ashore near her oceanfront home, her detective instincts shift into gear . . . again. 

Seeking clues isn't the only thing on her mind-romance is heating up with next-door neighbor and former Navy SEAL Ty Chambers as well. Her heart wants the love and stability she's longed for her entire life. 

But her hidden identity only leads to a tidal wave of turbulence. As more answers emerge about the boat, the danger around her rises, creating a treacherous swell that threatens to reveal her past. Can Cassidy mind her own business, or will the storm surge of violence and corruption that has washed ashore on Lantern Beach leave her life in wreckage?

My Thoughts:

One of Christy Barritt's best books. Cassidy Livingston's personality has gone through a complete overhaul in the weeks she's lived on Lantern Beach. Well, kind of. 

A makeshift boat has washed ashore near her bungalow, and inside is a bloody cloth. Even at the risk of blowing her cover, Cassidy can't help herself: she has to chase down leads and solve the case.

Meanwhile, romance is sparking between Cassidy and her neighbor, Ty Chambers. It's fun watching these two falling for each other. But life throws a kink in their plans when Ty's past comes calling. 

Who was in that boat? Why were they in that boat? And where did they go?

All answers are found in Storm Surge, so grab a copy now!  Storm Surge gets 5 stars from me, and I'm calling this Barritt's best novel ever!

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Stand Beautiful by Chloe Howard with Margot Starbuck

  • Age Range: 12 and up 
  • Grade Level: 7 - 9
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Gld edition (June 12, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310765137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310765134

About the Book:

In Stand Beautiful, international speaker and TEDx presenter Chloe Howard shares her story of overcoming injustice, battling self-doubt, and rising up to speak out, fueled by a powerful encounter with Bono from the band U2. 

Chloe’s story shows that even through brokenness and shame, we can venture toward hope, accept our unique selves, and share in our human experiences. Chloe boldly addresses the unlikely hero in each of us. 

Readers will be inspired to be brave, to speak up against injustice, and redefine beauty as more than what the eye can see. Chloe shares how faith enabled her to endure physical and emotional pain, spurring readers to delve into authenticity and stand beautiful.

My Thoughts:

Chloe Howard's book is more of a conversation than words on a page. I felt like we were two friends, talking about her journey through life and what we've both learned. 

Born with a club foot and only three out of ten toenails, Chloe was always told she was special, made by God exactly the way He intended, and had a purpose to fulfill. 

But when she was assaulted by two bullies at her Christian high school, confusion and darkness crept in. As a mom, I was so hurt and angry on her behalf. 

What follows that pivotal incident is amazing, full of hope and purpose and joy. I had to keep reminding myself that Chloe is just out of high school --just 18 years old, and so wise beyond her years.

Her message is powerful, her story is astounding, and her faith is evident in every aspect of her life. Her parents were right: God made her perfectly, loved her unconditionally, and planned a divine purpose for her life.

This is a book I wish was required reading in all classrooms (Chloe, how about a children's book?). If we stand beautiful in our own skin, embracing instead of hiding our scars and defects, and showing the love of Jesus because He first loved us, we could change the world. 

Chloe Howard gives me hope for this generation and for future generations.

I received an advance copy from the publisher with no services or obligations promised in return. 

Until the next page turns,


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

  • Series: Blink
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Blink (March 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031076341X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310763413

About the Book:

Olivia Twist is an innovative reimagining of Charles Dickens’ classic tale Oliver Twist, in which Olivia was forced to live as a boy for her own safety until she was rescued from the streets. Now eighteen, Olivia finds herself at a crossroads: revealed secrets threaten to destroy the “proper” life she has built for herself, while newfound feelings for an arrogant young man she shouldn’t like could derail her carefully laid plans for the future.
Olivia Brownlow is no damsel in distress. Born in a workhouse and raised as a boy among thieving London street gangs, she is as tough and cunning as they come. When she is taken in by her uncle after a caper gone wrong, her life goes from fighting and stealing on the streets to lavish dinners and soirees as a debutante in high society. 
But she can’t seem to escape her past … or forget the teeming slums where children just like her still scrabble to survive.
Jack MacCarron rose from his place in London’s East End to become the adopted “nephew” of a society matron. Little does society know that MacCarron is a false name for a boy once known among London gangs as the Artful Dodger, and that he and his “aunt” are robbing them blind every chance they get.
When Jack encounters Olivia Brownlow in places he least expects, his curiosity is piqued. Why is a society girl helping a bunch of homeless orphan thieves? Even more intriguing, why does she remind him so much of someone he once knew? Jack finds himself wondering if going legit and risking it all might be worth it for love. 
Olivia Twist is a jacketed hardcover with decorative embossing.

