What I’ve Been Reading

So many good books… and a couple I wasn’t crazy about…

Right now I’m bouncing back and forth between three books. First off is Second Opinion by Hannah Alexander. It came out back in December of 2015. It’s been really good and I’m looking forward to seeing where the author(s) (Hannah Alexander is actually a husband and wife team) take us in this book. Since it’s not officially for a review I’ve slowed down on it so I can focus on two books for review.

The first one is James Rubart’s newest book The Long Journey to Jake Palmer. I love how Jim takes readers to the edge of what is possible. I also love how he brings up subtle aspects from his other books into stories.  If all goes well I’ll be doing an interview with him. Hopefully a YouTube Live interview.

The third book that I’m reading is Kim Vogel Sawyer’s newest book, Guide Me Home. Another really good story by Kim. I am loving watching Reb and I can tell you already Tolly is going to be my favorite character overall.

I won’t share which books I read recently that I didn’t enjoy. But if you read some of my recent reviews you’ll pick up on them.

Up Next…

Colleen Coble has a new book releasing in September, Twilight at Blueberry Barrens. I will hopefully get a copy to review. It’s the third book in the Sunset Cove series and I trust it will be as good as the first two.

Virginia Smith just released the third book in her Goose Creek Series, The Room with the Second Best View. This has been a fun series. The stories are entertaining and just relaxing reading.

Monthly contest…

I’m looking at doing a monthly contest that will start the first day of the month and end on the last day of the month. I haven’t quite figured it all out. But the winners will get books or an Amazon e-gift card. I have a little over a week to figure it all out.  You have ideas please share in the comments. They could be worth bonus entries!

Blessings to all!

Almost as Good as the First – My Sister’s Prayer by Clark and Gould

About this Book

Women of Fearless Devotion

Virginia, 1705

Celeste Talbot is usually such a sensible young woman—until she falls for an English soldier reassigned to the Colonies. Leaving her Huguenot family behind, she sets sail for America, only to realize that her younger sister Berta has been kidnapped and forced on board the very same ship. Whom can Celeste trust? The dashing soldier? Or the vigilant carpenter who remains by their side in the perilous New World?

Virginia, present day

Madeline “Maddee” Talbot has her hands full when she agrees to take in her younger sister Nicole following a serious car accident. The young women grew apart when Nicole fell into drug addiction, and Maddee prays this will be the start of a better life for her sister. But as they investigate a trauma from their childhood, Maddee must keep a diligent eye on Nicole—and the shadowy figure watching them from afar.

From the Christy Award-winning team of Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould, My Sister’s Prayer tells an epic tale of two women compelled to protect their sisters, confront their fears, and navigate the muddy waters of betrayal to find true love.


About the Authors

Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of numerous books, both fiction and nonfiction, including A Penny for Your Thoughts, Whispers of the Bayou, and the #1-ranked The Amish Midwife. She has received numerous honors, including two Christy Awards and RT Book Club Magazine’s Career Achievement Award. Mindy and her husband, John, live near Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and have two grown daughters.

Leslie Gould works as a writer and editor in Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband Peter and four children.. She is the previous curator of the Swedenburg House Museum in Ashland, Oregon.  (source: Amazon Author Pages)

My Review

I am really enjoy this series. The authors have done a great job with the dual timeline and the development of the characters. I particularly enjoyed the 1700 timeline with Celesta and Berta. Watching Celeste as the came to terms with her situation and the conditions of 18th century Virginia was often moving.

The contemporary timeline with Maddee and Nicole was excellent. I quickly found myself hoping Nicole would be able to hold on to her sobriety. It was also fun to watch Maddee start to “relax” and stop controlling everything. Grandmother played a significant role in this story.

The contemporary story picked up shortly after book one and filled in more pieces to the mystery. This is a book two of a series and I am a big fan of reading them in order, but the authors give enough history that you can easily start with this book and not feel lost.

I enjoyed this story, but didn’t feel like it was as good as book one. However, I do look forward to seeing the mystery solved and more about the Talbot family in America.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.





The Hungering Dark: Awakening

About this Book

“I don’t know what it is or what it isn’t. I don’t know how it works or functions. I don’t know if it’s magic, pure evil straight from hell, alien, or what. All I know is what it does when the lights go out. And I know I never want to be in the same room with it in the dark.”

A mysterious and deadly threat-housed in a strange puzzle box-has found its way to the humble town of Timbuk, Pennsylvania. The object’s origins reach all the way back to Moses, the plagues, and Pharaoh’s wicked magicians.

For centuries, secret groups have been hunting the box and its contents. One group allegedly seeks to destroy it. The other-called the Descendants-seeks to use it to visit revenge on the Jewish people.

Now fate has placed the box in the hands of an unassuming Christian family, a small-town sheriff, a female state trooper, and a professor of biblical archaeology. Realizing the power the puzzle box holds, they must do everything they can to keep their community-and the world-safe from the deadly darkness.

About the Author

Veteran award-winning writer, Stephen R. Clark, has just released an exciting new religious thriller titled “The Hungering Dark: Awakening.” The book was the 2015 Grand Prize winner of the First Look contest sponsored by WestBow Press, a division of Thomas Nelson and Zondervan (both owned by HarperCollins).

Containing thematic elements that are very relevant to what we see in the world today, the story is set in a fictional small town located in southwestern Pennsylvania of Timbuk where a mysterious and deadly threat — housed in a strange puzzle box — has found its way. The object’s origins reach all the way back to Moses, the plagues, and Pharaoh’s wicked magicians.

Clark, a native of New Castle, Indiana and a graduate of Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri, has been writing for more than 40 years.

He has authored short stories, poetry, online content, ad copy, scripts, speeches, direct mail, feature articles, and much more. He has also ghostwritten several Christian books including “Preparing for Battle” by Mark Bubeck (Moody Press). He has contributed chapters to compilations, devotionals, and other books including the “NIV Men’s Devotional Bible” (Zondervan) and “Inside Mysteries of the Bible” (Time & American Bible Society).

“The Hungering Dark: Awakening” is Clark’s first full-length novel. The book is available online at Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, as well as from WestBowPress.com.

Clark maintains a website at www.StephenRClark.com and an award-winning blog at www.FaithBraised.com. He can also be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StephenRClarkWriter and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/stephenrclark.

He is joyfully married to BethAnn Clark and they reside in Oreland, Pennsylvania where they are members of Huntingdon Valley Presbyterian Church in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. (source Amazon author page)

My Review

I found the premise of this book intriguing. And I think the author has a great imagination and the potential.It is obvious that he is a good writer, it is also obvious he had more experience writing non-fiction.

Although an intriguing premise the writing didn’t draw me in. The writing didn’t create a mental picture for me. And sometimes the dialogue felt forced.

Fiction writing has a different flow to it than non-fiction and my guess is this author’s non-fiction work is excellent. I think the author has the imagination to develop great fiction stories. He just needs to develop the creative side in his writing to paint the story with his words. If given the opportunity I’d definitely check out any future works of his.

This is a tough one for me to recommend. Though someone interested in Biblical and Egyptian mystic history might enjoy it.

Disclaimer: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.