Saturday, December 29, 2012

Soul's Gate

I received a copy of Soul's Gate by James Rubart from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.
"Every now and then we get a break from reality. A glimpse into the other world that is more real than the reality we live in 99 percent of our days. The Bible is about a world of demons and angels and great evil and even greater glory.”
What if you could travel inside another person’s soul? To battle for them. To be part of Jesus healing their deepest wounds. To help set them free to step boldly into their divinely designed future.

Thirty years ago that’s exactly what Reece Roth did. Until tragedy shattered his life and ripped away his future.

Now God has drawn Reece out of the shadows to fulfill a prophecy spoken over him three decades ago. A prophecy about four warriors with the potential to change the world . . . if Reece will face his deepest regret and teach them what he has learned.

They gather at a secluded and mysterious ranch deep in the mountains of Colorado, where they will learn to see the spiritual world around them with stunning clarity—and how to step into the supernatural.

Their training is only the beginning. The four have a destiny to pursue a freedom even Reece doesn’t fully fathom. But they have an enemy hell-bent on destroying them and he’ll stop at nothing to keep them from their quest for true freedom and the coming battle of souls.

I really enjoyed this book and had a hard time putting it down.  I haven't read anything like it.  Rubart did a great job of infusing his story with Scripture.  Each of the characters begins to have deeper faith as their training goes on.  They each also gain much needed healing.  Aren't those the things we all need?  If only there was a Reece in all of our lives.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Killer Crust

I received a copy of Killer Crust by Chris Cavender from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Eleanor Swift isn't amused when Laughing Luigi - the sketchy frozen pizza dough baron - walks into her Timber Ridge, North Carolina pizzeria.  But his pizza-making contest seems on the up and up...and sprucing up her beloved pizzeria, "A Slice of Delight", with $25,000 in first-prize money would be a dream come true.  But Luigi is soon up to his snicky tricks, and Eleanor and her sister Maddie aren't the only contestants who find the pizza dough king distasteful.  Then Luigi is found dead on the floor, with a slice of poisoned pizza!  If Eleanor and Maddie want to find the real killer and win the $25,000, they're going to have to juggle seriously surreptitious sleuthing with the pressure-packed pizza-making performances...before the real killer dishes them their own slices of death!
This is a good book and has some twists that I didn't see coming.  All of the pizza-making contestants had motive all the way through the contest.   Up until the end I was sure that a couple of the other characters had been in the murder together.  This is one of the Pizza Lovers Mysteries books and since it's the first I've read I was surprised to find a recipe at the end.  The author says that the first book also has a recipe at the end.  I wonder if all Cavender's book will have one.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes

I received a copy of Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes by T. Neal Tarver from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.
  Life, death, faith and hope paint paths to Heaven and Hell as two men find their way in modern-day San Antonio. College grad Nick doesn’t trust God. He wears a simple message across his heart: “God, you’re not welcome here.” Former pastor Wayne has a heart held hostage by his past failures and a feeling that he isn’t God’s man. When death’s specter burns both men’s names into its appointment book, each embarks on an amazing journey—one doused in dread, the other dripping with delight.
  This is a great book!  I've read a couple books about people going to Heaven, but never a book about someone going to Hell.  This book describes 2 men's journey after death - one to Heaven, the other to Hell.  The chapters rotate back and forth from each man's journey.  Wayne experiences the highs of Heaven while Nick experiences the depths of Hell.  Each chapter is so real it's like you're traveling with each of the men.  The one thing that I didn't see coming is how the Devil is described - "The Beautiful One".  When Nick finally sees the Devil it all makes sense.  I love how Nick finally sees that it's not what's on the outside that counts. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sceretly Smitten

I received a copy of Secretly Smitten by Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.
  Summer, fall, winter, spring—Smitten, Vermont, is the place for love . . . and mystery!
  There’s a secret in Grandma Rose’s attic—a forgotten set of dog tags belonging to her first love. But David Hutchins was killed in action and never returned to Smitten. How did the dog tags end up in the attic?
  The mystery intrigues Rose’s three granddaughters—Tess, Clare, and Zoe—and they decide to investigate, though their mother, Anna, warns against meddling. But as the seasons turn and the mystery unravels, the three young women and their mother encounter some intriguing mystery men of their own. Has a sixty-year-old puzzle sparked something new for this close-knit family of women?
  Join popular romance novelists—and real-life BFFs—Colleen Coble, Kristin Billerbeck, Diann Hunt, and Denise Hunter for four delightful intertwined tales of mystery and sweet intrigue.
  This is the first book I've read that has four sections by four different authors, but one storyline.  I enjoyed reading each authors take on the same story.  Each section focused on a different character and her love life. The mystery of the dog tags that were found in Grandma Rose's attic continues throughout all the sections along with mini story lines of Tess, Clare, Zoe and Anna.  We learn a lot about each woman's fears and dreams.  Together they find the courage to face their fears and see their dream come true.  If only we all had family like that to lean on.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Every Perfect Gift

