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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Tosca Lee: A Single Light


By Kelly Bridgewater

Six months after vanishing into an underground silo with sixty others, Wynter and Chase emerge to find the area abandoned. There is no sign of Noah and the rest of the group that was supposed to greet them when they emerged—the same people Wynter was counting on to help her locate the IV antibiotics her gravely ill friend, Julie, needs in order to live.

As the clock ticks down on Julie’s life, Wynter and Chase embark on a desperate search for medicine and answers. But what they find is not a nation on the cusp of recovery thanks to the promising new vaccine Wynter herself had a hand in creating, but one decimated by disease. What happened while they were underground?

With food and water in limited supply and their own survival in question, Chase and Wynter must venture further and further from the silo. Aided by an enigmatic mute named Otto, they come face-to-face with a society radically changed by global pandemic, where communities scrabble to survive under rogue leaders and cities are war zones. As hope fades by the hour and Wynter learns the terrible truth of the last six months, she is called upon once again to help save the nation she no longer recognizes—a place so dark she’s no longer sure it can even survive.

Fast-paced and taut, A Single Light is a breathless thriller of nonstop suspense about the risks of living in a world outside the safe confines of our closely-held beliefs and the relationships and lives that inspire us.

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

End of the World thrillers are interesting. They take on a what-if scenario and run with it. As for Tosca Lee with her The Line Between and A  Single Light, Lee crafts a world that begins with a cult escape and turns into a vaccine that is needed to save the world from early dementia. I highly recommend reading these two novels in order or the second novel really won't make much sense. I even went back and re-read the first one before diving into the second one because I read so many books in between that I couldn't remember much of the first one. Boy, am I glad that I did. As for the plot of A Single Light, it moves quite rapidly. I recommend sitting aside an entire day with no interruptions, which I know is practically impossible. Lee is wonderful at ending each chapter on a cliffhanger, so of course, I wanted to keep reading and find out what happened. This story had so many twists and turns that I loved it. The plot is fast paced and had me flipping through the pages. The characters of Wynter and Chase are fabulous. I love how quickly Wynter fit into the world she escaped to and how much she did to save others. She has a heart to save not only her niece but anyone she comes in contact with. Chase, the hero, is an ex-Marine who does anything for Wynter, even love her when she doesn't want to be loved. Tosca Lee crafted a wonderful end of the world thriller that kept me glued to the page. If this is the last one, then I'm sad to see these characters go, I would love to see what happens next. How do they actually rebuild the world? Fans of The Hunger Games might enjoy this novel. I sure did.

I received a complimentary copy of A Single Light by Tosca Lee from Howard Books, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase A Single Light

About the Author:

Tosca Lee
From Amazon
Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of ten novels including THE LINE BETWEEN, THE PROGENY, FIRSTBORN, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, ISCARIOT, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker. Her work has been translated into seventeen languages and been optioned for TV and film. A notorious night-owl, she loves movies, playing football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at ToscaLee.com, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. A SINGLE LIGHT, Tosca's highly-anticipated sequel to THE LINE BETWEEN, releases September 2019 and is available for preorder now. (Taken from Amazon.)

Monday, September 16, 2019

Colleen Coble: Strands of Truth


By Kelly Bridgewater

Strands of Harper Taylor’s childhood are resurfacing—but will the truth save her . . . or pull her under? 

Harper Taylor is used to being alone— after all, she grew up in one foster home after another. Oliver Jackson finally took her under his wing when she was a runaway teenager, and now Harper pours her marine biology knowledge into Oliver’s pen shell research. But she’s never stopped wishing for a family of her own. 

So when a DNA test reveals a half-sister living just two hours away, Harper is both hopeful and nervous. Over warm cinnamon rolls, Harper and Annabelle find striking similarities in their stories. Is it just a coincidence that both their mothers died tragically, without revealing Harper and Annabelle’s father’s name? 

Oliver’s son Ridge still sees Harper as a troubled teen even all these years later. But when Oliver is attacked, Ridge and Harper find themselves working together to uncover dangerous secrets that threaten to destroy them all. They must unravel her past before they can have any hope for the future. 

Suspense, romance, and generational secrets meld in this engrossing new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble. 

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble is a romantic suspense novel with a heart. The plot is completely original. Who would have thought that looking for DNA through an ancestry program could cause so much drama. There was plenty of moments where the story progressed in trying to find the connections between the two sisters and hunting for their birth father. While that moved along nicely, the romance between Ridge and Harper was not believable. I had a really hard time believing they liked each other at all. Especially after learning how they felt about each other at the beginning of the novel. I had a really hard time turning those ideas off. The romance bothered me the rest of the novel. Coble should have written another love interest, not Ridge.  Didn't fit the story line at all. Coble's writing was wonderful. She has proven why she is at the top of her genre with the details and character's perspective told by the characters. Overall, Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble is a fascinating tale of ancestry DNA and what could come out of the closet. I believe fans of Coble's other stories, DiAnn Mills, or Irene Hannon would enjoy this story.

