Tuesday, August 15, 2017

#REVIEW: The Solier Who Killed A King by David Klitz

Title: The Sodier Who Killed A King
Series: None
Author: David Klitz
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Published Date: July 25, 2017
ISBN: 9780825444852
Pages: 288
Buy It Link: Amazon
Synopsis: A stunning story of Holy Week through the eyes of a Roman centurion
Watch the triumphal entry of the donkey-riding king through the eyes of Marcus Longinus, the centurion charged with keeping the streets from erupting into open rebellion.
Look behind the scenes at the political plotting of King Herod, known as the scheming Fox for his ruthless shrewdness.
Get a front-row seat to the confrontation between the Jewish high priest Caiaphas and the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.
Understand as never before the horror of the decision to save a brutal terrorist in order to condemn the peaceful Jew to death.
If you've heard the story of Passion Week so often it's become stale, now is the time to rediscover the terrible events leading from Jesus's humble ride into the city to his crucifixion. The Soldier Who Killed a King will stun you afresh with how completely Christ's resurrection changed history, one life at a time.
 


My Rating: 4 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I love reading Christian biblical fiction. It's a great way to read a story that we have read time and time again from a new perspective, to get new insights from it. And I love boots on the ground, inside the characters, Biblical stories, from a character on the other side. Seeing it from Marcus' point of view was a point of view that I haven't yet experienced. Being able to read about the political intrigues and see what perhaps just one of those soldiers felt, to humanize them and understand they weren't just men blindly following orders, perhaps they had opinions and disagreed with their orders, much as we do today in modern time.
Then to see from the ground zero perspective how Jesus changed the common person in an everyday manner, it really brings life to the story for me.
I think my next goal is to read a book similar to this on how early Christianity changed into what it is now. Maybe see a first person perspective on one of the early schisms.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

#EXCERPT: Brazen Gambit by Eric Small

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I raced in to the sight of her sitting placidly on my couch – completely, utterly, stark naked.

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Only a small blip in the lives of lifelong best friends Arnie Fischer and Zellie Morgan, who with no license and even less practical experience form a detective agency. Their fervent desire for a nice little “find stuff” business rapidly devolves into perilous encounters with a mysterious buxom blonde client, a dead body, assorted mobsters, a sleazy detective, a sinister fashion designer, a car dealership owner only vaguely clinging to reality, and yes, a naked ex-girlfriend on the couch. And even more dangerous – navigating a burgeoning romantic relationship. No problem. Of course, saving Zellie from the clutches of very dangerous people might be a little more difficult…

EXCERPT:

Our first client was a real doozy. She walked into the Moo Mart, ignored Eddie’s ‘Can I help you?’ and strode right over to where we were sitting. She stood about five-eight with a buxom figure and platinum blonde hair. She wore a white semi-sheer blouse, a blue skirt with the hem just below her knee, and I am not making this up–cowboy boots.
Without so much as an introduction, she said on a breathy exhale, “I want to hire you.”
Zellie took a moment to silently appraise her, but I didn’t wait. The lady was a little meshugina, to be sure, wearing that outfit in a Moo Mart in New Jersey. But she certainly was easy on the eyes.
***

  We were sitting at our favorite booth in Audacious Bagel or “AB” as we sometimes called it, sipping our coffee. Audacious Bagel is not a typical deli. They actually employed “bagel baristas” (BBs) to bring you your choice from over a hundred types of bagels. Everything from plain to ‘chocolate chip raisin cinnamon deluxe.’ Personally, I think of a bagel as not including much of anything, and always order a plain one, although Zellie has been known to get a raisin, which I guess is moderately okay, and Ted almost always gets ‘hamburger-infused,’ whatever that is.

      Maybe it’s my Jewish upbringing, but I just can’t see a lox and “hamburger-infused” bagel and cream cheese. Last time we were there, my favorite BB, Delilah, personally recommended a pizza bagel. I must admit, it was pretty good. Delilah is great. She went back to school at night to study marketing. She practices her marketing skills on anyone who will listen, and we always do.
When we walked in today, she was wearing yellow pants and an electric-blue shirt with sparkly sequins on it, along with the required Audacious Bagel visor that said in small letters “Audacious Bagel Barista, Changing the Bagel Paradigm,” whatever that means.
    “I think it means I’m supposed to sell you new and different bagels, Arnie,” she said, when I asked her once. “You always get a plain bagel in a place known for pushing the envelope on the definition of bagel. If you want a plain bagel, you can have it, but there’s a whole world you haven’t explored.” She added in a whisper, “If you try something new, you might surprise yourself and like it a lot.”

