“Rule of Law” by Randy Singer

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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?

Randy Singer

I’ve not read many of Randy Singer’s novels, but after reading Rule of Law this weekend, that’s about to change!  Rule of Law weighs in at a hefty 480 pages, but I flew through it in a single day – I couldn’t put it down!  It’s like the best of Joel C. Rosenberg and Dee Henderson and NCIS all rolled into one.

Singer caught me up in the romance of the story at the very beginning.  Patrick was a chivalrous leading man, and I couldn’t wait to learn more about him – except that then the story took a crazy turn, and we left Dee Henderson and moved into NCIS, all forensics and research and mystery.  After a while, though, as resolution neared, with me still cheering on Paige and Kristen, we moved into Rosenberg territory, as Middle Eastern culture and tradition and faithful double agents came into play.  There was no part of the story where I felt lost, confused, or bored; instead, I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next, and even when I thought I knew, I found myself surprised on the next page.

I’m not a political person, but Singer made me understand and care about the issues within this book, and he wrote it in such a way that it was both suspenseful and exciting.

If you read any new suspense novel at all this fall, make it Rule of Law!

Click here to read other reviews in this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy.

I received a free copy from Litfuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

“God’s Crime Scene for Kids” by J. Warner Wallace

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In this companion to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids, Jason uncovers a mystery in his grandmother’s attic. He and his friends, Hannah, Daniel and Jasmine, enlist the help of Detective Jeffries at the Jr. Detective’s Academy. Along the way, they develop the skills needed to investigate the mystery and the evidence of God’s existence. The cadets learn logical-thinking skills as they examine the contents of a mysterious box and the vast universe.
 
In God’s Crime Scene for Kids, real-life detective J. Warner Wallace shows kids ages 8 to 12 what skills are needed to solve Jason’s mystery, and at the same time looks at evidence in the universe that demonstrates God is the creator. Ultimately, kids will learn how to make their own case for God’s existence.

J. Warner Wallace

J. Warner Wallace has hit it out of the park with his newest book God’s Crime Scene for Kids.  The second in his apologetic series for kids, the book reads like a fiction story, but each chapter teaches the reader new investigative skills that help them to examine Christianity from a new perspective.

I love that this book is such a short, easy read.  The detective vocabulary is in bold print with definition bubbles off to the side.  The many pictures give it a friendly feel, and the accompanying printables and videos make the book even easier to understand – and to teach, too.

God’s Crime Scene for Kids may be short, but that doesn’t make it watered down or a preschooler’s book, either.  With real life detective strategies, real vocabulary words, and a deep premise (how did the universe come to be?), this book is real and deep.  The best part is that it teaches kids how to think in those real and deep ways so that they can examine the Bible and their own faith to see if it holds up to the test.

Wallace has created neat resources to accompany the book itself, too.  There are videos and pages to download for each chapter, as well as a printable certificate upon completion of the book (and the course).  With all of those resources, it should be easy for an adult to use these resources, along with the book, to teach a Bible study or detective class.

I love these resources!  They are deep, kid-friendly, and easy to use.  I’m definitely going to be using God’s Crime Scene for Kids with my own family.

Click here to read other reviews in this bloggy hop, or here to purchase your own copy now.

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

 

“Gathering the Threads” by Cindy Woodsmall

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Finally back in the Old Order Amish world she loves,
Will Ariana’s new perspectives draw her family closer together—
or completely rip them apart?

After months away in the Englisch world, Ariana Brenneman is overjoyed to be in the Old Order Amish home where she was raised. Yet her excitement is mixed with an unexpected apprehension as she reconciles all she’s learned from her biological parents with the uncompromising teachings of her Plain community. Although her childhood friend, ex-Amish Quill Schlabach, hopes to help her navigate her new role amongst her people, Ariana’s Daed doesn’t understand why his sweet daughter is suddenly questioning his authority. What will happen if she sows seeds of unrest and rebellion in the entire family? 
 
