Thursday, June 30, 2011

Melody Carlson's Shattered ~ Reviewed

By: Melody Carlson
Published by: NavPress
ISBN: 978-1-60006-949-9
208 Pages

Back Cover :

Everybody does it—sneaks out of the house now and then. It's harmless enough, right? Not this time. Cleo Neilson faces the chilling consequences of her actions. Now she has a secret and can’t tell anyone, and it’s breaking her heart. As Cleo fights through her grief and guilt, she learns about faith in God and forgiveness through him. As teenage girls read Cleo's journey, they too will learn the value of having faith and receiving forgiveness as well as just how dangerous it really is to keep a secret.

Every teenage girl has a secret. And every teenage girl loves hearing someone else’s secret. But some secrets are big enough to detour, derail, or even destroy a young person’s life. Each of Melody Carlson’s Secrets novels will propel readers into a world where promises are broken, life is not fair, and challenges can make or break them, while ultimately helping readers discover that solid faith, loyal friends, and a persistent spirit will see them through.

Review by Hilary St.Laurent

I have loved Melody Carlson since I read her Diary of A Teenage Girl Series, and she's one of my favorite authors. She wrote the True Color series, which is another one of my favorites. When my mom asked me if I wanted to review this new book in Melody Carlson's new series, I jumped on the opportunity.

This book is about Cleo and a lie she tells to her mother that completely shatters her from the inside out. I liked the surprising turns that this book took. I thought I had this book pegged when I first started reading it (because I always read the ending first!!) but Melody threw me a couple curve balls during the story.

Shattered was a quick read. I read it in a couple of hours, but thoroughly enjoyed it. I cared for Cleo and everything she went through. I related with a lot of the feelings she had in the book about her mother, and the guilt she felt for keeping secrets. I think the Secrets series is a great thing that Melody is doing.

Secrets can tear any teenager, or adult, apart. They will eat you from the inside out. It's amazing the way that Melody delves into the mind of Cleo and how she tries to not think about everything that's happening around her. She has a mentality that if she doesn't feel it, it's not really happening. It was very interesting watching all the puzzle pieces fall into place.

This book could have taken a lot of turns, and I appreciate the turns that it took. I wish the book had been longer, maybe more in depth and that her kind-of "break down" had been more intense. But I know she probably had a page limit, and it's probably just that "soap-opera" side of me kicking in. :D

You will absolutely love this book; it deals with a couple of tough issues in a great way. If you're looking for a fast, but deep and enjoyable read check out Shattered by Melody Carlson. You won't regret it!!

Reviewed by: Hilary St.Laurent
Where You Go From Here

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Lynette Eason's Killer Among Us ~ Reviewed

Killer Among Us, A: A Novel (Women of Justice)
Lynette Eason
Paperback: 345 pages
Publisher: Revell (May 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800733711


What happens when the hunter . . . becomes the hunted?

Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. These new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case. As evidence mounts up and more victims are found, Kit and Noah realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The problem is, he may be hunting one of them too.

With nail-biting suspense, clever plot twists, and a hint of romance, A Killer Among Us is the latest thriller from Lynette Eason.


“This case just keeps getting weirder by the second.” (p. 288)

By the time Detective Kit Kenyon makes this statement, the reader will be vigorously nodding their head in agreement! Lynette Eason’s latest novel, A Killer Among Us, follow a very disturbing series of murders that are occurring among law students at a local university. The similarities between the deaths are bizarre, and it isn’t long before a task force forms in an effort to quickly put a stop to this terrifying crime spree.

Kit Kenyan and her newly assigned partner, Noah Lamburt are the primary detectives involved in the case, and each death seems to draw them further into the killer’s tangled web. Indeed, it is only a short while until the two detectives find themselves in the crosshairs of the killer’s gun. They soon discover that they are being targeted for far different, even more disturbing reasons. As the story unwinds, the reader has cause to wonder which one, if either detectives, will survive until the end of the tale!!

Underneath the story line of the serial killer and the exciting police investigation, there are far more personal stories occurring in the lives of the characters. Kit is trying to sort through a shocking truth revealed to her by her father just before his death, and Noah is trying to understand his growing emotional attraction to his new partner. Since Noah still considers the death of his last partner to be his fault, this attraction to Kit becomes particularly troublesome. These personal viewpoints bring the reader into the hearts and minds of the main characters, and it isn’t long before the reader cares a great deal about both of them. Becoming genuinely invested emotionally in the lives of Kit and Noah makes their survival even more important!!

Lynette Eason’s Women of Justice series grows better and more compelling with each installment. A Killer Among Us is a terrific, fast-paced story that will keep readers glued to the pages! I highly recommend this book – this entire series – to anyone who enjoys a high-octane police thriller!!

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tim Downs's Nick of Time ~ Reviewed

Nick of Time
A Bug Man Novel
By Tim Downs
Thomas Nelson

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep

The Bug Man is getting married on Saturday…if his fiancĂ©e can find him.

Forensic entomologist Nick Polchak lives in a world of maggots and blow flies and decomposing bodies. No wonder he’s still single.

But Nick has finally found a woman as strange as he is—dog trainer Alena Savard, a woman who is odd, reclusive, and can seemingly talk to animals. It was a match made in heaven.

Nick and Alena are scheduled to be married on Saturday—but there’s one small problem. Nick has disappeared.

Caught up in a murder case involving an old friend, Nick finds himself on a manhunt that’s drawing him farther and father from the church where Alena is waiting. But will he make it back in time? Could Nick’s single-minded focus cause him to forget his own wedding? Is he really pursuing a killer, or is he running away from something else?

Quickie review: mmm-mmm-mmm.

Longer version: You know when you have a mosquito bite on your back that you can’t quite reach but it’s itching like a bugger? So you beg someone—anyone—to scratch that one little spot. And when they finally reach it, you know that heaven is a real place and that you’ve died and gone there?


That’s exactly how you’ll feel when you read Nick of Time. I’ve been waiting all year for this wedding and I was NOT disappointed. Nick’s as goofy as ever. Alena as cagey. Donovan is a hilarious side-kick whenever he’s in the picture. My-oh-my…this is one crime scene you won’t want to miss.

I can’t wait till Nick and Alena have kids.

Bonus Review:

Nick Polchak is a character, who for women, magnifies, exaggerates and sums up the error of male thinking and communication. When Nick is confused and fumbling he’s oh, so, cute. But when he puts a foot in it, or crosses over those lines, POW!, it’s nice to see him get a little grief. I think men can identify with Nick because he says the things most men know not to say and that’s got to be a vicarious thrill. Regardless. Nick is a bumbling, brilliant, charming, maddening character whom I have grown to love.

