I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.
Filled with practical advice and Scriptural insight, this book is perfect for middle school and young teens. As an adult, I even gleaned some wisdom from its pages myself. Written with understanding that people have anxiety and that the only cure is dependence on God, this book was a wonderful, short read on how to face the challenges of everyday life. There are vignettes dealing with social media and bullying. Each chapter concludes with questions to help the reader to personalize and really apply what they are learning about how to deal with anxiety. The illustrations and analogies are perfect for appealing to kids who may skip over the text but will look more carefully at a graphic. This was a well-written and timely book on the topic of anxiety, something many young people are facing today especially coming out of the pandemic. I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a child or young teen who may be feeling worried, about school or friends or any number of problems that children these days face. In fact, I recommend that the parent read along with the child and learn new coping strategies just as I did. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing 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 awesome book is available now and can be purchased here:
Our world these days seems to be spiraling downward quickly into the abyss of sin. We wring out hands and look up, expecting that Jesus will return soon to save us from this crazy mess. But what if He doesn’t come back, today or tomorrow or even imminently and we are stuck with people who seem to have turned their backs on God and on us, His namesakes? We are representing Christ on earth, so who is to say that those who are devouring each other because of their own unbelief will leave us alone? That is a lot to ponder today and I’m up early to think about it. No, I didn’t arise earlier than usual eager to head off to my recliner and my Bible. I got up early because I was gasping for breath. It started as a little wheeze, progressed to a lot of coughing and wheezing and ended when I got out of bed, using my inhaler and came into the den to sit in my chair. Every breath is a struggle sometimes when you are asthmatic and this was one of those days. I never know when I may have a problem breathing. It has been months, and then this morning, without warning or any triggers that I am aware of, I awakened with my throat closing and wheezing breaths coming from my shallow breaths. It’s scary sometimes, but it isn’t as scary as thinking about the fact that our world as we have known it is ending and we are faced with ungodliness everywhere we turn.
I belong to various online book groups since reading is a favorite pastime of mine. But they are changing to accept the current cultural norms, norms that do not pass the standards set by God. Just about every book that I pick up these days has a character who is gay or just discovering their propensity to be gay. I try not to judge the author too harshly but when I am reviewing, I cannot help but be influenced by the fact that many authors seem to be delving into political correctness because their only goal is to sell books. For the first time ever, I received a book from an author, an autographed copy no less, and threw it in the trash. I wouldn’t dare pass on garbage like that to a friend or relative, so the book went where it deserved to be before being published, into the garbage. The only really safe books to read these days come from Christian publishers like Revell. The same is true of television shows. It is much more satisfying to watch old shows from decades ago than the new fodder that glorifies self-gratification and sin. Turning off the TV has become more common in our household than watching it. My husband, an avid sports fan, has been disgusted with the recent lack of patriotism displayed by major sports teams and athletes at the Olympics. I am one of those who was actually happy that the U.S. women’s soccer team lost to Sweden. After all, it couldn’t happen to a more arrogant and self-serving bunch of women who claim to represent our nation. Like the former football star Herschel Walker, I want to know why they are even in the Olympics representing the U.S. if they don’t love our nation. I also wonder if they have tried to live in another nation that does not offer the freedoms that we do. China and North Korea come to mind. Does anyone really believe that the athletes from these countries would be allowed to display the antics that the American athletes proudly boast about (without ending up in a prison somewhere, that is)? Thus my husband who used to watch all the baseball and football games possible is watching golf and hockey, the sports in which the athletes act as though it’s a privilege to play and don’t “take a knee” or disrespect our nation and the sacrifices of those who gave them their freedoms.
So, entertainment these days is a big old bust. What are we to do? We are to stand and wait for the salvation of our God. If we are under the illusion that the world has never been this bad before, then we have forgotten the history of other great empires like Rome. God has a tendency to humble those who stand proudly before Him and mock His name and His laws. The Roman Empire fell, much to the surprise of all of the jubilant party-goers who thought life was one big party and the only rules were those they made for themselves. God established the rules for living a holy life long ago when He gave Moses the Ten Commandments; Jesus came and died for each of us so that we can stand holy before the Lord. But we cannot fool ourselves into believing that no matter what we do, we are our own little gods. Same sex marriage, that’s okay and even encouraged. Drugs are legal. Living with your boyfriend or girlfriend is accepted. I just completed forms for a new doctor and one of the questions is marital status, including “living with a partner or significant other.” And don’t get me started on what bad examples some churches or pastors are being with their acceptance of the whole gay/transgender agenda! My prayer is that all of these people, including pastors, church boards, authors, television producers, news reporters, everyone who has bought into the great lie of Satan that sin will not kill you, will come to the knowledge of the power and sacrifice of Christ before it is too late for them.
