Wednesday, February 7, 2018


Kaine Prescott needed a break.  The stress of her job counselling (rescuing?) abused women was taking its toll, and creating interesting life experiences with the men from whom they were rescued.  Including threats, intimidation, psychological warfare and physical confrontations.

Buying a house, sight unseen, based on the recommendation of a friend of a friend, probably wasn’t a good way to begin.  And when she finds out that her family has a “history” with the dark mansion, she begins to question her sanity. 

And yet Kaine finds herself waking up.  Waking up to friendship . . . to romance . . . to love?  Waking up to faith.  Waking up to hope.  Waking up to the realization that God is more than just a name in a book that she hasn’t opened in a long time.  And by the time the last chapter has been written, the reader is going to come to the same realization.

Travelling through time is possible.  It’s also exhausting, and emotionally draining.  And it’s one of the most effective means of ensuring that you have a totally captive audience.  Brava, Jaime Jo Wright!  You’ve succeeded.

While I’ve read books that have employed this formula before, I’ve never seen it articulated so effectively, or so seamlessly.  This is a large book, close to 400 pages.  However, every page, every paragraph, contributes to the flow of the story.  Soon, you will ask yourself, “Am I reading . . . or am I experiencing events along with the other characters?”

One other detail worth mentioning . . . the house is a character, as well.  And the house grows and develops much as the other characters in the story.  I’ve always found such details to be the trademark of some of the most excellent literature.  This is Jaime Jo Wright’s debut novel . . . and I’m looking forward to many more stories from this gifted author.

5 stars for a story that will hold you until the very last page.


Jaime Jo Wright
ISBN 978-0-7642-3028-8
Romantic Suspense
Bethany House
359 pages
$14.99 paperback

Thursday, February 1, 2018

IS THIS THE END? Dr. David Jeremiah Provides Insight For Tomorrow

You will want to take some time with this book.  You will want to have an open door to your favorite walking trail, driveway, backyard, or wherever it is that you go to “cool off.”  Because Dr. David Jeremiah is all about the truth . . . and sometimes, the truth is really hard to handle.

And when the author of IS THIS THE END? starts telling it like it is . . . and citing example after example of the stereotyping, marginalization, threats and intimidation, and litigation being forced upon believers . . . here, in America . . . simply because of their faith . . . well, you just have to go somewhere.

But please . . . don’t forget to come back.  Take a deep breath . . . turn the page, and keep reading.  Because the worst is over, and the best is yet to come.

With a masterful grasp of human history, a clear understanding of current events, and an almost encyclopedic knowledge of scripture, Dr. David Jeremiah will leave you firmly established on solid ground . . . recognizing what in the world is going on, and how in the world you are supposed to respond to it from a biblical perspective.

Five stars for a challenging wake-up call that is long overdue!

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my open and honest review.

Dr. David Jeremiah
ISBN: 978-0-7852-1628-5
RELIGION / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth
Thomas Nelson
321 pages
$16.99  U.S. paperback

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Few Things Are As Sacred As An OATH OF HONOR

This time . . . it’s personal.

When her rookie partner is killed in the line of duty, Police Officer Isabelle “Izzy” St. James is determined to get to the bottom of the matter, regardless of how many skeletons she may unearth in the process.  She just never believed that the secrets could lie so close to home . . . or how much pain and suffering she would have to inflict on herself, and the lives of those nearest and dearest to her.

Nevertheless, Isabelle St. James took an oath, before God and country . . . an Oath of Honor.  And she is determined to uphold that oath, no matter the cost.

Lynette Eason writes with an engaging style, and introduces the reader to deep, rich, complex characters that immediately “connect” with her audience.  She also brings a wealth of research to the game, without burdening the reader with confusing techno-babble that often accompanies books of this nature.  And through a masterful application of suspense, danger, intrigue, and just the right touch of romance, Lynette Eason will keep you guessing as she delivers yet another powerful work of fiction to her many loyal readers.

I received this book free of charge in exchange for my open and honest review.

Lynette Eason
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2721-5
Romantic Suspense
359 pages
$15.99  U.S. paperback

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


Trish Bailey learned about giving from her parents.  And over the years, the lesson became a principle.  The principle became a habit.  The habit became a lifestyle.

It's not something you can turn on and off, and Trish enjoys her life and her calling as a teacher of drama and art in an inner city school way too much to even want to.

Unfortunately, not everyone is wired that way.  Through a series of personal crises, Trish's world has been seriously rocked.  And her recent lapses in memory haven't helped matters. 

Her life is even more complicated by the men in her life.  Her parent's accountant, who wants to move things past the professional boundaries.  The detective investigating her mother's death, who seems to have the same idea.

And then there's the man in her life that she isn't even aware of.  The one so obsessed with a personal agenda that Trish's welfare isn't even on the radar.

But when things come to a head, Trish finds her way back to the one man in her life who will stop at nothing to keep her safe and secure. 

If only she could reconcile the Dangerous Illusions in her life!