I’ll admit to being almost horrified at the end of the Ends of the Earth. When the reader was left hanging over which woman was chosen by Nick. I was very glad that Nick fans voted and chose like I did. Had the other woman been chosen I’m afraid I couldn’t have enjoyed Nick of Time. But, that said, I can also say, I loved, loved, loved Nick of Time.

Nick has chosen his soul mate. And, Nick is Nick, so things go awry and get twisted and people die and maggots are involved. Nick forgets (or never figures out) basic, common sense rules about love and weddings. And Nick gets caught up in thoughts that mess with his mind. I’m not going to say much more about the story because I don’t want to ruin one word for fans. I will say that I was nervous and concerned about how the book would end but was super satisfied at the conclusion, especially because the story is wide open for at least one more good book. A little plot twist was a terrific surprise. And the character interaction and the writing are beautiful things.

Well done, Mr. Downs….keep them coming. Please!

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Goulds' The Amish Nanny ~ Reviewed

The Amish Nanny
Paperback, Amish Historical Romance
Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould
344 pages
Publisher: Harvest House Publishers, July 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-7369-3861-7

Back Cover Description:

Amish-raised Ada Rupp is at a crossroads. It's time to make a commitment to the faith and join the church, especially if she wants a future with the handsome Amish widower Will Gundy, but a young Mennonite scholar named Daniel also tugs at her heart. Which path will she choose?


Sequel to 'The Amish Midwife', 'The Amish Nanny' follows the coming of age story of Ada Rupp, Lexi's younger sister from the first book. The story picks up where the last book left off. Both Lexi and Ada have the same mother, but were adopted by different couples; now that they know they are sisters both have a piqued interest in communicating with their birth mother who lives in Switzerland. Ada has the opportunity to go to Switzerland to help solve a 130 year old land dispute in order to save a Anabaptist historical site and simultaneously attempt to meet her aloof birth mother. Add to the mix a love triangle between Ada, an Amish widower, and a young Mennonite historian further complicated by Ada being nanny to the widower's oldest daughter on the trip and you've got quite the tale of forgiveness, intrigue, and romance with a good dose of Anabaptist history. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fictional books about the Amish.

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Friday, June 24, 2011

Kristen Heitzmann's Indelible ~ Reviewed

By Kristen Heitzmann
Published by: Waterbrook
ISBN# 978-1-4000-7310-8
324 Pages

Back Cover:

Rescuing a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion, Trevor MacDaniel, a high-country outfitter, sets in motion events he can’t foresee. His act of bravery entwines his life with gifted sculptor Natalie Reeve—and attracts a grim admirer.

Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands. In each other they see strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe.

When a troubled soul views Trevor as archangel and adversary, Redford’s peaceful mountain community is threatened. Together with Police Chief Jonah Westfall, Trevor presses his limits to combat the menace who targets the most helpless and innocent.


Kristen Heitzmann takes the reader along side Trevor and Whit as they scramble to seek different options to rescue a toddler from the jaws an enemy – a mountain lion! I was on the edge of my seat picturing this spectacular rescue scene, amazed at what these workers risk to save someone. Unbelievable! So real!

Trevor develops a bond with Natalie Reeve after he rescues Cody, her young nephew. He finds Natalie’s sculpting work amazing and the woman like no one he’s ever met! Natalie has a gift of having an almost photographic memory. Once her mind latched onto an image she couldn’t free it from her brain until she put her hand to clay and released the image into the mud. Trevor wishes he could release a few demons that taunted his soul so easily!

Trevor and Whit run a search and rescue service and work closely with Police Chief Jonah Westfall! This is a tightly nit community that pulls together when a string of unusual events rock their world and have them on a race to catch a psycho before someone was killed.

I enjoyed the way Kristen shows a small town filled with flawed characters dealing with some pretty serious stuff. This author weaves a delicate and insightful story showing the internal struggle of doing the right thing in the middle of personal pain. It was intriguing to see how each character dealt with misfortune as the verse said above. Some became strong and others were tempted beyond what they could stand and did unexpected things. She also shows different artistic expressions through sculpting and painting I found fascinating. She reveals the how and why they express what they do all the while building a tension filled encouraging, heartfelt mystery. I became anxious while reading and wondered if the story would take a turn to the creepy side. I was thankful it never did
Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction 

Bonus Review:

Kristen Heitzmann has penned another finely crafted psychological thriller, shaped around the lives of two broken and unique people in Trevor and Natalie.   Delving deep into their psyches, Indelible is character driven and darkly mysterious glimpse into the heart of a gifted woman and man driven to succeed beyond all measure. Their attraction is powerful yet regrets and fears keep their hearts at a distance and Kristen draws this tension out well.  Jonah and Tia from Indivisible feature as Jonah's deepest fears are realized as do Miles and Piper.  While the excerpts of the predator distracted me, the rest of the story is an intriguing blend of meaningful characters, intelligent suspense and the power of love and redemption. I hope Kristen returns to Redford, Colorado soon.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kit Wilkinson's Mom in the Making ~ Reviewed

Mom in the Making, a "Love Inspired" book
Kit Wilkinson
Paperback, 215 pages
Publisher: Harlequin, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-87684-6

Back Cover Description:

All's fair in love and family.
Widowed and soon-to-be mom Becky Kirkpatrick came to Glendale to fulfill her late husband's dying wish. But someone else in town may have greater possibilities in store for her and her baby. Yet Justin Winters has been let down by more than one Kirkpatrick before. Will this time be any different? And can he bring himself to be a father to his former best friend's child? Becky and Justin will have to trust each other-and God's plan-if they truly want a chance at happily ever after.


I really enjoyed this Christian romance story by Kit Wilkinson. It was relatively short and sweet but was not lacking in spiritual depth or quality either. While the main story was a little bit predictable, the side stories and detailed descriptions of people and places keep you turning pages until the very end. I would recommend reading this book; it would be a good one to take on vacation...or perhaps to the beach!

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Eva Marie Everson's Chasing Sunsets ~ Reviewed

Chasing Sunsets
By Eva Marie Everson
Published by Revell
ISBN 978-0-8007-3436-7


Kimberly Tucker's life hasn't turned out the way she thought it would. While her ex is living it up, she struggles to understand what went wrong. When her two sons end up spending five weeks of summer vacation on their father, Kim plans a respite at the family vacation hoe on Cedar Key. As she revisits the long-forgotten past, she discovers that treasures in life are often buried, and sometimes you do get a second chance at love.

