Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Review -Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig



Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when Dean’s mission and team are threatened, his Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option. Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, compromising the US military, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart—a move that might come at the highest cost.

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My Review

Dean Watters is a phenomenal leader, warrior, soldier; a man with a past. He has been through hell and back, seeing death up close and personal. His strength and stamina are amazing, both physical and mental.  

Zahrah Zarrick is a woman of strong Christian faith, teaching young Afghani girls in her mother’s home country of Afghanistan. Amidst a war torn country and age old traditions, she is a beacon of hope for those she teaches.

  


I’m not sure how to describe this book. It’s one of those that has so many layers, once they’re peeled back, more and more appear. It is full of intensely gritty scenes that even though I found difficult to read, I couldn’t stop reading. The prose is mind-blowing  and held me hostage from the first page to the last. The intensity of emotion in Raptor 6 tops every one of this author’s other books.

Every. single. one.

There are some difficult scenes to read. It’s a war zone, after all. Terrorists commit horrific crimes. Dean and Zarrah are thrown together in dreadful circumstances. He relies on his own strength. She relies on her undefeatable faith in God; in His sovereignty over all situations. There’s a real battle going on and it’s not just on the ground but in the heart. And no one shows the struggles and victories these brave men and women go through better than Ronie Kendig.There’s a reason her tagline is Rapid-Fire fiction, and Raptor 6 showcases it to the extreme.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next two books in the series. 

Thank you, Barbour Publishing and Litfuse Publicity, for sending me a copy to review. No compensation has been received. Only my honest opinion of the book was required.

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Visit Ronie Kendig on her website, Rapid-Fire Fiction.
Purchase a softcover copy of Raptor 6 at Deeper Shopping
Click here to purchase a copy in audio.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Review ~ Somebody Like You by Beth Vogt

Book Blurb (from Goodreads)


Can a young widow find love again with her husband’s reflection?

Haley’s three-year marriage to Sam, an army medic, ends tragically when he’s killed in Afghanistan. Her attempts to create a new life for herself are ambushed when she arrives home one evening—and finds her husband waiting for her. Did the military make an unimaginable mistake when they told her Sam was killed?

Too late to make things right with his estranged twin brother, Stephen discovers Sam never told Haley about him. As Haley and Stephen navigate their fragile relation­ship, they are inexorably drawn to each other. How can they honor the memory of a man whose death brought them together—and whose ghost could drive them apart?

Somebody Like You is a beautifully rendered, affecting novel, reminding us that while we can’t change the past, we have the choice to change the future and start anew.



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My Review

Displaying  a mastery of writing skills, Beth Vogt has penned an astonishingly complex and emotional novel. Somebody Like You is a deeply moving story about a pregnant young widow whose husband Sam, after only three years being married, has been killed in Afghanistan. 

Haley, otherwise known as ‘Hal’, grew up having three older brothers that she had to keep up with or be left out. Over the years, she developed the persona of being ‘one of the guys’. That’s one of the traits that attracted Sam to her in the first place. He always said she was the perfect Army wife; he didn't have to worry about her while he was deployed (which was most of their marriage) because she was independent and strong. At her core, she wonders how she is going to manage everything without Sam; taking care of a new house and a baby. And then her world is rocked again. Is that her deceased husband back from the grave, standing on her front porch?

Stephen Ames has been estranged from his twin brother, Sam, for over a decade.  When he gets news that Sam has died, he is filled with remorse and wonders how will he reconcile now that his brother is gone. He decides to seek out Sam’s widow in hopes of learning about his brother’s life the past decade and somehow make amends. Stephen is the opposite of Sam in so many ways, except looks. In fact, they were mirror twins, so when he shows up on Haley’s doorstep, she thinks Sam survived after all. That scene in the book is one of the most touching and wrenching I believe I have read in a long while. Can you imagine someone that you thought was gone, reappearing?

Somebody Like You is a beautiful book, from the lovely cover to the words on the pages. While I felt the sadness and sorrow over Sam’s death, I enjoyed watching Haley and Stephen get to know one another. They had to let go of expectations of themselves and each other, much like we do in real life. And the scenes between Stephen and the baby are precious! He really is the best fictional uncle J

There’s such a great blend of faith, grief, humor and just plain fun in this story. I know it sounds kind of crazy. How can all those things go together? But they do, and quite perfectly at that.
I appreciate the author and Howard Books providing me a copy for review purposes. My honest opinion is all that was required. No monetary compensation has been received.

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About the Author

God’s best is often found behind the doors marked “Never.”
So many times I approached life with with a virtual roll of yellow duct tape emblazoned with the word NEVER. Over and over again I sealed off certain opportunities.