Another masterful story of faith and suspense by Irene Hannon.  With strong, complex characters and a plot that races relentlessly to an unexpected climax, let the reader be warned before hand:  just when you think you've figured it out . . . you're wrong.

5 stars for cutting edge fiction with an eternal message.

Irene Hannon
ISBN 78-0-8007-2767-3
Romantic Suspense
386 pages
$15.99 U.S.  softcover

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Murder In Disguise - a Donn Taylor Cozy Mystery

Found:  a 21st Century Renaissance man. 
Occupation:  Korean War Veteran, Vietnam War Veteran, literature professor, author, poet and philosopher.

And no . . . this has nothing to do with the plot of the book.  I’m talking about the author of Murder In Disguise, a “cozy mystery” which will take you by the hand, double your heart rate, and tug at your heartstrings simultaneously.

This is the first novel I’ve read by Donn Taylor, and I have to admit that it took several attempts to “get into” the book.  But that’s all on me; mysteries have never been a favorite genre of mine.  I didn’t even remember signing up for reviewing this book (my apologies to the author, please don’t take it personally!).

But I certainly do not regret having done so.  Not only has Donn Taylor opened my eyes to the genre, he’s also opened my eyes to a new way of thinking, and of living.  The breadth and depth and grasp of truth, and beauty, and language displayed on the canvas of this book graphically illustrate what it is to be a Renaissance man.

But this is supposed to be a book review. 

Professor Preston Barclay undertakes the teaching of two courses at a state university in the midwest as a visiting professor for the summer term.  It provides for several pressing issues in his life.  The need for income, obviously.  The desire to make an impact on the minds of the succeeding generation.

Oh, and then there’s the little issue of his friend and colleague committing suicide that he has questions about.  And when the widow beseeches him to “prove” that the suicide was anything but . . . his musical hallucinations simply increase volume and tempo.

The state university proves to be more of a minefield than an institution for higher education, and try as he might to avoid scandal, controversy and violence, all three seem to be mandatory courses in his rather busy “class schedule.”

And then there are the “electives,” which include a hijacking, money laundering, Christian rights in the marketplace, and human trafficking.

And you thought you had a full day! 

As Professor Barclay investigates without investigating, his momentum – and its impact – become increasingly similar to the proverbial bull in a china shop. 

And then . . . the walls came tumbling down.

There is so much to say about this book; the puns, the musical references, the lectures, all woven together in a beautiful tapestry that will hold your attention to the final crescendo.

This is a book that needs to be experienced, as well as read.

5 stars for a cozy mystery that causes you to rethink your commitments.

Donn Taylor
ISBN 978-1-938499-09-8
Cozy Mystery
Lamplighter Mysteries
301 pages
$14.95 U.S. softcover

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


"The just shall live by faith . . ." and this is ONE snapshot of what that looks like in the 21st Century.

What ought not to surprise you is that this is what it looked like when Billy Graham was filling football stadiums during his evangelistic crusades.

This is what it looked like when John and Charles Wesley were used by God to start The Great Awakening.

Believe it or not, this is what it looked like when Saul of Tarsus was struck down on the road to Damascus, transformed into the Apostle Paul, and became the greatest missionary the world has ever seen.

While the names and faces have changed, the times and circumstances have radically altered as the world turned, the principles remain the same, and are captured in one verse of Scripture:
"He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

So many people stop short of that final step.  In her autobiographical work, WALK IT OUT, author Tricia Goyer shows us what that final step looks like.  As Tricia explains, "I've learned that God's good plans are not always easy, or neat, but when we step out in obedience we never walk alone."


I have a confession to make.  I’m not German.  I’m not Lutheran.  I’m not even Reformed in my theology.

I’m a Baptist pastor, have been since 1991.  I’m fundamental in my theological perspective . . . but not mad about it.

And I absolutely love this book!  Bob Kellemen has taken the time and energy, the blood, sweat and tears necessary, to make Martin Luther not only readable, but enjoyable.  And liveable.  Not an easy task in the contemporary historical / cultural context.

Exploring rich theological terms which Martin Luther himself found crucial for his salvation and, later, for his ministry, author Bob Kellemen writes as only one who comprehends the subject matter is able.  He has taken difficult theological concepts and “dumbed it down” for the rest of us, without sacrificing any of the significance.

Drawing on letters, conversations, sermons and anecdotes in Martin Luther’s life, COUNSELING UNDER THE CROSS shares the heart and soul of this Father of the Reformation as he ministers the gospel in a cross-shaped  approach to pastoral care—sustaining, healing, reconciling, and guiding. These four counseling concepts serve as compass points  as one discovers how Martin Luther took this historic approach and infused it with the gospel—demonstrating the rich relevance of the gospel for daily life.

5 stars for a foundational primer for Biblical counseling

Bob Kellemen
ISBN 978-1-945270-22-2 (eBook)
Christian Living / Spiritual Growth
NewGrowth Press
$19.97  paperback