My Thoughts:

First of all, Olivia Twist is a new take on a classic story that is dear to my heart: my son performed with the drama troupe in his senior year as Mr. Bumble (his costume resembled Cap'n Crunch!).  Also, that cover!  Gorgeous and major props to the design department--it's drool-worthy!

The story itself is a refreshing twist, with Oliver actually being a girl in disguise and the Artful Dodger as a flashy, classy phony weaseling his way into the homes of the rich in order to rob them.  She is adorable, and he is dashing--and when each reveals their true identity the romance begins flashing sparks!

Reading about the conditions the children lived in on the streets of England was heart-wrenching.  I loved how Olivia would....oops!  Almost dropped a spoiler!  And then when Jack...oops, I almost did it again!

Trust me when I tell you to go buy this book!  You'll really enjoy it (fair warning: some passionate kissing and a bit of mild language) and it will stay with you long after the final page turns.  I'm giving Olivia Twist four out of five stars, with thanks to the publisher for an advance copy with no services provided in return.

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Gld edition (February 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785216731
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785216735

About the Book:

The captivating story behind the bestselling single in the history of Christian music—and the man who wrote it 
MercyMe’s crossover hit, “I Can Only Imagine,” has touched millions of people around the world. But few know about the pain, redemption, and healing that inspired it. Now Bart Millard, award-winning recording artist and lead singer of MercyMe, shares how his dad’s transformation from abusive father to man of God sparked a divine moment in music history.
Go behind the scenes of Bart’s life—and the movie based on it—to discover how God repaired a broken family, prepared Bart for ministry through music, and wrote the words on his heart that would change his life forever. I Can Only Imagine is a front-row seat to witnessing God’s presence throughout Bart’s life. Whether falling in love with his childhood sweetheart or mourning his father’s death, founding MercyMe or flailing in the midst of its success, Bart continues to place his trust in God’s plans—plans that continue to surprise and surpass what Bart could have ever imagined.  

My Thoughts:

Wow. Where do I begin? I was working for a small town Christian bookstore when Almost There released. A very good friend grabbed me one day as I came in for my shift and pulled me back to our music section. 

"You've got to hear this!", she exclaimed, telling me the song had been a part of the worship service at her church that week. I slipped on the head phones and within the first few lines I was awestruck. 

Mercy Me, a group I knew nothing about, had captured every thought and imagining I'd ever had about Heaven. I bought a copy and when my husband got home that night I told him, "You've got to hear this!"

My husband is like Bart: music, all types, genres, and decades make up his world. His life, like Bart's, is lived to a soundtrack. It was a miracle I'd found a song my husband knew nothing about, but it was a song that moved him like it moved me. (He still gives me "credit" for his love of Mercy Me!)

I shared all of that so you can hopefully grasp just how special this book is to me. Bart's story and how that song came to be is woven into the tapestry of my own walk with God. I changed how I worshipped after hearing "I Can Only Imagine", and now that my parents are with Jesus, the song and now the story have taken on a deeper and richer meaning. 

Watching God move through Bart's life was a painfully gorgeous illustration of Romans 8:28. Of course, we have the beauty of hindsight, while Bart was living in those moments of fear, isolation, and pain. I cried for him, and I kept telling him to hold on, because better days were to come. 

Obviously, he knows that now! But that's how powerful his story is. You just want to encourage him and pray for him and his dad, his entire family, as you read. And it's written like you're talking to him at a coffee shop, or over dinner. 

I'm so grateful Bart included the last chapter in the book. He'll probably never even read this, but just as "I Can Only Imagine" changed my journey with God, his latest song, "Even If" has arrived in perfect time for this leg of my journey. A new, harder road that keeps me telling Jesus, "Where else can I go, Lord? Only You have what I need, and have been faithful to me."

