Monday, November 30, 2009

Angel Fall by Coleman Luck

                                                        link for Angel Fall

Description:   The wind we know is only a shadow of something far greater. Lightning is falling in sheets. A wind is blowing that is larger than this world. In the middle of the strangest storm in history, an airliner crashes into the ocean and only three young people survive—a brother and his two sisters. But they are not together and the ocean is not on earth.

Alex, Amanda and Tori Lancaster have entered Boreth, a world of ancient devastation and deep evil ruled by the Worwil—seven creatures of immense power who existed before any world began. Through this world they must travel, into terror and temptation, every choice taking them closer to endless night. Scarred with the fires of hell and Heaven, their pasts are torn from their souls.
But shadowing each of them is a mysterious Being covered in scars who has faced ten-thousand battles. A being filled with the longing of ages. A longing to heal the broken-hearted.

With dark, glistening strands from Lewis, Lovecraft, and Tolkien, the cloth of Angel Fall has been woven. But the journey it weaves is not just for Alex, Amanda, and Tori … it is for all those who cannot find their way home.

My Review:
The was an unusual book for me as fantasy is not one of my usual genres, but the story drew me in and held my interest to the end.  I looked forward to each chapter as the next stage of the story presented itself and new adventures were presented to each character. I found the book well written, intelligent, and with spiritual images that were interesting and thought provoking. Some were obvious spiritual messages; others were a little more obscure (at least for me). Although the book is about three children, this is not a book for small children. Its detailed descriptions are horrifyingly scary and dark.

Overall, the story is very much like the struggles we have every day. We daily strive for with good, which can be hard to find, but all too often find greed and desires which can look so inviting. We suffer consequences of our decisions, but redemption is always in reach.

I am surprised that this is the author’s first novel. Angel Fall can easily compete with the works of more well known authors of this genre, and I look forward to the author's Mentalist Series. Be sure to visit the Coleman Luck's website listed below. His biography is interesting and there are really fun and quirky things to click on the main page.

About the author:
Coleman Luck is a Hollywood writer/producer whose credits include television series such as The Equalizer, Gabriel's Fire and The Burning Zone. A native of Wheaton, Illinois, Coleman is a Life Member of the Writers Guild of America, West. Angel Fall is his first novel. His second, to be published is 2010, is entitled Dagon's Illusion and is the first in what is projected to be a trilogy called The Mentalist Series. Coleman lives in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of central California near Yosemite National Park. His official website is:

A quote from Angel Fall:
“Out of the woman’s body streaked a thousand twisted limbs that writhed, splitting and branching into the air. Higher and higher, she towered over the girl. But as Amanda stared at her, she was changing too. A blazing strength shone in her eyes. In that terrifying moment her childhood ended, and she became all that she was meant to be. Calmly she said, ‘This isn’t the Mountain. My journey isn’t finished. I still have to take the baby home.’”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

God Gave Us Christmas by Lisa Tawn Bergren and David Holm, Art work

Purchase Link for:
God Gave Us Christmas

Book Description:  In God Gave Us Christmas, as Little Cub and her family prepare to celebrate the most special day of the year, the curious young polar bear has something on her mind: “Who invented Christmas?” she asks. “Is God more important than Santa?” 
Her questions reflect the confusion of so many children during the holiday season. And this heartwarming story takes them on a wonderful journey of discovery—right to the heart of Christmas. 
Through Mama’s gentle guidance, Little Cub learns that God loves her and everyone— polar bear, moose, or human—so much that he gave us Jesus, the very best gift of all.

My Review:
Little Cub is excited about Christmas and when Mama mentions God, little cub asks the type of questions our own children would ask about God, Jesus, and Santa.  Mama Bear and Little Cub set out for the mountains to learn about God and His gift to us. Mama Bear teaches Little Cub about God by using God’s masterful creation surrounding them. With the beautiful artwork and gentle teachings, this book is a perfection in its simplicity. Who could resist the cute smiling bears! More importantly, is the clear message of God’s gift of Jesus as the real meaning of Christmas. Santa is given the lower position of a reminder of Christ’s love. This would be a wonderful gift book for children, Sunday School classes, church nurseries, or day care groups.

