The Judgment Stone by Robert Liparulo


A few months back I read the first book in The Immortal Files series, ‘The 13th Tribe’ and found it a very interesting book. Recently I had the privilege of reading the second book in the series and even though I still feel the idea of a group of people condemned to living for centuries due to their evil acts at the foot of Mount Sinai is not biblical, I once again found myself drawn into the story and found it interesting and even encouraging in places.

This book in the saga of The Immortal Files, finds Jagger, Beth, Tyler, the St. Catherine’s monks, and Owen once again battling with immortals. This time an evil group called The Clan, bursts into their quiet sanctuary and Jagger and Owen set off to protect mankind only to find that Beth, Tyler, and the monks have their own battles to fight when The Tribe drops in for a visit.

My favorite part is what the judgment stone does for the characters in the story.  Not just seeing angels and demons, but what they see is influenced by how close or far away from God the character is in his or her spirit.  The characters closest to God see the demons as the most vile and ugly. The more evil the character, the cuter and more desirable the demons look to them.

The immortals known as The Clan are even more blood thirsty than The Tribe were in the first book of the series.

I recommend this as an action story with lots of little gems of truth.

The Judgment Stone book cover image

Purposes of Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion of it in a review on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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‘Flight of the Earls’ by Michael K Reynolds


‘Flight of the Earls’ is a joy to read. Sad and shocking at times, but extremely easy to read and very absorbing. It is set in the 1840’s first in Ireland and later in America. This isn’t the kind of story that you know what is going to happen ahead of time. Michael gives clues throughout the story about the characters, but about the time I thought I knew the general direction the story was headed, it would take an unexpected turn.

Wonderfully written, the characters come alive as the story progresses. Monday night I sat down to read a few paragraphs to get a feel for what it was like and the next thing I knew it was 1:30 a.m., Tuesday morning. Then I sat down later in the morning to check my emails and got started again on the story instead, once again the hours flew by, and just like that the book was completed.

Mr. Reynolds doesn’t have a strong, blatant Christian theme to ‘Flight of the Earls’, but he hasn’t shied away from sharing a subtle Christian witness either.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and was mentally transported to times and places that are basically alien to our current lives. A time when God, family, and country were more important than ‘I’. A time of monstrous hardships and sacrifices, yet pure joys and contentment. When life was harsh and extremely unfair, but people didn’t expect someone else to fulfill their every whim.

I recommend this book to one and all.

Flight of the Earls book cover image

Purposes of Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a digital copy of this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion of it in a review on my blog. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Thousand Sleepless Nights by Michael King


‘A Thousand Sleepless Nights’ is a powerful story of one family’s battle with cancer and for wholeness.

Nena and Jim are the main characters of ‘A Thousand Sleepless Nights.’ Nena’s cancer and past neglect of her family shadows or influences everything else in the story. Jim is her husband. His devotion to Nena and the three children (now grown) is apparent throughout the book. His story is split between the present and the past looking back at what led up to his meeting Nena and a short time after meeting her, some thirty years earlier. As the story progresses it becomes apparent that something happened in the past that Jim needs to deal with before it is too late. Roberta is the youngest of their children. She felt her mom’s neglect the most and in her search for love has made some costly choices. Ken the middle child is trying to fill his emptiness with success, basically showing the same tendencies of his mom, only on his own path. The oldest, Barbara, is the one least broken by Nena’s passion to save the ranch at any cost, but she too is battling health issues.

As Nena’s cancer progresses and her health deteriorates, she begins to see the damage she has done to her entire family. Her determination once focused on saving the ranch finds a new focus. She must come to terms with what she has done as well as dealing with her cancer and possible death. As death’s threat grows larger Nena becomes even more determined.

As a cancer survivor himself, Michael knows firsthand the heartaches and pains of cancer. He takes that knowledge and uses it to make a very realistic story.

Michael uses his writing talents to draw the reader into Nena and Jim’s world, right along with Roberta, Ken, and Barbara. A world of pain, suffering, and yet hope.

I’d recommend ‘A Thousand Sleepless Nights’ to everyone. It is realistic, especially about cancer. It touches on humanity’s greatest need (peace with God).

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author Michael King as a member of The Darlington Society. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

To find out more about Michael King and ‘A Thousand Sleepless Nights’ head over to: http://michaelkingbooks.wordpress.com/athousandsleeplessnights/   Do so before October 20, 2012 to find out how you can receive some free gifts with the purchase of ‘A Thousand Sleepless Nights’….