Reviewer thoughts

If you like Southern fiction, you'll love Chasing Sunsets. Kimberly Tucker is used to having things under control, but she's now finding her life beyond her ability to manage. Learning to give up control and trust is rarely easy. Trusting someone who once broke your heart is even harder.

Eva Marie Everson charms her readers with characters you'd love to have as friends. Then she places them in a setting where you'd love to be. Chasing Sunsets is a compelling love story that will have you coming back for more from Everson's pen. Novel Journey and I give it a high recommendation. It's the perfect book to take to the beach with you.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Novel Journey

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

David Housholder's The Blackberry Bush ~ Reviewed

By David Housholder
Published by B & H
ISBN# 978-1-60936-116-7
200 Pages

Back Cover:

Two babies, —Kati and Josh, —are born on opposite sides of
the world at the very moment the Berlin Wall falls. You’d think such a potent freedom metaphor would become the soundtrack for their lives, but nothing could be further from the truth.

Despite his flawless image, Josh, an artistic and gifted California skateboarder, struggles to find his true role in the world, and his growing aggression eventually breaks him. Kati, a German with a penchant for classic Swiss watches and attic treasure-hunting, is crushed with disappointment for never being “enough” for anyone--—most especially her mother.

Craving liberation, Kati and Josh seem destined to claim their birthright of freedom together. After all, don’t the “chance” encounters transform your life--…or are they really chance?


I was intrigued by the book's cover. When I received my review copy I liked the feel of the book and loved the tattered pages. I highly recommend reading the author interview in the back of the book first. This helps set up the story and allows the reader to understand how this book was put together. In the interview the author reveals his heart and the meaning of the Blackberry Bush. This story was gripping and heart wrenching at times and is not one you want to rush through.

I personally found it hard to read this book in the beginning because It was hard to follow as the author switches from character to character and from present to the future. Then there was an angelic being explaining things in-between! Once I got into the rhythm and felt for these characters it got easier!

This is the story of a twisted family history filled with horrific events and trumpets with a few angelic interventions I was thankful for. This fictional story was written in first person so it seemed to touch the depths of your soul and feel very intimate at times. Almost as if you were overhearing a very private conversation you weren’t meant to hear and it touches your heart, affects your breathing and deeply affects the way you think.

I was thankful for Angelo the narrator of the story and how he explained a few things the reader really needed to know. Everyone has a back-story and comes to a crossroads in their lives that will affect the person making the decision and the generations that will follow in the family line. The aspect of this was huge, something I hadn’t considered before. I liked the discussion questions in the back of the book; it brought out so much of the book I hadn’t thought of before. I see how this would work well for a book club discussion.

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding hope Through Fiction 

Bonus Review:

David Housholder's debut novel is one of thought-provoking depth and wonder as the pages slowly peel back the layers of Josh and Katie's lives as they run parallel to each other yet continents apart.  The Blackberry Bush is one of those stories that settles slowly in your mind and leaves you with plenty to contemplate, not only as you read it, but for some time after the last page is turned.  With an angelic narrator, multiple points of view and a literary bent, it may take some adjustment for readers used to more traditional tales.  That said, the challenges are easily overcome as the strong storytelling captivates and intrigues from beginning to end.  As the author takes the reader back in time to the choices of generations past and reveals the impact of those choices on Katie and Josh, a unique coming of age story is exposed, physically, emotionally and spiritually.  With two levels of discussion questions at the end, this book is especially suited to book clubs and study groups, with plenty of layers to examine and contemplate.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Monday, June 20, 2011

Miller's and Donovan's Winning Him Without Words ~ Reviewed

Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage Dineen A. Miller (Author), Lynn Donovan (Author)
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Regal (February 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780830756056


Week after week, they sit in church . . . alone. They are the spiritually mismatched, those who are committed to a spouse who does not share their faith. Feeling abandoned by their spouse and forgotten by their church, they live out their faith in survival mode, guarding the spiritual flame yet never feeling free to share it. But God wants them to thrive—not just survive.

Winning Him Without Words presents 10 Christ centered keys to thriving in a spiritual mismatch. Readers are encouraged to commit to Christian community, to release their spouse to God’s capable hands, to find peace in their relationships with Christ and with their spouse, to continue their pursuit of a growing faith and to love their spouse with fresh enthusiasm. God wants every marriage to exude peace and love, and Winning Him Without Words empowers readers to create that environment in their homes and thrive as God works.


I gave a copy to my church for the pastor who counsels on marriage. What we both loved was that these women are talking from the trenches. They give practical ways to love their unbelieving husbands. Good solid Biblical teaching, encourages, inspires, and give hope those in mismatched marriages.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan

Bonus Review:

“Is it possible that God hasn’t answered you prayer for your husband because He is accomplishing something else in him or your situation that is critical to how this prayer is to be answered? Is it possible He’s doing this work not just in your husband, but in you as well?” (p. 160)

Winning Him Without Words is a book written to address the challenges of what the authors call “mismatched marriages” – where a believing spouse is married to an unbeliever. The authors actually have developed an entire ministry to women whose husbands don’t know the Lord as their Savior. This is a hope-filled, scripture-filled admonition to love your husband unconditionally, honor the covenant of marriage, and live every day as a testimony of Christ in the life of your husband. It is a powerful book!!

However, I want to state very plainly, that there are principles in this book – indeed, almost every one – is a principle that will serve as an enriching practice in ANY marriage! Don’t pass this book up just because both marriage partners belong to Christ. The questions and prayers at the end of each chapter are worth their weight in GOLD!!

I’ve never been so challenged, so blessed, so encouraged by such a small, spirit-filled book. I highly recommend Winning Him Without Words to ANYONE who wants to enrich and revitalize their marriage relationship! God is all over this book, folks!! He has faithfully delivered truth in a very powerful, practical way! Praise HIM!

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Friday, June 17, 2011

Carolyn Williford's Bridge to a Distant Star ~ Reviewed

By Carolyn Williford
Published by David C Cook
ISBN# 978-1-4347-6703-5
371 Pages

Back Cover:

It All Comes Tumbling Down

As a storm rages in the night, unwary drivers venture onto Tampa Bay’s most renowned bridge. No one sees the danger ahead. No one notices the jagged gap hidden by the darkness and rain. Yet when the bridge collapses vehicles careen into the churning waters of the bay below.

In that one catastrophic moment, three powerful stories converge: a family ravaged by their child’s heartbreaking news, a marriage threatened by its own facade, and a college student burdened by self doubt. As each story unfolds, the characters move steadily closer to that fateful moment on the bridge. And while each character searches for grace, the storms in their lives loom as large as the storm that awaits them above the bay.