Meanwhile, Skylar Nash has finally found her place among the large Brenneman family, but Ariana’s arrival threatens to unravel Skylar’s new identity—and her sobriety. Both Ariana and Skylar must discover the true cords that bind a family and community together and grasp tight the One who holds their authentic identities close to His heart.

Cindy Woodsmall

Cindy Woodsmall writes the most dramatic and hard-hitting Amish fiction ever, and Gathering the Threads is no different!  This conclusion to the Amish of Summer Grove series is a real page-turner.

I don’t know how Woodsmall thinks of the situations in which she puts her characters, but they are most unique.  She writes so realistically that you’ll examine the issues right along with Skylar and Ariana, and many of those same issues are just as relevant to the Englisch as they are to the Amish.

Some of those issues were particularly hard to read about.  For instance, while nobody’s perfect, it isn’t easy to read about some of the issues occurring in Ariana’s church; however, I did enjoy Woodsmall’s conclusion to those issues and the spiritual depth that she brought to the table in this storyline.

You’ll need it, because nothing about this book is light-hearted; there are weighty faith and relationship issues here, but it’s so realistically written that you’ll be completely caught up in it. 

If you like Amish fiction, don’t just buy this book, though; you’ll want to pick up all three, and start reading immediately.  They’re that good.

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

NEW! “The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key” by Jenny L. Cote

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My Big Helper loves to read.  She’s happy to read anywhere and for hours, and like me, she loves a good, thick book in which she can really fall in love with her characters.

That’s one reason she loves Jenny L. Cote’s books.  The Epic Order of the Seven series is lengthy, amazingly detailed, and deep – and yet she often laughs out loud while she’s reading.

The newest offering in the series, The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key is no different.  She absolutely devoured this book, and she’s eager for the next one. 

Why?

Here’s what she has to say:

    Watch out!  The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key will take you on the most exciting mission yet for the Order of the Seven.  It keeps the reader on the edge of their seat waiting for more.  This story is well-written and makes you feel as if you were a part of the action.

    Follow the intelligent and humorous group of animals called “The Epic Order of the Seven” through the years leading up to the Revolution as they influence some of the most important people in American history including Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin.  Cote’s thorough research is evident on every page of this book, covering every aspect, including how the historical characters felt.  She makes brilliant connections through-out history that will leave you speechless.    

    Jenny L. Cote is an amazing author.  The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key shows how much effort and research she put into this book.  Readers of all ages will adore this thrilling, action-packed adventure.

Jenny L. Cote

The Voice, the Revolution, and the Key released today, and Cote is speaking and conducting writing interviews all over.  Check out her website for up-to-date information, and put this book on your TBR list – soon.  You won’t be sorry.

Does the name Jenny L. Cote sound familiar?  It should!  She’s the amazing author behind the Epic Patriot Camp that my Big Helper and Little Man attended last summer, and she’s as kind and creative as she is brilliant.  Her book is worth reading – or the travel worth making to meet her – just for that.  Read my review about our camp experience here, or find out more about Epic Patriot Camp in general here.

“A Name Unknown” by Roseanna M. White

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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 concentrate on stealing high-value items and have learned how to blend into upper-class society. But when Rosemary must determine whether a certain wealthy gentleman is loyal to Britain or to Germany, she is in for the challenge of a lifetime. How does one steal a family’s history, their very name?

Peter Holstein, given his family’s German blood, writes his popular series of adventure novels under a pen name. With European politics boiling and his own neighbors suspicious of him, Peter debates whether it might be best to change his name for good. When Rosemary shows up at his door pretending to be a historian and offering to help him trace his family history, his question might be answered.

But as the two work together and Rosemary sees his gracious reaction to his neighbors’ scornful attacks, she wonders if her assignment is going down the wrong path. Is it too late to help him prove that he’s more than his name?

Roseanna M. White

Wow!  Roseanna M. White’s newest book A Name Unknown is a book like no other.  I love historical fiction, and White has reached new heights of excitement and suspense in this story. It’s not just a story of love in the midst of war, although it is – but it’s about political loyalties, chosen professions, the role of faith in our lives, and how money affects our integrity and place in society.