I would never marry a doctor or anyone in the military.
I would never have children.
I would never write fiction.

And don’t you know God stripped off the duct tape and walked me through each of those NEVER doors?
Have you ever marked a door NEVER … only to discover his best waited where you said you’d never go?
Following God through that door doesn’t mean we’re on “easy street,”‘even though we’re where he wants us to be.
Connect with Beth @ www.bethvogt.com


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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Two years ago today...

Our precious Amy went to be with the Lord. 


I look forward to this day...

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; 
and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, 
neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 
~Revelation 21:4

Until then...

In God is my salvation and my glory: 
the rock of my strengthand my refuge, is in God.
~Psalm 62:7


Monday, May 12, 2014

Contributor Review ~ So Fair a Lady by Amber Perry

About the Book

Boston, MA 1773: Shards of Eliza Campbell's life crash to the ground when she discovers a devastating secret: her father was a spy for the Sons of Liberty. Determined to uncover the truth--at any cost--not even a marriage proposal from the dashing British Officer Samuel Martin can dissuade her. When rescued from British capture by handsome patriot Thomas Watson, Eliza discovers what her father risked his life for and yearns to know more. But will her budding attraction to this courageous patriot damage her already wounded heart? 

After years of being blackmailed by Officer Martin, Thomas plans to start a new life in the small town of Sandwich. However, when his actions place Eliza and her sister in danger, he must act quickly to protect them from falling into enemy hands. If the three of them are discovered, their lives will never be the same. Now, not only must he protect Eliza, he must protect his heart from a love that is sure to wound him far greater than any British soldier ever could.



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So Fair a Lady - Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

A spectacular debut novel by Amber Perry! Breathtaking and gut-wrenching scenes fill this wonderful Pre-Revolutionary War story about two courageous Americans; whose faith and patriotism motivate them to seek truth above all else, and whose love of country and each other push them toward ultimate sacrifices.

Eliza Campbell's sheltered life disintegrates when her beloved father dies and leaves behind the discovery of a well-kept secret; one that he desperately wishes Eliza to know and understand. Abruptly driven from her home by British forces, she and her sister Kitty escape from Boston with a virtual stranger; Thomas Watson. Thomas has secrets of his own and vows to protect the beautiful daughters of his beloved mentor by sheltering them in obscurity, within the walls of his own home. Also pursuing both Eliza and Thomas; for totally different reasons, is British officer Samuel Martin, who demands love from Eliza and vengeance from Thomas. Both realize the horrific consequences of being found; not only for themselves but for the cause they support.

The ensuing chapters of this book are filled with tender moments and glimpses of historical events; events that should challenge those of us who enjoy freedoms afforded by the valiant efforts of those who bravely secured them, to be very thankful. Perry's characters are well developed; the scenes in this book are neither under-written or over-written and the reader leaves its pages with a deepened understanding of the value of serving one's heavenly King above all else.

It was tempting to banner this novel with five stars and I would have, except that I think Amber Perry is only going to get better, and the rest of this story is just waiting to be told in its upcoming sequel.


It was a pleasure to receive this novel from the author and act as an early influencer.

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After reading nothing but positive reviews of this book, I am looking forward to reading it myself! Have you read it yet? 

Only available on Kindle. Click here to purchase. You can download sample chapters for free! PLUS, There is a PC AND Mobile App for Kindle, so you can read it right on your computer or smart phone if you don't have an e-reader :)

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Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day



Mother’s Day is supposed to be a happy occasion but for many it is not. It brings reminders of a mom or a child who isn’t with us anymore. It is easy to get lost in our own grief because it is such an all encompassing emotion. When you’re in the midst of those early days and weeks, perhaps even months and years,  you’re apt to walk through life with blinders on, singularly focused on taking one step at a time, not glancing left or right or up for fear you might fall.

Thankfully, there comes a day when you not only look up but out, toward others, toward life. Your eyes are opened to the beauty that still lives on in God’s creation. Perhaps you notice a single flower, a beautiful sunset, or hear a child’s laughter. Maybe these things bring to mind your loved one that has passed away, and you realize you no longer feel the heavy weight of grief. The kind that robs you of breath.

That’s where I am today. I can breathe again without feeling like I am suffocating. It doesn't mean I’m not deeply saddened. I am. I don’t have my mom or oldest daughter with me anymore, but what I do have is hope for the future. I see it every day in the eyes of my children and grandchildren. I feel it when their arms wrap me in a loving embrace. I hear it in their voices as they mingle together in laughter.

