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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Book Review: Judgment Day by Wanda Dyson

From the cover:
       
 The weekly news show Judgment Day with Suzanne Kidwell promises to expose businessmen, religious leaders, and politicians for the lies they tell. Suzanne positions herself as a champion of ethics and morality with a backbone of steel - until a revelation of her shoddy investigation tactics and creative fact embellishing puts her in hot water with her employers, calling her credibility into question and threatening her professional ambitions.

Bitter and angry, Suzanne returns home one day to find an entrepreneur she is investigating, John Edward Sterling, unconscious on her living room floor. Before the night is over, Sterling is dead, she has his blood on her hands, and the police are arresting her for murder. She needs help to prove her innocence, but her only hope, private investigator Marcus Crisp, is also her ex-fiance - the man she betrayed in college.

Marcus and his partner Alexandria Fisher-Hawthorne reluctantly agree to take the case, but they won't cut Suzanne any slack. Exposing her lack of ethics and the lives she's destroyed in her fight for ratings does little to make them think Suzanne is innocent. But as Marcus digs into the mire of secrets surrounding her enemies, he unveils an alliance well worth killing for. Now all he has to do is keep Suzanne and Alex alive long enough to prove it. 



The author:

Wanda Dyson lives on a 125 acre farm in Maryland, boarding and keeping a menagerie of critters. She is the author of four acclaimed suspense novels, including Shepherd's Fall, and she is the co-author of Why I Jumped, the true story of Tina Zahn. She is currently working on her next suspense thriller, The Vigilante. 

My review:

Suzanne is the perfect example of many people in the media world who will stop at nothing to get the story. Does it matter if it is true? Does it make a difference if the facts are skewed a bit, simply to make the story more sensational? Does the impact on family members and associates of the victim ever come into consideration? Do the people under investigation have any rights or feelings? Sadly, to many reporters, the answer to each of these questions is a resounding, "No!"  Unfortunately, Suzanne is a prime example of all that is wrong with many shows and producers who will stop at nothing to get the story, all the while convincing themselves that the "public has a right to know."  The author has done an excellent job of portraying this aspect of the media and has created a character that is easy to dislike. 

When Suzanne herself becomes a victim, she learns first-hand what it is like to be on the receiving end of false charges. She learns how quickly a life can be destroyed, a career irretrievably damaged, and how quickly so-called friends will turn their backs on you. As her life is in shambles and she relies on someone whom she had hurt in the past to save her from prison, she begins to realize the extent of the harm that she has done. Suzanne has plenty of time to examine her faults and begins to understand the meaning of the scriptures found in Matthew 7:3 & 4 which say, "Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, 'Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye;' and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye." (KJV)

Wanda Dyson has written an engaging book with a central character so flawed that the reader wonders if there is any hope for her. The writer has paralleled the lives of so many people who have to sink to the lowest depths before they realize their need for redemption, mercy, and forgiveness. On page 137, there is an excellent dialogue relating to the fact that those who choose to do evil hide in the shadows because they are afraid of the light. This is a definite comparison to evil and darkness as portrayed in the book of John 3:19 & 20 (KJV), which says, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved." 

Judgment Day is not only an entertaining book, it is also very thought-provoking and will cause the reader to re-examine his/her own life. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fine Christian fiction.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for the purpose of this review. I was not obligated to give a positive review nor did I receive any other compensation in exchange for reviewing this book.






My Reviewxt high-octane thriller, The Vigilante.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Book Review: The Consuming by Todd Boyer

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you today a new name in the Christian fiction arena. Please join me in welcoming Todd Boyer, who has recently published his first book, a Christian fantasy titled The Consuming: Demon Soul Saga. 

Before I begin my review of this book, let me first tell you a bit about the author. Todd Boyer began writing as a hobby, but now he writes both professionally and for recreation. He is currently working on sequels to The Consuming, as well as other projects. Todd and his wife, Angie, live in Indianapolis, IN. They have a dog named Scrappy, and they are expecting their first child. (Since it has been a while since I received the book, I imagine it is quite likely that this child has since made its arrival in the Boyer home).

From the Cover: 

Jack O’Conner is lost, alone in the world. A year after the tragic death of his soul mate, alcohol is his only companion. He spends his nights drinking, angry, blaming God for his misery. Jack seems to be an empty vessel full of bitterness…and he catches the eye of a small demon scout named Max, who is searching for a soul to be consumed by his partner, Ike. 