I love those unique angles.  I’ve never before heard of internment camps for Germans living in England when World War I was declared, but that reality plays a large role in this story.  The fact that popular fiction writers were asked to put certain themes into their work during this time does, too – and who knew?

A Name Unknown contains deep theological themes, too.  White writes about redemption and forgiveness, but also about the importance of prayer and the way that we share our personal faith.  I enjoyed the way that she made Peter’s faith real and alive and natural so that just overflowed out of him onto everything around.  Isn’t that a great example of how we should internalize our faith, as well?

White has written a story that’s exciting and suspenseful – enough for me to speed through it in a single afternoon – but that’s clean enough to share with my tween daughter.  She’s going to love it, too – and I love that I can share it with her.

If you’re a fan of historical fiction at all, put A Name Unknown on your TBR list now.

Click here to read other reviews on this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy now.

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

 

“My Daughter’s Legacy” by Mindy Starns Clark & Leslie Gould

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A thrilling tale of two women longing to follow God’s leading, make the most of second chances, and find true love at last
Virginia, 1864
Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love-whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor-ever fit in her broken world?
Virginia, present day
Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she’s finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained-her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man-to unlock the secrets of the past.
My Daughters Legacy
Clark and Gould fascinate with My Daughter’s Legacy!  I loved the parallel stories happening in this one, and these authors are masters of this technique.  Intertwining the historical story with the modern-day component keeps the interest high and the pages turning.
I absolutely loved the historical element of this story.  As a Northerner living in the South, the effects of the Civil War remain obvious, and so reading about the beginning of this conflict was fascinating.  I especially liked reading about the issue of slavery from a different perspective, and I thoroughly enjoyed Therese’s.
Nicole’s story was interesting, though, too.  Her story began in the book before this one, so reading the earlier books in the series is helpful.  Nicole grows a great deal in these books,  She’s becoming a strong and independent woman, and she makes my favorite kind of lead. 
Clark and Gould have been favorite authors for years, and their books never disappoint.  My Daughter’s Legacy is no exception.

 
About the authors:
 
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania.
Find out more about Mindy Starns at http://mindystarnsclark.com.
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Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including “Beyond the Blue” and “Garden of Dreams.” She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children.
 
Find out more about Leslie at http://www.lesliegould.com/.
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I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

“Grounded Hearts” by Jeanne M. Dickson

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A brave midwife. A wounded pilot. A risky secret.
 
In the midst of World War II, Ireland has declared herself neutral. Troops found on Irish soil must be reported and interned, no matter which side they are fighting for. When midwife Nan O’Neil finds a wounded young Canadian pilot at her door, she knows she’s taking a huge risk by letting him in. Not only is she a widow living alone, but if caught harboring a combatant, she’ll face imprisonment.
 
Still, something compels Nan to take in “flyboy” Dutch Whitney, an RAF pilot whose bomber has just crashed over County Clare. While she tends to his wounds and gives him a secret place of refuge, the two begin to form a mutual affection-and an unbreakable bond.
But Nan has another secret, one that has racked her with guilt since her husband’s death and made her question ever loving again. As Nan and Dutch plan his escape, can he help restore her faith?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dickson’s written a most unique story in Grounded Hearts The setting is colorful, and if I didn’t know it was based on real stories and situations, I’d think it total fiction!  I enjoyed the way that Dickson brings the setting to life.  Her cast of characters is most colorful, and while Nan’s situation is dire, it is almost comical the way that the worst always, always seems to happen to her – until she finds her final resolution.
 
The ending was not unpredictable, but it did come about in a most unexpected way.  The journey to this ending was a fun one, and I didn’t want to put the story down.  I found myself turning page after page with increasing speed, needing to find out if Nan was able to stay out of trouble.  I liked this aspect of the story much more than expected.
 
