Review of THE STRANGER INSIDE by Lisa Unger

This book is the haunting story of a girl who escaped being abducted, but her friends, Tess and Hank, were not so fortunate. Rain Winter ran from her abductor and hid, terrified that he will find her. Flash forward to the present and Rain is a stay-at-home mom of an infant daughter, having given up her journalism career. The abductor was captured and put in prison, but once released, he is brutally murdered. Then another criminal is murdered and Rain is drawn to what she knows, investigating. This book is thought-provoking, making the reader think about what real justice looks like. It is a tense read with a lot of suspense. I did think that it should have been shorter because there was a lot of repetition; for example, the abduction was described over and over again, as was Rain’s torment about being left behind while her best friend Tess was killed. The time goes back and forth from the past when the abduction occurred to the present day with Rain and her family. There are a lot of characters, so at times it was difficult to keep track of them. All in all, the book was a good mystery-thriller and I would recommend it to those who enjoy that genre. The ending was an absolute surprise and was the best part of the book!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

This book will be available in September. It does include violent scenes and is very intense, so it is not for all readers.

Prayer for Our Nation

I have been reading the story of Jonah during my devotions and how reluctant he was to go to the city of Nineveh and declare that they would be destroyed. One of the reasons for his reluctance is that he knew the character of God and knew that He could change His minds about this destruction if the people repented. Jonah, being human just like we are, did not want to be embarrassed by the Lord changing His mind. It seemed that he was willing to declare that the city would be destroyed, but he was not going to be happy if they were not wiped out. However, one thing Jonah had to learn, just as we do, is that God is sovereign and does what is right, regardless of how we feel about His final judgment.

So, if the people in Nineveh can turn from their evil ways and repent, then I truly believe that the people in the United States can do likewise. That is my intercessory prayer for our nation, that we will repent just as Nineveh did. I want the people to be united in their realization that God is the Lord and that He has every right to judge our nation. I am praying for mercy and grace and I am standing in the gap to ask for forgiveness for our multitude of sins. We are a nation without excuse. We have so much freedom of religion here and yet we have turned away from the One True God; so many are busily worshipping themselves and their own pleasures so that they have no time for God, our Creator. I am praying that God Himself will show His love for our nation in a way that we cannot imagine. I pray that a whole army of God’s people will see the necessity to pray for our nation and not be mute as Jonah tried to choose to be. My desire is for us to pray, in intercession for our nation that is falling into the hands of Satan in such extreme ways that it is obvious. Pray, my friends, pray! And then step back and watch God work. God can change His mind about judgement here in the U.S.A. just as He did for Nineveh. We need to be His messengers and His prayer warriors. Armor on! Ready to battle for the Lord and His kingdom? Blessings for a day that is peaceful and prayer-filled!

Review of THE CHAIN by Adrian McKinty

This is a terrifying book because it is so realistic and I was reading I kept thinking that this scenario could actually happen to anyone. The main character in this book is a divorced single mom who is already suffering through just finding out that she has breast cancer. Then she becomes a victim of the chain. Kidnappings done by establishing a chain. Do what you’re told or your loved one dies and so will everyone else that you care about. The premise of this book is absolutely horrifying. The action is fast-paced, the characters are flawed and mostly likable (except for the villains, of course). What a compelling book! I highly recommend it to those who love thrillers!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I purchased a copy of this book for my Kindle. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

This terrifying thriller is available now from your local bookseller. I would say this is the best thriller that I have read in a long time, but I would caution that there is a fair amount of graphic violence.

Review of GOOD GIRLS LIE by J.T. Ellison

This is one of those books that you really need to just set aside time to read it straight through. I did not do that and now I want to read it again to look for all of the awesome foreshadowing that the author uses so expertly. This is the story of a private girls’ school in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Since that is where I am from originally, I was instantly drawn into the story. The drama! Oh, the drama! Put a group of teens together and of course, you expect drama, a lot of gossip and some mean girls. This book has it all, plus murder! This is a mystery and thriller and the more you read, the more thrilling it becomes. Ash Carr has arrived at the very exclusive Goode School and is instantly targeted by senior Becca to be one of her groupies. Ash’s roommate Camille is snooty, but when Ash hears her crying at night, she does offer her help. What would make a sophomore who is already accepted into the “in crowd” sob into her pillow at night? That’s one of the mysteries that keeps the reader involved in the story. There is also Dean Ford Westhaven, a woman with an attitude of entitlement and a lot of secrets about her love affairs. This book will transport the reader into the fictional world of a private girls’ school and will not let you go until the last satisfying page. The strengths of the book are in the well-developed characters and the intricately woven plot. At the end, I was left with a sense of awe at how everything came together. Readers of suspense and psychological thrillers will thoroughly enjoy this latest book by J.T. Ellison!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

This engrossing thriller will be available on December 30, 2019. There is some graphic violence and some sex scenes, so I would have to rate it a PG-13.

Review of WHEN SUMMER COMES by Brenda Novak

Brenda Novak has once again written an enticing story of love and choices. Callie is living on her grandparents’ farm and hiding a big secret from all of her friends in Whiskey Creek as well as her parents. She wants to have a wonderful summer at the farmhouse and is surprised when a stranger shows up with horrific dog bites all over his limbs. She enlists the help of retired veterinarian Godfrey, stitch Levi up and then she offers to let him stay in the barn while he recuperates. Levi also has a dark secret that is keeping him from being honest with everyone about his past. Of course, Callie and Levi seek solace in each other’s arms and then the conflict begins. Callie doesn’t want to share her secret and neither does Levi. The author does a masterful job of resolving the conflict and satisfying the reader at the conclusion. Fans of romance will not want to miss this book!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I own this book, purchasing it from the author’s bookstore. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.

This book is part of a series but can be read as a stand-alone. The sexual scenes are written in a tasteful manner, but be warned that they are plentiful in this book. You can purchase this book now from your favorite bookseller.

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Many years ago, Judith Viorst wrote a story called “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” I know that it has been many years ago because I read it to my children when they were little and my youngest is in his mid-thirties now. But I digress from my main topic which is that yesterday was that day for me. It started okay. Devotions? Check! Get ready to go to a church luncheon? Check! But then, the text came. The one that said my daughter got her package that I sent but it had nothing in it except a note saying that it had arrived in Pittsburgh without anything in it. What?!? I had sent her a Christian book that I had reviewed and that I thought she and her older children would really enjoy, and now it was gone. Disappeared between here and her home. I was livid! I was very upset that the post office could not be trusted to deliver mail. It was even more upsetting that it appeared that the envelope had been slit open at the bottom. Huh? No machine did that, I thought to myself. So…a thief! A thief who steals Christian books? Seriously? So, I went to my luncheon, enjoyed talking with friends and eating my packed lunch since I couldn’t partake of what was prepared (too much sodium), then my husband and I headed to the post office so I could talk to the man there who sent the package for us. He gave me a number to call. When I got home, I called and a lady names Jackie gave me another number to call. What I discovered is that there is no such thing as “customer service” at the post office. So, I am still dealing with that problem today, but with a new attitude. More about that later. My second phone call was to Lowe’s because I am supposed to have a new stove delivered today, a gift from my Colorado brother for my birthday. I didn’t really want a new stove, but Steve wanted me to have one since our oven stopped working several years ago and he knew that I had been using small toaster ovens to bake things. Anyway, bless my little brother’s generous heart, when he came to visit at the beginning of this month, he took me to pick out my stove and paid for it. But since Lowe’s didn’t have one in stock, they set up a delivery date almost three weeks later and told me that they would call about the time of delivery today. So, since I hadn’t received a call and it was late afternoon, I called Lowe’s. Once again, it was almost impossible to get to talk to a real person, but at last I managed to talk to Alex in appliances. He checked on my stove and came back to the phone and told me that it hadn’t arrived yet. I was irate with the whole situation and told him that was not acceptable. He told me he would call me back with a new delivery date. Since he didn’t call back after an hour or so, I called and asked to speak to a manager. Darrell checked what Alex had told me and called me back to tell me that my stove will be delivered today. (Who knows how they found my stove so quickly?). By this time, I had a headache, tried to relax and that just wasn’t happening, so I went to bed early, read and went to sleep. Now, do you see what is missing in this whole scenario of my terrible day? I didn’t pause to pray. I prayed for a couple of friends at the luncheon. But I didn’t pray about my frustration and out the window went my joy for the day. It was as if I forgot for about sixteen long, tortuous hours that God is sovereign. He knows what happened to the package. He knows my frustration over the whole stove thing. He knows, period. And I forgot. So, I am confessing here to all of my online friends that I am choosing to make today a a better day. No matter what happens, I am determined to stay in an attitude of prayer and thankfulness to my Father in Heaven. It may still be a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good day…but I will have my Father to lean on and that will make everything okay.

In my devotions this morning, I read about Elisha the prophet and the axe head that fell into the water.

And as I read, God spoke to my heart and told me that He is there with me through everything that will happen today. If my axe head falls into the water, I only have to tell the Lord what is happening and He will take care of it. Does iron normally float? Of course not! Am I a normally calm person when something (like the arrival of a new stove) disrupts my regular routine? No, but today, I am leaning on the Lord to be my peace, the calm in the storms of my life. I choose to rejoice and I hope that you do, too. Blessings!

Review of NEVER TELL by Lisa Gardner

Since Lisa Gardner is one of my favorite mystery authors, this was destined to be a favorite book, and it didn’t disappoint. My favorite character was a focus of this book, none other than the elusive and mysteriously quirky Flora Dane. The main character is the victim, Evie, who is also the person charged with the murder of her husband. Flora works with Detective D.D. Warren to solve the case and to find the bad guy. I must say that I was not able to figure it out until the very end, so it was a mystery that kept me interested until the very end. There are a lot of other characters, some not really present because they are already deceased, not the least of which is the man who long ago kidnapped and terrorized Flora. He still lives very much in her mind and influences her actions and choices. The mental stability of Flora could be in question, but she is so canny that she not only helps D.D., but she also initiates bringing other experts into the case. I enjoyed how the plot rolled smoothly, with the narrators being D.D., Flora and Evie. There were several surprises along the way, but I won’t share them because I don’t want to spoil it for others. Readers of procedural police crime thrillers and mysteries will definitely want to add this book to their shelf of books that have to be read and enjoyed this year.


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Note that this book has a totally new look in the new paperback edition and it will also include an excerpt for her new book coming out in 2020.

The new paperback edition will be available for purchase on August 6th!