I received a complimentary copy of Strands of Truth by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Purchase Strands of Truth

About the Author:

Colleen Coble
From Amazon
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com. (Taken from Amazon.)

Friday, September 13, 2019

Dig Deep


By Kelly Bridgewater

Have you ever read a book or done  a habit so many times that it becomes kind of boring to you?

I have.

There is a habit that I start every day with that really doesn't thrill me anymore. To be brutally honest, it hasn't for a couple of years.

The book I'm talking about is the Bible.

I know. Shock all around.

But . . .

I have been raised in the church. I studied the Bible for quizzes at church. I would read the lesson before class. Have my own quiet time. Study the Bible and take notes during the sermons, youth group, and studying with my own family now. The Bible is a huge cornerstone of who I am.

My sons, at least, my oldest is impressed by how much I know about the Bible. My answer is to spend time with it. The more you read it; the more you understand it.

But. . .

the last couple  of years, my personal Bible study time isn't as wonderful or exciting as I want it to be. 
It feels like another check on my daily to-do list that gets checked off. Bible study. Done. Onto planning dinner. I read and know the words that are about to come, so I feel like I glaze over the deeper meanings. I really don't look forward to my Bible study anymore. I look forward more to listening to sermons where someone else explains a verse to me. I don't want my study to be that way. 
I WANT to study more and look forward to spending time in God's Word for myself. What truths can I discover by myself.

I want to dive deeper, but I don't know how. I want to study like our pastors do when they preparing for a lesson. What was going on around the known world when these things were written down? What were the cultural practices that motivated that movement? What other areas of the Bible talk about this topic too?

I don't know where to start to make the Bible come to life. I have a Strong's Concordance, but that isn't that helpful to me. I must be using it wrong.

Are there any books out there that any of you know that might help me start this deeper understanding of God's Word. I have tried Kristy Cambron's way of studying the Bible, and it really didn't reach out to me either. I wanted it to, but I felt like something was missing.

Please, leave suggestions on ways to make me more interested in the reading the Bible again. Book titles or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Melanie Dobson: Memories of Glass


By Kelly Bridgewater

1942. As war rips through the heart of Holland, childhood friends Josie van Rees and Eliese Linden partner with a few daring citizens to rescue Eliese’s son and hundreds of other Jewish children who await deportation in a converted theater in Amsterdam. But amid their resistance work, Josie and Eliese’s dangerous secrets could derail their friendship and their entire mission. When the enemy finds these women, only one will escape.

Seventy-five years later, Ava Drake begins to suspect that her great-grandfather William Kingston was not the World War II hero he claimed to be. Her work as director of the prestigious Kingston Family Foundation leads her to Landon West’s Ugandan coffee plantation, and Ava and Landon soon discover a connection between their families. As Landon’s great-grandmother shares the broken pieces of her story, Ava must confront the greatest loss in her own life―and powerful members of the Kingston family who will do anything to keep the truth buried.

Illuminating the story and strength of these women, award-winning author Melanie Dobson transports readers through time and place, from World War II Holland to contemporary Uganda, in this rich and inspiring novel.

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

I adore learning more and more about different areas of Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. I get excited when I discover a new novel will be written during this time frame. From Sarah Sundin to Melanie Dobson to Cathy Gohlke, I have discovered a range of different characters in different parts of the world and what occurred to the Jews, Dutch, and Americans. With Memories of Glass, Dobson takes me on a journey to Holland and the Dutch theater, Hollandsche Schouwburg. I really enjoyed how the present day story had a lot of forgiveness that occurs by the end of the novel, and learning about the untangling of the family's history. As a reader, we discover the main knots and tangles in this family line right alongside Ava and Landon. The past story shows readers the true story of what occurred for Eliese and Josie, so we don't have to listen to them explain later. The ending is heart-wrenching and had me reaching up to wipe some tears away.   I invested myself in the characters' lives and was sad to see their story end. Dobson does a fabulous job at crafting together a story to show another side to the horror caused by the Nazi's. Again, I'm looking forward to what she creates next.

I received a complimentary copy of Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson from Tyndale Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


About the Author:

Melanie Dobson
From Amazon
Writing fiction is Melanie Dobson's excuse to explore abandoned houses, travel to unique places, and spend hours reading old books and journals. The award-winning author of twenty novels, Melanie enjoys stitching together both time-slip and historical stories including Hidden Among the Stars, Catching the Wind, Enchanted Isle, and the Legacy of Love novels. Chateau of Secrets and Catching the Wind both received a Carol Award for historical fiction, Catching the Wind's audiobook won the 2018 Audie for Inspirational Novel, and The Black Cloister was ForeWord's Book of the Year for Religious Fiction. Her next time-slip novel, Memories of Glass, comes out in 2019.