Despite the unusual situations in which Nan finds herself, there is much depth to this story.  With internment on the line, Roman Catholic rules, and marital grief, sadness abounds.  Dickson writes deep spiritual lessons into this story with each twist and turn of the plot.
 
If you like WWII historical fiction, Dickson’s an author to watch.
 

About the author:
 
Jeanne M. Dickson was born into an Irish American family, the only girl surrounded by four brothers. She credits her mother, her aunts, and her grandmother with her love of storytelling. Perfecting her craft, she attends many writer’s conferences and over the years, she has won and finaled in numerous RWA romance writing awards including the Daphne du Maurier Award, the Maggie Award, The Molly, The Tara, and she was the overall contest winner of Launching A Star. Today she lives in Coastal San Diego with her fabulous husband, her two wonderful girls, and a dozen disobedient rose bushes.
Find out more about Jeanne M. at http://www.jeannemdickson.com.
 
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I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.
 
 

“A Letter from Lancaster County” by Kate Lloyd

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Two sisters get a second chance at life and love
 
Angela—Her mother’s untimely death, a struggling marriage, a strained relationship with her sister, Rose, and regrets over what might have been haunt her. Despite being a wife and mother, she feels she has little to show for her life.
Rose–Still single, she longs for a husband and children. But Angela has all that and still isn’t happy. Rose wants to be closer to her older sister, but she and Angela couldn’t be more different. Both strong women, will their sibling rivalry ever end?
* * *
When a letter arrives from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Angela and Rose decide to visit Aunt Silvia, their mother’s Mennonite sister, in the heart of Amish country. This vacation could provide the opportunity both sisters need to sort out their issues. And yet instead of finding a new way of connecting with each other, Angela and Rose discover surprising family secrets that add to their strife and threaten Rose’s romance with a new beau.
Through it all, the two sisters must find the faith necessary to face their personal problems and allow God to restore hope and healing to their hearts and relationship as only He can.
Kate Lloyd
 A Letter from Lancaster County is here, and it’s Kate Lloyd’s best work yet!  This emotionally-charged novel will keep you guessing about motivations, secrets, and temptations from the first page to the last.  I think Lloyd’s writing is a bit messy in this one, but given the extreme messiness of human emotion, it was a necessary evil for the writing of this novel.
Despite it’s drama, it’s an action-packed one, too.  With adventures, crushes, missing people, secret rooms, and more, there’s always a new problem arising.
I enjoyed reading about Rose and Angela’s complicated relationship, but I liked Silvia even more.  I especially liked her quiet, deep faith that steadied the crazy currents of emotion that were happening all around her. 
The sisters were certainly more complicated, and that made them feel three-dimensional and extremely real.  I enjoyed the way that Lloyd brought them to life.
The ending of the book felt a bit abrupt; I wasn’t ready to turn the last page any more than I was ready for the sisters to leave Lancaster County.  The epilogue concludes the story nicely, however, and I was happy to learn that there is a sequel coming.
I can’t wait to read it. 

 
About the author:
 
Kate Lloyd is a bestselling novelist whose books include “A Portrait of Marguerite” and the Legacy of Lancaster trilogy. A native of Baltimore, she enjoys spending time with friends and family in rural Pennsylvania and is a member of the Lancaster County Mennonite Historical Society. She now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.
Find out more about Kate at http://katelloyd.com.
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I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

“His Guilt” by Shelley Shepard Gray

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Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay…

Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.

Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?

 
Shelley Shepard Gray
 
Gray pulled out all the stops with His Guilt!  I enjoyed the way that Gray created a realistic situation in today’s society and set it in an Amish community.  This setting certainly added to the emotional drama and personal complications for the main characters, but it provided the perfect opportunity to explore interpersonal relationships between Amish and English.
 
Gray used those relationships to delve into themes of gossip, forgiveness, and the way that we care for those in need around us.  The characters grew throughout the story, in character and in depth, until they felt like friends long before I turned the last page.
 