I received a copy of Every Perfect Gift by Dorothy Love from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.
  Ethan and Sophie long to share a future together. But the secrets they’re not sharing could tear them apart.
  Sophie Caldwell has returned to Hickory Ridge, Tennessee after years away. Despite the heartaches of her childhood, Sophie is determined to make a home, and a name, for herself in the growing town.  A gifted writer, she plans to resurrect the local newspaper that so enchanted her as a girl.
  Ethan Heyward’s idyllic childhood was shattered by a tragedy he has spent years trying to forget. An accomplished businessman and architect, he has built a majestic resort in the mountains above Hickory Ridge, drawing wealthy tourists from all over the country.
  When Sophie interviews Ethan for the paper, he is impressed with her intelligence and astounded by her beauty. She's equally intrigued with him but fears he will reject her if he learns about her shadowed past. Just as she summons the courage to tell him, Ethan’s own past unexpectedly and violently catches up with him, threatening not only his life but their budding romance.
  I don't normally pick books written about the 1800s but am glad I did this time.  This is a good book that was easy to follow.  I did have to look up a few words.  I think it's interesting how a new resort can bring a dying town back to life and how women struggled to do things we take for granted now.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Christmas Stories

I received a copy of Christmas Stories by Maz Lucado from Booksneeze in exchange for an honest review.
A heartwarming collection of Christmas stories and reflections from Max Lucado
These stories—like your favorite Christmas ornaments—come in all shapes and sizes. They unfold in a variety of settings, from ancient Bethlehem to rural England. From a small Texas town to the heavenly realms. Some are short. Others many chapters long. Some offer reflections. Others imagine Christmas through the eyes of a burnt-out candle maker, a lonely business man, or heavenly angels.
Yet all are vintage Lucado, and all resonate with the wonder of the season.
"In the mystery of Christmas," Max writes, "we find its majesty. The mystery of how God became flesh, why he chose to come, and how much he must love his people. Such mysteries can never be solved, just as love can never be diagrammed. Christmas is best pondered, not with logic, but imagination."
That's what each of these unique Christmas stories help us do. In the midst of the bustle and hurry that often distracts us this time of year, these stories free us to explore the ways in which Christ's coming has forever changed history—and us.
This is a collection of stories that will really make you think.  The first one I'd read before but can't remember where.  The one I enjoyed the most was An Angel's Story.  It was written from the perspective of the Angel Gabriel.  I hadn't ever thought about Satan trying to keep Jesus from being born.  But doesn't it make sense that he would? 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Solomon's Tale

I received a copy of Solomon's Tale by Shelia Jeffries from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 
Solomon's Tale is a gripping story with strong emotion, humor, and gritty relationship themes. Sheila Jeffries has also woven a thread of spirituality throughout the tale, which focuses on reincarnation, angels, and how the soul survives death. Solomon, a cat who can see angels, who is chosen to be born again to help a family endure traumas of separation and poverty, narrates the quirky but heartwarming adventure. Solomon embarks on a perilous journey to find his home. He falls in love with another cat, Jessica, whose outrageous behavior brings life and humor into the challenging situations he must face, including the repossession of his family home, relocation to a cramped caravan, and a lonely, desperate time of surviving the wild. A tear-jerker with an interesting twist at the end, Solomon's Tale will make you laugh and cry and lift your spirits. It was inspired by two real cats and will appeal to fans of cats and spiritual fiction.
This is a different book than I've read before.  It's written from the perspective of Solomon.  We hear about how cats can sense how people feel and if they're good or bad.  Solomon has a very good sense of where his Ellen lives and finds a way to her.  He has an angel and sees other angels along the way.  We learn how hard it is for Solomon to full fill his mission and promises.  Solomon and Ellen have so much in common that helps them each to cope with the situations they find themselves in.