Thursday, September 14, 2017

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

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?

My Thoughts:

Incredible! Author Randy Singer nails it with his newest legal military thriller, Rule of Law. At first I was intimidated by the sheer size of this story but I deferred to my last experience with Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales and believed this was going to be worth 456 pages of my time.

It. Is. Totally. Worth. It. In fact, this might be one of those books I read again because it's just that good and I don't say that lightly because who has time to read a book twice when there are other great ones waiting? But that's just it. This story is so good, so thrilling, so engaging, that I eagerly whipped through all 94 chapters in record time (like less than 24 hours if you count them consecutively).

This book opens up with a dedication to five men and their families who courageously sacrificed their lives for our freedom and an author's note that while the story and the characters are fictitious-the issues are real.

Seal Team Six is sent on a mission inside the border of Yemen and it doesn't go as planned. It is an epic failure and a team of lawyers and their client are willing to go down in the fight to get to the truth of who is responsible. I was gripped immediately by the story. I was also emotionally sunk by chapter 24. Tears dripping, throat swollen with sorrow, there was no way I was going to be able to put this book down.

And so it continued, Mr. Singer expertly choreographs his legal knowledge into a story that caused me as a reader to pause and really digest what the story is about. There hasn't been a story in a long time where I've reflected on the stakes of the characters beyond the last page but Rule of Law is a story that I'm not likely ever to forget.

For all fans of legal, military, political thrillers this novel is right up there with one of my favorite authors, Joel C. Rosenberg!

***I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase a copy of Rule of Law through the following links:
Christian Books
Barnes and Noble

Thursday, August 31, 2017

God's Crime Scene For Kids by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace

God's Crime Scene For Kids
Investigate Creation with a Real Detective

by J. Warner Wallace and Susie Wallace

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.

My Thoughts:

This companion book to Cold-Case Christianity for Kids begins back at the Junior Detective Academy where cadet Jason reveals he has a mystery in his own attic. The cadets are guided through the investigation by Detective Jeffries to uncover the evidence to solve Jason's mystery but also engage characters and readers in discovering the proof of God's existence. 

What I enjoyed about this book for middle grade readers is the inclusive point-of-view given to the reader. The reader becomes one of the cadets and is encouraged throughout the story to think alongside the other characters. The mystery is engaging but the factual evidence is presented in a way that is understandable and conclusive to readers. Throughout the pages there are opportunities for the reader to further engage in the story with CSI Assignment that leads readers to Scriptural references; Detective Definitions that present further opportunity for readers to learn about detective work and investigation; and Dig Deeper connection that links readers to an online source that's guaranteed to make readers feel like they are a part of the cadet academy. 

A fun story, a unique way to engage young readers, and the perfect book to encourage readers of any age to further examine the world around them and use critical thinking skills to investigate and defend the evidence of God's existence. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of God's Crime Scene For Kids through the following retailers:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig

Crown of Souls by Ronie Kendig
Six months after stopping a deadly plague, Cole "Tox" Russell and his team are enjoying a little rest. That peace is short-lived when a sniper shot hits Tox. The enemy is discovered to be one of their own, a rogue Special Forces team operator.

Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he's out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier. 

Afraid his old friend is right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team engage in another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is cheating--he's using a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.

My Thoughts:

Buckle up butter cup because Tox has returned and he ain't holding back.

Cole "Tox" Russell and his team are home and enjoying a new "normal" when their lives are thrust into yet another mission--and this one's personal. An ancient crown that carries a lethal legend; imminent danger to those Tox loves; and a past that won't let him believe there's hope. Reading this story is like watching an epic Indiana Jones adventure... on steroids.

What I love about Ms. Kendig's writing is her ability to make the words come alive on every page. There wasn't a second when I didn't feel like I was living and breathing these character's lives with them. I enjoyed getting to the guts of Tox's personality and discover what drives him and what scares him. The tension those revelations bring to his relationship with Haven and his team felt authentic and believable. The undercurrent of theme rang true to both the plot and characters and added a richness to the story I appreciated.

While the atmosphere within these pages is intense, Ms. Kendig's ability to masterfully create dimensional characters allow them to escort readers through the emotional highs and lows of a plot that does not quit. The historical and mythical content of the storyline was riveting and I couldn't turn the pages quick enough.

Ms. Kendig's Rapid-Fire Fiction never fails to satisfy readers looking for high-caliber fiction but Crown of Souls kicks epic story-telling to a thrilling level that will not disappoint!

***I received a copy of a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase you copy of Crown of Souls through the following links:
Christian Books
Barnes and Noble

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker

Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker
The Secret to Finding and Keeping Lasting Friendships

My Thoughts:

Man, this book seemed to speak straight to my soul. And I have to be honest I thought this book would sort of validate my feelings of loneliness but it did so much more than that. First, it reminded me that I am not alone in these feelings. It unpacked my fears about opening myself up to the possibility that friendship does come with pain but it reiterated that when the pain subsides and the struggle is overcome, the joy and meaningfulness that develops is exactly what Christ intended for us.

