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Thursday, March 24, 2016

A Fool & His Monet by Sandra Orchard - A Book Review

A Fool and His Monet       Sandra Orchard

Have you ever taken a big gulp out of a glass of sweet tea only to discover it was Pepsi? You like Pepsi, but at that moment your brain is startled and that first swallow just doesn't seem right. Expecting the style of writing in Orchard's Port Aster Secrets series, A Fool & His Monet was a bit of a shock to my brain at first. In the same way a few more sips of Pepsi brings back your equilibrium and you enjoy the rest of the glass, a few more chapters of this book and I enjoyed it for the cozy mystery it is.
While Serena Jones is the FBI agent on the Art Crimes Team, she is not the only sleuth in the family. Her mystery loving Aunt Martha finds ways to actively involve herself in Serena's cases, and to put herself in danger. When two paintings go missing from a St. Louis museum, there is no shortage of suspects and theories. There is also no shortage of men who would like to be considered a love interest in Serena's life. The author even provides a web site where readers can vote for which love interest they would like for Serena pursue.

Fans of Lorena McCourtney's Ivy Malone Mysteries are sure to love Sandra Orchard's Serena Jones Mysteries. I recommend A Fool & His Monet to cozy mystery fans and those looking for a lighthearted read. I thank Revell Publishing and the Christian Blog Alliance for providing this book for my honest opinion. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review.

The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson - A Book Review

Red Door Inn Cover           About Liz Johnson
God is our heavenly Father, correct? What about when He allows bad things to happen? When He allows those who should love and protect us to betray us? When He allows disaster to fall on those that least deserve it? What then? These questions plague Marie as do the panic attacks that accompany them. They eat away at Seth who struggles to trust, who brings others' motives into question. Shall we admit that they sometimes niggle at the backs of our minds as well? While Johnson does not presume to answer these questions, she does give us a glimpse into the beauty that God, our Father, can bring from the ashes. We need only open our eyes in gratitude.
Marie believes she has walked away from everything after a bitter betrayal. Seth believes everything has been taken from him. Both make their way to the refuge offered by Jack Sloane, a widower, trying to fulfill his late wife's dream of opening a bed and breakfast, a healing place for the soul. Eventually the unlikely pair realize they have been led to everything that really matters. Readers may be called to reassess their own priorities, and to identify blessings to which they have been blind.
Set on beautiful Prince Edward Island, with a cast of caring neighbors, and with many references to L. M. Montgomery's books about a special red-headed orphan, The Red Door Inn casts our world of problems and worries against a backdrop of healing in a kinder, gentler time and place. Johnson's dialogue flows smoothly. Her crisp descriptions paint pictures of places, characters, and actions filled with emotions that will linger in the readers' minds. Both major and minor characters are well developed giving insight into what motivates them in life. I look forward to visiting them again in book two of Prince Edward Island Dreams.

Thank you to Revell Publishing and the Christian Blog Alliance for making The Red Door Inn available to me in exchange for my honest opinion. I have received no monetary compensation for my review. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Annabel Lee by Mike Nappa - A Book Review

Cover Art      

     I like watching Steven Seagal movies on TV where the bad language has been bleeped out, and I can enjoy the storyline and action. Reading Annabel Lee was a lot like that. In this book, I think Seagal would be cast as The Mute, a former Special Forces warrior who would lay down his life for his former commanding officer and his niece, Annabel Lee, and who wasn’t beyond taking a few other lives with him. Trudi Coffey, private investigator, is unwittingly drawn into the mystery surrounding Annabel by Samuel Hill, her ex-husband, ex-partner and CIA agent. Little did she know that she had been intrigued by the mystery ever since she first discovered the “Safe” message in the classified section of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution three years prior, not long before she discovered Samuel’s duplicity. This action packed story will have readers turning pages long into the night.
     In the author’s notes Nappa tells of the difficulty he had finding the right niche for this story. Including one Christian, a seeker, a handful of agnostics, mercenaries, and a cult member, along with quite a bit of violence, it isn’t your typical Christian fiction tale, but it had enough of a Christian slant that secular publishers were not sure it fit their market either. I am so glad that Revell publishing decided to publish Nappa’s story. It was a wild, bumpy ride, and one I have thoroughly enjoyed. I hope that some of you will decide to take the ride as well. I am looking forward to future books in the Coffey and Hill series.

     I thank Revell Publishers and Christian Fiction Blog Alliance for providing Annabel Lee for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed here are strictly my own.      

Angel Sister by Ann H. Gabhart - A Book Review

Angel Sister   AnnHGabhart

     I read and reviewed the third book in the on-going story of the Merritt sisters in July of 2014. It was a treat to read Angel Sister, the story of how it all began. Set in Rosey Corner, a small town in Kentucky, in 1936, the story follows the trials and the blessings of the Merritt family and their closest friends. Two of the main characters struggle with a crisis of faith, as another maintains faith in the Lord while having little in herself.  The reader encounters an elderly woman with unshaken faith that has been strengthened through times of adversity and loss, and a young girl with blind faith who is just beginning her journey. Each of these characters will touch the readers’ hearts and will live on in their thoughts.
     Recently Chris Tomlin released the song “Good Good Father.” You can listen to it at The lyrics resonated with me as I read Angel Sister. Both of the Merritt sisters’ parents struggled throughout their lives with earthly fathers who could not be described as good fathers.  As a result their views of God as Father were impacted. The same may be true for many of us. The message in this book is the same as in the song; God is indeed a good good Father.   

     I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys meeting deep characters and lingering in their lives, to those who themselves need to know God as Father, to those who have experienced or are experiencing a crisis of faith, and to those who have not yet experienced the pleasure of finding themselves immersed in a story by Ann H. Gabhart.