“Deadly Proof” by Rachel Dylan

Disclosure Pic

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything–even murder–to keep the case from going to trial.

 
Rachel Dylan
The proof is in the pudding in Deadly Proof  – you won’t be able to put it down!  Dylan’s newest book is a fast-paced, suspense story full of drama and action.
 
I loved the way that Kate was super smart and willing to do the right thing, no matter the time or consequence.  She knew where her priorities lie, and she stuck with them.
 
Landon was just as fascinating – kind of like Gibbs on NCIS.  He’s dealing with lots of emotional traumaand not always very well, but his goals are good and true.  His backstory is hidden, at first, and Dylan lets it pour out slowly through the story, giving you just enough to whet your appetite for more.
 
Deadly Proof has a big, surprising twist at the end.  I thought it was all sounding a little too clean, and I enjoyed the way that Dylan wrote the climax and resolution.
 
I had a bit of trouble in the beginning keeping track of characters.  This was in part because there were a lot of lawyers in the large cast of characters, and partly because it wasn’t clear in the beginning which ones were the good guys and which ones were the bad guys.  Somehow my confusion suddenly cleared up, and I was good from that point on.
 
Deadly Proof is a very smart book.  It may be to a reader’s advantage to have some passing knowledge of law going in, in the same way that knowing something about tactical maneuvers might benefit a Ronie Kendig reader, but I trusted that Kate knew her legal stuff, and I didn’t worry about legal details.  Using that strategy, I was good to go throughout the story, and seemed to follow the action just fine.
 
I really enjoyed my time with Deadly Proof.  This was my first Dylan book, but I’m eagerly looking for more.
 
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.
 

“Murder in Disguise” by Donn Taylor

Disclosure Pic

Official verdict: Suicide. But why would that vigorous department chairman kill himself? To avoid disgrace? Those rumored ventures on the dark side? Some other secret life? Visiting professor Preston Barclay wonders. But his questions bring no answers, only anonymous threats. He has enough problems already, proving himself on a strange campus while radical faculty do all they can to undermine him. Worse yet, that sexy siren assigned as his assistant complicates his courtship of the beautiful Mara Thorn.

While Press keeps asking questions, Mara’s research reveals a cancer of criminal activity that permeates the community and even the campus itself. The more Press questions, the more dangerous the threats against him become, and the more determined he grows to clear his friend’s name.

But can Press and Mara’s stumbling efforts prevail against the entrenched forces of the police, the campus radicals, and an unseen but powerful criminal organization that increasingly puts their lives in danger?

Donn Taylor
 
Preston Barclay is a bumbling, yet exciting protagonist who will keep you turning page after page as he tries not to solve his friend’s murder.  When he becomes the target of strange attacks and even stranger conversations with other professors, Preston stumbles upon clue after clue and begins to put the mystery together.
 
Preston is not your typical main character.  He’s a little more advanced in age, for one thing, and is quite quirky.  Having lost his musician wife a few years before, he hears music as a soundtrack to his life.  He seems to be quite addicted to ham sandwiches and coffee.  Press is also loyal and smart.  He’s observant and dedicated to his friends, as well as being a strong person of faith.  He’s a neat main character, and I enjoyed reading about him.  
 
It was unusual, too, the way that Preston was clearly not  trying to solve a mystery, and yet developments kept coming.  This, along with some of Preston’s idiosyncrasies, makes the story especially entertaining.  The mood of Murder in Disguise is not as scary as other mystery-suspense stories that I’ve read, but I really liked the bits of humor scattered throughout.  I’ll definitely read more of Donn Taylor.
 
I received a free copy of Murder in Disguise from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.
 

“Where We Belong” by Lynn Austin

Disclosure Pic

In the city of Chicago in 1892, the rules for Victorian women are strict, their roles limited. But sisters Rebecca and Flora Hawes are not typical Victorian ladies. Their love of adventure and their desire to use their God-given talents has brought them to the Sinai Desert–and into a sandstorm.

Accompanied by Soren Petersen, their somber young butler, and Kate Rafferty, a street urchin who is learning to be their ladies’ maid, the two women are on a quest to find an important biblical manuscript. As the journey becomes more dangerous and uncertain, the four travelers sift through memories of their past, recalling the events that shaped them and the circumstances that brought them to this time and place.