Each chapter is filled with some ugly lies I believe about myself and my friendships but Lisa-Jo Baker shines God's truths into those dark places and offers readers her experiences to defeat the enemy's endgame "severing our ties to community" and helpful suggestions to build friendships that endure because "we were built for friendship". 

What I appreciated about this book is that it not only revealed issues I was internalizing but its focus directed me to what I can actively do to open myself up to new friendships, how I can nurture the friendships around me, and that I can live in the freedom of knowing that the ultimate friend, Jesus, chose me and that my value and worth are in Him. 

I only gave this book 4* because I think a set of reader questions would've enhanced each chapter and allowed this book to be used in a group study atmosphere. Overall, this is a book I'll definitely recommend to all the girls/women in my life.

You can purchase your copy of Never Unfriended HERE
Christian Books
Barnes & Noble

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Recruits by Thomas Locke

Recruits by Thomas Locke

For more than a decade, twins Sean and Dillon Kirrel have felt pulled toward another world--a place they have sketched out in detail and posted on the walls of their bedroom. They are certain it is out there. Soon after their seventeenth birthday, they are approached by a clandestine scout. To him, Earth is just a distant and unmonitored outpost of human civilization. But he explains that Sean and Dillon share a unique gift--the ability to transfer instantly from place to place. Transitors who are also twins are especially rare, and so they are offered an opportunity to prove themselves as recruits to the human assembly. If they don't succeed within thirty days, their minds will be wiped. Either they make the grade as inter-planetary travelers--or this never happened.

My Thoughts: 

A Sci-Fi adventure of an inter-galactic proportion. Thomas Locke thrusts readers into a quick-paced story about twins, Sean and Dillon Kirrel, who discover they've been dreaming of a world beyond the realm of imagination only to discover it's much closer than could every dream possible. But with that discovery comes a responsibility like none they've known forcing them into the daunting task of fighting an enemy threatening to destroy it all.

Whew. Okay, so I believe this is Thomas Locke's first Sci-Fi endeavor and it's geared for YA with the introduction of two young male heroes. I don't think there are enough quality novels out there for middle-grade male readers so I'm super excited Thomas Locke has begun this endeavor.

This novel starts out super fast. Not just in action but in overall story-telling. For young readers this is probably a good thing but for me I didn't feel like I had a lot of time to really get into the story-world and for a Sci-Fi I think that is super important. This is NOT to say that Mr. Locke didn't do a fantastic job developing a unique story-world both on Earth and within the galaxy but all of the action (and there is a lot of it) sort of stole away from my desire to live in the moment a few minutes longer. Again, this could totally be me (older generation-but not old 😏 ) trying to fit the story into the mold I'm used to but younger readers might have no problem with this at all.

The boys do enter into romantic relationships (one Earthly, the other not) and I found it to be really fast as well (though there is nothing beyond kissing, hugging, and hand-holding in this story) mostly in regards to these seventeen-year-olds promising commitment to each other after having mostly just met their partners.

The plot is filled with action that will make boys cheer and dream of themselves in the roles of these young recruits as they mess around with their new skills in authentically natural behaviors. I found them fun to read. Mr. Locke does a great job aligning these heroes with a cast of characters that bring out the best and worst in each other bringing depth to the story as a whole.

Overall, this is a fun story that I think is perfect for the library at any middle or high school and would recommend this to any of my friends with sons who love to read.

***I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review. You can purchase your copy of Recruits HERE

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Lady And The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof & FLASH GIVEAWAY

The Lady and The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof
Raised amid the fame and mystique of the Big Top, Charlie Lionheart holds the audience in the palm of his hand. But while his act captivates thousands, it’s away from the spotlight where his true heart lies. Here he humbly cares for his pride of lions as if they were his brothers, a skill of bravery and strength that has prepared him for his most challenging feat yet—freeing an orphaned infant from the dark bondage of a sideshow. A trade so costly, it requires his life in exchange for hers, leaving him tarnished by the price of that choice.

As the circus tents are raised on the outskirts of Roanoke, nurse Ella Beckley arrives to tend to this Gypsy girl. All under the watchful eye of a guardian who not only bears a striking resemblance to the child, but who protects the baby with a love that wraps around Ella’s own tragic past, awakening a hope that goodness may yet reign. When their forbidden friendship deepens, Charlie dares to ask for her heart, bringing her behind the curtain of his secret world to reveal the sacrifice that gave hope to one little girl—boldly showing Ella that while her tattered faith is deeply scarred, the only marks that need be permanent are his own.