The two demons determine that Jack would make a good vessel, and the consuming of Jack O’Conner begins. But there is more to Jack than the demons bargained for, and soon after the consuming, Ike finds himself trapped in Jack’s body, without the control he needs. Max realizes he must find answers to free his helpless best friend. On his own for the first time, Max must risk his life to traverse different realms, seeking guidance from other demons. 

While on this quest, Max learns about a warrior demon named Garrock, and his terrifying plan to overthrow Lucifer and start the Apocalypse. Many of Lucifer’s lies are revealed to Max, including the surprising truth about Jesus. With a new perspective on the value of mankind, and in a last-ditch effort to save his friend Ike, Max befriends Jack. The future of the world lies in the unlikely hands of two demons, and the man they have conspired to possess, as the three of them must work together not only to free Ike, but to thwart Garrock’s plans for the Apocalypse. 

An intelligent and inventive blend of science fiction and religion, The Consuming provides a unique viewpoint on good and evil, with imagery and characters you will remember long after you turn the final spellbinding page.

About the book:


The Consuming by Todd Boyer
ISBN: 9781432773564
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of publish: July 29, 2011
Pages: 228
S.R.P.: $14.95

My review:

I received The Consuming from Bostick Communications and did not know exactly what to expect, which is always an adventure in itself. From the very first page, I was happily engrossed in the plot and the characters. Had anyone ever told me that I would read a book about a couple of demons and actually grow to like them, I would have declared them non compos mentis (which is a polite way of saying they are crazy).  But, I did indeed grow to like Max and Ike, a couple of reluctant demons who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and, consequently, were thrown out of Heaven along with Lucifer and his allies. 

Max, in particular, is a quirky little guy, fiercely loyal to his partner Ike and determined to rescue him from his predicament. In the process of attempting to rescue Ike, Max learns of the plot to overthrow Lucifer and instigate the Apocalypse. Max then sets off, with the dubious assistance of Jack O'Connor, to save the world.  

The Consuming is a fun read and, while the plot is obviously a work of fantasy, it is not beyond the realm of the impossible that God could actually employ a couple of demons to fulfill His divine will. After all, we read in the Bible of many unique and unusual methods that God used to communicate with his creation and to achieve His goals, so could it not be possible too that God could use a couple of demons? 

The only thing that I would mention that somewhat distracted me and occasionally pulled me from the story is the fact that there were numerous grammatical and punctuation errors; errors that would have made the book much stronger had they been corrected before publishing. If this is not an issue that bothers you, then you will be able to enjoy the story without the distractions that I experienced. 

No matter whether the story is  plausible, or even possible, Mr. Boyer has crafted a delightful tale and one that has strong characters who keep the story moving to a satisfying finale. He has nicely set the stage for subsequent books about the adventures of these unlikely heroes and I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series. For a fun and entertaining, yet thought-provoking adventure, I recommend The Consuming for your reading pleasure.

 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Spotlinght on Susan Sleeman

A NEW LINE OF MYSTERIES FOR YOUR E-READER Susan Sleeman here. Do you have an e-reader or maybe an iPad? Then I'd like to tell you about a line of cozy mysteries that has recently released with most books retailing for only .99 for a limited time. Spyglass Lane Mysteries are published by a group of cozy mystery authors who have joined together to bring you a new cozy mystery every week. Currently, there are over 25 wonderful mysteries in this line.

Stop by the website to view all of the available books and while you're there, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter where we announce each new book that releases and our authors share behind the scenes stories about the books.

I'd also like to share a little bit about my Garden Gate Mystery Series that is releasing as part of this line. The first book, Nipped in the Bud has already released and book two, Read Between the Tines will release in February 23rd. Here's a little bit about both books.

NIPPED IN THE BUD

WHEN YOU FIND YOUR BOSS PUSHING UP DAISIES. . .

Life in full bloom, landscape designer, Paige Turner, scores her first landscaping contract to spruce up the park, her radio talk show shoots to number one, and her retail shop is simply blossoming. Yes, her life is a bed of roses. Until she finds the city manager served up on the blade of her favorite shovel mere hours after she’s threatened to have his head on a platter, then the thorns come out. And there is none thornier than the local police chief declaring Paige the one and only suspect and threatening to plow her under.

YOU’VE GOT TO FORMULATE A PLANT OF ATTACK . . .

Paige teams up with dashing attorney, Adam Hayes to weed through the list of suspects, and clear her soiled reputation. And along the way, discovers that Adam just may be the man of her dreams.

