Thursday, August 23, 2012

Submerged by Dani Pettrey

Score One for Alaskan Courage

A sabotaged flight. Two murdered divers. A single clue—a grainy image of sunken treasure.

Baily Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey, Alaska, again.  She has a past, and a reputation-and Yancey's a town that doesn't forget.  She's returned only to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash, but then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's expertise becomes invaluable for the case.

I picked this book to review because of the description, and because it was the first book in a series.  This was a plus for me because I keep choosing books that are middle or end books in series, which usually ends up costing me money. :-)
When I got the book, I saw the endorsement from Dee Henderson on the front cover and was intrigued. 
After I read the book I was hooked. 
For most people, when you read this book, I think you will see a little similarity to Dee's style of writing.  Maybe it's just the same type of genre, mystery, action, fiction, and solid Christian faith.  It could also be because Dani Pettrey has been mentored by Dee Henderson.  (She is mentioned in the acknowledgements at the end.)
There were some parts of this book that were a little predictable, but I think that is something she will work out in time.  There were also quite a few times that I actually got a little caught up in the secondary characters and wondering where their stories would go.  I have ideas in my mind, and I can't wait to see if Ms. Pettrey will go in the same direction.
The book had a solid plot and good detail.  I loved the historical story woven throughout.  I felt for the character as she dealt with the past and her the after-effects of her choices.  The underlying theme of God's grace and redemption woven throughout the story show how it's not God who can't forgive, it's we as people who can't forgive ourselves.
All in all, I think this is a good solid book and definitely recommend that you put it on your TBR list.
As a follow-up the second book in the series will be out in February 2013.
This book was provided to me free of charge by Bethany House Book Reviews.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Outlive Your Life by Max Lucado

Before Reading - Put on your Combat Boots!

It's not for fighting purposes.  It's purely self-preservation as your toes get stomped all over. 

I wasn't prepared.  I really wasn't. 

This is another book that I've had for about a year.  I was actually supposed to do the review by a certain date, which as you can tell I did not make.  I got this book right around the time I was changing jobs, dealing with a whole lot of anger and resentment with my former job, and I just didn't want to read anything about God's plan for my life.  Besides, my puppy used the book as a chew toy, so I couldn't read it...right?

About three months ago, after a lot of effort on God's part, and a lot of fighting on mine, I began to want to get back to where I had been.  I had those niggling little sensations in the back of my head telling me that really deep down I wanted more of God.  Then about 6 weeks ago, He lit a fire under my behind again.  I wanted to read and blog again, something which I haven't done a whole lot of in the last year, but I really wasn't prepared for this book..

When given the opportunity to review Max Lucado's Outlive Your Life, I signed up for a couple of reasons.  One, my husband has always enjoyed Max Lucado, so I wanted to see for myself why he liked him.  The second, was I could say I actually read Mr. Lucado's next book before my husband.


If you don't want your life changed, leave this book alone.  If you are happy being selfish, content with focusing on your own wants, wishes, and needs, then you won't like this book.  BUT...if you are looking for someone to challenge you to get out of your own way and let God perform supernatural feats through your mustard-seed size faith, this is the book for you.

This book will  make you want to match up with the character examples that Max gives.  People like Mother Theresa who gave up everything to love Jesus through the poor in India or the little boy who challenged his father, his pastors, and his church to give money to build clean water wells in a third-world country.

Max Lucado does what I've come to understand is quite normal for him.  He mixes humor, examples from the Bible, and examples from people he knows to quite literally, hit you over the head with a baseball bat, and try to wake you up to the life that is lived outside of your own existence.

One thing I would recommend is to read it twice.  The first time, just read.  Let yourself smile at the picture of the man with the new ox and cry with the story of the Turkish pastor who lost his life for not recanting his belief in Jesus.  Enjoy the way Mr. Lucado brings life to some of the stories from the Bible you've heard time and time again.

Then, after you've absorbed everything, go back through with the study guide provided at the back of the book and really let God teach his lessons through this book.

I think it's a book you will thoroughly enjoy and be challenged to "Outlive Your Life".

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. 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.”

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Final Hour - Andrew Klavan

The Homelanders are attacking—and it's Charlie's last chance to stop them.

Charlie West was an ordinary high school kid who went to bed one night and woke up in the clutches of terrorists and wanted by the police for murder. He also woke up with no memory of the events of the last year.
His memory is returning now and has brought the terrible realization that he knows when the terrorists are going to strike next.
Whatever it takes, Charlie knows he can't give in or give up until they're stopped . . . even when the final hour is ticking away.

