Book Review : The Christmas Blessing

I always enjoy getting my hands on Christmas books in late summer, kind of taste of things to come!!  I enjoyed reading The Christmas Blessing by Melody Carlson.  I have enjoyed reading and reviewing other Christmas novels by Ms. Carlson in the past, and this sweet book was a joy! {The Christmas Pony, The Christmas Shoppe and A Simple Christmas Wish}


The setting is World War II, when a young woman, Amelia,  finds herself in a bit of trouble and is hoping to find a better life for her tiny baby.  Her baby’s paternal grandparents don’t have a warm and inviting reputation but Amelia preservers past the rumors to do what she feels is the right thing.  I loved the sweetness of Amelia Richardson from the first page, and seeing her face struggles is hard, but seeing her courage shines through offers hope!

Ms. Carlson’s novels always take you on a sweet journey into another place with some of the most intriguing characters!  So often the way a person is perceived is not even close to who they are.  The Christmas Blessing goes pretty far to show us just that.

Ms. Carlson’s books always make great gifts for under the tree, or a inspiring read during the Christmas season!

NOTE : I received an ebook at no cost.


Book Review : The Day the Angels Fell

Death connotes to be a mystery, and something that can cause tremendous pain and loss.  As a believer, I know where I will go after my time here is done, but that is the not all there is to death.  We may know where we are going, and we may have comfort knowing we will see other fellow believers there too, but the time in between causes a great deal of pain.

day the angel fell

Shawn Smucker’s book, In The Day the Angels Fell, Sam is a young boy who loses his mother.  The loss of her devastates their small family, and pushes his father almost out of Sam’s reach.  In his pain, Sam is determined to bring her back.   Two men enter the scene, one a newcomer to the town, another a recluse sort of neighbor.  Both men are mysterious.

Abra is Sam’s best friend, who sticks by his side through thick and thin.  Abra wants to support Sam as a friend but from the beginning, is against bringing his mother back.

The point of this story is to see the epic battle of good and evil.  There are a number of times in the story that Sam wrestles with himself.  The good and evil war in him like a physical fight, at times.  Abra constantly brings Sam back to the good in himself, but during times apart, he can feel the evil growing stronger.

This is a young adult fiction book, it is safe and clean, but real.  It is a great book to read and then share with your 10/11 year olds and up – one that could lead to some great discussions.  The pace is a slower pace than some books I read, but I rather enjoyed that, I was able to really think about the book after reading it, and grew to really love the characters.  I highly recommend this book.  It might be considered a younger version of This Present Darkness.

The is not a single novel either, the best news was the ending when the  Shawn Smucker teased us with a sample of his next book!

NOTE : I received a copy of the Day The Angels Fell at no cost.

more about The Day The Angels Fell

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. As he recalls the tumultuous events that launched a surprising journey, Samuel can still hardly believe it all happened.

After his mother’s death, twelve-year-old Samuel Chambers would do anything to turn back time. Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbor, Samuel begins his search for the Tree of Life–the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back. His quest to defeat death entangles him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict and forces Samuel to grapple with an unwelcome question: could it be possible that death is a gift?

Haunting and hypnotic, The Day the Angels Fell is a story that explores the difficult questions of life in a voice that is fresh, friendly, and unafraid. With this powerful debut, Shawn Smucker has carved out a spot for himself in the tradition of authors Madeleine L’Engle and Lois Lowry.

About Shawn

I think everyone’s looking for a place in the world – not a physical location as much as an emotional one. Just a tiny bit of space to set up shop, to exist.shawn smucker

Life hinted at where that space would be for me when I was a small boy and books picked me up and carried me away. If you came looking for me in the mid-80s you would have found me sitting on a large porch attached to a ramshackle farmhouse, reading about Narnia or the Shire, brushing away the flies, constantly saying, “Okay, mom, just one more chapter.”

But then, normal life, with all of its misleading promises and plastic desires, got in the way. I wandered. Geographically, I went to a hot city in Florida, an old village in England, and then back to Virginia. Emotionally, I traveled even further. Finally, after ten years of searching, I found stories again. Or maybe they found me.

Now I live in that place I was always trying to find. I wake up beside my beautiful wife, Maile. I make breakfast for my six children. I spend the rest of the day capturing stories, doing what Steinbeck called the impossible: trying to explain the inexplicable. Trying to transplant stories from my mind to yours.

Book Review : Buried Justice

Justice Buried is the second book in the Memphis Cold Case series by Patricia Bradley.

buried justice

While I did not read book #1, I did not feel lost at all.  In fact, I thoroughly enjoyed this story, its characters and the mystery!!

Ms. Bradley wrote a fast paced action packed story.  The main character Kelsey Allen has a secret life as a budding hacker, and is trying to get a business off the ground as a security consultant.  When people are murdered while she is testing security, she quickly becomes a suspect and a target.