 

***Charisma House Book Group and Michael King (a colon cancer survivor) are donating a portion of the proceeds of this book to the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) and their vision for a world free of colon cancer. The CCA is the nation’s leading colon cancer advocacy organization and is a community that provides hope and support to patients and their families while saving lives through screening, access, awareness, advocacy and research.

Read Michael’s story on the CCA website . . .

And learn more about the CCA by visiting www.ccalliance.org or calling their toll-free help line at 1-877-322-4020.

Firestorm by Lisa Tawn Bergren


‘Firestorm’ by Lisa Tawn Bergren is a fictional story about a firefighter (Rayne Oldre) who went through a traumatic incident while fighting the Oxbow fire.  Rayne has to choose if she will let the incident control the rest of her life with fear or if she will conquer the dragon by trusting God and allowing Him to release her from the crippling fear.

Ms. Bergren develops the characters well in this story.  She does a wonderful job of presenting a strong Christian commitment in Rayne and Logan as well as the supporting cast too. Rayne the main character is a strong, intelligent, warm, and caring woman who loves God and tries to live a genuine Christian life.  Logan McCabe ruffles her feathers from time to time, but plays a key role in the story.  He too is a firefighter.  A specialist in the field, being a smokejumper (a highly trained wildland firefighter who parachutes into remote areas to work on wildfires).  Rayne had been a crew boss of ground pounders (firefighters on a ground crew), but after her encounter with the Oxbow fire she decides to change course in her field of studies at college and becomes one of the command center specialists using the highly technical training she has attained through her college degree.

I recommend ‘Firestorm’ if you want some light fictional reading.

Firestorm front cover image

Purposes of Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion of it in a review on my blog.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Deception by Randy Alcorn


‘Deception’ by Randy Alcorn is a fictional story set in Portland, Oregon. The main character Oliver Chandler or Ollie is a homicide detective. Ollie is a fan of fictional characters who use unconventional methods to uphold justice. He is an opinionated, self-righteous, justice seeker, who rubs fellow detectives, the press, and his superiors the wrong way. Ollie is a widower who feels the need to self medicate with alcohol. A lot of alcohol. He isn’t a Christian but he has some Christian friends who care a great deal for him. Throughout most of the story he verbally spars with his friends about becoming a Christian.

The story revolves around the solving of a homicide that he, his partner, and a journalist are assigned to solve and cover.

Randy does something in his books that I really appreciate. He shows flashes of the thoughts or conversations of those who have passed beyond this life. The conversations of those in Heaven looking down on what is happening on earth, and the thoughts and realizations of one who has found himself in hell. It gives Mr. Alcorn’s stories more depth than if he didn’t do it.

As I’ve said before, I do not like to have a lot of murders in a story as it seems to desensitize us over time to something God hates and forbids. Sadly there are a string of murders in ‘Deception’ but as it is written about the professional and private life of a homicide detective it is basically realistic in that regard.

I would recommend one read it not so much for the storyline which evolves around a series of homicides, but more for the arguments/apologetics given by the Christians who witness to Ollie and for the observations made in Heaven and Hell. I appreciate the firm stand Mr. Alcorn takes within the story on the need to become a Christian and how that is accomplished.

Deception book cover image

Covenant Child by Terri Blackstock


Covenant Child is a story about Amanda, Lizzie, and Kara.  Amanda is the step-mom who fights to keep twins Lizzie and Kara when death claims her husband, their father.  She fights the girls’ maternal grandparents and when the dust clears they have won…or at least it looks that way.  Kara tells the story based on information given her by Amanda and others, as well as Kara’s own memories.

The entire story begins sometime ‘after the fact’ but harkens back to when Amanda met their dad, they fell in love and married.  The twins were three at that time.

Amanda’s selfless love toward the twins and the diligent care she gives to their future is what keeps this story from being too dark and depressing.

The characters were adequately developed, maybe a little unbelievable at times but not enough to detract from the story.  I liked the way Ms. Blackstock kept the story moving.  Showing glimpses into the twins’ lives over a fifteen year period.  It was such a sad story that if she had dwelt any longer on any one time period it would have been hard to get through.  I also like how she had Amanda turning to the Bible and finding hope and living out her faith.

