Thursday, March 27, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
The First Patient
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (February 19, 2008)
Cover Copy: From the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling author comes a high-concept, high-octane thriller at the crossroads of presidential politics and cutting-edge medicine. . . .Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were roommates at the Naval Academy in Annapolis years ago. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of the United States. One day, while the United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential election campaign, Marine One lands on Gabe's Wyoming ranch, and President Stoddard delivers a disturbing revelation and a startling request. His personal physician has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared, and he desperately needs Gabe to take the man's place. Despite serious misgivings, Gabe agrees to come to Washington. It is not until he is ensconced in the White House medical office that Gabe realizes there is strong evidence that the President is going insane. Facing a crisis of conscience-as President Stoddard's physician, he has the power to invoke the Twenty-fifth Amendment to transfer presidential power to the Vice President-Gabe uncovers increasing evidence that his friend's condition may not be due to natural causes. Who? Why? And how?
The President's life is at stake. A small-town doctor suddenly finds himself in the most powerful position on earth, and the safety of the world is in jeopardy. Gabe Singleton must find the answers, and the clock is ticking. . . .With Michael Palmer's trademark medical details, and steeped in meticulous political insider knowledge, The First Patient is an unforgettable story of suspense.
Michael Palmer investigates and develops a horrifying and electrifying plot in The First Patient.
Though this is my first Michael Palmer novel, and though I am not a huge fan of political fiction, I found myself turning pages like mad and losing sleep. I developed the “one more chapter” syndrome a hundred or so pages into the 350+ page plus novel.
The strengths in this story are the intriguing plot and the behind the scenes “sneak” into the most powerful office in the United States. Palmer's medical knowledge made it more interesting to me, however, I tend to love medical thrillers since my day job is in a clinic.
The weaknesses within The First Patient were in the too quick romantic interest for Gabe, a slower beginning, and a slightly rushed conclusion. I did guess the most evil of all evil characters and I'm not usually great at uncovering clues, so there may have been a red herring issue that didn't ring true for me. If you usually guess correctly, you may find that true for you also.
If you love thrillers with a bit of romance and a lot of peril, you might want to look further into The First Patient. Sensitive souls may want to opt out because there is a horror element and a seriously nasty secret life for one of the characters. If you are a Palmer fan, I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer
Monday, March 24, 2008
Paperback: 367 pages
Publisher: Zondervan (March 2008)
Camy Tang has risen to a challenge and conquered. Trish is one of the quad of "oldest single cousins" in a family run by an iron fisted/velvet gloved grandma. Camy's challenge? To make Trish a lovable character.
I'll admit, the first couple of chapters didn't win me over. The poor girl is her own worst enemy. I struggled with her faith walk that sure didn't include a whole lot of walking the talk. Trish is a lot like a huge crowd of Christians, the ones who feast on cheap grace and anything the world serves up as long as it looks really tasty.
But, by the end of the book I quit wanting to slap Trish and started wanting to hug her. I even teared up.
Now I can't wait for book three. The first chapter is included at the end of Only Uni and the focus will be "tell it like it is" Venus. I love this crazy family. Don't forget to read the glossary, Camy even makes a cultural study fun. A blast for chick-lit lovers. Also a good one for those who have messed up on Christianity so many times they don't even know if they want to keep trying. Full of grace, forgiveness, sweetness and laughs.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer
Warning to parents: this book, though Christian, covers some heavy duty themes. Read it first or at least read more reviews before letting your daughters loose with it. There are consequences to actions, but some of the actions are pretty edgy if you are used to "gentler" Christian fiction.
Friday, March 21, 2008
One Holy Night
By J. M. Hochstetler
Published by Sheaf House
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Bethany House (April 1, 2008)
Once he'd performed in his family's gospel band, but now most of his loved ones have passed on. Still known as "Danny Gospel," he is living a sedate, quiet life as a postman in a small Iowa town. Soon his tranquil existence is broken open by--a dream, a vision, a sign?--a beautiful woman he is sure is his "beloved." Logic and sense tucked safely out of harm's way, Danny launches a quest to find his true love. Always good-natured, he is a hero on a journey--dreaming impossible dreams and, no matter how much he must suffer, pursuing romance and heavenly glory.
But is his quest really for a vision of beauty--or is it a journey through pains too deep to name and emotions too raw to feel?
Reviewed by Gina Holmes
David Athey's, Danny Gospel is an amazing debut. This novel tells a story of a young man who loses his way, (and at times his mind), but never his faith. It's part coming of age, part adventure, part love story, part triumph and part tragedy.
Danny, with all his faults, remains an idealist and I believe readers will adore the character, seeing parts of themselves in him. I can't say I fully understood this book, but it utterly captivated me and spoke to my heart none the less.
This line from Danny Gospel sums up the theme of this wonderful novel:
That was a perfect moment in Paradise, and I was tempted to reach out and
grasp it with all my might and never let it go. But I wasn't about to fool
myself. This little island of Palm Beach in the Kingdom of Florida was not
really Heaven, not even close. And it would not last forever.