If you are a fan of the television show "24", then this is the book for you.  The Final Hour was a deviation for me.  If you'll look at my previous posts or at my favorites list, you'll see the genre of books that I usually read.  I do like suspense books, like Dee Henderson, but I usually stray towards the solid stories with romance, which is unusual because I am not an overly romantic person...but, I digress.  
The Final Hour was one of the first fiction books available to me from Thomas Nelson Publishers, so I ignored the fact that I don't usually read action-thriller books and jumped right in to review it.  
I did discover one problem.  This was the fourth and final book in a series.  Whoops!  That didn't stop me, though, and I actually found, with all the remembering that was done in the book, it filled in the gaps for me and made me want to go back and read the first three books.  In fact, I recently purchased them, and they are in my TBR (To Be Read) pile.
I will admit, I read this book a little like I watch 24 (which I am currently in the process of watching because I've only seen the last 2 seasons), through my fingers at some of the gruesome parts.  There are also some parts, much like 24, that seemed a little far-fetched, but in some ways that just adds to the story.  It is fiction after all.
All-in-all, I thought it was well-written, and have actually recommended this series to my 15-year-old, who loves this sort of thing.  The fact that the main character is relatively young, I thought would be a plus for her.
I think the moral of this review would be to jump outside your comfort zone and take chance.  It's like the commercial said, "Try it.  You'll like it."  :-)
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. 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.”

Monday, August 13, 2012

Book Review - Prize of My Heart (Lisa Norato)

I posted a small review of this book on my Facebook page right after I finished reading it, but I wanted to post it here.

I took this with me to my daughter's softball tournament.  I tend to have  2-3 hours of downtime during each day, so I figured I could start on reading this.  Ummmm, Wrongo Ringo!  I couldn't put this down.  I even was sneaking reads when the innings changed during her games, sometimes going a little too long and getting caught by my husband when my daughter was up to bat or made a play that I missed.  :-)

This was an excellent read, a captivating story, and I highly recommend this book.  The characters were vividly developed, and you found yourself going back and forth sympathizing with first one side, then the other.  The conclusion was just as it should be.

Add this to your TBR (To Be Read) List.

Book Description
An unsolved mystery separates ex-privateersman Captain Brogan Talvis from his lost son--his only living relation, his only family. Shortly before her tragic demise, his wife abandoned their infant to strangers, refusing to reveal the child's whereabouts. Now, three years later, Brogan has discovered the boy at the home of a shipbuilder's daughter, Lorena Huntley.

Lorena guards a dark secret about her young charge. She finds herself falling for the heroic captain who has come to claim his newly built ship, unaware his motive for wooing her is to befriend the boy he plans on reclaiming as his own--until the day another's evil deceit leaves her helplessly shipbound, heading toward England.

As the perfect opportunity to reclaim his son unfolds, Brogan is haunted by thoughts of Lorena in her dire circumstance, and he is forced to make a heartrending choice between his child and the woman who has begun to capture his heart. But only his unselfish sacrifice can win him the greatest prize of all--love.

This book was provided to me by Bethany House Book Reviewers.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review of Dee Henderson's New Book - Full Disclosure!

IT'S HERE!!! IT'S HERE!!  IT'S FINALLY HERE!  Well, almost.

The new Dee Henderson book, Full Disclosure is getting ready to release in October, but thanks to the wonderful people at Bethany House Publishers, I was able to secure an Advance Readers' Edition.  This has made my year! 

My first thought when I finished the book was, I need to read it again, which is pretty typical for her books, and I was glad she was holding true to form.

The story of Ann Silver, Midwest Homicide Investigator, who hands off a lead on a cold case to FBI Agent, Paul Falcon, is masterfully told.  You will absolutely fall in love with Midnight, Ann's dog, who made me smile and laugh out loud on several occasions.  There are many plot twists that happen right up until the last chapter.  Ones that I was not expecting.

I want to be careful and not give any spoilers, but if you're a Dee Henderson fan, you are going to love this book.  I'm not sure if it was meant this way, but to me, this book might actually give us a glimpse into Dee Henderson, the person.  Maybe, because I have been searching and waiting for a new book for so long, I'm just projecting my thoughts of who she is into this book.

Dee once again brings extreme attention to detail to her characters and allows us to see behind the scenes into some of our favorite old characters.  If you haven't read some of her other books, take the time between now and October and read through them again.

This one gets a big THUMBS UP from me.