What do I do in the meantime? I worship. I pray. I wait. I found a song on YouTube this morning that I have not sung in a long time and hope that it encourages you as it encourages me. Jesus has not changed. His charge to the church He left behind to continue His work has not changed. The task may seem harder, with more people turning against God daily, but Jesus didn’t say it would be easy to follow Him. He said to follow and that the way would be narrow. We have to navigate our way through a morass of people attempting to divert our attention from what is truth. Calling a lie the truth does not make it one. God’s Word is truth and He does not compromise His stand on things like homosexuality or any other kind of ungodly behavior. We just have to recognize our need for our Savior daily in order to make it through to the end of the race.
Each time I read this verse, I question myself, “Who is my enemy?” Is it the person who cut us off in traffic? The disagreeable or rude person in the store? Or is my enemy the radical leftists who are trying to change the country that I love from the inside out? My conclusion is that all of these may be an enemy at some time or another, depending on my own frame of mind. You see, we choose how we see others. If we see them as an enemy, then we may treat them differently than we treat our friends or family members.
How many of us walk into a room filled with people and seek out those that we don’t know well or whom we never really wanted to get to know well? No, if you are like me, when you are in a social situation, you seek those who are like-minded, those with whom you feel the most comfortable. But was that the pattern that Jesus established for us? Of course not! He was chastened for eating with sinners and for his choices of companions everywhere he went. The Pharisees would never have thought of going to a tax collector’s home to eat and fellowship. Nevertheless, that is what we are called to do. Jesus said clearly that the well don’t need a physician, so He chose to hang out with those who needed Him the most.
As a disciple of Christ, I would like to say that I also choose to hang out with those who need Him the most. But that would be untruthful. Like most of you, I tend to gravitate towards those with whom I feel most comfortable. The God of the Universe tells us to love our enemies and the best way that we can love them is to show them the love of Jesus and to invite them to get to know His saving grace, too. Of course, we must be wise in approaching others, especially in these times when Christians are seen as rabble rousers and instigators of rebellion. Is today any different than in the days of the early church? I don’t think so.
I am choosing to love my enemies, to seek out those who need a touch from the Master and to allow Jesus to lead me to them. The rude woman in the store may not have enough money to buy the food that she needs for her children. The man cutting you off in traffic may be rushing home because of an emergency there. We just don’t know. People are not our enemies. Our only enemy is the enemy of our soul who would destroy us if he could. Thus, we must treat others the way we wish to be treated. We must reach out a helping hand, extend grace and mercy and say kind words ourselves. We must be the example that we want others to follow. After all, that is what Jesus did. He didn’t just preach loving your enemies; He lived it, even when He was on the cross and asked for His Father’s forgiveness on the crowd there to crucify Him.
Final note: I have been absent from the blog lately because we were traveling and visiting children and grandchildren. What a special family time we had! We got to meet our new grandson Nathan, a month old, and attend the graduation party of our grandson Tyler. Those special times were ones that we were blessed to be able to attend, especially since we were in a car accident the week before we were supposed to leave. Our car is still being repaired and we are using a rental. The other insurance company extended grace to us after I told them that we had made plans for this trip back in March and told us to feel free to travel to wherever we needed to go, to just let the repair shop know that we would be out of town. The accident was bad, but God is good and my heart is filled with God’s graciousness and mercy toward us in allowing us to visit family after almost a year of not seeing them.
May each of you be blessed with a special touch from the Lord today and may you know deep in your heart that it is the Savior who has touched you. For it is for such a time as this that we were born. It is no accident that we are here during these turbulent times. We just have to ask God to help us to reach out to others just as He would do. After all, we are His hands and His feet, His eyes and His mouth here on earth. May you each be blessed with the knowledge of how much God loves you!