» Read an Excerpt          »Order It Now


READ BETWEEN THE TINES

IF YOUR LIFE IS A BED OF ROSES. . .

Recovered from her near death at the hand of a killer, landscape designer Paige Turner is certain her life will soon be a bed of roses. That is, until her employee, Daisy Rose Plante, finds a dead body, and the thorny police chief looks no further than Daisy for a suspect. Paige digs in and weeds through the list of potential killers, and before long, her sweet smelling rose of a life is soundly trampled.

YOU’LL HAVE TO SURVIVE THE THORNS. . .

Paige would be much happier working over-thyme on her budding relationship with handsome attorney, Adam Hayes, but it soon becomes clear she’ll be in a hoe lot of trouble with him if she continues digging for the killer. Does Paige risk all and try to unearth the killer? Or does she settle down in peaceful bliss with the man of her dreams?

» Read an Excerpt


SUSAN SLEEMAN is a best-selling author of inspirational romantic suspense and mystery novels. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com.

Susan currently lives in Florida, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a church music director and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson.

To learn more about Susan visit: Website, her Facebook page, or on Twitter

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Winner of Hailee by Penny Zeller is ....

Wow! What a time I have had in selecting a winner for the drawing for Hailee!  A name was drawn on the closing day of the contest but, when I contacted the winner, she told me she had won the same book on another blog and asked that I award the book to another reader. I drew a second name, contacted her, and soon received a message from that person saying that she too had won the book in another blog drawing and asked, once again, that another winner be chosen in her place. So, I drew yet another winner, contacted her and waited with anticipation to hear back from her, fearing that I would again hear the same news that I had already heard twice. 


However, such was not the case and I can now officially announce the winner of the drawing for Hailee, written by my special friend, Penny Zeller.  And the winner is .......


MissKallie

Congratulations to MissKallie and thanks to all who of you who entered this giveaway.  

Penny, it was so nice to have you visit Write About Now  so faithfully these past few days. Thanks for all you do to uplift and encourage me and other bloggers. You are an extremely gifted writer and I am so thrilled to see you using your ability for the work of the Lord. 

May God richly bless each one of you! Another giveaway will be coming up real soon so check back often so you don't miss out.

Jan Marie

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Review and Giveaway: Hailee by Penny Zeller

It is with great pleasure that I bring to you today a review of Hailee, written by the very gifted author, Penny Zeller. Hailee is book three in the Montana Skies series and includes many of the familiar characters that we have come to love from the first two books, McKenzie and Kaydie.

From the cover:

For years, orphan Hailee Annigan was just a ragamuffin in the Cincinnati streets, stealing food to keep her two younger brothers fed. Her thievery landed her in a home for delinquent youngsters, where her life was changed, thanks to her teachers. Now, nineteen-year-old Hailee excitedly heads to Montana to be a teacher, yet she's still plagued by her shameful past and the fear of never seeing her brothers again.  

~~~
Based on his upbringing in high-society Boston, no one would have guessed that Maxwell Nathaniel Adams Jr. would attend seminary and become a church pastor in rugged Montana. Even now, Nate's parents refuse to put aside their own plans for his future and accept his calling.

~~~
When their paths converge, an immediate attraction draws Hailee and Nate together, even as the pressures and demands of others pull them apart. Can the unlikely pair come to terms with their pasts and face the future together?


My review:

There is always a feeling of great excitement and anticipation when I go to the Post Office and find the latest book by Penny Zeller waiting there for me. I was not disappointed when I picked up my copy of Hailee  either. I could barely wait to drive home, crack open the cover, and begin reading. The pages flew by all too quickly and I reached the final page long before I was ready for it. 

Once again, Penny has written an emotional and heart-warming story of love and adventure in the vast open spaces of the Montana frontier. The descriptions of life in in the late 1800s are so vivid that you feel as if you are one with the story. I became so engrossed in the plot that I ceased to feel like a spectator, but instead felt as if I were living the story right alongside Hailee. 

Hailee and Nate are both such likeable characters that you can't help but desire for them to be together. Hailee, however, feels unworthy of Nate's love because she has a secret past. When that past is inadvertently revealed to the townspeople and the parents of her students, Hailee's chance of a future with Nate seems doomed.  Can Hailee expect mercy from those whom she has deceived? Will Nate be able to forgive her for her wrong-doing?

What Hailee and the citizens of Pine Haven fail to take into consideration is that the misdeeds of her youth have long been forgiven and forgotten by the only One who truly matters. Since God has forgiven her, is it wrong for Hailee to hope that Nate will do likewise? Why won't the residents of the town that Hailee has already grown to love forgive her too? 