When these characters intersect in Carolyn Williford’s gripping and moving volume of three novellas, they also collide with the transforming truth of Christ: Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.


The cover grabbed my attention from the start. This author weaves the unexpected events of a real tragic mishap that happened on May 9, 1980, Friday morning on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, in Florida. I jumped at the chance to receive a review copy of this book to better understand the events of that day.

This author plunges the reader into the middle of three diverse family situations. She shows their struggle to deal with life’s unique issues that have them wrestle with their faith and relationships with one another. Their lives will never be the same after May 9th’s tragic accident.

The author starts out with the bridge collapsing and her thoughts on why this happened, and then she introduces the reader to one family at a time. Helping the reader care about every member and the struggle each faced! She brought all three families together on that stormy day when the unthinkable happened. She showed how these families dealt with love, loss and hope! This story will grip your heart and make you appreciate every day with your family. You never know when it will take a sudden unexpected turn when you will “Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow me.” It won’t be easy but this author shows a way when there seems to be no way to survive and love again! Good summer reading!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

The Book Club Network

Finding Hope Through Fiction

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sproles's and Jones's He Said, She Said ~ Reviewed

He Said, She Said: A Devotional Guide to Cultivating a Life of Passion, or How Newlyweds, Couples and Singles Can Draw Closer to God and Their Mate Through Daily Devotions [Paperback]
Cindy Sproles (Author), Eddie Jones (Author)
Paperback: 232 pages
Publisher: Lighthouse Publishing (February 14, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0982206550


Do you sense something vital missing from you relationship with your spouse, children and God?
Are you easily distracted by the busyness of life and left feeling drained, bored, and discouraged?
Do you sense you were meant to enjoy the richness of life, but spend your days feasting on crumbs?
This heart-warming collection of stories (54 in all) will inspire you to reach for the true source of joy: a life lived for and through God. These deeply personal (and sometimes humorous) devotions offer biblical insights and spiritual truths from the unique perspective of one man and one woman.
Learn to cultivate a life of passion.
Perfect for your quiet time, these moments of meditative reflection illustrate the importance of allowing God to work within you and speak through you. No matter if you are newlyweds or newly retired, this book of devotions will help you put the spark back into your love life and explore the precious relationships God desires for you. He Said, She Said touches the heart, tickles the funny bone and brings you to your knees in worship.


I've know Eddie Jones and Cindy Sproles for a few years. Each has a way of tickling my funny bone, so I wondered what a devotional book by them would be. I can heartily recommend it. The humor is there, but it's coupled with deep truths that go straight to the heart of the problem. You'll find a path that winds closer to God through He Said, She Said.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan

Bonus Review:

This devotional contains brief but poignant thoughts about a variety of marital topics ranging from communication and child rearing to the frequency of physical intimacy. Each devotion contains room to journal the couple's thoughts on every subject. Each day also contains a prayer that is very specific to the subject.

If this devotional doesn't change your marriage, it will fling the door WIDE OPEN for frank discussion about what needs to be done to revive the passion and closeness in your marriage.

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Amanda Cabot's Tomorrow's Garden ~ Reviewed

Tomorrow's Garden: A Novel (Texas Dreams)
Amanda Cabot
Publisher: Revell (April 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9780800733261


Harriet Kirk is certain that becoming Ladreville's schoolteacher is just what she needs--a chance to put the past behind her and give her younger siblings a brighter tomorrow. What
Harriet Kirk is certain that becoming Ladreville's schoolteacher is just what she needs--a chance to put the past behind her and give her younger siblings a brighter tomorrow. What she didn't count on was the presence of handsome former Texas Ranger Lawrence Wood--or the way he slowly but surely claims her fragile heart. But can Harriet and Lawrence ever truly put the past behind them in order to find happiness?


Tomorrow's Garden is the final installment in Amanda Cabot's Texas Dreams trilogy, set in the French/German town of Ladreville, a community steeped in European ways striving to make sense of their American home. Amanda infuses her story with a determined heroine and a compassionate hero, both dealing with past tragedies that impact their behavior, recalcitrant siblings, inquisitive neighbors and danger in the form of a jilted suitor. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to warm to Harriet and felt the book foundered a little in the middle, which impacted my enjoyment of the story. That said, I appreciated how Harriet's defiant brother Jake is drawn, as he struggles authentically with his new found circumstances. While Tomorrow's Garden is not my favorite Cabot story, it may be yours so if you love a sweet romance be sure to look it up.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Bonus Review

Overall I am delighted to meet the imaginative mind of Amanda Cabot within her new Christian Historical Fiction books this one was not my favorite in the series. Yet that all relies on the fact that the main character of Harriett was so difficult to like, which shows that she was complex. There were just so many things about her that made me want to scream. With that said, otherwise I love the series and story behind it all and cannot wait to read the new series starting next year (2012) based in Wyoming. I think that will be fabulous and a different setting than I am used to.

Through out the story I could not guess what would come next, but my interest was peeked and the pages kept turning. I highly recommend this read as I am sure will recommend the entire series.

*Thanks to Revell Books for providing a copy for review.*

Reviewed by: Margaret Chind

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Anita Mellott's School is Where the Home Is ~ Reviewed

School Is Where the Home Is: 180 Devotions for Parents [Paperback]
Anita Mellott (Author)
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Judson Pr (June 15, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0817016961


An estimated 2 million children are homeschooled in the United States. This is a devotional for those dedicated parents.

Mellott’s 180 anecdotal devotionals explore specific homeschooling issues and present biblical truths to guide parents through challenging times. Themes include:

•Homeschool Basics—fundamentals such as obedience to the call, prioritizing, decision-making
•Homeschool and You—how homeschooling affects the primary educator (and vice versa)
•Homeschool and Family—juggling parenting, marriage, education, and domestic life
•Gifts We Give Our Children—intangible gifts, from a godly heritage to freedom to pursue their dreams
•And A Child Will Lead them—discovering life and faith though our child’s eyes
•Spiritual Vitamins: inspiration for Christian life, addressing fear, faith, prayer, and more
•Faith of Their Own—intentional discipleship that nurtures children in their own faith

School Is Where the Home Is presents a unique blend of the practical and inspirational for today’s homeschooling parents.


Anita Mellott speaks from a unique homeschool perspective in this valuable resource for homeschoolers. Raised in India with a strong focus on education, Anita adds the spice of her cultural background to many of her daily entries.

