Sunday, November 5, 2017

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

 

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then killed herself. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emilie and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman is the second novel in the Hidden Justice series, following Beyond Justice. The first novel follows Hayden's story, while this novel follows Emilie, her roommate. The plot of this novel was well written and contains moments of suspense, danger, reflection, and romance. The first few chapters were a little confusing because the story jumped from a few months previous to present time without much warning, but after that it was easier to follow. The narrative was primarily third person from either Emilie or Reid's point of view, but Emilie also has a stalker that has been following her since Beyond Justice, and there are a few short chapters from his perspective, without letting the reader in on who he is. I appreciated the intrigue and suspense created by this, but I was able to figure out by about halfway through the novel who the stalker was. While I could understand how Emilie had not figured it out yet since she did not have this inside information and was busy with a separate case, it did create some anxiety for me as the reader wondering when she would finally figure it out.

I liked both Reid and Emilie as main characters, and I appreciated the inside look into their thoughts and feelings, but I did wish there was a little more delving into Reid's personality in comparison to what was revealed about Emilie. And while I liked the ending of the story, I thought that the conclusion of what Emilie had been feeling and experiencing seemed flat and almost unrealistic...hopefully this will continue to be pursued as a background piece in future novels. Overall, I enjoyed the suspense in this novel, and I look to reading the rest of the Hidden Justice series.

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

A Small Book About A BIG Problem by Edward T. Welch



How many times today have you been irritated? Frustrated?
While you might not think about it often, if you look closely at any day most everyone can find anger in their actions and attitudes. Something spills or goes missing, we get stuck in traffic or someone cuts us off on the road, or we feel like the people we live and work with are only making our lives more difficult. And while no one wants to get angry, what happens when our irritations and frustrations rise yet again?
Anger is so common-yet it also hurts. It not only leaves a mark on us, but it also leaves a marks on others. The wounds we inflict on ourselves and others because of anger-loss of intimacy, trust, security, and enjoyment in our closest relationships-give us compelling reasons to look closely at our anger and think carefully about how to grow in peace and patience.
But if you, like many others, have just gotten irritated for the umpteenth time today, you might wonder if change is possible. Can anyone truly find peace? The answer is yes, but you will need a plan. Biblical counselor and psychologist Ed Welch invites readers to take a fifty-day journey that unpacks anger while encouraging and teaching readers to respond with patience to life's difficulties. Readers will also be introduced to Jesus, the key to any plan for change. Known as the Prince of Peace, he is the only one who can empower his people to grow in patience, peace, and wholeness.
A Small Book about a BIG Problem by Edward T. Welch is a wonderful, concise read that delves into dealing with anger and finding peace and patience. Edward Welch uses his considerable experience and knowledge about biblical counseling to create a book that his Bible centered, applicable, and easy to read. The book is a 50 day journey into what anger is, our reasons/response to both anger and to being wronged, and what the Bible has to say about these topics. I am still reading this book because I did not want to rush through the daily readings, but I have been convicted to really ponder and to think about what causes me to be angry and how I can develop more patience. In the first day, I found the statement, "But it is those wounds we inevitably inflict on other people—especially those who are most precious to us—that are reason enough to spend fifty days with anger, peace, and patience" to be extremely convicting, and it really expresses the reason to read this book. I would recommend reading just one chapter a day, take time to reflect and to respond, and then talk about it with others. I think this book would also make a great small group study! I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

Read more reviews about this book here:  http://litfusegroup.com/author/EWelch 

Edward T. Welch, M.Div., Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He earned a Ph.D. in counseling (neuropsychology) from the University of Utah and has a Master of Divinity degree from Biblical Theological Seminary. Ed has been counseling for over thirty years and has written extensively on the topics of depression, fear, and addictions.
Find out more about Edward at http://stores.newgrowthpress.com.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Pretender by Ta'mara Hanscom