This was a wonderful story of former hippies (Linda and Bruce) who adopt a baby from Vietnam as part of Operation Baby Lift. After protesting the war itself and then reading about the children fleeing Saigon on American planes, Linda and Bruce choose to adopt little Minh (Mindy), in spite of the narrow-minded discrimination of Bruce’s mother. Told in three time frames, beginning in 1975, moving to 1988 and then finally to 2013, the story also has multiple narrators. 1975 is the year Bruce and Linda decide to adopt Mindy and change their lives to raise a fearful little girl. 1988 presents more information about Sonny, their biological daughter preparing to leave for college, and her little sister Mindy, a teen at the time. Finally, in 2013, we hear a lot from Bruce and his perspective on what being a successful family looks like. Honestly, I could not choose my favorite POV or time period because all were done so well with such elaborate descriptions of the family and their reactions to events and choices. Mindy grew up without feeling as if she really belonged, so she decided to find her birth mother. Supported by her adoptive family, Mindy faces the past with boldness and grace, ready to embrace and forgive. The tale is one that is timeless in its approach to such themes as adoption, parenting, family relationships and acceptance. The research into the Vietnam era shone through in every page, especially the feelings of many American citizens who had suffered through the atrocities of the war. My emotions ran the whole gamut, from total despair at Mindy’s lack of confidence and fear when she arrived to her new home, to hope for a better future as she learned to “fly alone” and leave the nest, which is the nature of small birds. The characters were so realistic that they stepped out of the pages of the book into my heart, where I am still embracing them today as if they are my own family members. I have loved all of Susie Finkbeiner’s books since the first one, and this one was, in my opinion, the best yet in its portrayal of emotions and its depth of characters, with a multi-layered plot. The vulnerability of the characters and their willingness to press on was what made the book memorable and an excellent choice for an uplifting book to read. Not all parts of the book were uplifting, but the tone definitely was one of positive outcomes, so I applaud the author for her talent in being able to relate to so many different people with so many different feelings about the war in Vietnam. Not everyone lived during the war as I did (I was in college in the 70’s and saw all of the protests although I did not participate), but I can assure others that anyone who reads this book will have an experience of war and its effects on innocence that you will not soon forget. This book is remarkable for its entertainment and educational values. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell 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 magnificently uplifting book is available now! Purchase Links:
This is the well-known story of bad guy meets a good girl and they are attracted to each other. Guillermo has just gotten out of juvie and is on probation, complete with community service. He is doing this service at the place where Regan’s mom is a manager. Regan never makes bad choices and Guillermo’s life seems to be one bad choice after another. I enjoyed the characterization and thought that it was well done. The plot, however, just did not do it for me. I knew from the beginning what was going to happen, so I didn’t mind not having surprises as I read. What I did mind is that the story seemed to drag at times. Regan couldn’t make up her mind about breaking up with her current boyfriend in order to follow her attraction to Guillermo. And Guillermo was almost timid in approaching her since he was avoiding trouble at all costs. I thought the storyline worked, but the slow pace made it hard for me to really get into the story and enjoy it as I had expected I would. This is light romance, targeted to a young adult audience. Disclaimer 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.”
EXCERPT: THE RIGHT SIDE OF RECKLESS
Fresh off the plane and I was already making trouble.
The security guard was staring at me like I was some type of criminal. He stood across from us as we came out of the gate into the terminal at the Akron-Canton Airport, and as soon as he caught eye contact with me, his brows pushed down and knitted together. His hand breezed over the Taser gun on his utility belt, while he stuck out his broad chest.
Sizing him up, I knew I could take him. He wasn’t that big. But with the way my mother was looking at me, I knew it was better to ignore him.
He probably thought I was trouble. I was trouble…at least, I was before.
“Keep walking, Memo,” my father said, shoving his carryon bag into my spine.
I stole a final glance at the security guard. He was still glaring at me.
Like the diligent son I was now trying to be, I obeyed my father and kept moving, catching my younger sister, Yesenia, shrinking beside me.
Jostling through the airport, we made our way to the baggage claim, gathered our bags, and prepared to leave. Upon heading toward the exit, I was surprised to see Mr. Security Guard by the door. The glare was still on his face, but this time, he was shooting his dark steely gaze at some other guy.
Guess it isn’t just me. For once.
I was used to this type of judgment.
The car service my father had arranged was waiting outside. Our driver was standing in front of a Honda Pilot, holding up a sign with our last name stamped on it.
My father quickly introduced our family before helping the man stow our luggage in the vehicle. At my attempt to help, my father shooed me away.
Having no choice, I handed him my bag, and then I got in the middle row beside my mother and sister.
“It’s going to be okay, Memo, don’t worry.” Yesenia reached out and squeezed my hand gently.
I averted my gaze out the window, not seeing things her way.
“You should listen to your sister, she’s right,” my mother said.