Lisa Tawn Bergren is the award-winning author of nearly thirty titles, totaling more than 1.5 million books in print. She writes in a broad range of genres, from adult fiction to devotional. God Gave Us Love follows in Lisa’s classic tradition of the best-selling God Gave Us You. She lives in Colorado, with her husband, Tim, and their children, Olivia, Emma, and Jack.

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Treasured by Leigh McLeroy

Link to purchase Treasured

Book Description:  In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy considers tangible reminders of God’s active presence and guides readers in discovering evidence in their own lives of his attentive love. “The idea for the book came from a cigar box filled with odds and ends of my grandfather’s life that arrived a few months after his death. Sifting through the objects in the box, I experienced him in a fresh new way. This made me wonder what treasures might be tucked away in Scripture that could frame God for me in an equally intimate, tangible way. This process also helped me uncover my own “treasures” of my walk with the Lord: objects that remind me of my history with him and his faithfulness to me,” says McLeroy.

Drawn from the pages of Scripture, the author considers twelve such treasures and personalizes their meaning for readers, such as a green olive branch that offers proof of God’s “new every morning” mercy and a scarlet cord that demonstrates his willingness to adopt “strays” of every sort. Weaving these treasures together with scenes from her personal history, Leigh McLeroy invites readers to discover God’s heart for them and embrace their unique role in his redemptive story. Treasured offers readers a guided experience of God’s love and character and invites them to consider their own treasures that point to their part in God’s ongoing story.

My Review: 
In Treasured, Leigh McLeroy begins this devotional style book with a story of receiving a box of keepsakes that belonged to her grandfather. As she looked at the Bible, she began to see a spiritual aspect and considered the small things, or God’s keepsakes, that would demonstrate His heart and love for us. The author has a unique insight as she compares her life and circumstances with those individuals whose stories are told in the Bible. How often do we read the Word of God without seeing the small hints of wisdom placed there just for us? The story that the author tells is deeply personal look at God’s provisions for her needs and desires. She also tells of those deep and sometimes painful desires that have not yet been fulfilled. Each chapter begins with a Bible verse and an explanation or application.

Just an example of the chapters:
A Fig Leaf: The God Who Covers Me
Abraham’s Knife: The God Who Provides
A bloodstained Piece of Wood: The God Who Defeats Death

 I especially enjoyed her account of a gathering she attended. It was a meeting of Christian Retailers with publishers, writers, agents, etc. in attendance. The author gave some interesting contrasts between individuals while watching authors interact with the public at a book signing and another incident in the lobby of the hotel.

Treasured can be read in one sitting, or as a devotional style book. There is also a “Personal Reflection and Group Discussion Guide” at the end of the book, which is an important self-examination of our own hearts and desires. What do you collect and why?

About the Author: 
Leigh McLeroy is the author of The Beautiful Ache and The Sacred Ordinary. An avid collector and recorder of everyday moments, words, and wonders, Leigh’s keen eye for God’s presence in ordinary life infuses her writing and living with a deep, insistent joy. A frequent conference and event speaker, the author makes her home in Houston, Texas, and posts often on

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

God Gave us Love by Lisa Tawn Bergren and Laura J. Bryant art work

Link To purchase God Gave Us Love

Book Description
In God Gave Us Love, Little Cub and Grampa Bear’s fishing adventure is interrupted by mischievous otters, and the young polar bear begins to ask questions like why must we love others . . . even the seemingly unlovable? Why is it easier to love those we like? Where does love come from? And why does God love her so much?

Grampa Bear patiently addresses each one of Little Cub’s curiosities by explaining the different kinds of love we can share: the love between friends, the love between families, the love between moms and dads, and the love for God.

He also assured Little Cub that because of the love God has given her through his Son, there’s nothing she can do to make God love her any more or any less. Through Grampa Bear’s encouraging Little Cub to love others with a “God-sized love,” children will be inspired to love others and to be patient, gentle and kind, so that in every way, they too can demonstrate God’s love.

