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.



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.


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



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.


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

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