Melanie and her husband, Jon, have two daughters. After moving numerous times with Jon's work, the Dobson family has finally settled near Portland, Oregon, and they love to travel and hike in both the mountains and the cliffs above the Pacific. When Melanie isn't writing, she enjoys exploring ghost towns and dusty back roads, dancing, and reading stories with her girls.

More information about Melanie and her books is available at her website (www.melaniedobson.com), or at either of the following social media platforms:

Facebook.com/MelanieDobsonFiction
Twitter.com/MelBDobson
(Taken from Amazon)

Monday, September 9, 2019

Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker: The Girl Behind the Red Rope


By Kelly Bridgewater

Ten years ago, Grace saw something that would forever change the course of history. When evil in its purest form is unleashed on the world, she and others from their religious community are already hidden deep in the hills of Tennessee, abiding by every rule that will keep them safe, pure--and alive. As long as they stay there, behind the red perimeter.

Her older brother's questions and the arrival of the first outsiders she's seen in a decade set in motion events that will question everything Grace has built her life on. Enemies rise on all sides--but who is the real enemy? And what will it cost her to uncover the truth?

For the first time, bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker team up and deliver an intense, tightly focused ride through the most treacherous world of all.

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

Fear is something that encapsulates everyone and everything. Ted and Rachelle Dekker have written a fascinating novel with The Girl Behind the Red Rope covering this exact topic. What have we allowed fear to cover that doesn't allow us to fully embrace God's love? I know we all have little vises, whether we admit them or not. The plot of this novel starts with a cult feeling like Tosca Lee's latest series The Line Between and A Single Light but it goes into a totally different direction. The plot moves along at a rapid pace and captured my attention. I had some ideas about Bonnie and Rose so that didn't come as a surprise to me. Why the story is listed as a suspense novel is beyond me? A thriller. Yes. The definition of a thriller is something about to destroy humanity and this entire novel is based on the fear on the unknown and fear of not being good enough to earn heaven. Even though I believe the novel is labeled as the wrong genre, I don't think it takes away from the strong message the Dekker's are trying to portray to the reader. It is strong and makes me ponder. I journaled about the idea of fear and probably will go back and do a Bible study on the Light of God. Seems interesting to me. Overall, The Girl Behind the Red Rope is a wonderful parable story for today's readers. It was well-written and filled with truth. Just like Jesus would have done in his day. A good book for the church to pick up and read. Definitely something I will be passing on.

I received a complimentary copy of The Girl Behind the Red Rope by Ted and Rachelle Dekker from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars


About the Authors:

Ted Dekker
From Amazon
TED DEKKER is a New York Times bestselling thriller author. Heralded as a "master of suspense" by Library Journal, Dekker has sold millions worldwide, establishing himself as one of the most widely recognized author brands.

He began his career writing fantasy novels that explored spirituality (Black, Red and White) and has since become a major force in the mainstream fiction arena with his recent thrillers, "Adam," "Thr3e," "Skin," "Obsessed," "BoneMan's Daughters," which landed in the #10 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list in 2009, and "The Bride Collector". Dekker has been honored with a Christy Award as well as a Gold Medallion Award for Best Fiction. "Thr3e" and his novel "House" became feature films.

Dekker was born to missionaries and grew up among cannibals of Indonesia, and his peculiar upbringing gives him a unique perspective outside the cultural bubble, allowing him the freedom to share provocative insights in his fiction. After leaving Indonesia, Dekker graduated from a multi-cultural high school and took up permanent residence in the United States, earning his B.A. in philosophy and religion, and then went into business.

In the early nineties, Dekker decided to pursue his desire to write fiction, selling his company, moving his family to the mountains of western Colorado, and writing full-time. Two years and three books later his first novel, a supernatural thriller called Heaven's Wager, was published. Dekker proceeded to write 6 more supernatural thrillers, rising to the top of many bestsellers lists and earning himself critical acclaim and legions of fans. "Thr3e" heralded his launch into mainstream fiction and was followed by "Obsessed," "Skin," "Adam," and "BoneMan's Daughters," all of which hit the New York Times bestseller list.

Ted Dekker's fans are comprised of readers of all ages, backgrounds, and belief systems who love his compulsively readable stories, authentic characters, and universal and relatable themes that he explores from a unique point of view.

He resides in Austin, Texas with his wife and children. You can find him at Teddekker.com and Facebook.com/teddekker. (Taken from Amazon.)
  

Rachelle Dekker
From Amazon
The oldest daughter of New York Times bestselling author Ted Dekker, Rachelle Dekker was inspired early on to discover truth through the avenue of storytelling. She writes full time from her home in Nashville, where she lives with her husband, Daniel, and their diva cat Blair.

Connect with Rachelle online at her website (www.rachelledekker.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/rachelledekkerauthor
Instagram.com/rachelle_dekker
Twitter.com/rachelledekker