The tone of the daily devotions (enough for the entire school year, 180, and broken into categories touching the homeschooler's life) is conversational. Anita feels more like a friend who shares triumphs and struggles, successes and failures rather than a woman who has conquered homeschooling, parenting or marriage. Mellott is transparent in this not always flattering walk through wisdom earned through years and seasons of homeschooling. This is no narrow pathway or system created by a woman who preaches about her success and promises you success, too, if you'll only follow her steps..

If you are struggling or concerned about homeschooling or even parenting you may find support and encouragement in this devotional series. I haven't homeschooled a day in my life, and my children are grown, but I still found pages to dog ear to revisit.

Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer

Monday, June 13, 2011

Carrie Turansky's Surrendered Hearts ~ Reviewed

Surrendered Hearts
By Carrie Turansky
Published by Flowing Stream Books
ISBN 978-1-888685-40-4


A gas pipeline explosion and fire destroy Jennifer Evan's apartment and change her life forever. Not only does she lose her home and beloved dog, the ugly scars that cover her arm, neck and shoulder steal her confidence and cause her fiancé to desert her. With her funds depleted and her job on hold, she heads for Vermont where she hopes to reconnect with her brother and find a way to rebuild her shattered life.

Bill Morgan, head naturalist at the Wild River Nature Center and her brother's roommate, is a strong quiet man whose faith runs deep. He and Jenn's brother determine to help Jenn make a new start in Vermont. Bill's stumbling attempts to share his faith with Jenn seem to fall flat and push her father away, but she can see the difference his faith makes in his life, and her heart is still drawn to him. Will she hold on to the pain of her past, or will she surrender her heart and finally find the faith and love she longs for?


This is a book every mother should give her young teenage daughters to show them what to look for in a man. It's a romance that shows the power of God when hearts are yielded to Him. It's a story of God's grace and healing. Carrie Turansky reminds me of a modern day Grace Livingston Hill, whose love stories enthralled an entire generation. The characters are so real, with hurts and preconceived notions about people ... in other words, just like us. You'll want the story to go on and not end. Novel Journey and I give it a high recommendation. It's a must read.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Novel Journey

Friday, June 10, 2011

Margaret Brownley's A Lady Like Sarah ~ Reviewed

A Lady Like Sarah (A Rocky Creek Romance) [Paperback]
Margaret Brownley (Author)
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Original edition (December 22, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781595548092


She's an outlaw; he's a preacher. Both are in need of a miracle.

Sarah Prescott has never known a respectable life. Just a hardscrabble childhood and brothers who taught her to shoot first and ask questions later.

Justin Wells left Boston in disgrace, heading out alone on the dusty trail to Texas. But when the once-respected clergyman encounters a feisty redhead in handcuffs with a dying U.S. Marshal at her side, their journey takes a dramatic turn.

His high society expectations and Sarah's outlaw habits clash from the start. With a price on her head and towing an orphaned baby rescued from the brink of starvation, Justin and Sarah make the difficult journey toward Rocky Creek. There, justice will be meted out. Perhaps--they hope--with a healthy portion of grace.

Filled with mishaps, laughs, and adventure, Margaret Brownley's inspiring romance will keep readers cheering for Sarah as she struggles to become a true lady.


Well I'll be. I am for certainly unsure if I can say enough good things about the book "A Lady Like Sarah" or my new favorite author Margaret Brownley (and no it is not because of her elegant name). As many of you that read my reviews know, my favorite Christian Historical Romantic Comedy author of American west novels is Mary Connealy... well I can honestly say that Margaret Brownley rates right up there with this book and I am ecstatically (is that a word?) excited for more. More Rocky Creek Romance or more anything, just give me more.

I was amused. I giggled and grinned. I chuckled and snuggled down further in my reading nook. I was irritated and emotional. I shed slight tears. I could hear Sarah's voice and see her boots. These characters were alive and amazing to me. I read an ARC, but you better believe this is one for the keeper shelf. On a final note: The saloon scene made me squeal and cry, and I love my fellow quilters and that is all I have to say about that.

Reviewed by: Margaret Chind

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Kathleen Morgan's A Heart Divided ~ Reviewed

Heart Divided, A: A Novel (Heart of the Rockies) [Paperback]
Kathleen Morgan (Author)
Paperback: 329 pages
Publisher: Revell (May 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0800718844


It is 1878 and the Caldwells and Wainwrights have been feuding for decades. Still, Sarah Caldwell has misgivings when her father pressures her into distracting a ranch hand while he and her brothers rob the Wainwright place. When it becomes clear that hand is actually Cord Wainwright, Sarah realizes she needs to lay low. But Cord spots her in town and, with the sheriff away, makes a citizen's arrest, dragging her off to the Wainwright ranch until the sheriff's return. As the feud boils over, Cord and Sarah make a most inconvenient discovery--they are falling in love. Can they betray their families for love? Or will their families betray them?


I've always enjoyed Kathleen Morgan's novels and have been eagerly awaiting her return to writing following her recent hiatus. A Heart Divided reflects Kathleen's talent for penning complex characters, historical detail and an engaging romance. Cord and Sarah are appealing characters backed up by minor characters, like Cord's brother Nick, that will have you hoping they feature in subsequent stories in the series. The long standing feud between the Caldwells and the Wainwrights enables Kathleen to weave spiritual themes of forgiveness, reconciliation and sacrifice and provides the requisite conflict and tension that keeps Sarah and Cord's relationship on edge. While Kathleen's Scottish novels remain my favorites, A Heart Divided is an enjoyable read I can recommend.

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Karl Bacon's An Eye for Glory ~ Reviewed

An Eye for Glory
Karl Bacon
Historical Christian Fiction
Paperback, 368 pages
Publisher: Zondervan, April 2011
ISBN: 978-0-310-32203-3

Back Cover Description:

Hatred of the enemy consumes Michael during a long and dusty march to Gettysburg. Michael's only desire is to kill as many of the enemy as he can so he can go home. He coldly counts off the rebels that fall to his bullets until he is brought up short by a dying man holding up his Bible. He was a brother in Christ, Michael realizes after the man dies, and "I hated him with 'cruel hatred.'"

When Michael returns home from the war, his wife , Jessie Anne sees a man still and lost in the horrors of battle, and plagued by doubt and fear. Where is the man she once knew? And where is the faith he once lived by?

In the spring of 1869, Michael leaves home once more, this time to return the Bible to the man's widow. This simple journey changes Michael in ways he could have never imagined.


