Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good: The New Mitford Novel (A Mitford Novel) by Jan Karon

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2246 KB
  • Print Length: 510 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0399167447
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult (Sept. 2 2014)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group USA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IDD9TX0

Book Description
A publishing event: #1 New York Times–bestselling author Jan Karon returns—and invites her millions of fans to join her again in Mitford.

"After a long hiatus, Karon  has returned with a novel that offers something for those who believe and those who do not. All the beloved quirky characters are here, the past is neatly summarized and the future, full of hope."  Kirkus Reviews

After five hectic years of retirement from Lord’s Chapel, Father Tim Kavanagh returns with his wife, Cynthia, from a so-called pleasure trip to the land of his Irish ancestors.

            While glad to be at home in Mitford, something is definitely missing: a pulpit. But when he’s offered one, he decides he doesn’t want it. Maybe he’s lost his passion.

            His adopted son, Dooley, wrestles with his own passion—for the beautiful and gifted Lace Turner, and his vision to become a successful country vet. Dooley’s brother, Sammy, still enraged by his mother’s abandonment, destroys one of Father Tim’s prized possessions. And Hope Murphy, owner of Happy Endings bookstore, struggles with the potential loss of her unborn child and her hard-won business.

            All this as Wanda’s Feel Good Café opens, a romance catches fire through an Internet word game, their former mayor hatches a reelection campaign to throw the bums out, and the weekly Muse poses a probing inquiry: Does Mitford still take care of its own?

            Millions of fans will applaud the chance to spend time, once more, in the often comic and utterly human presence of Jan Karon’s characters. Indeed, they have never been more sympathetic, bighearted, and engaging. 

About theAuthor

 Born Janice Meredith Wilson in 1937, Jan Karon was raised on a farm near Lenoir, North Carolina. Karon knew at a very early age that she wanted to be a writer. She penned her first novel when she was 10 years old, the same year she won a short-story contest organized by the local high school. Karon married as a teenager and had a daughter, Candace.

At 18, Karon began working as a receptionist for a Charlotte, N.C. advertising agency. She advanced in the company after leaving samples of her writing on the desk of her boss, who eventually noticed her talent. Karon went on to have a highly successful career in the field, winning awards for ad agencies from Charlotte to San Francisco. In time, she became a creative vice president at the high-profile McKinney & Silver, in Raleigh. While there, she won the prestigious Stephen Kelly Award, with which the Magazine Publishers of America honor the year's best print campaign.

During her years in advertising, Karon kept alive her childhood ambition to be an author. At the age of 50, she left her career in advertising and moved to Blowing Rock, North Carolina, to pursue that dream. After struggling—and failing—to get a novel underway, Karon awoke one night with a mental image of an Episcopal priest walking down a village street. She grew curious about him, and started writing. Soon, Karon was publishing weekly installments about Father Tim in her local newspaper, The Blowing Rocket, which saw its circulation double as a result. "It certainly worked for Mr. Dickens", says Karon.

The Father Tim stories became Karon's first Mitford novel, At Home in Mitford. That book has since been nominated three times (1996, 1997, and 1998) for an ABBY (American Booksellers Book of the Year Award), which honors titles that bookstore owners most enjoy recommending to customers, and the only book ever nominated for three consecutive years. The fourth Mitford novel, A New Song, won both the Christy and Gold Medallion awards for outstanding contemporary fiction in 2000. A Common Life, In This Mountain, and Shepherd's Abiding have also won Gold Medallion awards. Out to Canaan was the first Mitford novel to hit the New York Times bestseller list; subsequent novels have debuted on the New York Times list, often landing the #1 spot.

Karon has also published two Christmas-themed books based on the Mitford series, The Mitford Snowmen and Esther's Gift, as well as Jan Karon's Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader. Other Mitford books include Patches of Godlight: Father Tim's Favorite Quotes, a compilation of wit and wisdom, and A Continual Feast: Words of Comfort and Celebration, Collected by Father Tim. In addition, Karon has written two children's books, Miss Fannie's Hat and Jeremy: The Tale of an Honest Bunny, and an illustrated book for all ages, The Trellis and the Seed.