My Thoughts:

Wow!!! This book came to my shelf by way of raving reviews from my fellow book nerds and you know that feeling like you're being left out of the loop on something pretty major... well, of course, I had to find out if the hype I was reading was in fact, true.

Upon the opening pages I was transported back to the Spring of 1890 and the allure of life in the circus. But before I can live amid the earthy scent of the animal's menagerie and the buttery aroma of freshly popped corn, Ms. Bischof thrusts me into the lives of Ella Beckley and Charlie Lionheart.

Ella, a young woman with a dream to become a nurse and help others is thwarted only by the nightmare of one tragic event in her past that stalls her courage to believe God has a plan for her life.

Charlie Lionheart, is the lion tamer enslaved by a single sacrifice of love to save a life. When Ella enters into his tormented existence, Charlie begins to believe his future may not be such a burden.

Oh, ya'll, this book made me cry--TWICE!! Obviously, with all of the chatter my expectations for this book was high and I was critical. Ms. Bischof took great efforts to draw me into a story that I was skeptical of at first and in the first couple of chapters my initial reaction was, "Eh, it's good." But I still wasn't seeing what was drawing such strong accolades from my bookish peers.

And then it happened. All at once I began to fall in love with the characters and anxiously turned page after page until I forced (literally forced) myself to close the book so I could get some sleep only to find myself dreaming about these characters and this story world. Ms. Bischof's detailed description had me walking right along Ella as we entered the grounds of a secret world filled with exotic people. It was these people-these characters-who entered my life and my heart with their heartache, tainted pasts, and longing to know the kind of love that sees beyond the scarred and painted sins keeping them from living in purpose and freedom.

These characters spoke to my soul. Spoke truths in the very best way a story can and by the time I reached the beautiful ending I knew that what others were saying about this amazing story were true. If you're looking for a story that will change your heart-this is your book!!

πŸŽ‰ Now for the fun part! I'm giving away FIVE (Yes, you read that right FIVE!!!) eBook copies (Kindle) of The Lady and the Lionheart AND a fun temporary Scripture tattoo from Armed With Truth πŸŽ‰

All you have to do to enter is:

πŸŽͺ Have you ever been to the circus? Tell me your favorite part! Leave your answer in the comment section below and DON'T FORGET to leave your email address for winner notification. (Comments without email address will be disqualified because it's simply too hard for me to find you if you win-sorry πŸ˜”)

Giveaway ends 7/28/17 at 11:59 EST.

**This giveaway is not affiliated with anyone but me. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED and open to U.S. Residents only. If you're under the age of 18 you MUST have parental permission to enter.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Then There Was You + Giveaway!!

Then There Was You by Kara Isaac

Paige McAllister needs to do something drastic. Her boyfriend can’t even commit to living in the same country, her promised promotion is dead on arrival and the simultaneous loss of her brother and her dream of being a concert violinist has kept her playing life safe and predictable for six years. Things need to change. A moment of temporary insanity finds her leaving her life in Chicago to move to Sydney, Australia. There she finds herself, against many of her convictions, as a logistics planner for one of Australia’s biggest churches, and on a collision course with her boss’s son.

Josh Tyler fronts a top-selling worship band and is in demand all over the world. But, in the past, his failed romantic relationships almost destroyed both his reputation and his family. He's determined to never risk it happening again. The last thing he needs is some American girl tipping his ordered life upside down. Especially one who despises everything he’s ever worked for and manages to push every button he has.

When Josh and Paige are thrown together to organize his band’s next tour, the sparks fly. But can they find a way to bridge the differences that pull them apart? Or will they choose the safety and security of what they know over taking a chance on something that will require them to risk everything?

My Thoughts:

In her third novel, author, Kara Isaac, does not disappoint! Set in the idyllic Australian landscape readers are introduced to event planner extraordinaire, Paige McAllister, and world-renowned worship leader, Josh Tyler. Ms. Isaac's witty humor spills onto the pages and into the character's lives as they navigate the murky waters of regret.

This romantic comedy is reminiscent of a bygone era when the meet-cute was enough to send a heart soaring and sarcastic flirtation was endearing. It's the kind of story that Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds would be perfect for!!

Ms. Isaac's story-telling is snappy, heart-warming, and delivers all the feels through well-developed characters and a relatable plot. This is Christian fiction at its best and makes Kara Isaac an author whose books will always have a place on my shelf.

You can purchase your copy of Then There Was You HERE


Then There Was You joins the shelf of BOOKS I LOVE and because I love it so much and because I'm so grateful to all of you who stop by my blog for reviews I want to thank you by GIVING AWAY TWO eBOOK COPIES of Then There Was You!! πŸ’—

Entry is simple!! All you have to do is answer this question in the comments below along with your email (for winner notification):

Tell me one thing that's on your bucket list.

**Giveaway is open to U.S. Residents 18 years or older (unless parental permission is given) and VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Giveaway closes on 07/25/17

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