This book portrayed a different point of view on the Civil War than I've read in a historical novel and I really enjoyed it. As opposed to being told in the voice of the beloved wife, fiance, or sister left at home, this story was told by a soldier in the Union Army named Michael Palmer. Though a more raw, gory, and dark view on the many battles, both lost and won, this book was refreshingly real. Michael struggles with missing his family, obeying superiors, and keeping his faith in God. The historical detail given in the book and it's format, switching between letters between Michael and his wife and a journal style of writing add to it's authentic feel. Most valuable though, were the spiritual truths that are woven through the story and the very forthright presentations of the Gospel message. I highly recommend this book; a tale of the struggle of brother against brother, life and death, love and hate, hope and despair.

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Martha Ockley's The Reluctant Detective ~ Reviewed

The Reluctant Detective
Martha Ockley
List Price: $14.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Monarch Books (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1854249851
ISBN-13: 978-1854249852


Faith Morgan has lived her whole life in Birmingham. Her two careers, first as a policewoman, then as an inner-city parish minister have kept her close to her family, but also painfully close to her past. Now the picturesque country village of Little Worthy needs a new vicar. But Faith’s g trip to Little Worthy to consider if this is God’s will becomes a long-term commitment when the current vicar falls over dead during a communion service.

Faith suspects murder. And when the police are called in, Faith’s past follows her to Little Worthy in the shape of former partner and former boyfriend, Detective Inspector Ben Shorter.

Ben never understood her calling , but he will need her help if he is going to solve this. How will Faith balance her present calling with her past training, and her feelings for Ben? And is Faith in danger herself?


The Reluctant Detective is a well-written cozy mystery set in England. The characters are eclectic and interesting, and Faith finds that her return to her hometown of Little Worthy is fraught with all kinds of difficulty - primarily murder. Faith finds herself in the midst of all manner of delicate situations from dealing with her feelings for an ex-boyfriend to dealing with her relationship with her sister and her ex-brother-in-law. It is a quick read and one mystery lovers will enjoy it a great deal.

However, as to the faith element...well, when a so-called priest - of which Faith is one - doubts the truth of God's very grace and goodness...that sort of kills it for me. The only thing this story does is cast doubt upon God, so I wasn't too impressed with this element of the book at all. There was also some mild language peppered throughout the story that was unnecessary. So as a mystery, I can recommend it. As for a piece of Christian fiction - I don't think it qualifies.

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Monday, June 06, 2011

Trish Perry's Unforgettable ~ Reviewed

Unforgettable (When I Fall in Love) [Paperback]
Trish Perry
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Summerside Press (March 1, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 9781609361129


Rachel Stanhope tries to see the good in everyone. But Josh Reegan tests even her good graces when they meet outside her Arlington, Virginia, dance studio in 1951. He’s attractive, yet his cynicism and cockiness are hard to tolerate.

A journalist and former World War II Air Force pilot, Josh considers ballroom dancing a frivolous waste of time. Although Rachel’s confident nature is a refreshing challenge, he wouldn’t tangle with her if his newspaper hadn’t assigned him to cover her studio’s competition in New York City.

Between the melodrama of ballroom antics and the real drama of political corruption, Rachel and Josh have their hands full. The last thing either of them expects is mutual need and support. But once they stop dancing around the truth, the results are unforgettable.


Trish Perry's latest romance novel immerses the reader in the 1950s and the world of ballroom dancing. Rachel and Josh are engagingly drawn, with sparks and conflict aplenty as Josh voices his disdain of dancing and Rachel reacts to his arrogant attitude. Trish skilfully weaves authentic human emotions into a well paced story which combine to set this above an everyday romance. The minor characters of Mira and Cruz add light and shade as does the corruption story Josh is pursuing throughout the book. Unforgettable is a delightful story and my favorite Trish Perry read. Put on your dancing shoes and grab a copy for yourself!

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Friday, June 03, 2011

Lisa Bergren's Cascade ~ Reviewed

Cascade, A Novel~Book 2, in The River of Time Series
Lisa T Bergren
Young Adult Christian Fiction
Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: David C Cook
ISBN: 978-0-4347-6431-7

Back Cover :

River of Time Series-Gabriella and Evangelina Betarrini are just two normal, American teenagers. Except they're the daughters of Etruscan archeologists who work in Italy every chance they get. One day, the two bored teens explore a tomb, and find themselves catapulted back in time to fourteenth century Italy. They have no idea if they can get back...or if they even want to. Because as the dawn of the Renaissance sweeps through Tuscany, minds are enlightened, and Gabi and Lia find their own hearts are inextricably entwined.

Book 2: Cascade-Gabi and Lia made it back to their own time, but Gabi knows without a doubt she left her heart back in the fourteenth century. She convinces Lia to help her return to medieval Italy...and Marcello. But when they return, they find that they are now the heroines of Siena and the enemy of every man in Florence.


Oh my goodness, I can not wait to read the previous book in this series, 'Waterfall', as well as the next book, 'Torrent'! Once I picked up this book I couldn't put it down; it tastefully wove medieval history, romance, and action to create a true masterpiece. This book beats out every other 'teen' or young adult' book I've ever read. It's believable, down to earth characters dealt with life-everything from crushing despairt to soaring joy. They live fully in each moment that they are given. Lia and Gabi's pursuits are noble and lack the shallow, selfish undertones of many a 'teen' novel. A truly refreshing tale of knights and and loss and faith and restoration that any woman can enjoy and identify with.

Reviewed by: Rachael Schnitker


Lisa T. Bergen will keep readers glued to her new book, “Cascade,” for hours on end. This twisting and turning story is about the Betarrini sisters’ return to medieval Italy, where Gabi is convinced she left her heart. This time, they bring their archeologist mother with them. Gabi returns to her true love—Marcello, but will their relationship last, with all the danger around them? And Lia at last finds her love— but will she go after him? Italy rages into a full-fledged war, and the Betarrini women discover that they are the target of their enemies. It will take a lot to get out of this situation alive, but if anyone can do it, it’s the determined Betarrini sisters. They just might be able to, with the help of some deadly weapons, their wits, their Italian boyfriends who just happen to be knights by their sides, and some unlikely strangers. These two sisters and their mother, grow closer together in this spectacular sequel to “Waterfall.” I found that this book has just the right mix of action, drama, romance, and even has a splash of humor. “Cascade,” picks up right from where “Waterfall,” left off, and is a must-read for teens of all ages.

Reviewed by Elizabeth, aged 13.