My Review:
In God Gave us Love, Grandpa Bear teaches Little Cub about love. Grandpa explains about love between mama and Papa, the love among family members, and God’s love. When those pesky otters annoy Little Cub, he also explains that God wants us to always love others, even those who are difficult to love. God Gave us Love is a wonderful book to teach children about God’s perfect love for us and how to show love for others. This is another beautiful children’s book by Lisa Tawn Bergren with very loveable characters and delightful artwork.

The author’s website with information about all of her books is here:

This book was provided for review by the WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Strictly Sundays by Joe Fitzpatrick link for Strictly Sundays

Strictly Sundays is a unique and interesting new cookbook that presents the perfect blend of gourmet and everyday cooking. This is gourmet cooking that will not scare away the regular cook, and you will not need a dictionary to figure out the ingredients.

There are recipes for appetizers, main dishes, salads, soups, side dishes and salsas. No desserts, but you won’t miss them with the quality and variety of recipes presented. Because I live in a very small town, one of the most important things I look for in a new cookbook is availability of ingredients. These recipes contain easy to find ingredients that I would be able to pick up locally. The instructions for the recipes are clear and concise. Recipes for Portuguese Meatballs with Spicy Sauce, Crab Cakes with Dipping Sauce, Tenderloin Steaks with Brandy Cream Sauce, Cioppino, and Orange and Olive Salsa are just a few of the recipes that are on my list to try first.

The quality and look of the book is outstanding. The photography is beautiful and with the book printed on coated paper, it has a classy look and feel. It would make a thoughtful gift or a useful addition to the family cookbook collection.

From the Author:
How Dinner Time

Can Bring Families Together

Chef Reveals Why Sunday Dinners
Are So Important

It all starts at mealtime.
That’s what the statistics show, and at least one chef can attest to it. According to
a study released last week by The National Center on Addiction and Substance
Abuse at Columbia University, the family dinner is linked to everything from
better grades to teen use of alcohol. The study, called “The Importance of Family
Dinners,” said that teens who report typically receiving grades of C’s or below in
school are likelier to smoke, drink and use drugs compared to teens who typically
receive all A’s or A’s and B’s in school. Compared to teens who have five to
seven family dinners per week, those who have fewer than three family dinners
per week are one and a half times likelier to report getting mostly C’s or lower
grades in school.

Joe Fitzpatrick knows the value of family dinners, because it has become a
tradition in his household every weekend. Fitzpatrick, author of the gourmet
cookbook Strictly Sundays from Book Publisher’s Network
(, believes his Sunday dinners are what help keep his
family close. It was part of how he was raised.

“Ever since I was a little boy I enjoyed helping my mother cook in the kitchen,” he
said. “She made it fun and I learned a lot. Of course that was in the 1960’s when
the only cook on television was Julia Child. There were no fancy spices or
sauces used in our house and all the meals were pretty basic, but that didn’t
matter. I remember the time we spent together, and it helped shape my attitudes
when I had children of my own.”
Fitzpatrick’s focus on mealtime evolved out of the experience most people are
having today – working hard with a tight budget, and not having much time for

“I owned a business in the 1980’s and spent little time at home,” he said. “My
wife and I would make it a point to go out to dinner every Saturday night to spend
some time with each other. When the business went away so did the money.
But I still liked good food. I subscribed to Bon Appetite magazine and started to
make unique intimate dinners for the two of us on Saturday nights.”When the kids got
wind of the Saturday night dinners, they felt like they were missing out on something good.
They were right.

“Then our children got older, saw what we were having for our Saturday night
gourmet dinner and asked why they didn’t get special meals too,” Fitzpatrick
added. “So I started to explore and create both new and traditional dinners for
them on Sunday nights. When the kids had jobs, I made a rule that Sunday was
for faith & family, no exceptions. They almost never missed one of my Sunday
dinners. And as they have grown and established their own lives, they still come
home once a week to help in the kitchen and help me create these fabulous
meals. It used to be about the food. Now, it’s more about being together.”