Danny Gospel is one of the most intriguing novels I've read to date. Mermaids, angels, peg-leg pirates, federal offenses and the promise of love and Heaven. . . what's not to like?
Friday, March 14, 2008
Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 12, 2008)
Hauck is an honest and engaging author who creates living, breathing blemished characters and who is quickly moving up on my favorite author list.
Chick-lit lovers, low country fans and quirky character collectors should find much to love in Caroline's journey throughout the pages of this novel.
I do hope that Sweet Caroline is just the beginning of a long, long series. There is another book in Caroline, at least one in Hazel and who knows how many in Elle.
Keep 'em coming, Rachel.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (January 1, 2008)
From the author of the popular Million Dollar Mysteries and Smart Chick Mysteries comes a new stand-alone novel full of hidden staircases, buried secrets, and the promise of hope found in knowing God.
Miranda Miller wasn't looking for the news the day the letter came. But, trying to survive in troubled circumstances, she welcomes the chance to change her location for a period of time. The letter informs her that her grandparents' estate is finally about to become hers. She immediately heads down to Louisiana and the old house by the bayou. There Miranda finds secrets that lead to life-changing revelations.
This suspenseful story reminiscent of old Gothic tales has a complex mystery and a vivid sense of the Deep South. It shows how God can take the darkest circumstances and use them to light a bright path leading to the future.
Miranda Miller has issues. The foremost is a dead mother and a distant father which together become a dismal shadow over her marriage and her relationship with her daughter. The mother/father issue shows itself as the tip of the iceberg of her life, most of which catches her by surprise, and some puts her in danger.
Told in first person point of view, Whispers fascinated me with obscure historical nuggets. Miranda's voice was easy to connect with, and the story contained layer upon layer of interconnectedness and some surprises. Borderline literary and sleepy southern story-telling added to the suspense. I think Whispers could be the start of another successful series for Clark.
Whispers of the Bayou has more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Filled with murder, buried secrets, hidden rooms, and obscure messages, it's one of the best mysteries I've read. From Manhattan to a mist-shrouded bayou with Spanish moss hanging from the trees, the setting couldn't be more diametrical. I love a book when the setting becomes a character in itself.
Miranda's catapulted into her journey by an attack. When she tells her aunt, who raised her, about it, she reveals some of Miranda's past and shaves a portion of her hair off, uncovering a strange tattoo on her scalp. What kind of parent would tattoo her child's scalp?
That's what Miranda wants to know. Her aunt reluctantly reveals Willy's request for her to come to Louisiana. Determined to know more about her past, Miranda goes, but when she gets there, Willy confuses her more with tales of her being the keeper of the secret. Then he dies before she knows what it's all about. Left to uncover the mystery without even knowing what it's about is daunting enough, but what she discovers about her own past is chilling.
And there I'll leave it. No spoilers here but forget what I said about more twists than a rollercoaster. This has more twists than rigatoni. Suffice it to say, I thoroughly enjoyed Whispers of the Bayou. Noel Reviews and I give it a high recommendation.
Reviewed by Ane Mulligan
Monday, March 10, 2008
By Kim Vogel Sawyer
Published by Bethany House
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Publisher: Realms (October 2, 2007)
An earthquake shakes Southern California, setting the stage for the appearance of Aster, a stranger from a world far from our own. Miracles happen around him, spectacular promises are made, and wisdom flows from his lips.
He says he has come to complete our knowledge, to explain our beginnings, and to correct our spiritual errors. And the world is ready to receive him: politicians seek his advice, religious leaders wish to call him friend, scientists want to study him, and philosophers wish to debate him.
But everything is not what it seems. This messenger seems too good to be believed. Priscilla Simms, an investigatory journalist, is the only one close enough to the stranger to get at the truth. But unraveling the truth may cost her reputation, and maybe even her life.
I've always wondered what the world will believe when the rapture of the church takes place. I think our worldly fascination with alien life will likely be a very logical solution to that question when a heartbeat of time causes the disappearance of millions. Whether you are interested in the end of the world, the Second Coming of Jesus, or the possibility of life on other planets, Angel is a novel that dives into some hefty what-ifs.
I'm not a big Sci-Fi fan and was pleased that Gansky doesn't overdo the lingo. Instead he uses the POV of a woman reporter who receives a special nod from an otherworldly creature and explores the concept of alien life. Though I didn't connect with his characters as much as I like to, the plot kept my attention and kept the pages turning. Secondary characters added some drama and detail that enriched the story. Though not gory, Big Honken Chicken Club members who don't like the idea of aliens might want to either read it during full sun hours or not at all.
The spiritual themes are well handled and a great reminder to focus on the truth so we don't get swept up in what's happening right in front of our eyes.
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Author: Jill Elizabeth Nelson
For security consultant Desiree Jacobs, the assignment was simple: make off with an ancient Mayan artifact and hand it over to the good guys in time to plan her wedding to ultra-fine FBI agent Tony Lucano.