Bonus Review

Lisa T Bergren's stunning River of Time series continues with Cascade as Gabi and Lia face further danger and betrayal as they return to medieval Italy and their fearless knights, Marcello and Luca, who just may be laying claim to their hearts. The strength of Lisa's storytelling is in the intensity she generates in action scenes as Gabi confronts peril and pain, in the burgeoning romance as Marcello stakes his claim and in the conflict that battles in Gabi's soul as she faces a decision that may alter the future of her family forever. The feisty Bettatini sisters, their intelligent mother, the charming Forelli men and even the villainous yet magnetic Lord Greco, are mesmerizing characters who will enthrall you. Be prepared to engage your senses, experience every emotion, feel each caress and ponder what might you might choose when faced with the man of your dreams in a century rife with civil war, the Black plague and only weekly baths! Cascade is in equal parts, adventurous, witty, captivating, romantic and energizing ~ I loved it and am praying Torrent won't be the last installment!

Reviewed by: Rel Mollet

Bonus Review:

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century, and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, months have passed, and all of Sienna longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while their enemies will go to great lengths to see them dead.

Even in the midst of the battles, Gabi’s heart is increasingly drawn to Marcello, just as Lia’s is to Luca. In medieval Italy, the sisters discover things inside themselves that they couldn’t seem to find in the present—connection with their mom, courage within, and the understanding that a life well lived often means encountering sacrifice. But in a world long past, many things still keep Gabi from giving Marcello her heart forever…and one thing in particular calls all three of the Betarrinis home.

And so the exploits of the She-Wolves of Sienna continues, adding one more to their ranks…mom. As a mom myself, this is the kind of bow-staff wielding mama I admire. Actually, I wouldn’t have minded a few more scenes with this woman, but again Gabi and Lia are the superstars.

I did, however, get to know Marcello quite a bit better in this book, and fell for him almost as hard as Gabi. I love his determination and willingness to do whatever it takes to protect those he loves. And not just Gabi. His care for his brother is pretty sweet for a guy.

I also enjoyed getting to know his sidekick Luca at a deeper level. He’s hilarious. Snappy wit yet a faithful companion. Why it’s taking Lia so long to like the fellow is beyond me.

Cascade is a satisfying second tale in this timeless series. It moved the story forward and stopped right at a cliff’s edge. Can’t wait for the third installment! Highly recommended for teens and moms alike.

Reviewed by: Michelle Griep

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Elizabeth Musser's The Sweetest Thing ~ Reviewed

The Sweetest Thing
By Elizabeth Musser
Published by Bethany House
ISBN 978-0-7642-0831-7


Anne "Perri" Singleton's world I defined by the security of family, the camaraderie of friends at an exclusive, Atlanta's girls' school, and an enviable social life. She isn't looking for new friends when Mary Dobbs Dillard arrives from Chicago. Besides, "Dobbs," the passionate and fiercely individualistic daughter of an itinerant minister, is her opposite in every way.

But just as the Great Depression collides disastrously with Perri's well-ordered, friendship blossoms—a friendship that will be tested by jealousy, betrayal, and family secrets....


The Sweetest Thing is the saga of two friends, who endure heartbreak and trials beyond what most teens ever face. 1933 Atlanta showcases the wealth and poverty of the era. Elizabeth Musser is a master storyteller, who weaves her magic into characters that come alive on the page. It reminded me so much of my childhood friends, that I didn't want it to end. Novel Journey and I give The Sweetest Thing a very high recommendation. A perfect summer read.

Reviewed by: Ane Mulligan, editor
Novel Journey

Bonus Review:

I was glad to receive a review copy of Elizabeth’s new book, The Sweetest Thing, takes place in Atlanta during the depression. I live in Atlanta so it was interesting to read and learn what the city looked like in the 1930’s and how people dealt with hard times.

Elizabeth pens a heart felt story of how two young ladies lives collide in the most unlikely way. Perri Singleton is a popular girl, used to the good life, planning social events and raised in a family with means. Mary Dobbs Dillard has grown-up poor. Her father was an evangelist and the family traveled around preaching revival. They had very little in worldly possessions but she was happy. Mary Dobbs knew a deep personal relationship with her Savior and had seen God provide for her family in very creative ways.

Mary Dobb’s Aunt has offered to help her Evangelistic brother and his family out by taking Mary Dobbs home with her to go to school in Atlanta. Overnight Mary Dobbs world changes in an incredible way. She’s never lived in a beautiful house or eaten so much on a daily basis. When Mary Dobbs starts to share stories about God with Perri Singleton she gets uncomfortable and wonders if they’re true. She never heard anyone talk about God like that. It was so personal.

Then tragedy strikes Perri’s life and her world turns upside down. Perri notices for the first time that Mary Dobbs has a kind heart, a listening ear and a zest for life a poor person shouldn't have. Perri and Mary Dobbs soon become unlikely friends.

Things get crazy as desperate people do desperate things in uncertain times. It’s easy to believe in God when times are good. Everyone’s faith is tested during the depression, even Mary Dobbs and her family. She seeks her mom’s advice with her doubts.

Her mom says, “My dear Mary Dobbs, faith doesn’t work that way. You don’t just believe in Him when you get everything you want…We share in the sufferings of others. We bear the burdens together. We take what comes and we believe. It’s not down here that it will all be equal and okay. It’s later!!!...Lord promises us sometimes we will have hardships and sufferings. He also promised he’d never leave us. His Holy presence is with us here..always!”

Mary Dobbs admits to her mom, “I don’t understand God at all.”

“Our part is to get to know God, as a father and a friend. But to understand Him? His ways are far past our understanding.”

I loved reading about these two girls and how each faced hardship differently. Perri watches Mary Dobbs struggle with her faith and begins to see there just might be some truth in the stories she’s been telling and that God might be real!

The author tells the story from both girls points of view which I enjoyed. Each chapter switched from girl to girl the name of each was on the top of the chapter so you knew exactly who is speaking.

This book is so timely, as our economy took a nose dive a few years ago and we’ve been struggling ever since. Just like in the1930’s peoples faith has been tested. I loved what Elizabeth shared in her acknowledgements as she asks the question.

“Does God provide in the midst of difficult circumstances?

I’ve been twenty years on the mission field watching Him provide for my family in original, and creative ways, let me answer the question with a resounding Yes! I have learned that the ways in which He provides is as important as the provision – and that it is His way, not mine!”

So, true, so true. I highly recommend this story of faith, hope and love! And you’ll walk away from Elizabeth’s story knowing the greatest of these is love!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent

The Book Club Network

Finding Hope Through Fiction

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Randy Singer's False Witness ~ Reviewed


By Randy Singer
Published by:
409 Pages

Back Cover:

Clark Shealy is a bail bondsman with the ultimate bounty on the line: his wife’s life. He has forty-eight hours to find an Indian professor in possession of the Abacus Algorithm—an equation so powerful it could crack all Internet encryption.