Once the driver and my father finished packing the trunk, the driver took the wheel while my father sat in the passenger seat.
As soon as we were on the road, my father faced me with a serious look. “We’re back now, Guillermo, and things aren’t going to be like before. Understand?”
“It won’t happen again,” I said.
My father grimaced, as if he doubted me. With my mass of screwups, I didn’t blame him. “Don’t forget to call your probation officer first thing in the morning.” He spoke with bitter disappointment laced in every word. “Remember, if you mess this up, it’s back to jail for you.”
I gritted my teeth. Back to juvie? Fuck that. “I know.”
Two weeks in Mexico and nothing had changed.
They still hadn’t forgiven me for what happened back in March. Hadn’t even mentioned it to the relatives we’d just visited. I couldn’t blame them. Unlike the times before, I had fucked up royally.
I stared outside for the remainder of the drive. Summer had slipped away while I was locked up. Now fall was here, a new season, a new beginning. It was seven fifteen at night, the sky above us a reddish orange as the sun sank lower on the horizon. Soon, the leaves on the trees would match.
We got off the highway and began to pass closing businesses as streetlights flickered on. I watched all this, trying to feel a sense of rebirth. A piece of optimism.
It didn’t come.
While I was…away, my parents had packed up our house and sold it. They had purchased a new place on the east side of Akron and made it clear we were moving on from the past up north.
Less than thirty minutes later, the driver pulled in to a subdivision called Briar Pointe. A subdivision, as in row upon row of houses that looked exactly alike, as in too bland and boring, unlike the neighborhood we’d lived in before.
A late-night jogger breezed by, her blond ponytail swishing behind her, and I raised a brow. Where we’d come from wasn’t exactly dangerous, but nobody ran, especially at night.
The driver came to a stop in front of a medium-size two-story house complete with an attached two-car garage. I gazed at my new home. It was my clean slate, my second chance— or more like my last.
We all vacated the car and grabbed our bags from the trunk.
My mother gathered the house keys and took the lead to the front door with Yesenia and me behind her. My father tipped the driver, and the man drove off.
After I got home from juvie, and before our sudden trip to Mexico, my family and I had only begun unpacking here. Now it was almost the second week of September, and Yesenia and I had missed the first week of school.
After spending spring in and out of court and a lovely ninety-day stay at a detention center, where I’d caught up on all the schoolwork I’d missed, I would be serving my probation in a new part of the city with a fresh start. However, it was beginning to appear as though there was no moving forward as far as my parents were concerned.
They no longer looked at me as their son, but as a petty criminal and a burden.
And given that in the morning I would meet with my parole officer, I couldn’t blame them. I was newly seventeen and already the Patron Saint of Fuckups who couldn’t be trusted, as far as they knew.
“Guillermo.” My father spoke softly behind me as we entered the house and Yesenia and my mother disappeared down the foyer around a corner.
I didn’t face him. There were only so many times I could see that look in his eyes. “Yes?”
“In the garage, now.”
I turned and found him already making his way to the door that led into the garage. Each step I took after him felt heavier than the first, my anxiety causing sweat to bead down my back.
Inside the garage, my father stood back, waiting for me.
I barely glanced at him before my gaze landed on the two vehicles. One, my mother’s silver Acura, and the other, a dark blue Charger. The shiny, vibrant paint made its beauty stand out.
My father cleared his throat. “Matt knew a guy who could restore it, and it took some bargainin’, but it’s yours.”
Another glance from him to the car, and I realized what this was and what this meant. Back in the day, when my father’s brother, my tío Mateo, still lived in Akron, he used to keep this beat-up old Charger in his driveway. Tía Jacki used to complain about it, but Mateo wouldn’t part with it, swore it was a project in the making. Whenever I was bored, I’d climb in behind the wheel and pretend to drive it, pretend I owned the road, pretend to be as cool as Tío Matt.
Fast forward to today, and gone were those rust-stained doors, replaced with a solid body and fresh paint. Even the inside was new. I leaned over to gape through the passenger window. The black seating and updated system had me grinning like a fool.
Tío Mateo lived in Columbus now, but the gesture wasn’t missed. I faced my father, my smile instantly slipping away at the sight of his stoic face. “Thank you, both of you.”
My father gave me a stiff nod. “I just don’t want to be responsible for driving you around. Keys are on the hook by the door.”
During the whole ordeal, my mother had attempted sympathy, but not once had my father offered any. The moment I was released from juvie, they shielded Yesenia from me and started keepin’ a close eye on us, as if my bad seed would catch on.