 
Lynn Austin
 
I want to be just like the Hawes sisters when I grow up!  They’re the neatest people.  I love the way that they don’t let themselves be defined by Victorian standards and how they stand up for what they feel is right, no matter the repercussions.  From clothing choices to how they spend their time, Flora and Rebecca do exactly what they feel God is leading them to do.
 
I love their refrain: God knows the hour of our end, so there’s no need to worry”  (That’s my summary of it, not an exact quote.)  I’m horrible about worrying and seeing trouble around every corner, so I loved hearing this motto throughout the story.  Having it come up whenever trouble was in sight was a great way to remember what is really important.
 
The sisters were fascinating main characters.  I loved the history embedded in the story, but their pluck and sense of adventure was by far my favorite part.  I loved their willingness – no, their determination – to head out on an adventure, whether it was down the street or overseas.  That’s exactly the kind of person I want to be!  
 
Austin wrote the perfect ending for the sisters.  Their life does not give them the neat-and-tidy ending they wanted, but it does fit the plot of the story and the character of the women.  I enjoyed seeing it play out and couldn’t wait to find out what happened – although I didn’t want it to end!
 
I was shocked when I turned the last page and found out that the Hawes sisters were based on real women.  Who knew?  I’ve never heard of the real people before, but I definitely want to learn more about them now.  They sound like super interesting people, and I love that Austin took a piece of truth and built such fascinating characters around real women.
 
I haven’t read an Austin book yet that is less than wonderful, but they seem each to get better by turn.  Where We Belong is my favorite Austin offering yet.
 
I received a free copy of  Where We Belong from the author.  All opinions are my own.

Hope Toler Dougherty’s ‘Rescued Hearts’ Blog Tour and Kindle Giveaway

Her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy-so is her heart. In Hope Toler Dougherty’s new novel, Rescued Hearts, children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar-entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Brett forsakes his three-month mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind . . . and then Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more.

Cozy up this fall with Hope’s new book and enter to win a Kindle Fire!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of Rescued Hearts
  • A Kindle Fire 7

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on November 13. The winner will be announced November 14 on the Litfuse blog.

“Rescued Hearts” by Hope Toler Dougherty

Disclosure Pic

Children’s clothing designer Mary Wade Kimball’s soft spot for animals leads to a hostage situation when she spots a briar- entangled kitten in front of an abandoned house. Beaten, bound, and gagged by the two thugs inside, Mary Wade loses hope for escape when a third villain returns with supplies.

Discovering the kidnapped woman ratchets the complications for undercover agent Brett Davis. Weighing the difference of ruining his three months’ investigation against the woman’s safety, Brett forsakes his mission and helps her escape, the bent-on-revenge brutes following behind.

When Mary Wade’s safety is threatened once more, Brett rescues her again. This time, her personal safety isn’t the only thing in jeopardy. Her heart is endangered as well.

 
Rescued Hearts
 
 Dougherty packs the plot of Rescued Hearts full of action from the very first page to the last!  When I read that the main character was a clothing designer, I somehow figured the story would be mostly sweet romance, but while that element is there, Rescued Hearts is much, much more.
 
That action starts off at the very beginning and rises throughout.  It never feels scary, which I appreciate, but Mary Wade finds herself in some really tough situations.  I enjoyed Brett’s changing roles and the way that his experience and job adds to the action, both physical and emotional.
 
Both kinds of action are there.  Dougherty uses lots of physical action to advance the plot, but there’s a lot of emotional and spiritual drama going on, too.  Mary Wade and Brett both have spiritual lessons to learn, and they are very relatable.  
 
I love the way that Dougherty describes Mary Wade without using words.  She uses incidents and story sketches to show the reader who her characters really are, and I love that skill.  Bringing the past into the present in small bits and pieces throughout the story ups the suspense factor and is another talent of this author.
 
I love mystery and suspense stories, and Rescued Hearts ranks right up there with Colleen Coble or Teri Blackstock.  I can’t wait for the next one!
 
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

The KJV Know the Word Study Bible Review

Disclosure Pic

The KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers three easy ways to begin studying Scripture and helps individuals transition from being a casual reader of the Bible to becoming a regular student of the Bible. You can choose to study the Bible book-by-book, verse-by-verse, or topic-by-topic; each path offers powerful insights that will help you develop a daily routine of Bible study. The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.