The story reminds me of someone riding along in a train on a bright sunny day with their back to the front of the train. When suddenly they find themselves going through a tunnel.  For a very short time they can still see light from outside but before long everything is dark. Then stays dark the whole time they are in the tunnel and even once they come out of the tunnel they still see darkness until the train is far enough away from the tunnel to see full light again.  Only in this case the darkness lasts approximately fifteen years.

Even though there are inspirational parts I’m not sure I’d recommend it to others or not.  I liked Amanda’s commitment to her promise and love, but even though Ms. Blackstock was writing this as an analogy of coming to The Father and becoming a Christian, sadly it didn’t come across that way to me.

Covenant Child Book Cover Image

Other reviews of ‘Covenant Child’

 

 

Author’s Website

Purposes of Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a temporary digital copy of the book mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Soon: The Beginning of the End by Jerry Jenkins


Very interesting end-times genre story. Set in the USA, in the future after another major war.  Christianity was outlawed due to the war, yet Christians are still around and active.

The government lies about the activities of the Christians, but each time mysterious circumstances occur when the Christians are persecuted.

It is an interesting book, don’t think it is how things are going to happen in the end-times, but if you enjoy end-times stories, I’d recommend reading it.

Soon: The Beginning of The End Book Cover Image

Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin


Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise is a novel of Brights Pond.  It starts out telling how she came to be a widow in 1974, acquired a faithful dog whom she named Lucky, and moved from a nice home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a trailer in a Brights Pond, Pennsylvania trailer park.  The main characters are Charlotte, Rose the artist, Ginger, Asa the handyman, Suzy the park manager’s wife, Fergus the park manager, and Hazel who is an eighty-two year old eccentric neighbor.

The story was interesting and as it developed unexpected, deep dark secrets come out one by one.  Each character is brought to life gradually, even as the overall community does, and the point of the story does too.

It is a fun story even though it has a very serious subject matter that ever so slowly comes out.  My main objection to it is Ms. Magnin wrote of Charlotte baking pies and the characters eating pie so often that before I was half way through the story I was craving apple pie!  I strongly suggest you not read this while dieting, even if you don’t like pies.  Other than the pie issue, I enjoyed the book, and would recommend it as a book that shows how we can be faced with mountains but overcome those mountains by faith.

Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise Book Cover Image

All Through The Night by Davis Bunn


What does a Christian retirement community, a woman preacher, an ex cop, a wealthy philanthropist, and streetwise youth have in common?  Wayne Grusza, a former special ops soldier turned good Samaritan accountant.  The Christian retirement community hires Wayne as an accountant but he soon finds himself with a number of mysteries on his hands.

Plus,Wayne finds himself not only solving numerous mysteries but fighting his own personal ghosts from pasts wounds, and connecting with a lot of hurting people. As if all that isn’t enough to handle, Wayne tries to right some big wrongs before any of them gets any bigger.

I enjoyed the story and found myself drawn in more with each passing page.  There are many important characters in the story, but Wayne is the main one.  Jerry the ex cop, Foster the retired business owner, Easton the philanthropist, Tatyana the lawyer, Julio the street kid, and Victoria are all very important too.

Mr. Bunn weaves together a suspenseful tale filled with camaraderie, spiritual insight and growth, action, stress, fear, and romance.  Violence and murder are not things I like to find in a story but there wasn’t much of either in this one.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good mystery.

All Through The Night book cover image

Behemoth by Jonathan C. Leicht


Two hundred and twenty-two pages of apologetics and science mixed with just enough fiction to wrap two story-lines around it all.  Two similar story-lines running concurrently and both well written. Main idea of the book is that evolution holds to the belief that dinosaurs lived millions of years ago and died out before man came on the scene.  Whereas the evidence given in God’s infallible word and science both point to something entirely different.  Even to the possibility of dinosaurs living today in places like the Congo.

Interesting, fast, and a pleasure to read.  Some things I just felt were going to happen with the story but one or two things caught me off guard.

The apologetics and science in the story were great.  I love the way Mr. Leicht worked so many truths in and yet did not compromise the credibility of his characters.  The professor was ready and willing to give anyone who questioned him real scientific examples to support what he was sharing and to prove that it is not a leap of faith to believe God’s word to be true.  I also like the way he brought out that neither Creation nor evolution has been observed so both are actually world views that require faith. In addition to all that Mr. Leicht answers a lot of the arguments that are thrown at creationists.

I definitely recommend this book to family, friends, and complete strangers.

Behemoth book cover image

Other Book Reviews of Behemoth

Purposes of Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a temporary digital copy of the book mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”