“I shouldn’t have to reiterate that this is a new start. You will not be in contact with any of your old friends. Especially that girl,” my father ordered. “You will go to school, complete your required community service, meet with your probation officer, and stay out of trouble. Do you hear me?”
My fists balled at my sides. “Yes, sir.”
“And…” He paused, as if thinking of more things to add to his list of demands. “Get a haircut.”
To this I didn’t reply. He’d been after the length of my hair since freshman year. Now that I was a junior, you’d think he’d let it go. I would admit, my wavy hair combined with my facial hair did make me look rough around the edges. The judge had taken one look at me and scowled. No wonder that security guard at the airport had kept his eye on me.
“Your mother’s going to order some food. Go put away your bag and come down,” my father said.
Dinner with my family was often eaten in loud silence.
I would pass.
“I’m not hungry,” I told him.
He didn’t fight me on it as he went to join my mother and sister.
Home sweet home.
With a heavy sigh, I raked a hand through my chin-length hair and headed up to my room. I was out, I was somewhere new, and I had a car. I couldn’t fuck up, not again. Hearing my mom up one night crying—that had hung heavy on my heart for weeks.
This move was my chance to prove that I could evolve.
There were no ifs, ands, or maybes. I was going to do better.
This book was filled with red herrings and false trails that kept me guessing all the way until the end. Connor Nye was a sympathetic widower who lost both his wife and son in a horrible accident. Barely able to function as a professor, when he has to turn in a book in order to get tenure, he does the unthinkable. He turns in a student’s paper as his own work. Well, that is plagiarism, but since the student disappears and the book is all about a murder, Connor’s problems are just beginning. He has to try to stay sober in order to clear his name. Nothing and no one is as they seem in this riveting suspense, as Connor discovers during his investigation. There are some really creepy professors at his school and that made for a dark and spine-tingling atmosphere. The characters were not particularly likable. Even Connor seemed weak at times, unable to get past his losses in life. However, the entire book was compelling and the premise about writing about a murder that actually occurred was intriguing. I especially enjoyed getting to know how the characters interacted with each other and the hidden nuances that were evident once I began to figure out what was really going on. This was a great read with tons of clues to keep my mind busily trying to organize them! Disclaimer 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 is the book birthday for KILL ALL YOUR DARLINGS, so wish David Bell a happy book birthday by purchasing his new book at one of the following links:
A domestic family drama with tons of action and characters with multiple issues, this book was one that was hard to put down. Olivia has relationship issues in that she doesn’t really know what she wants, but she knows that she really needs a relationship. When the story begins, she is livid with Blaze, her lover, and is kicking him out of her house. The emotions are stormy throughout the book, but no scenes were more tumultuous than this one. We also have Charlotte, the mom who is a successful real estate agent, but not so great at being a mother or a wife. Dwight, her venture capitalist husband who always wanted to be elected to office, is a people pleaser who will do anything to obtain his goal. I think the most flawed and probably least developed character was Lucas. I didn’t learn much about him except that he went to juvie, he was a hot mess and he had a hot temper. That was enough to set the stage for a lot of action in the book! Finally, there is the duo of Lily and Josh. Lily is the baby sister of Olivia and Lucas, and she left home as a pregnant teen. Josh is the result of her pregnancy. For years, Olivia has tried to find Lily, only to have Josh show up one day on doorsteps, with a duffle, no explanation and no words because he can’t speak. That’s mostly what this book is about, a characterization, a painting, if you will, of a family that has so many problems that it was a like a soap opera in print. The plot was well-written, but it definitely took back stage to the characters. I was mesmerized by the whole mystery of Lily and why she left home without getting in contact with anyone. I was captured by the death on the beach that Olivia’s family may or may not have been involved in. Ultimately, the entire book was a wild ride that had me captivated because of its riveting themes of family secrets, deception, and even murder. I loved this book and was so sad when it ended, so I am already looking forward to book #2 in this new series. Fans of domestic drama, mystery and even romance will be delighted to read this book! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. 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.”
Happy Release Day to Kerry Lonsdale! You can purchase this amazing book here:
Today is the day that we celebrate freedom here in the United States, freedom that came at a high price for the patriots who fought and many who died for it. These men and women had only known the subjugation of living under the thumb of British rule. When the tyranny became too much to bear, fighting the oppression became the only wise choice. So, the “shot heard round the world” that began at Lexington began the Revolutionary War that formed this great nation.
Since the 1700’s the U.S. has been engaged in other wars, including the Civil War and two great world wars. All were at a devastating cost of life and livelihoods. But I would like to say that freedom is not ever really free. Someone paid for your freedom, an ancestor or maybe even a friend.
With all of the problems that some say the U.S. is covered in, there is no greater nation to live in, nowhere in which you can have the freedom to speak your mind and to say how you feel without fear of repercussions. Lately, the media has tried hard to stifle the voices of Christians like me who believe that America is worth the price that our ancestors paid for it. Nevertheless, we have a constitution that guarantees liberty to us: freedom of religion and speech, freedom to bear arms, freedom to gather together in peaceful protests.
Now, to a topic more dear to my heart. My freedom from sin was not free either. It was bought with the price of Jesus’s precious blood. The sky turned dark, the earth shook and Jesus died on that cross for you and for me. Since our freedom from sin is not free, how can we then turn back to that sin again and again, not thinking of the cost? Would Jesus have died for just one man? My answer is a resounding “yes”! But He died for all, so that we can come before God’s throne of mercy and grace, knowing that we are accepted as His children.
As I age, my fond desire is to see my grandchildren grow and prosper in this great nation and to love and appreciate the freedom that they have here. But, even more, I want each of them to come to the saving knowledge that they are sinners and need the grace of God provided through the blood of Christ to reconcile them to their Creator. I want this for each of my friends, neighbors and even those who don’t like me or share my views. I want them to know Jesus because He is the only way to salvation and the price that He paid for our freedom cannot be measured.
There is a lot of division in our world today. When I was growing up, it seemed to be a case of the “haves” versus the “have nots.” Today, there is racial strife everywhere you turn, stirred up in large part by political parties whose aim is to win elections regardless of the cost to our nation. I kept telling my students when I taught high school that we are all kin to each other someway. After all, we are all descended from Noah. God does not look at the color of the skin, so why should I? The strife caused is not totally external. It is also an internal struggle with accepting who you are as God made you and knowing that He doesn’t make mistakes. It is allowing others to live peacefully, just as each of us desires to do. It is forgiving for the past and moving forward to a bright future. Politicians and the men in power now will not be there forever. But, one thing will stand the test of time. God’s Word! We have sown to the wind in the U.S. and seem to now be reaping the whirlwind. Does that mean that we are beyond redemption, beyond the reach of the hand of our mighty God? Of course not! Jesus paid the price for our freedom and His desire is that we accept His free gift of salvation. Once we are free from sin, no matter what happens to us on earth or in politics, our story will end well.
This is a fast-paced, non-stop thrill ride from beginning to end! The second book in the U.S. Marshals series, this book was a compelling read that I absolutely raced through because I just had to know what was going to happen. U.S. Marshals Jonas Quinn and Madison James are dealing with their own demons from the past, each blaming themselves for the harm done to those close to them. Madison is struggling to lay to rest the ghost of her dead husband Luke while still determined to find out who killed him. Jonas has a good friend in Felicia but can’t help feeling guilty about the wound that left her with a prosthetic. Even while facing their pasts, these two are called in on a new case to find the bank robbers who seem to have everything planned out, including an escape plan. I could not have thought of a better title for this book! The Marshals are chasing the fugitives and an elusive peace in their own lives and the fugitives are chasing the thrill of robbing banks. The setting was absolutely “stunning” (to use Jonas’s word) and described in such intricate detail that I could place myself there, on an island or on a hill overlooking Seattle. The characters are realistic, with human weaknesses portrayed alongside of their strengths that make them seem vulnerable, just as all of us are. The overwhelming grief that Jonas and Madison confront was heart-wrenching and so well depicted. There was no love lost between me and the fugitives because I just wanted them captured before they shot someone else. With a plot that raced down the tracks like a runaway train, this book was hands-down one of the best romantic suspense books that I have ever read. It has everything to captivate and enthrall: heroes, villains, family relationships, danger at every turn and a promise of hope. I loved reading it and I’m already wanting more of the story of these two U.S. Marshals! It can definitely be read as a standalone, but I don’t know why anyone would want to miss out on any part of the tale of Jonas and Madison, edgy fiction with a clock ticking and a race against time. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and from the author via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. 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.”
USA Today and CBA bestselling author LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 (Blood Covenant) and 2015 (Vendetta) from Romantic Times. She has sold over half a million books. She and her family have spent over sixteen year working as missionaries in Africa where she runs a small non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project promotes Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)
When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari.
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