Features Include:

  • King James Version Bible text
  • Three easy approaches to study the Bible: 1. Book by Book; 2. Verse by Verse; 3. Topic by Topic
  • Insightful introductions for each book of Scripture
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Beautiful two-color interior page design
  • Comprehensive list of theological notes
  • Concordance
  • Full-color maps
  • 8-point type size

KJV Know the Word Study Bible

Have you ever noticed how no two Bibles feel the same when you pick them up?  I don’t mean in weight, or in heft, but they all have different features.  While the books of the actual Bible are in the same order, the notes, maps, explanations, and more make each version unique.

The Know the Word Study Bible is very different from my other study Bibles.  They are intended to be easy to understand, or are full of color pictures, but this one feels more conservative and old-fashioned in nature.  It’s chock-full of explanatory notes meant to help the reader understand the history and meaning of words and verses.  The explanations take a very conservative stance, and I appreciate the way that they explain a variety of views and which one is most researched or plausible.

Notes are abundant.  I really like the way that there’s extra information everywhere you look.  It’s not distracting in layout, but if I want more information while I’m reading, it’s easy to find.

I thoroughly enjoy the introductions to each book.  They’re lengthy and detailed.  There’s a lot of information there, and it’s not just in list format like in some other books; instead, there’s a full page of background material to get you up to speed as you begin reading each new book of the Bible.

If you’re looking for additional information to beef up your Bible time, I highly recommend this new Know the Word Study Bible.  It’s full of great features and even better information.

I received a free copy of this Bible from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

What if You Lost Your Sight?

Disclosure Pic

It was one of the scariest school days ever.

It was the first day of third grade, and I’d heard that the teacher was very strict.  Scarily strict.  So when she wanted us to copy what she had written on the board, and I couldn’t see the writing, I was afraid to tell her, but I had no choice.

Twice I had to raise my hand and explain that I couldn’t see the board, and finally she got tired of moving my seat.  She sighed loudly and told me to move my desk wherever it needed to be so that I could see.  I began to push my desk forward and stopped when I could see – when my desk touched the board.

That was the first time that I realized how scary it was not to be able to see, and as I became more and more nearsighted, similar situations occurred.  I began to wonder what it would be like actually to be blind, and I didn’t like the idea.

My nearsightedness is a common occurrence, and I can see just fine – but if that should change?  What if there were something I could do about it?

AMD

Every year nearly 10 million Americans go blind due to AMD or age-related Macular Degeneration.  The exciting news is that a cure is in sight!  The Foundation Fighting Blindness, a non-profit organization, has provided funding for research for curing blindness, particularly AMD, since 1971.  In fact, with the research FFB has already made possible, treatments to stop and in some cases even reverse retinal disease is a reality.  This is great news for people over 55 and their families. With AMD it is nearly impossible for grandparents to enjoy the little things in life such as playing games, watching movies, and reading to their grandchildren.  However, due to innovative research, those things are once again possible for many people, but we need to continue this outreach to fund research and find cures.

With your help, we can continue our important work of helping the blind to see.  Please click on this link for a FREE informational packet about AMD and how you can help.

Thomas Nelson’s ‘KJV Know The Word Study Bible’ Kindle Fire Giveaway

Diving deeper into God’s Word can be easy and rewarding if you break it down book by book, verse by verse, or topic by topic with the new KJV Know The Word Study Bible by Thomas Nelson. The book-by-book series of notes leads you through the main points of each book of the Bible. The verse-by-verse notes help you to dig deeper into God’s Word. The topic-by-topic articles, which cover 21 theological topics, guide you through a series of insightful notes and give you a thorough biblical understanding of each topic. With the beautiful and timeless text of the KJV translation, the KJV Know the Word Study Bible offers you choices of how to study Scripture and grow in your relationship with Christ.

This fall, become a regular student of the Bible and enter to win the Kindle Fire giveaway!

 

One grand prize winner will receive:

  • A copy of the KJV Know The Word Study Bible
  • A Kindle Fire 7
  • A Kindle Fire case (winner’s choice)

Enter today by clicking the icon below, but hurry! The giveaway ends on October 31. The winner will be announced November 1 on the Litfuse blog.