As a woman in ministry, that song resonates with me, just as the song that led to a love for Mercy Me and their soundtrack did all those years ago. The journey wasn’t easy for Bart Millard, but as he wrote in the book, "But the fruit on a tree's branches is not grown for the tree but for those who will eat from it."

Praise God for such good and nourishing fruit!  I'm giving I Can Only Imagine 5 full stars.

I received an advance copy from the publisher with no services or obligations promised in return.

Until the next page turns,


Thursday, March 8, 2018

Why I Hate Green Beans: And Other Confessions about Relationships, Reality TV, and How We See Ourselves by Lincee Ray

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (February 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800728459
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800728458

About the Book:

If there is one thing Lincee Ray has learned over the years, it's that the majority of women on the planet struggle with insecurities. Our skinny jeans mock us. Our just-trying-to-help mothers are just driving us crazy. Our social media feeds taunt us with everyone else's picture-perfect lives. 

It's enough to send you on a gummy-bear bender while binge-watching Friends reruns and not showering for a week. Lincee knows. She's been there. Right there, in fact. Gummy bears and all.

For every woman who's ever wondered if she's unlovable, uninteresting, or unattractive, Lincee offers her particular brand of hilarious (and hard-hitting) self-reflection. Like a true friend, she shows us that the fastest way to happiness is to embrace ourselves in all our imperfection, trust that God knew what he was doing when he made us, and maybe go buy a new tube of mascara. 

Walk alongside Lincee as she discovers that her identity is not found in her job, her relationship status, her bank account, or her social circle. It's found in Christ.

My Thoughts:

I fell in love with the cover, my favorite color being green.  I was also drawn in by the title, and Melanie Shankle's recommendation had me sold.  Unfortunately, I was disappointed.  "Why I Hate Green Beans" just wasn't the book I expected.

Ray started off strong, and had me laughing out loud with some of her stories.  She shared a lot about her varied career, which I didn't find interesting.  And Lincee Ray was discovered over a blog post about her popular synopsis concerning episodes of The Bachelor.

I'm not a fan of reality television, and if I was The Bachelor, Big Brother, and Survivor would be at the bottom of my list.  So I wasn't interested in that portion of the book.  The middle chapters bogged down for me.  I'm sure many will find the book fun and engaging.

It just wasn't the book for me.  I'm giving "Why I Hate Green Beans" three and a half stars, with my thanks to the publisher for my advance copy, with no services in return.

Until the next page turns, 


Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel C. Rosenberg

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (March 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1496406176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496406170

About the Book:

New York Times bestselling author Joel C. Rosenberg returns with a high-stakes political thriller set in Russia.

Everything he learned to protect our president, he must use to take out theirs.

With an American president distracted by growing tensions in North Korea and Iran, an ominous new threat is emerging in Moscow. A czar is rising in the Kremlin, a Russian president feverishly consolidating power, silencing his opposition, and plotting a brazen and lightning-fast military strike that could rupture the NATO alliance and bring Washington and Moscow to the brink of nuclear war. But in his blind spot is the former U.S. Secret Service agent, Marcus Ryker, trained to protect but ready to kill to save his country.

My Thoughts:

Chilling in its fictional accuracy, Joel C. Rosenberg's new novel is fast-paced and packed with, "Please, God, don't let this happen" moments.  "The Kremlin Conspiracy" has that ripped-from-the-headlines feel, which is both a good thing and a not-so-good thing!

In fact, I had reached a pivotal point in the story when breaking news shocked the nation, if not the world itself. Stunned, I realized that Mr. Rosenberg still had the unbelievable talent of viewing current events and then taking a giant fictional leap, only to have key elements appear in headlines. 

The details of the story were so intense I had to share with someone. My husband said he didn't plan on reading "The Kremlin Conspiracy", so I spilled everything I'd read so far. 

The next day he bought a copy for himself.  I'm giving "The Kremlin Conspiracy" five stars, with a "for such a time" seal of approval.

Until the next page turns, 


Just One More Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon