Check out what I’ve been reading lately. If you would like me to review your book, please contact me.
Rules of Engagement by Kathi Macias
Reviewed by Ruth L. Snyder
This should be Megan’s happiest Christmas ever. After all, she’s working at her dream job, living back in her home community, and has been asked to marry the most eligible bachelor in town. However, something isn’t sitting right with Megan. She can’t quite put her finger on what’s bothering her — until she solves the riddle of rules of engagement.
Author Kathi Macias weaves an intriguing story sprinkled with humor and the delight of the Christmas season in Rules of Engagement. If you’re looking for a Christmas story with an interesting twist, check out this one.
Where Life Meets Faith: Weekly devotionals for the year
Reviewed by Ruth L. Snyder
What difference does my faith make in everyday life? Kimberley Payne shows us 52 answers to this question in her devotional, Where Life Meets Faith. With candor and humour, she tackles topics like worry, fulfillment, priorities, friendship, and happiness.
In the devotionals, Kimberley shares stories from her personal life. She uses the stories as a springboard to share lessons she’s learned, along with supporting passages of Scripture. The readings are written in a conversational style which makes it feel like Kimberley is sitting across from you, talking to you about life and faith. Each reading may be completed in a few minutes, but the topics will keep you thinking longer.
If you’re looking for a book to encourage you and motivate you in your walk with God, check out Where Life Meets Faith.
Where Life Meets Faith is available as a Kindle e-book from Amazon. To learn more about Kimberley Payne and her writing, go to http://www.kimberleypayne.com/.
Author: Janis Cox
Publisher: Word Alive Press
ISBN #: 978-1-77069-695-2
List price: $12.88 (amazon.ca)
# of pages: 25
Reviewed by: Ruth L. Snyder
Tadeo Turtle, written and illustrated by Janis Cox, is a delightful children’s book, which includes a captivating story, beautiful illustrations, four craft activities using various media, and research suggestions. Children ages 2-8 will enjoy the book.
Tadeo is happy until he notices his friend, Sam Squirrel, can do things he can’t. He thinks all his problems will be solved if he can only get rid of his shell. However, with no shell, Tadeo discovers he is very vulnerable. Read the story to find out how Tadeo becomes thankful for the special way he is made.
My four-year-old daughter enjoyed the story and was enthralled by the pictures. I appreciated the rhyming text, the way Janis seamlessly teaches new vocabulary, and the variety of activities included.
Janis uses her past experience as an elementary teacher to craft a book that teaches many concepts in a fun way. Children can learn lessons on self-esteem, turtles, and the defense systems of animals.
For more information on Tadeo Turtle and Janis Cox, go to www.janiscox.com
The Deliverer by Kathi Macias
Mara is bitter, just as her name suggests. Who wouldn’t be if faced with similar circumstances? As a young girl she was betrayed by her own parents who sold her into a life of sexual slavery. After years of abuse, Mara is finally free. Or is she?
Does God always expect us to forgive? If God loves us, why does he allow bad things to happen? These are questions Mara struggles with. She is very grateful that she is no longer a sex slave. She has a job, freedom, and is looking forward to going back to school. She is also attracted to Jonathan, one of those who helped her gain her freedom. But she’s “damaged goods”. Why would he be interested in her? And even if he is interested, will Mara be able to trust him?
The Freedom Series gives us a peek into the terrible world of sex slavery and challenges us to do something about it. If you are looking for an action-packed story, then this is not the book for you. However, if you want your eyes to be opened to a world of hurting young children, read this book, and ask yourself, “What would Jesus do?”
Kathi Macias is an award-winning author of almost 40 books. She has taught creative writing, appeared on many radio and television programs, and is a popular speaker at writing conferences. She lives with her husband in Homeland, California. For more information or to contact Kathi, go to http://kathimacias.com/.
Wind Over Marshdale by Tracy Krauss.
Have you ever needed to start over? Kindergarten teacher, Rachel Bosworth did. She thought Marshdale would be the perfect place to get away from her failed relationships and create a new life. “It was an oasis of clustered houses and well established trees cocooned in a desert of wide open prairie landscape.” Rachel soon discovers Marshdale has problems of its own – citizens embroiled in prejudice, pornography, and pedophilia.
At first Rachel is distracted by attention from two very different, but attractive men – conservationist Thomas Lone Wolf and farmer Con McKinley. Just when Rachel thinks her life is shaping up, her questionable decisions catch up with her, leaving her more wounded and vulnerable than ever. Will Rachel find peace? Will she learn to trust? Will she find a home for her heart?
I highly recommend you add Wind Over Marshdale to your reading list. This story deals with real life issues – the power of sexual attraction, the struggle Christian Aboriginals face in resolving perceived conflicts between their heritage and the Bible, and the reality of spiritual warfare. I appreciate the way Tracy meets hard questions head on with truth and candor. Her descriptions of life and characters in small town Saskatchewan make you feel like you live there. Some conservative Christians may find Tracy’s writing too “edgy”. However, the message of salvation and the power of God are clearly presented without the book being “preachy”. Presently this book is only available in a Kindle edition.
Tracy Krauss and her husband make their home in Tumbler Ridge, BC. Tracy is a writer, an artist, a teacher, and a director/drama enthusiast. Wind Over Marshdale is Krauss’s fourth novel. To learn more about Tracy and her creative works, go to http://www.tracykraussexpressionexpress.com
Destiny’s Hands by Violet Nesdoly is a fresh, thoughtful look at the story of the Exodus. Bezalel discovers at an early age that his hands instinctively know how to create beautiful works of art. As a slave in Egypt, he uses his craft to gain favour with his overseer. The events in his life have caused him to question the faith of his fathers. He decides his capabilities are protected as he worships his new Egyptian god. Then Moses appears before Pharoah and demands that he lets the children of Israel go worship Yahweh. When Pharoah refuses, terrible things begin to happen. As far as Bezalel is concerned, Moses is a dreamer and a trouble maker – someone who should just go away. However, as Bezalel continues to watch the miracles Yahweh performs through Moses, he begins to question his assumptions about the Egyptian god and Yahweh. His artful work brings the promise of freeedom and a wonderful future in Egypt, but his heart yearns to know the true God. Will Bezalel choose wisely? Will Yahweh deliver His people? Will Bezalel find the desires of his heart?
Author Violet Nesdoly uses strong characterization and vivid description to provide a compelling version of Moses and the Israeli exodus from Egypt. Although I’m very familiar with the biblical account, the story came alive in a new way for me. Nesdoly causes the reader to examine personal beliefs in light of the amazing power of God. If you’re looking for a good read, check this one out. I give Destiny’s Hands 4.5 stars out of five. This book is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.
The Lightning File by Eric. E. Wright is a mystery full of suspense and intrigue. Reporter Joshua Radley has spent years building up his career as a reporter. Just as his career is taking off, his wife asks him to move out. Radley knows his big break is just around the corner, but with his marriage on the rocks he finds it difficult to focus. Red, the boss, seems to be looking for an excuse to get rid of him. Nadia, a beautiful Psychiatrist seems to be making herself available. Joshua thinks there is a terrorist plot, but no one believes him. Will Radley be able to uncover the plot before it’s too late? Will he cave to temptation? Will he be able to put his life back together? Author Eric W. Wright spins a compelling tale that keeps the reader involved and guessing until the end. I read this book over Christmas break, starting it one day and finishing it the next. Wright leaves the reader hanging at the end of each chapter, making it almost impossible to put the book down. If you’re looking for a good mystery, check this one out. I give The Lightening File five stars out of five. To order the book and find more books by Eric E. Wright, go to the author’s website.
Light Under the House by Aaron L and Donna Dawson is a mixture of intrigue and fantasy reminiscent of Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness. The main plot involves the ultimate struggle between good and evil. Nathan Levi possesses a unique collection of priceless antiques which is desperately sought after by Tanis and her followers. Tanis will stop at nothing to obtain the antiques and the power they offer. Around the United States, men are disappearing at an alarming rate. They are gone without a trace. Then there is a mysterious murder in the chambers under the house that formerly belonged to Nathan Levi. The victims appear to have been involved in some sort of religious rite. This is a book which honestly portrays the depths of depravity, the hunger for power and retribution, and the consequences of choices. The plot has many twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. The characters are realistic and deal with complicated life issues. The book is well-written, but could use some further editing. Some readers may find the content disturbing. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. If you would like to purchase the book go to Amazon.ca or Kindle edition at Amazon.com
Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs by Jolene Philo is like having a trusted friend walk beside you, sharing your burden. Filled with practical suggestions, poignant stories, and encouraging Scriptures, this book is a great resource for any parent raising a child with special needs. The book is divided into six sections dealing with different topics: diagnosis, hospital life, juggling two worlds (“normal life” and special needs), long-term care conditions, losing a child, and raising a survivor. Each chapter contains a key verse, quotes from special needs parents, stories from families dealing with special needs, helpful information, side bars with information at a glance, suggestions for next steps, a short prayer, questions to reflect on, and resources. At the end of the book there are further resources like prayer guides and interview questions. This is a book I wish I had been given about ten years ago. Not only does it provide a wealth of information, but it also encourages. My only complaint about the book is the resources are all U.S. based, so not very applicable in Canada. Thanks, Jolene, for turning your challenges into a tool to help others. This book definitely gets five stars out of five!
Promissory Payback by Laurel Dewey is a Detective Jane Perry mystery with fast-paced action and suspense that keeps you reading right to the end. Detective Jane Perry is called in to track down the murderer of Carolyn Handel. The reader is introduced to the crime scene, walked through suspect interrogations, and kept guessing throughout the story. There is ample reason for motive, but who or what killed Carolyn Handel? The many coincidences introduced, lead the reader to suspects, but the mystery remains unsolved until almost the last page. If you enjoy a good mystery, this book is for you. Characterization is solid, action is fast-paced, and descriptions help you experience the story. This is definitely a five-star read. NOTE: Some readers may find the language offensive.