Four years later, law student Jamie Brock is working in legal aid when a routine case takes a vicious twist: she and two colleagues learn that their clients, members of the witness protection program, are accused of defrauding the government and have the encrypted algorithm in their possession. After a life-changing trip to the professor’s church in India, the couple also has the key to decode it.

Now they’re on the run from federal agents and the Chinese mafia, who will do anything to get the algorithm. Caught in the middle, Jamie and her friends must protect their clients if they want to survive long enough to graduate.


Brilliant story! Randy Singer has written a masterpiece that I’d like to see on the Big Screen! False Witness is filled with an array of multi-dimensional characters. Some of them I felt for and others were nerdy but fun. There were also a few bad guys that I loved to hate! Randy helped you not to feel bad about their demise!

Randy hooked me from the first page and never let me go! I liked how the author paced this story by breaking down the book into sections which helped build the suspense, and drama while letting the reader get to know his characters and their situations well. I was spellbound.

It starts out with the epilogue called The Professor. I loved the quote Randy starts with, it definitely describes the professor, “Courage if fear that has said its prayers. By Dorothy Bernard."

Part one called Bounty Hunter, kicks the story into high gear when Clark Shealy – bounty hunter and his wife Jessica, find themselves in a life and death situation. Clark goes to repo a client’s car at a plastic surgeons office. This is the beginning of Clark’s horrible, no good, bad day at the surgeons’ office. Their world changes forever when Clark discovers is wife is kidnapped and he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her back.

Randy writes, “Clark was not the same man who crawled out of bed yesterday morning, focused on chasing the American dream while living on the slippery outer slopes of legality.

He had a killer’s mentality now…There was no question if he had the guts to take someone’s life in order to save his wife. The only question now was whether he’d be able to stop.”

Part two was called The Law Students – In enters three law students hoping to practice law and make a difference in peoples lives, as they fight for justice. Their lives are forever changed when they take on a case at the legal aids office that has them in harms way. They wouldn’t read about a case like this in the text books they had for school. Who could they trust to help them get out of this mess? Quickly the drama turns surreal! Never in their wildest dreams did they think their first case would involve the Chinese mafia, U.S. Marshalls and the FBI! Would they all live to see another day?

Part Three – The Code – quote, “Where there is mystery, it is generally suspected there must also be evil.” Oh my, he’s so right. Why all the drama, suspense and murder? What do all these people have in common and want? The Code! The code to what you ask? The code to the master key – the key to every lock to every thing encrypted on the internet! Who is the keeper of the Code? How can they find the keeper and get the code at the same time? Now that is the question?

Part Four – The Deal – quote, "There are two tragedies in life: One is not to get your heart’s desire. The other is to get it” by George Bernard Shaw."

Randy shows this in a powerful way. Oh, the deals people are willing to make to obtain the most powerful key of all – the code. Riveting!

Part Five – The Witness – “There is no honor among thieves – Who can you trust?”

No one but God! “A false witness will not go unpunished, and one who utters lies perishes.” Proverbs 19:9.

Randy brings this scripture and quote to life in this intricate, compelling drama in a race against time and bad guys to find the code before it gets into the wrong hands and destroys life as everyone knows it.

Each segment builds onto each other until the reader is mesmerized, has their heart-racing and up late reading to reach the stories climatic conclusion. I also enjoyed these characters moral dilemma’s as the searched to find the code and save our way of life. Did the ends justify the means? The spiritual thread was naturally woven into his fast paced story line. I loved every second of this book I couldn’t put down.

Who better to give the reader the inside scoop into the legal world than Randy Singer, who is an adjunct Professor at Regent University Law School, has his own law practice and has tried numerous cases in State and Federal court! Randy lifts the veil for a peek into the inner workings of the court system, law school and everything in-between.

Thanks Randy for a book I couldn’t stop reading, for characters I cared about and a story that brought me outside myself and had me look at life through a scope I didn’t realize could affect the world at large. This was such a true to life story, moving and powerful in every way. Now that I know the ending I’ll definitely read this book again to catch the things I know I might have missed. I’ve read several of Randy’s books so far and this one is his best! Definitely a book to read!

Reviewed by: Nora St.Laurent
The Book Club Network
Finding Hope Through Fiction

Bonus Review:

“I’ve got some advice for you…Until this thing is over, don’t trust anybody.” (p. 263)

This advice is true for both the character in the story – Jamie – and the reader who is following the suspenseful tale in Randy Singer’s latest legal thriller, False Witness! What an awesome thrill ride, indeed! A Chinese mob called the Manchurian Triad, a fast-talking con-man who makes one too many deals, an algorithm that unlocks the encryption code for the entire internet, brilliant lawyers and savvy law students – this book has something for everyone! There are even irresistible pets, strong family ties, persecuted church members and a story so fascinating tying everything together you will not be able to put it down!

I’ve read all of Randy Singer’s novels, and I don’t know but that False Witness may just be my favorite!! Singer has so skillfully blended so many elements that readers will find themselves not only entertained, but challenged to live more aware of the price that many in the world must pay in order to practice their faith. Singer also includes a scene where one character finally realizes his need for a Savior, and I thought it was one of the most natural, realistic and moving scenes of a spiritual re-birth I have ever read! Truly, this is one of Singer’s best works, and I am thrilled to recommend it to you!

Reviewed by: Kim Ford

Bonus Review:

If you want to enjoy an intriguing legal thriller, Randy Singer is a sure bet, and his recent stories just keep getting better and better. False Witness is a repackaged edition of this story, originally published in 2007 and I have to admit it shows. It still contains the many twists and turns I have come to expect from Singer but the characterisation is not up to the standard of his more recent works. Clark and Jessica Shealy felt distant to me, as opposed to Jamie and her friends, which had an impact on my investment in the story. If this had been my first Singer book, I may have felt differently, but admiring the skills he displays in his more recent works, made me a little more fussy with this story. That said, there is plenty to enjoy in False Witness, as the Chinese mafia pursue an Indian professor who holds the key to crack all internet encryption codes, student lawyers battle it out against experienced attorneys and the FBI decides to stop at nothing to ensure the Algorithm does not fall into the wrong hands. So when you pick up False Witness, make sure you get your hands on By Reason of Insanity, Directed Verdict, Fatal Convictions and more from this talented lawyer/pastor.

Reviewed by Rel Mollet