***
“You know that even if I was considering getting information for you, I won’t now, right?”

“We completely understand,” I said.
“Then why did you stop me?”

“Neither of us wanted you to get in trouble and lose your job.” Zellie said.
“And you decided to be private detectives for what reason?” Gloria asked us. “Private eyes– at least the ones on TV–are generally pretty unsavory. You two couldn’t even carry through a lie to someone like me, who didn’t even suspect a problem. You’re not even licensed, and don’t want to lie.” She shook her pretty head. “What in the world will you do when someone challenges you?”

“I thought we would give a disclaimer like… ‘You should give us information because we are completely unlicensed and totally unauthorized by any legal authority to make any inquiries of any kind in the course of an investigation.’” I said.
Gloria burst out laughing. “Private-eyes with a conscience. That’s a first.”

***
“Of course, the cost. You and Missus Fischer are worried about the cost. It’s almost free. Really, only pennies a day keeps you both safe in your lovely home. I told you how lovely your home is, right?”

“Yes, you did, Jeffrey.” I held up my hand and Jeffrey closed his mouth. “Are you for real? I mean, I expected a hard sell, but I’ve never seen or heard anything like this. You haven’t really told us anything.”

“Well, it’s my first day. I’m a little nervous.” He reached toward his briefcase. “Maybe I can convince you with what I have here.”

When he turned again to face us, we were staring down the barrel of a gun.

***
Baskin explained what they had in mind. It included securing the front and back doors with extra deadbolt locks and wiring an alarm system on the doors and windows, as well as installing strategically placed pressure bumps and “panic” buttons. And the whole thing was monitored twenty-four hours a day with immediate response guaranteed.

“What if I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night? I don’t want to turn off the alarm system every time.”

“You don’t have to. All you need to do is hold up two fingers like this.” He spread them apart in a “V” signifying victory or peace, I wasn’t sure. I supposed going to the bathroom was a little of both.

“That tells the system to turn off the pressure bumps until you do it again. If you don’t do it again within twenty minutes, it will turn on again automatically.”
I started to ask if I was supposed to hold up one finger if I just had to pee, but thought better of saying it when I looked at Baskin’s serious countenance. It was not the time to joke. Instead, I asked when the installation would take place. As if I had a choice, I thought, thinking of Mrs. Minniefield.



About the author Eric Small, a long-time public servant who wrote extensively for work, began writing fiction in retirement. A lover of cozy mysteries himself, the genre perfectly fit into his desire to write something containing humor, romance, mystery and just plain fun. As a longtime reader of cozy mysteries, he found such stories a natural fit for his writing. Brazen Gambit is the first of a planned series of Arnie & Zellie Investigations, set in the environs of Middletown, New Jersey, where Eric was born and raised. He now lives in Florida with his wife of over thirty years.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

#BLAST: Revenge Fires Back by JR Thompson

Revenge Fires Back Tour

Revengefiresback5He tries to control his anger,but it gets the best of him. He makes poor decisions,and quickly discovers REVENGE FIRES BACK

Brady Clark's family chooses horrible timing for their first camping trip - a night when a fierce storm leaves them stranded in the woods. Circumstances that leave him running around in the forest wearing, well, let's just say less than appropriate attire cause him to unleash his anger by physically assaulting his father. Not yet ready to face the discipline he has coming, Brady makes false allegations against both of his parents. That one foolish move throws the Clarks into a world they know very little about. A world that could possibly prevent them from ever dwelling together again as a family unit. Can God use these trials to wake this family up to His purpose? Christian novelist JR Thompson, and his wife Hannah, are residents of Montana. He writes fiction and maintains a blog on his website. None of thompson's writings contain any foul language.


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#Book BLAST: Salt by Pauline Creeden

Salt-FB-FINAL

Salt-FINAL_HighHer kind treats her as less-than-human, but she’s always been so much more. Mermaid life has never been easy for Verona. Her scars give evidence of her abuse. When her day of reckoning arrives, she is determined to endure exile. According to her father’s experience, exile is better than becoming a land-walker and risking her life among the humans. However, when she saves the life of a drowning human boy, she inadvertently sets off a chain of events which force her to choose a path: stay with the humans she has become attached to or return home to a life of scorn. A savage hunter draws closer, threatening even the humans. Her only hope is to keep everyone safe until the next full moon, but those around her devise their own plans.