If you’ve experienced the loss of your mom or child, I pray that you are on the road to healing; to hearing and seeing all the Lord has for you. It’s a difficult journey to be sure. Know that we are in this together. I pray that you know how much you are appreciated and loved today, 
dear Mom's.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

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Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of a good report – if there is any virtue and if there is any praise- think on these things. ~Philippians 4:8

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Sharing with
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Scripture & a Snapshot

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fledglings

These sweet baby birds were playing among some limbs and branches Wednesday evening while trying out their little vocal chords.


They flitted and fluttered, hopping up and down while catching the breeze in those fuzzy downy tufts on their head. 


 I sat on the front porch step, afraid to move too much for fear their mama (who was watching me like a hawk) would call them away. She was definitely giving out some warning trills. But this one stayed right up there on a limb, just like he knew I was photographing his cuteness.


They couldn't fly all the way up to their nest, so they hopped up the side of the tree. Those photos didn't turn out very well. 

Baby Carolina Wren's are adorable, aren't they?!

Matthew 6:26
Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Review ~ Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson


A courageous young noblewoman risks her life to hide French resistance fighters; seventy years later, her granddaughter visits the family’s abandoned chateau and uncovers shocking secrets from the past.
Releases May 13th

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My Review

Riveting! I knew when Melanie contacted me about reviewing this book that I was going to enjoy the story but little did I know how much. Chateau of Secrets is a historical-contemporary novel expertly written to engage the reader in both the past and present.

With alternating chapters, this story gripped my heart from the opening scene in the chapelle, to the ending  scene in the same chapelle some 70 years later. I don’t know a lot about France during WWII but I was mesmerized from the start by the story of Giselle, a young woman fighting for her country in the only way she could during a most horrible time in history.

Emotions of fear, angst, loyalty and love were prominent throughout this superbly written novel. I could feel the horrors of death and war, and at the same time I was swept away by the love Giselle had for her family and country. The pages are filled with faith, intrigue, suspense, drama and romance. This is a story of secrets that are kept out of shame and fear and love.

It’s also a story about another young woman in today’s world suffering heartbreak, an identity crisis and foundering in her faith. Chloe is searching for answers. She needs to find out who she is, where she is supposed to be in this life, and why her grandmother won’t talk much about when she lived in France during the war.

There are a lot of characters in this story but I had no problem keeping them straight. As much as I enjoyed the contemporary scenes, I could have reveled in it being a total historical, those sections are that good! It was so hard to put this book down when I absolutely needed to, that I kept thinking about it as I was doing other things, anticipating the next time I could pick it back up. Finally, I decided I just could not wait any longer and stayed up from 3:30am until 6:00am so I could finish it! This is definitely one of the best books I have read so far this year. I highly recommend it to any historical/contemporary fan. If you haven’t read a book written this way, you really should give it a try. And it’s loosely based on a true story so that makes it even better!

I want to thank the author, Melanie Dobson, for sending me an Advance Uncorrected Proof for review purposes. I wasn’t required to write a positive review, just my opinion of the book, which I have done. No compensation has been received.

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By using the widget below, you can pre-order your own copy. 
I make a small commission on the sale of the book.


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To read more about the inspiration behind the novel, visit Melanie at her blog, Dobsons 411.

Have a blessed day in the Lord!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

{Sunday}




Thinking about my mom and daughter as Mother's Day approaches. 
The wisdom my mom passed on to me, precious moments with my daughter, 
and the fact that they are together for eternity. 

Have a blessed Sabbath!

Sharing with

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SUNDAY STILLNESS

Scripture and Snapshot



Thursday, May 1, 2014

Cowbirds


Brown-headed Cowbird
(from All About Birds.com)
The Brown-headed Cowbird is a stocky blackbird with a fascinating approach to raising its young. Females forgo building nests and instead put all their energy into producing eggs, sometimes more than three dozen a summer. These they lay in the nests of other birds, abandoning their young to foster parents, usually at the expense of at least some of the host’s own chicks. Once confined to the open grasslands of middle North America, cowbirds have surged in numbers and range as humans built towns and cleared woods.

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These birds are NOT our friends. 

They are aggressive bullies. 

While the other sweet birds are being neat and polite by sharing the feeders, 
these meanies swoop in, making all kinds of noise and chasing all the other birds away. 

They then proceed to swoosh out all the food onto the ground, 
nit-picking to find just the particular seed they want.

They. drive. me. crazy.

I have even let my feeders go empty for days, sometimes up to two weeks, 
in hopes they would forget about them and fly away to another place. 




But noooo...

They just keep coming back. 

Has anyone else had to deal with these irritating birds?

Any ideas on how to get rid of them?!

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Sharing with

Rurality Blog Hop #60

in hopes that SOMEONE can help me!

I sound really desperate, don't I?

Well... I AM!!!

Have a blessed day in the Lord!