About Joe Fitzpatrick
Joe Fitzpatrick is a family man who loves to cook. Though he has never owned a
restaurant or worked as a chef, he combined the lessons his mother taught him
with his love for the culinary arts to produce a cookbook of comfort foods that
look and taste like gourmet dishes. Author of the cookbook Strictly Sundays
(, Fitzpatrick realizes that gourmet meals can be
served any day of the week. His family simply prefers Sundays.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sorrowed Souls by Brenda Youngerman

Amazon Link for Sorrowed Souls

Book Description:

The eyes are said to be the window to the soul. Have you ever looked at someone whose eyes have no light? Follow the journey out of the darkness. In the space of a moment, Bryan Tines thought he had lost everything that was important to him. Waking up in a strange place with no recollection of where he came from, or who he was; lost, hungry and dirty, his life would have been over if not for the kindness of the invisible layer of society. Gus Hill was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and alcohol coursing through his veins. Living on the outside looking in, Gus goes down a path of self-destruction and finds that the harsh words of a true friend enable him to help himself and others who feel their lives have no meaning. Through this path, Gus finds what is really important. Amy Pickens was born into a working class family-a planned and difficult birth-her mother never let her forget how much of a burden Amy's life was to her. She became the unwanted child. Struggling with confidence issues, she accidentally finds happiness, which in one fleeting moment, appears to go awry.

My review:

Sorrowed Souls is a story of several people who grew up unloved and unwanted. The story breaks off in different directions as the reader travels along through each character’s life. Tragedy follows the characters as does their own self-destructive behavior. As their lives connect, the stories take some interesting twists that I never expected. Reading about that much sadness and tragedy was difficult at times, but recovery is always within reach for the characters.

Sorrowed Souls is an interesting and well-written story with interesting characters and plot lines, but can be overwhelmingly sad to read at times especially if sensitive to the suffering of others. When the stories and characters come together and connections are realized there is a satisfying and surprising conclusion.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Through the Triangle by C. P. Stewart

Amazon link for Through the Triangle
Book Description:

Jake Myers and his semi-estranged teenaged son Nathan were supposed to be on a healing jaunt: a Florida vacation spent deep-sea fishing and theme park hopping. But they and the three other passengers aboard Oblique View happened to be in the wrong place at the right time – in a storm within the Devil’s Triangle. On a deserted shore, they discover they are in the right place at the wrong time – the Florida coast nearly three-hundred years in the future. Then there’s the metropolis nearby that appears to be deserted … appears, that is...

Now, this group is about to confront a dangerous species - part animal/part human … that can see in the dark. Together with a loose association of other humans, fellow travelers cast off in this strange land and strange time, they’ll have to rely on instinct and cunning to survive. But something as deadly as the Devil’s Triangle they just passed through might be one of their own…

What follows is a journey of enlightenment as Jake discovers the shocking historical events leading to this new reality and the love lurking right under his nose. It all combines for a savvy time-travel thriller that will keep you guessing right up until the shocking finale.

My Review:

Through the Triangle is an interesting and thought provoking sci-fi thriller. No area brings to mind more mystery and fear than The Devil’s Triangle, and this book creates a unique story for this location. The character development in the book is outstanding. I confess that I can get lost if there are too many characters to keep track of, but the author was so thorough in exploring each character’s past and personality that the characters came to life. The author has a great talent for describing situations, locations, and creatures so that no matter how fantastical, they seem real.

The Time travel aspect interests me, and in Through the Triangle the author uses families from different times who have to adjust to the new time for which they have arrived. These situations along with non-stop thrills and action make this an outstanding read. I hope a sequel is in the works.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Very Special Interview!!!