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Saturday, August 5, 2017

#REVIEW: The Captivating Lady Charlotte by Carolyn Miller

Title: The Captivating Lady Charlotte
Series: Regency Brides: A Legacy of Grace #2
Author: Carolyn Miller
ISBN: 9780825444517
Publisher: Kregel Publishers
Published Date: June 27, 2017
Buy It Link: Amazon
Synopsis: Her heart is her own--but her hand in marriage is another matter

Lady Charlotte Featherington is destined for great things on the marriage market. After all, as the beautiful daughter of a marquess, she should have her pick of the eligible nobility hen she debuts. She, however, has love at the top of her list of marriageable attributes. And her romantic heart falls hard for one particularly dashing, attentive suitor. Sadly for Charlotte, her noble father intends her betrothed to be someone far more dull.
William Hartwell may be a duke, but he knows he was Charlotte's father's pick, not the young lady's own choice. And the captivating Lady Charlotte does not strike him as a woman who will be wooed by his wealth or title. While she has captured his heart, he has no idea how to win hers in return--and the betrayal and scandal his first wife put him through makes it difficult for him to believe that love can ever be trusted. His only hope is that Charlotte's sense of responsibility will win out over her romantic notions.
Can a widowed duke and a romantically inclined lady negotiate a future and discover love beyond duty? Will they be able to find healing and hope from the legacy of grace? Poignant and charming, this is another beautifully written, clean and wholesome Regency romance from Carolyn Miller.
 


My rating: 4 1/2 stars

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
If you like reading Regency books, this is a great series for you to read, starting with the previous book, The Elusive Miss Ellison. This book  was even better than the previous book, and it dealt with the subject of arranged marriage, that I haven't seen many Regency books deal with.
In the beginning of the book, I admit, I didn't like Charlotte, she was flighty, air-headed, and shallow. Her attitude towards relationships and men reflected that. However, as the book progressed, she gradually grew up, and realized what real love looks and acts like. As her views on love progressively changed, so did her outlook on life. and you could truly watch her grow as a character.
I love books where the characters evolve and the action continues at a steady clip, it is the perfect mix for me. I can't wait for the next book in this series.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

#REVIEW: Record of Wrongs by Sharon Kay

Title: Record of Wrongs
Series: Redemption County #1
Author: Sharon Kay
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Published Date: August 1st, 2017
AIN(Amazon Identification Number): B073DZ83ND
Buy It Link: Amazon


Synopsis: Do your past mistakes define you forever?

Cruz Zaffino leaves prison after a serving a decade for a crime he didn’t commit. With his life all over the internet, there’s nowhere he can go to avoid his illicit past. Involved with one of Chicago’s toughest gangs, he made enemies bent on ruining everything he has. Nowhere is beyond their reach.

Every day, Rosie Marlow lives with the scars from the worst mistake of her life. It’s the one secret she has in her tiny, gossip-fueled town. When Cruz walks into her bar, covered in tattoos and dangerous attitude, she’s captivated. His rough sexuality makes her melt, and his harsh experience calls to her own broken soul. But her story is private and buried so deep, she’s never had the strength to share it.

She’s the unexpected light to his darkness, yet he knows she’s hiding something. Sultry summer nights in each other’s arms weaken her resistance and taunt her with the idea of forever. But as his adversaries draw close, can she love him enough to let him go?



My Rating: 4 1/2 stars


My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I first started reading Sharon Kay's books when she came out with the Solsti Prophecy series, and then continued on with her Watcher's Kiss series. She does an amazing job of paranormal romance. But some authors just stick with the genre they are good in. I'm really glad that Sharon Kay stepped out of her comfort zone because it proves that she's really a writer, not just a paranormal romance writer. And she is an awesome writer.
We meet Cruz Zaffino just as he is being released from prison. He's the ultimate bad boy. Not just a bad boy, but a bad boy who spent 10 years in prison for murder. However, as some know, our judicial system isn't fool-proof and innocent men get put away for crimes they didn't commit.
Then we meet the sweet innocent country girl, Rosie Marlow who as it happens, also is hiding a dark secret of her own. Of course, dark secrets are relative when you're dealing with the country life, where everyone knows everyone else's business (and everyone is related...I mean this in the best way and knowing this from experience from my own family).
On the surface, you would think this is a story of redemption of the bad boy by the sweet innocent country girl, and in most of the book, it is. But ultimately, both characters find redemption and love in each other.
Sharon Kay broke out of her comfort zone with this book. She took a chance, and ended up writing an amazing story. She proved that not only is she a great paranormal romance writer, but she is a great writer. Period.