The Amish may be resist violence, but His Guilt is no peaceful story.  With brutal beatings, attempted rapes, unofficial shunning, and emotional and verbal abuse, this is not your typical Amish read.  Much like the real world, Amish and English mingle throughout the pages, interacting in a typical small town and sharing news and concerns.  That real life aspect, which is missing in so many Amish novels, brings His Guilt to life.  The story becomes a thrilling tale of suspense and attraction, and how often can you say that about an Amish story?
 
If you enjoy reading Amish fiction but are ready for a deep, edgy story, give His Guilt a try.
 

 

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

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Click here to read other reviews on this bloggy hop or here to purchase your own copy now.
 
I received a free copy of this book from LitFuse Publicity.  All opinions are my own.

“Dragon Seed” by Marty Machowski

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An angry teen, a desperate mother, a missing father, and a shadow lurking in the background. Things were going from bad to worse for Nick and his family. Tempted to run away after yet another argument with his mom, Nick receives a handwritten, leather-bound copy of an old book a family legend passed down to him from his great grandfather. The book, called Dragon Seed, leads Nick deep into his family s history and introduces him to another angry young man who lived in the shadows (the shadows of the tombs). Like Nick, you’ll be shocked to discover where he fits in this story of epic proportions! This page-turning, young adult fiction story invites older children and teens into the real-life struggles of Nick. But it also ushers them into an imaginative exploration of the life of the young man Jesus saved as he wandered through the tombs. Best-selling author Marty Machowski uses both stories to introduce the reality of spiritual warfare and how its shadows affect and change us. Machowski, a trusted teacher for children of all ages, presents a thoroughly biblical view of spiritual warfare that emphasizes the importance of humility and dangers of pride. Teens will be drawn to the story of Nick and his struggles and will learn, as they read, to also identify the shadows in their own life and turn from them. While the biblical teaching is evident throughout the narrative of Dragon Seed, Machowski also includes a twelve-lesson Bible study at the end of the book to help teens ground their understanding of spiritual warfare on biblical principles. Youth pastors, leaders, and parents will also want to explore with teens the small group study at the end of the book with its unique take on spiritual warfare that emphasizes the biblical theme of humility. This is a perfect book to read with a group and discuss together the implications of Nick s struggles for their lives.

Machowski

Dragon Seed is the parallel story of teenage Nick and God’s great love for mankind colliding in an action-packed, concrete way.  Machowski turns sin into dragons and makes the spiritual realm visual in a way that reminds me of Ted Dekker’s Circle trilogy. 

Dragon Seed is billed as a modern-day parable, and I don’t think that label quite fits.  While part of the story is based on scripture straight from the Bible, but with the gaps we don’t know filled in fictionally, much of the story is straight from scripture.  So much is based on Biblical account that I don’t think it can be called a parable; I think ‘allegory’ is a better fit, although, again, so much is Biblical that I’m not sure that’s a great moniker, either.

When it comes right down to it, I’m not sure the label is really all that important.  What is important is that the Biblical references are true and real.  The story is compelling and well written.  The characters are real and life-like and reachable.  The story itself is one that everyone can relate to.

I love the way that Machowski took the idea of the dragon from Revelation and used the concept of sin throughout the Bible to show how easily that sin can infect us all; how none of us are immune to it, and how nobody is too far gone to be saved from it.  The concrete imagery is easy to picture and something that, again, we can all relate to.

Amazon bills this book as for older children and teens, but I disagree.  With children of varying ages, and several adults all in the story, I think it’s one that almost everyone can relate to. 

As I finished reading the book, I found myself wishing for discussion questions, as my children were already clamoring to read it for themselves.    While those are not available, the book does contain twelve devotions at the end, which do include questions – and some even reference projects or activities you could do to make them more hands-on and inclusive.

Dragon Seed would be a great book for a youth group, church study, or family read aloud. It’s versatile, exciting, and relates truth, but best of all, it points to Jesus’s love while encouraging discussion.  Dragon Seed deserves a place on your bookshelf.

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