After a blind date with a high school crush, Brad Hollister, both are thrown together trying to solve the murders as well as a cold case involving Kelsey’s father.   Brad is a Cold Case detective that looks into Kelsey’s father’s crimes and disappearance.
Ms. Bradley kept me guessing who was the true criminal, while enjoying to family loyalty that Kelsey shares with her half sister, step father and mother.  I enjoyed watching the relationship with Brad bloom into something more than anything she dreamed of in high school.

I thought this was a great book, and I look forward to the next book!!

NOTE: I received a copy of Justice Buried at no cost.

More about Buried Justice

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart.

MEET PATRICIApbradley-2015

Honoring God through my writing is top priority for this Mississippi Writer.

 I am a Romantic Suspense writer living in the Deep South. My short-stories have been published in Woman’s World, and I am releasing my fourth book this summer. Gone Without a Trace is book three in the Logan Point Series which is set in Memphis and the surrounding area. Click here to find out more about the Logan Point Series.

Book one in the Logan Point Series, Shadows from the Past, has won several awards…the 2008 Maggie (Inspirational Category)…1st Place in the 2012 Touched By Love and Daphne du Maurier contests…finaled in the 2012 Genesis…bronzed in the Frasier.

I’ve also done the unthinkable–written a straight romance–who would’ve thought it’d be such fun? You can read more about it here.

I’m also an abstinence/healthy relationship speaker and have spoken to many students…and adults. I would love to have the opportunity to speak to your group. If you are would like to invite me to speak, feel free to contact me here.

When I’m not writing or speaking, I throw mud on a wheel and try to make something beautiful.

Book Review : Rule of Law

Randy Singer has penned another page turner!!  I loved every page of Rule of Law.


I have enjoyed every book I have red by Mr. Singer, but I think this one is my favorite!!

Rule of Law is a look inside the cabinet of a fictitious White House, the workings of the Special Forces and their community, and the justice department.

After a Special Forces operation goes very wrong, someone on the inside starts the ball rolling to investigate what happened and who is to blame.  This insider contacts a lawyer with ties to the men who were on mission and offers information.  Meanwhile the Special Forces community supports the families who lost their loved one, demonstrating just how deep the connections for those men and women go.  Every bit of this story felt real and genuine, from the characters, to the setting, to the details in the court room.

This is a legal thriller that will take you to the edge of your seat early, and not let you relax until the last page.  The pace is super fast, the characters are strong and easy to love, the twists will keep you up far into the night!
Note : I received a copy of Rule of Law at no cost.

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?

Rule of Law Randy SInger

More abut Randy Singer

Book Review : God’s Crime Scene for Kids

J. Warner Wallace has given us another great book for kids that ties in creation science and logic. His first book, Cold Case Christianity was a book that my son thoroughly enjoyed!

cold case

In my home teaching logic and logical thought started very early.  We ask probing questions and try to teach the children to draw their own conclusions about certain things.  Teaching our children to think for themselves, to think critically and to apply logic has always been a priority.  Personally, I love books that do the same thing!

God’s Crime Scene for Kids draws children into a delightful story about children who are asking questions about the world around them, and who are using clues to figure out the answers.  The main character, Jason, has discovered a box of treasures in his grandmother’s attic.  This starts the adventure with him and his friends as they try to figure out what the treasures are and what they mean.

J. Warner Wallace is a real life detective who solved Cold Case crimes.  In his story he applies the same logic and process to teaching children to ask questions and find a solution.  I love the approach Mr. Wallace takes to teach a step by step system to solve a problem, a system that these children will be able to use throughout their lives.  Most importantly I love that this book points back to Creation – and as a form of science.  That we can trace what we believe to be true in God’s word and find evidence that supports that.

This is a great book for children about 8 and up, but even your older children will enjoy it!

NOTE : I received a copy of God’s Crime Scene at no cost.

More about God’s Crime Scene

Are Your Kids Sure That God Exists?
In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, real-life Cold-Case Detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8-12 how to become good investigators as they solve Jason’s mystery and examine evidence in the universe. Readers will learn how to become good detectives and make their own case for God’s existence.

J. Warner and Susie Wallace have been training young people in the church setting for over a decade. J. Warner is a cold-case homicide detective who has been featured on Dateline, FOX News, TruTV and other crime related television shows. A former atheist, he is the author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and Forensic Faith. J. Warner has a master’s degree in theological studies, and Susie has a master’s degree in speech pathology.
God’s Crime Scene for Kids includes author illustrations, and is supported by an interactive website that allows kids to download chapter activities and “case note” fill-in sheets. When these are successfully completed and assembled in an “Academy Notebook,” readers will be qualified to earn a Cold-Case Academy “Certificate of Merit.” Plus, God’s Crime Scene for Kids follows the same chapter sequence as Wallace’s adult book, God’s Crime Scene, so parents and children can discuss and explore the evidence together, chapter by chapter.