Many years ago, the English poet Alexander Pope wrote the words, "To err is human, to forgive Divine." This is the truth that Penny Zeller has so ably portrayed in the pages of Hailee.  God's forgiveness is easily obtained but it is the job of the Great Deceiver, the Father of Lies, to try to convince us that our sins are so vile that forgiveness is not possible. For a story that truly depicts the reality of Christ's mercy and forgiveness, I recommend that you read this excellent book.

Penny Zeller has generously offered to give a copy of her newest release to one lucky reader. In order to have your name entered in the drawing, please leave a comment, along with your email address in spam-proof format (yourname[at]provider[dot]com). I would also like to do something just a little bit different for this drawing. Instead of simply saying, "Please enter me in the drawing," I would like for you to tell me (and Penny) why you would like to win this book. It doesn't have to be a lengthy comment; just a few words will do the trick. 

Only entries from the United States will be eligible for the drawing and only those who comply with the guidelines stated above will be entered. For an extra entry, please become a follower of Write About Now.  If you are already a follower, please say so in a separate comment.

This contest will end on October 21st. 

Thanks to Whitaker House for providing a copy of Hailee for review purposes. This is my honest review. I received no compensation for this review, nor was I obligated to give a positive review.

For those readers who do not win a copy of this book, you can purchase it at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Christian Book Distributors.




Just a word of advice for those who are experiencing problems in being able to leave a comment: 

Many of us have found that it works much better to use a browser other than Internet Explorer to leave a comment on Blogger.




Sunday, September 18, 2011

Congratulations ...

Congratulations to ...


LadiJo

LadiJo is the winner of the drawing for The Prophetess One: At Risk  by Linda Rohrbough. I have sent her an email requesting her address. If I do not hear from her within one week, a new winner will be chosen. Thanks to all those who entered. I will be posting several new giveaways within the next few weeks so be sure to check back for a chance to win another good book.
 






Monday, September 5, 2011

The Prophetess One: At Risk Review and Giveaway

From the cover:  

It's a very different kind of war. Why would God choose a pregnant computer programmer to fight it? All Anna McClintock wants is a peaceful stretch of beach she can walk to with her new husband, Jack, and her soon-to-be-born child. Jack is finishing his engineering degree this semester and the two plan to leave his Kansas home to build their new lives together.

But when Anna finds herself in jail for the murder of a preschool child she tried to save, she realizes she is alone, except for God. She has to rely on new-found spiritual gifts as well as her wits and skills in order to save herself, her unborn son, and her marriage.

And she has another decision to make. This one affects the entire nation.


The Prophetess One: At Risk
by Linda Rohrbough (www.LindaRohrbough.com)
Publication date: April 20, 2011
High Hill Inspirations, an imprint of High Hill Press, St. Charles, Missouri
ISBN: 978-1606530429
Retail: $17.95
 
Review:

Linda Rohrbough is the author of numerous non-fiction books and has won many awards for her writing. The Prophetess One:At Risk was written as a consequence of events following the Columbine shooting, of which her husband's nephew was, sadly, a victim. As she researched material related to this shooting and other similar events, she came to believe that this sort of horrible event could be prevented. She has stated that one of her goals with this book is to demonstrate the importance of fathers in their children's lives. 

The Prophetess One: At Risk has already won some prestigious awards including The Global eBook Award and second place overall in the Millennium Star Publishing Awards.

In this book, the main character, Anna McClintock, becomes a vessel anointed by God to bring an important message to the people. Falsely accused, ridiculed, and rejected by others, including the members of the church she attends, Anna continues, in spite of all obstacles, to make known the message with which she has been charged by God. God sends Anna an ally in the form of nurse Theo Kline.

The Prophetess One: At Risk is Book One in The Prophetess Trilogy and is a fast-paced book with a strong message. There were a couple of times that I felt that the story skimmed over some pertinent facts and I had to backtrack to decipher what was taking place but, overall, I enjoyed reading this book and recommend it to you. Not only will you enjoy the writing style of Linda Rohrbough, you will come away with a deeper understanding of some serious societal issues and a desire to become a part of the solution.

I am offering my review copy of this book to some lucky reader. Please leave a comment, along with your email address in spam-proof format, in order to be included in the drawing which will take place on September 17th. For extra chances to win, become a follower of this blog and/or visit Linda's website and name one fact that you read there.

I received this book from the publisher for review purposes. This review is my honest opinion and I received no compensation for it.