 
Set in South Dakota in 1975, where eighteen-year-olds could order 3.2 beer in a bar, and loaded guns were kept under the counter.
Frankie Valli sang "My Eyes Adored You," and American soldiers returning from Vietnam struggled with their new reality.
It's within this tumultuous season of American history that Tillie Caselli meets Noah Hansen, and they are never the same again. Their lives were mysteriously intertwined-and had been for many years-yet they had no idea. 
From the moment they met, Tillie and Noah wanted to spend the rest of their lives together, but a deliberate omission will keep them apart---and that same omission will be responsible for the escape of a murderer, and a bride's deception.
The Pretender by Ta'mara Hanscom is the first novel in her new Caselli Family series. I was drawn in by the description of the book, but quickly found it hard to concentrate on the story. I am not sure if this is supposed to be a young adult novel, but I immediately felt the rebelliousness and anger of Noah from the first page. The emotions of the characters leapt out from the first page, and it was so strong I actually had trouble concentrating on the plot line. The storyline appears to be well thought out and suspenseful, but I had trouble getting past the raw, almost too exaggerated emotions of the characters and the writing style itself. I felt like I could not connect well with the story or the characters because the sentences were somewhat abrupt and simplistic in nature. I am going to continue to try to complete this story because I think the plot and the character development will be compelling in the end, but that is my initial impression of this book. I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review. 
To read more reviews on this novel, please visit the link below:http://litfusegroup.com/author/THanscom
About the authors:


Born and raised in South Dakota, Ta`Mara loves to write about the Great Plains and the beauty and people of Italia. While her husband and children manage their two pizza ristoranti, Ta`Mara works full time on The Caselli Family Series, and ministers to women. It is Ta`Mara s prayer that as the readers explore the truths in these volumes, they will come away with a new perspective on love, forgiveness, obedience, and God's plan for marriage
Find out more about Ta'Mara at https://www.tamarahanscombooks.com.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

 
What did the president know? And when did she know it?
For the members of SEAL Team Six, it was a rare mission ordered by the president, monitored in real time from the Situation Room. The Houthi rebels in Yemen had captured an American journalist and a member of the Saudi royal family. Their executions were scheduled for Easter Sunday. The SEAL team would break them out.
But when the mission results in spectacular failure, the finger-pointing goes all the way to the top.
Did the president play political games with the lives of U.S. service members?
Paige Chambers, a determined young lawyer, has a very personal reason for wanting to know the answer. The case she files will polarize the nation and test the resiliency of the Constitution. The stakes are huge, the alliances shaky, and she will be left to wonder if the saying on the Supreme Court building still holds true.
Equal justice under law.
It makes a nice motto. But will it work when one of the most powerful people on the planet is also a defendant?
I am a huge fan of Randy Singer's legal fiction, and I was excited to hear about Rule of Law's release and then to read it. Once I read Rule of Law, I was not disappointed in it per-se, but it was not my favorite of his novels. However, I thought the message was gripping and an accurate representation of how much power parts of the U.S. government today have and the inherent danger in that unchecked power. The plot was interesting and contained unexpected plot twists, but sometimes was a little scattered and jumped from character to character without leaving time for me to catch up. There was also less actual legal scenes in this novel compared to some of his other works, but they were still compelling scenes. The story seemed to drag a little for me at times, but when everything was finally pulled back together, it made for a powerful and convicting conclusion. I thought the themes were well written and represented in this novel, and I hope they cause people to question the power that some of our government agencies have both here and abroad. I liked Paige as a character as well, and I sympathized with her as she worked to understand her convictions, her faith, and her grief. Overall, I did enjoy this novel and I greatly appreciate its message. I received this novel from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Mercy Triumphs by Jana Kelley

Three women. Three impossible circumstances. One merciful God.
Mia, an American Christian, has lived in Sudan so long that persecution, harassment, and danger have become commonplace for her. Her tough outer shell threatens to harden her heart while her newly Christian friends, Halimah and Rania, former Muslims, are forced to live in exile outside Sudan. All three quickly discover that escaping danger in one place only means facing even greater challenges elsewhere. As God's mercy becomes evident in their lives, they must choose whether or not to offer mercy to those who don't deserve it.
Third in a trilogy, Mercy Triumphs opens the reader's eyes to modern-day persecution and the life of Muslims in Sudan. Based on real-life events, 
Mercy Triumphs reveals some of the struggles Christians face when living under Islamic law. The reader will be inspired to pray for new believers, those who are persecuted for their faith, and even for the salvation of the persecutors.
Mercy Triumphs is the third novel in the trilogy written by Jana Kelley. Picking up a little while after A Door to Freedom, this novel focuses in on some different themes than the first two novels did. The focus shifts from persecution of believers to the struggles of new believers and to trusting in God no matter what the circumstances. Halimah struggles with how to embrace her new freedom Christ yet at the same time not lose sight of the reason why she is free and who her identity is in. Her dilemma is one that is faced by believers in many different cultures, and it was thought provoking to see first her gradual acceptance and then her eventual conviction from the Word and other believers. Rania struggles with the desire to stay safe yet at the same time share the truth with members of her family who do seem interested. I was drawn into both sisters' situations, how they turned to the Word, and the eventual resolution. 
Mia's case was a little different. I cannot say too much without giving away part of the story, but I was convicted by Mia's initial lack of trust in God, in two very different settings, and how in both cases she had to remember to turn back to God and to trust in His guidance. It was also thought provoking to see her realization that she can show mercy, kindness, and share God's love no matter where or with whom she is. Overall, I highly enjoyed the themes of this final novel. The writing style still is choppy at times, and even three books later I still have trouble relating to Mia's character, but the message of this book is very clear and important for believers to remember. 
 I received this book from Litfuse Publicity Group in exchange for an honest review. Read more reviews of Mercy Triumphs at http://litfusegroup.com/author/jkelley. 