Yet, in a world where no one is as he seems, Desi must decipher who the good guys are--before she ends up in the hands of a ruthless enemy.
Suddenly, artifact recovery turns into archaeological espionage, and the woman who finds all the answers must now ask questions: Who's looting priceless antiquities underneath the nose of the baffled Mexican government? And what does a violent gang of drug and human traffickers have to do with missing artifacts?
Reviewed: S. Dionne Moore
Monday, March 03, 2008
By Susan Meissner
Published by Harvest House
Sunday, March 02, 2008
1. A Lady of Hidden Intent, Book 2 in the Ladies of Liberty series by Tracie Peterson from Bethany House Publishers. Catherine Newbury flees her past, but has hidden intentions to right the wrongs done her family.
2. A Soldier's Family, Book 2-Wings of Refuge Series by Cheryl Wyatt from Steeple Hill-Love Inspired. A USAF Pararescue jumper recovering from a skydiving accident opens his heart to a widow and her troubled teen, and discovers he's been given a second chance at family.
3. A Suspicion of Strawberries Scents of Murder Series, Book 1 by Lynette Sowell from Barbour. Andromeda Clark loves control, and that's tough to hang onto while tracking down a murderer, saving her business, all while her boyfriend decides it's time to settle down.
4. A Treasure Worth Keeping by Kathryn Springer from Steeple Hill, Love Inspired. Single school teacher seeks solitude. . .and ends up on the adventure of a lifetime!
5. Amber Morn, Kanner Lake series #4 by Brandilyn Collins from Zondervan. The lives of the nationally read “Scenes and Beans” bloggers are on the line when they’re taken hostage by three volatile men whose demands are impossible to meet.
6. Another Stab at Life in The Volstead Manor Series by Anita Higman from Barbour Publishing. Another Stab at Life is about a woman who inherits not only a Gothic mansion, but the shadows and secrets that lie within.
7. Better than Gold Book Three in the Iowa Historical Series by Laurie Alice Eakes from Heartsong Presents. She wants to leave the small, Iowa town. He wants to stay and create a
settled life. They both want to find the missing gold.
8. Blue Heart Blessed by Susan Meissner from Harvest House. A jilted bride opens a secondhand wedding dress shop but can't seem to let go of the one dress that started her business - her own.
9. Broken Lullaby by Pamela Tracy from Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense. When Mary Graham finally starts making right choices, DEA officer Mitch Williams interferes. From small steps to large leaps, trust, love, and faith are born in the midst of a mystery.
10. Dear to Me, Book 3 in the Brides of Webster County series by Wanda E. Brunstetter from Barbour Publishing. Melinda Andrews is torn between two loves -- her dear animal friends and Gabe, the man she loves.
11. Don't Look Back, #3 in Reunion Revelations (Love Inspired Suspense Continuity Series) by Margaret Daley from Steeple Hill. Jameson vows to help Cassie solve her brother's murder by delving into his secrets. But Jameson has his own secrets that might tear them apart.
12. Goldeneyes by Delia Latham from Vintage Romance Publishing. In the darkness of a Depression-era night, an alcoholic man commits a heinous crime, and over twenty years will pass before the horrible wrong begins to be made right.
13. John's Quest by Cecelia Dowdy from Barbour Publishing. John, an agnostic science professor, finds romantic love while searching for Jesus.
14. Leaving November, Book 2 The Clayburn Novels by Deborah Raney from Howard Books/Simon & Schuster. After failing the bar exam twice, a young woman comes home to discover love--with an artist who is everything she never wanted in a man.
15. My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer from Bethany House. United by blood, divided by time, three orphan train siblings seek to reunite eighteen years after fate separated them.
16. Seneca Shadows by Lauralee Bliss from Heartsong Pesents, Barbour Publishing. Lucy's quiet world has been invaded as soldiers come to train in her valley. Will love be the consequence?
17. Sincerely, Mayla, The Sequel to Just As I Am by Virginia Smith from Kregel. For control freak Mayla Strong, learning to lean on the everlasting arms is the toughest lesson of all.
18. The Renovation: Carter Mansion, First book in the 3-book Project Restoration Series by Terri Kraus from David C. Cook. Single father Ethan Willis is a master at restoring old buildings, returning what was once in ruins to the beauty of its original design. Can a new woman help restore his life after a tragedy that changed everything?
19. The Truth About Love by Tia McCollors from Moody Publishers - Lift Every Voice Imprint. In this powerful sequel to Zora's Cry, four friends face issues that test the strength of their faith and their love.
20. Trouble the Water by Nicole Seitz from Thomas Nelson. Three flawed women find God's healing in the loving hands of a Gullah community on a South Carolina sea island.
21. Wildfire Book #3, Snow Canyon Ranch series by Roxanne Rustand from Steeple Hill. Snow Canyon Ranch---where sinister family secrets lurk in the majestic Rockies.
22. Embrace Me - by Lisa Samson - Biting and gentle, hard-edged and hopeful . . . a beautiful fable of love and power, hiding and seeking, woundedness and redemption.