“A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star” by J.A. Myhre

Disclosure Pic

Just thirteen-years-old, Kusiima has no time for school, sports, or hanging out with the other boys in his African village. With no father or mother to take care of him, he works long hours to support his grandmother and sickly baby sister. Then one day, Kusiima’s life suddenly changes when he travels into a nearby protected forest. In the forest, Kusiima is presented with many choices, all with uncertain outcomes. Should he go along with illegal logging? Help to save an endangered baby gorilla? Follow a donkey to who knows where? With each choice, Kusiima has to make yet another decision about what is right in front of him. As he does, he meets a mysterious doctor who holds the key to his past and his future. In the end, Kusiima is faced with the hardest choice of all. Can he forgive a great wrong and heal a broken relationship? Readers of all ages won t want to put down this exciting book that addresses current realities like AIDS, malnutrition, and environmental destruction, all set in a richly detailed African adventure story. Following along as Kusiima makes his decisions, readers will find themselves considering their own choices and growing in empathy for others. This action-packed tale of a boy, his sister, and an orphaned gorilla is also a clear call to give up bitterness and forgive deep hurts, restoring broken lives and relationships. A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star is the third book in the Rwendigo Tale Series and follows Book One, A Chameleon, a Boy, and a Quest, and Book Two, A Bird, a Girl, and a Rescue.

Myhre

God loves us and knows about every detail of our lives.  That’s the message I took away after ready A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star.  It’s a story for kids that doesn’t sugarcoat the hard things in life – Myhre talks AIDS, starvation, poaching, death, and more.  These issues all play a major role in this book.

So it’s a serious story, and it deals with issues that many children can’t possibly imagine.  Myhre writes the story in a very age-appropriate way, if there is such a thing, so that you’re very aware of Kusiima’s age but also of his fears.  I thoroughly enjoyed how relateable she created this character to be.

The story is well-planned and smooth.  It teaches great lessons while entertaining, and you’ll be excited to find out what happens to Kusiima.  The story is so far outside my realm of experience, though, that it was difficult for me to relate to.  That’s a good thing, in a way, but it made the plot feel a bit slow-moving to me.  

A Forest, a Flood, and an Unlikely Star would be a great story for those interested in international missions or for children learning about life in other countries.

I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

 

“Blind Spot” by Dani Pettrey

Disclosure Pic

FBI agent Declan Grey is in the chase of his life–but isn’t sure exactly what he’s chasing after. Threatened by a terrorist that “the wrath is coming,” Grey fears something horrible is about to be unleashed on American soil. When his investigation leads him to a closed immigrant community, he turns to Tanner Shaw to help him. She’s sought justice for refugees and the hurting around the world, and if there’s anyone who can help him, it’s Tanner.

Tanner Shaw has joined the FBI as a crisis counselor . . . meaning she now has more opportunity to butt heads with Declan. But that tension also includes a spark she can’t deny, and she’s pretty sure Declan feels the same. But before anything can develop between them, they discover evidence of a terror cell–and soon are in a race against the clock to stop the coming “wrath” that could cost thousands their lives.

Dani Pettrey
Don’t start Blind Spot unless you have at least four free hours, because once you pick it up, you won’t put it down until you’ve turned the last page!  Pettrey has outdone herself in this latest book in the Chesapeake Valor series.
 
Pettrey ups the game by introducing a heretofore-unknown character, and his actions not only move the plot along, but kick it out of the park.  Blind Spot has the absolute best cliffhanger ending.  I’ve never heard more readers asking impatiently for the release date of the next book, and I am right there with them!  (The next book will release in July, in case you’re wondering.  I’ve already made a note on my calendar.)  
 
I love the way that the various plots throughout the books begin to come together in Blind Spot.  Background characters take a bigger role as the stakes get higher with each plot.  Revisiting the main characters from the previous two books feels … friendly?  reassuring? as if you’re catching up with an old friend, and I love that part of this series – that you can see older characters’ plots and lives advance.
 
After turning the last page, I stewed for a day or so, frustrated at having to wait so.  very. long. for the next installment in the story, and then I handed the book to my husband, who had read the first two.  He’s not generally a reader, and the kids usually yell, “Whoa!  Daddy’s reading!” whenever he does pick up a book, so you know that it’s a rarity in this house of bibliophiles.  After starting Blind Spot, though, we didn’t really see him for about three days after that – until he had finished the book.  
 
If suspense stories are your cup of tea, this is definitely a book you need to have on your shelf.
 
I received a free copy of this book to review.   All opinions are my own.
 
There’s a great giveaway associated with this Blind Spot!  Check it out here.