Posts Tagged With: books

Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard


I have enjoyed reading about Kate Adams and Detective Tom Parker for all three Port Aster books now. They are well done! There is just enough action, suspense and romance to make them perfect for me.

Kate had to say goodbye to her dad again. She had just found him again. He was protecting her all this time, all this time she thought he was dead. But now, she is so furious at Tom for sending him into hiding without consulting her. So, needless to say, Tom and Kate’s relationship is on hold for now. Maybe forever as far as Kate’s concerned.

But a stranger nosing around next-door to her research assistant Patti’s house makes Kate realize she does still need Tom. The list of suspects is growing, and Kate and Patti are not sure who they can trust. Is the mayor’s son really just a doting boyfriend, or is he up to something else? Is the new neighbor looking for the amendosa plants on his new property? Or is he really just a friendly neighbor? Just when things start to make sense, Kate is kidnapped. And the kidnapper is familiar…

I read this one pretty fast. I always love it when I can’t put them down. These Port Aster Secrets books are fantastic!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Crimson Cord: Rahab’s Story by Jill Eileen Smith

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Have I ever mentioned I love biblical fiction?! I really love it, and this one did not disappoint.

Hopefully, we have all read of Rahab. She was a harlot that hid the Israelite spies on her roof. Then she was promised by the spies that when Jericho fell, she would be saved, and all in her house, as long as the scarlet cord was hanging from her window. The imagination and research of the author really brought Rahab’s story to life.

We know from the Bible, that Rahab remained in the Israelite camp after Jericho fell. She married a man named Salmon, and gave birth to Boaz (who redeemed and married Ruth). She is also in the kingly line into which Jesus was born. I love that God used a harlot, saved by grace, to have descendants which would include His own Son.

There is very little in the Bible about Rahab, so most of this story is most likely fiction. But it never hurts to imagine… How did she end up being a harlot? Was it her own choice, or was she a slave? How did she meet her future husband? How did she come to believe in God while living in pagan Jericho?

This story is precious! It is one of grace, and hope in God. You will not be disappointed if you pick up this book… you won’t be able to put it down!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Romancing Your Better Half by Rick Johnson


This book is all about intimacy in marriage, how to achieve it, but also keep it. It talks a lot about communication, and about the differences in how men and women communicate. It talks about how women have more emotional needs, while men have more physical needs. There is a chapter just for women, about men. And another just for men, about women.

Mr. Johnson is a very colorful author, easy to read, easy to follow. He is witty and honest in his advice. I really love how he confessed his shortcomings, and how he is trying to overcome them for the good of his marriage. It’s refreshing when authors don’t “know-it-all.”

While there was a lot of sound advice in this book, there wasn’t much that I haven’t read or heard somewhere before. It’s always good to be reminded and re-focused, but there wasn’t too much in the book that helped me at this time in my life. I would definitely recommend it though, because it’s full of truth and great practical advice! Definitely a great book!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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At Home in Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

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Kaitlyn can’t ever be “good.” Deserting her 6-year-old daughter last summer had definitely been the low point of her life. Thankfully, her big brother Chris was always there to pick up the pieces. Now she’s here in Last Chance, starting to get her life together. But no one seems to notice that she’s actually being responsible, and actually being a good mother. Except Steven.

Steven has had a rough past, just like Kaitlyn. The two have been warned by friends and family, not to trust each other. But being “black sheep” isn’t the only thing they have in common. They both love Olivia, Kaitlyn’s daughter, their families, and against their track records, love living in Last Chance.

This sweet love story goes into the subject of forgiving yourself after God forgives you, and moving on with your life. God can give a clean slate like no one else can.

The third in the “A Place to Call Home” series, this one is equally as sweet as the others.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Little Chick’s Bible book review


I am always on the lookout for children’s books I can review, then give to my kids. I loved this one, and am so glad I got a copy of it.

It has a soft little cover. It’s mouth opens up, and little wings wiggle. It’s so cute. The back cover is plain yellow, and fuzzy as well. The inside pages are board pages, so they’re nice and sturdy. The artwork is adorable, and there are 8 stories, made up with cute little rhymes. The stories included are: God’s Wonderful Work (Creation), God’s Friend Noah, Baby Moses in a Boat, David Fights a Giant, God’s Greatest Gift (Jesus’ birth), The Real Neighbor (the Good Samaritan), It’s a Miracle (Feeding of the 5,000), and Jesus Opens Heaven’s Doors (Jesus’ death and resurrection). This is a very good book, perfect to take to church.

It’s a Miracle

Where Jesus went, the people came

To have him heal the sick and lame.

They stayed until the day grew late.

But who could feed a crowd so great?

A young boy gave the food he brought:

Some fish and bread, though not a lot.

Jesus blessed both fish and bread,

And all the people there were fed!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris

hidden agenda

This book is the third in the “Southern Crimes” series. The Hunt family of Atlanta are mostly made up of law enforcement, and this trilogy follows each of the three siblings.

Michael Hunt has been undercover for 8 months, and several months ago, he was thought to be dead. His family has been grieving and life has gone on without him. But he made the decision to keep going, almost ready to bring down the drug lord he has been working with. But his cover is suddenly blown, and one of his partners is executed before his eyes.

Olivia Hamilton has been receiving emails about her father. She can’t trace them, but surely these accusations can’t be true. He can’t be involved with Cartel de Rey. But her worst fears quickly become reality, and she and her brother help Michael escape death.