There is a very special interview over on the blog Books Gardens & Dogs.
No it isn't an author or book blog interview, but it is a very special interview with my pooch Dusty.  Please take a look at my special pup.  Too much fun!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Social Security Immaculate Deception - A National Disgrace by Robert James Karpie

Amazon Link for Social Security

Book Description:

Four old codgers are sick and tired of the abuse and neglect which occurs daily in their old-folks-home. Max has a broken leg for getting involved as he tried to help his buddy Thomas with his bed pan. Unfortunately, Thomas is now in the intensive care unit at the county hospital. He's in a coma. Another resident, Marge Taylor; has been repeatedly beaten and raped and hasn't spoken a word since her tragic ordeal started. She was too afraid to report her cruel and inhumane treatment. They actually hire a lawyer, Chi, Clarence's grandson who sues the state as well as the owners of Hell. The residents go wild with the idea and unite as they pool their resources and purchase Prudent Paradise in the Name of Love. They change its name to Social Security and become one big family; with a bar, pool, hot tubs, pets, the O-zone, and a Laugh Room.

My Review:

What can I say? I suspect this is a book that you either love or hate. I didn’t love it. Basically, it is a series of rants against just about everything by foul-mouthed senior citizens obsessed with sex and bodily functions. Nursing homes/assisted living centers take a real hit in this book as places that routinely abuse and rape residents.

Near its end is where the real purpose of the book becomes clear. The author addresses his political agenda such as Amero, CFR-New World Order, UFO cover-ups, Aspartame, “swine flu”, hemp and his hatred for Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, and George Bush. In the midst of the vulgarity there is even an attempt to bring about a spiritual message with misquoted Bible references. He directs the reader to several radical left-wing websites.

My view of the Federal government is that most of them are liars and thieves. Had the author written a non-fiction book with his world views with some references to back up his opinions, I may have been much more interested, but the book is just all over the place with disjointed ideas. The book ends on a low point when the author asked the country of Iran to forgive us Americans.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Exposure by Brandilyn Collins link for Exposure

Book Description:

Someone is watching Kaycee Raye. But who will believe her? Everyone knows she’s a little crazy. Kaycee’s popular syndicated newspaper column pokes fun at her own paranoia and multiple fears. The police in her small town are well aware she makes money writing of her experiences. Worse yet, she has no proof of the threats. Pictures of a dead man mysteriously appear in her home then vanish before police arrive.

My Review:
As we expect from this best-selling author, Exposure is an interesting and tense mystery /crime drama. The character Kaycee Raye is overwhelmed with fear every minute of every day of her life, and as the reader, I couldn’t help but feel that fear with her all through the book. There were twists and turns in the story along the way, but in the end, all of it comes together until it is proven that even paranoids can have real enemies. I had no clue ahead of time to the twists in the storyline and the surprises added to my enjoyment of the book. Again Zondervan publishes a wonderful fiction book that demonstrates people who struggle with doubts and fears, but rely on their faith to get them through.

Brandilyn Collins is also the author of Always Watching, Violet Dawn, Coral Moon, Crimson Eve, Amber Morn, Brink of Death, and many more. Her website is: and she has a blog at

Friday, November 6, 2009

She Had No Enemies by Dennis Fleming link for She Had No Enemies

Book Description:

Dennis Fleming's 18-yr-old sister, Mickey, was murdered by serial killer Anthony J. LaRette, Jr. Through a combination of solid journalism and introspective reflection, Dennis weaves an intricate story filled with sadness, anger, and even humor about his attempts to cope with the greatest tragedy he'd ever known. A life-affirming story about one man's twenty-five-year search for meaning and fulfillment in the face of a devastating situation. It's also about keeping a promise to someone you love. From the shocking details of Mickey's murder and his subsequent suicide attempt to the mixed feelings he experienced as he witnessed LaRette's execution, Dennis delves deeply into the complex process of coming to grips with his sister's death and of eventually finding forgiveness in his heart for her killer.

My Review:

She Had No Enemies is a personal and touching true crime story about the death of the author’s young sister, Mickey, by a serial killer. At times it was difficult to read, but there is so much to this tragic story from his own family dynamics to the legal drama that came with the arrest of the killer. The story clearly shows how the death of someone so young damages those who love them physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Those who suffer through this type of loss have to make a decision at some point to go forward, and this book explains how the author took his loss and created something positive. The book takes some strange spiritual turns at the end, but it is the author’s story and part of his recovery. Finding peace is not easy when things in life are going well, but finding it in the midst of tragedy is truly an accomplishment.
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