About the author:


Author of the captivating novel "Side by Side," Jana Kelley is a Texan who hardly ever lives in Texas. Raised in Southeast Asia, Jana developed a love for cross-cultural living early in life. Her love for writing came soon after. Jana returned to Texas to attend East Texas Baptist University. She and her husband married a month after she graduated, and by their second anniversary, they were living in a remote African town. After 13 years living in Africa and the Middle East, Jana, her husband, and their three boys moved to Southeast Asia where they currently live.
Find out more about Jana at http://www.janakelley.com.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White

  She's out to steal his name. Will he steal her heart instead?
Rosemary Gresham has no family beyond the band of former urchins that helped her survive as a girl in the mean streets of London. Grown now, they are no longer pickpockets-now they focus on high value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. Rosemary's challenge of a lifetime comes when she's assigned to determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany. How does one steal a family's history, their very name?
Rumors swirl around Peter Holstein. Awkward and solitary, but with access to the king, many fear his influence. But Peter can't help his German last name and wants to prove his loyalty to the crown-so he can go back to anonymously writing a series of popular adventure novels. When Rosemary arrives on his doorstop pretending to be a well- credentialed historian, Peter believes she's the right person to help him dig through his family's past.
Anger and danger continue to mount, though, and both realize they're in a race against time to discover the truth-about Peter's past and about the undeniable attraction kindling between them.
A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White marks the first book in her new series, Shadows Over England. Set in pre-WWI England, this novel was enjoyable, thought provoking, and extremely well written. The plot line was well developed and included moments of humor, romance, betrayal, mystery, and suspense. The themes of the novel were incorporated flawlessly and delved into matters of forgiveness, what it means to be a child of God, the value of a person, trust, and honesty. I loved how Peter and Roseanna communicated through letters, and how Peter helped point Roseanna so carefully to her value as a child of God, someone who could be saved regardless of their past sins. I enjoyed seeing the relationship that had been built between Roseanna and her adopted 'siblings', and their amusing bets. I also particularly loved watching Peter and Roseanna discover more about one another and how each helped strengthen one another's failings. Overall, I found this novel to be charming and inspiring, and I look forward to seeing how the next novel in this new series plays out!
 I received this novel from Litfuse Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.  
About the author:

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she's homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna is the author of over a dozen historical novels and novellas, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her British series. Spies and war and mayhem always seem to make their way into her novels . . . to offset her real life, which is blessedly boring. She passes said boring life with her husband and kids in the beautiful mountains of eastern West Virginia.
Find out more about Roseanna M. at http://www.roseannamwhite.com.


High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin




In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle's café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She's a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome.

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin is a well crafted historical novel that delves into life during WWI in German occupied Brussels. I thought the storyline was well written and included the perfect amount of suspense, mystery, danger, romance, and tragedy. Kate Breslin did an excellent job researching life during WWI behind enemy lines, and I felt very connected to the story, characters, and setting. The novel also contained well integrated topics, such as forgiveness (of others and oneself) and sacrifice. The main characters, Evelyn and Simon, are realistic and well developed, and I found myself heartbroken for Evelyn as she had to deal with the horrors of war and what she had endured. I loved watching her work through her past and find renewal and hope. Overall, I highly enjoyed this novel, and I would definitely recommend this novel and Kate Breslin's other novels to readers who enjoy well written and intriguing historical fiction.

I received this novel from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.