On the run, Michael, Olivia and her brother Ivan race to uncover the truth before their lives are lost. The Hunt family discovers Michael is alive, and quickly investigate to find the truth before Michael dies, for real this time.

Such a fun, action-packed adventure that will be hard to put down! And the Southern Crimes trilogy ends with the love of family, and faith in God at the center.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Kidnapped by the Taliban by Dr. Dilip Joseph


Wow, what a book! I was seriously blown away by this one.

In late November 2012, Dilip Joseph traveled to Afghanistan as he had done many times before. Being a medical doctor, he was connected with an organization helping, and educating the people there. He didn’t realize how that trip would be different from all the others, and that he would be forever changed.

When Dr. Joseph and two of his colleagues were traveling between villages, they were held up and kidnapped. They were forced to hike for about 9 hours that first day, got little sleep, were forced to watch violent videos of other Taliban members being murdered or tortured, and hiked some more.

Ransom demands were made, and they were threatened with death. They got tired and hungry. But that is what I expected from a story such as this.

The surprising part came when the second day, one of the Taliban asked the doctor about his life at home. They exchanged stories of wives and children, extended family (family is almost sacred to those in the Middle East), and hope for the future. It went beyond just getting information. The Taliban member doing most of the talking, even asked Dilip if he could help him get into the U.S. It seemed he was interested in education, and a better future. The doctor felt that most of the men there felt trapped, and wanted something more for their lives, for their families, and for their country. Every time it was time to eat, the captor treated the captives well, wanting them to eat more than themselves, wanting them to be full.

Two parts really stood out to me and made me view them differently forever.

1. At one point, the doctor’s 2 colleagues were separated from them. They were going home. This was the lowest moment for him, fearing to be facing this alone. For the first time, he sat down and began to cry. What was going to happen to him?! There were 4 or 5 members of the Taliban left with him at that point. One of them took of his headscarf, and wiped his eyes with it. Each member took turns, drying the tears that fell from his eyes.

2. When Navy SEALS came in just after midnight on that last night, all of the Taliban were killed. The one he had “connected” with earlier, talking about family and future, did not die right away. The doctor said he wanted to go to him and somehow comfort him, but he feared being disrespectful of his rescuers, so he turned away. That was the decision most regretted.

The only thing negative I have to say, is that Dilip Joseph’s Christianity is very vague. I was left wondering if he is Catholic, non-denominational, or what? He mentions God and faith a lot, but it’s not clear, and there is no gospel.

I learned so much from this book. So, so much. I wish I could share it with everyone. The Taliban as a whole, have been guilty of so many violent, evil actions. But they are human. Some of them are trapped and want change, but they don’t know where to turn. It makes me feel so compassionate for them, and want to pray more for them.

I also learned how thankful we should be to live here in this safe nation. President Obama made Dilip’s rescue a top priority. There were generals, organizations, and of course, the Navy SEALS all putting time, effort and money into rescuing one man. The lead SEAL of the night, the first through the door, was shot and killed, along with the 5 Taliban. What a story!

Please read it!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Surprised by Love by Julie Lessman


Meg is back from spending a year in Paris. It was good for her. She had spent her time with kind people who taught her to be beautiful inside, but also to look better on the outside too. No more the chubby, four-eyed, frumpy girl, she returns. Have things changed at home?

She is happy to be with her best friend Bram again. He had always been a big brother to her, but things are different now. Meg is grown up. She’s beautiful. As Bram sees Meg for the first time, he is completely shocked! She doesn’t look like that “little sister” anymore. What are these feelings?

As time goes on, the two begin to fall in love. But they know it can never be. Because of a dark secret of his past, Bram must marry another. But can his parents force him to marry someone he doesn’t love? Can there be a way out?

The bully from Meg’s past, suddenly comes back into her life, in much closer quarters that is comfortable. Has he changed? Maybe her future lies with Devin instead. Only time can tell, but there are almost definitely surprises where love is involved.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Messy Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht


In the very first chapter of this book, the author confesses to her husband that yes, she had an affair. Their marriage was broken, so she instantly had credibility to write about Messy Beautiful Love.

In each chapter of this book, I was completely convicted and encouraged at the same time. Darlene did a fabulous job getting back to the basics of marriage. Throughout each subject and area of marriage, she gets to the heart of the problem. And the solution is simple: be more like Christ. Does He keep score? No. He forgives. Does He try to get even? No. He wants best for the other person no matter what. (Note: the author does not suggest women should remain under abuse just to succeed in these areas.)

I have read quite a few marriage books during my 10 years of marriage, and this is one of the best ones on marriage in general. Not much is said about submission. Not too much attention is given to areas of intimacy, although both these things are touched on. She simply paints a picture of Christ and the church, and how our marriages should be a reflection.

Highly recommend!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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Love Letters From God by Glenys Nellist

This is a very sweet collection of major Bible stories. They are well written and the artwork is beautiful. But the most precious part about this book is the little “love letters” at the end of each story.


After we read about the life of someone in the Bible – Joseph, Jonah, or especially Jesus – there is a little flap to lift up and read God’s “letter” to us. My kids have enjoyed when I put their names at the beginning of that cute little “letter.” We explain to them that the Bible is really God’s letter to us, but the things we read in this book just put it in different words.

I think it helps them see the personal side of the Bible, and the gospel, that Jesus doesn’t just love the whole world, He loves me!

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher, in exchange for an honest review.

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