Thursday, January 17, 2013

Silent Night by Colleen Coble

As Christmas day nears, Bree and her faithful search-and-rescue dog Samson follow the trail of a troubling mystery into the snowy forests of Rock Harbor.

Bree Matthews is preparing for Christmas guests, but her heart is reeling from the recent and tender loss of her unborn child. Her sister-in-law, Lauri, suddenly turns up on the doorstep of the lighthouse home Bree shares with her husband, Kade, in Rock Harbor. Secretive and withdrawn, Lauri seems curiously intent on discovering what happened to a parachuter who disappeared in the North Woods along Lake Superior's icy shore.

As Bree and Samson, her search-and-rescue dog, plunge into the search, Bree wonders if Lauri may know more than she’s admitted about the parachuter. And then the clues lead them to the trail of a young woman whose family fears the worst about her disappearance.

Will the search on this snowy, silent night lead Bree and Samson to more than clues about the missing girl? And will Bree’s prayer for a baby ever be answered?

Silent Night by Colleen Coble is a sweet and interesting little novella that piqued my curiosity about Rock Harbor and its inhabitants. The book was very short, but it was still filled with mystery, danger, and intrigue. I was held in suspense wondering if the girl would be found, if Lauri would be more responsible, and if family disagreements be forgiven. Silent Night is a novella that seems to be postscript to Colleen Coble's full length novels in her Rock Harbor series. Having not read any of those novels, I was put at a slight disadvantage of having missed out on many of the changes, heartaches, and secrets that the characters had experienced in their lives. However, this novella did make me interested in reading the rest of the Rock Harbor series.

Overall, I would enjoyed this novella and that sneak previews of other Colleen Coble novels that it contained, including Tidewater Inn and other Rock Harbor novels. However, I would recommend reading Silent Night after reading the rest of the Rock Harbor novels so that the characters feel more realistic and you can identify with them better.

I received this eBook for free from in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Deadline by Randy Alcorn

Click here to download the first chapter.
Heart-Pounding Murder Mystery

Involved in a tragic accident under suspicious circumstances, award-winning journalist Jake Woods teams with detective Ollie Chandler to uncover the truth. This alluring repackage of the Randy Alcorn bestseller finds Jake drawing upon all his resources in an ever-intensifying, dangerous murder investigation. Unaware of the imminent threat to his own life, Jake struggles for answers to the mystery at hand and is plunged into a deeper search for the meaning of his own existence.

Deadline by Randy Alcorn is a dramatic and vivid novel of substance, filled with hope and perspective for every reader who longs to feel purpose in life. This was Randy Alcorn's first novel, and I found it truly enlightening and inspiring. The plot was well written, and clearly portrayed Randy Alcorn's values, thoughts, and worldview. There was plenty of mystery, intrigue, and murder in the story. At times the story dragged along, especially when the story switches to heaven and the dialogue is slower and concentrates more on theology. However, the rest of the story is quite interesting and the last fourth of the novel flies by with action, intrigue, and near death experiences.

The main character, Jake Woods is quite the complex character. He is a liberal, outspoken journalist who is not afraid to speak ill of and misquote conservative positions and ideals. However, as Jake works to uncover the cause of a terrible accident with police detective Ollie Chandler, he begins to understand the problem with his viewpoint and its result on healthcare, organ transplants, abortions, sexual activity in teens, family interactions, and journalism. Jake realizes some of the truth at a very terrible cost to his own family and friends. The other minor characters, such as Finney and his family, were important in revealing the truth about morality and Christ to Jake as he struggled with the present state of American culture and journalism.

The themes of Deadline were clear and very accurate with regards to our current culture's ideals. The results of the lack of morality and the idea of "accept all worldviews except the Christian view" in our healthcare system and journalism were startling and quite scary. I could certainly see our culture sliding into the despicable practices that were mentioned in this novel. I loved the view of heaven that Alcorn portrayed, and his idea of hell was quite scary. The scenes in heaven were beautiful, and I enjoyed learning more about the relationship between one of the characters and his guardian angel.

Overall, I truly enjoyed this novel, and I cannot wait to read the next two books, Dominion and Deception. This is certainly not a book for young children and teens, but I would highly recommend it to adults. Deadline is well written, interesting, and leads to some great good for thought.

I received this novel for free in exchange from Blogging For Books and Waterbrook Multnomah Press.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden

Female journalists are rare in 1879, but American-born Clara Endicott has finally made a name for herself with her provocative articles championing London's poor. When the backlash from her work forces a return home to Baltimore, Clara finds herself face-to-face with a childhood sweetheart who is no longer the impoverished factory worker she once knew. In her absence, Daniel Tremain has become a powerful industry giant and Clara finds him as enigmatic as ever. However, Daniel's success is fueled by resentment from past wounds and Clara's deeply-held beliefs about God's grace force Daniel to confront his own motives. When Clara's very life is endangered by one of Daniel's adversaries, they must face a reckoning neither of them ever could have foreseen.

The Lady of Bolton Hill by Elizabeth Camden is an interesting and spell binding novel that I could not put down. The plot is filled with mystery, suspense, romance, and danger. The story is told from the perspective of Clara for the most part, but it also includes chapters that are told from Daniel's perspective and Bane's point of view. I found the plot every interesting and exciting, and I enjoyed the character development, unexpected plot twists, and the different story lines in the plot that ended up intertwining.

The characters in The Lady of Bolton Hill were realistic and developed well. I loved seeing Clara Endicott's determination to change the world through her writing and to bring others to Christ instead of living lives of bitterness and evil. She trusted God even when she was in danger for her life and had the opportunity to take the easy way out. I loved her spirit, her love for God, and her persistence in her love for Daniel, and her determination to help others. Daniel Tremain was an intriguing character. He suffered much heart ache and pain in his life and instead of driving him to God, he allowed it to push him away from God into bitterness, anger, and a thirst for vengeance. His choices cost him even more in this novel, and it was only through God's grace that he experienced growth and renewal and not death. Alexander Banebridge is an interesting character. Driven by his unfortunate circumstances, he leads a life of danger and crime that threatens the lives of many. However, Clara's influence in his life is phenomenal, and I loved seeing him work through his thoughts and have a greater understanding of God's forgiveness. If you want to see more of Bane, then check out the next novel, Against the Tide, which is also an excellent read.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Lady of Bolton Hill. The plot was exciting, the themes of forgiveness, love, and a new life in Christ were excellent, and the characters were realistic and easy to connect with. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone seeking an inspiring and interesting read.