Karon says her character-driven work seeks to give readers a large, extended family they can call their own. Though Light From Heaven is officially the final novel in the series, there's yet another Mitford book in this prolific author. Karon urges her millions of ardent fans to look for the Mitford Bedside Companion, releasing in the Fall of 2006. "It has everything in it but the kitchen sink", says Karon.

My Review

 Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good is my first introduction to the writings of Jan Karon and the village of Mitford. While this book can be a stand alone novel, I wish that I had read the entire series first. One day if I have time, I will.

Mitford is small town in the North Carolina mountains which is an area that I love. So the setting is wonderful and presented beautifully by author Caron. This is the continuing story of Father Tim and his wife Cynthia. Father Tim is now retired from the pulpit. This is a story about faith and prayer but it is not presented in an overwhelming way. It is a lovely tale of an intriguing place with plenty of fascinating characters! All in all a good read!!! It is available on September 2nd!

Product Review: Footner Exfoliating Socks

  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Item model number: 188765000357

Product Description

 Footner Exfoliation Socks – Total Hard Skin Removal

Footner Exfoliating Socks is the award winning solution to unwanted hard skin formation.

Footner Exfoliating Socks activate the skin's own natural peeling effect, causing the upper layer of the skin to peel off, thereby removing the hard skin build up. The exfoliation process begins 5-10 days after wearing the socks and lasts for a total of 5-10 days. After just one 60-minute application of the socks, your feet will exfoliate the hard, dead skin and leave you with baby soft feet.

Say Goodbye to unwanted hard and dead skin!

How to use

How to use Footner Exfoliating Socks

Use Footner Exfoliation Socks whenever you want to remove unwanted hard skin build-up. One single 60 minutes application will significantly remove hard skin and improve the appearance of Cracked Heels.

Footner Icons - vertical

1.    Using scissors, cut the plastic sock along the indicated line.

2.    Slip the plastic Footner Exfoliating Socks over your feet and use the adhesive strap (sticker near the front of the sock) to close the top. Slip your own socks over the Footner Exfoliating Socks for a comfortable fit.

3.    The Footner Exfoliating Socks should be worn for 60 minutes for the product to work effectively. We recommend you set a timer or alarm.

4.    After 60 minutes remove the socks and wash your feet with warm water to remove any remaining gel.

5.    5 - 10 days after application the hardened and dead skin will begin to peel from your feet. The peeling effect can last roughly 2 weeks. Do not forcefully remove skin when peeling process starts.

My Review

 I rarely review products but I won a pair through Footner's Facebook page to promote their launch in Canada. Footner promises to remove all the hard skin from your feet. Was this product a win? Definitely!

To use the Footner Exfoliating Socks you put on their socks for 60 minutes then soak in warm water. Five days later your dead skin begins to peel off. I followed the instructions and waited. Initially, my feet felt like the skin was tight on them and they were really soft.  On Day 3 I decided to soak my feet in warm water and see what happened. All the dead skin on the bottom of my feet peeled off. As each day goes by more skin peels/flakes off my feet. My feet are amazing. This is better exfoliation than I have ever gotten in my life. It is better than an expensive pedicure. My feet are baby soft!

In conclusion, this is an amazing product and well worth the $19.99 on Amazon.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Rough Waters by Maggie Toussaint

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 432 KB
  • Print Length: 263 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc; Crimson Rose 1st edition (Aug. 29 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00MW553CQ

Book Description

Former Navy SEAL Rock Mackenzie wants his stolen gold sovereigns back. Time is running out on the loan repayment for his treasure hunt and unless he finds the coins, he will have to forfeit a family heirloom and all hope of finding the sunken ship carrying the gold.

Pink-haired florist Jeanie Munro learned responsibility the hard way after her ex-husband abandoned her and their two children. Once a wild child with a heart full of adventure, Jeanie finds herself falling for yet another bad boy dreamer—until thieves ransack her shop and home and Rock reveals her ex is to blame for their troubles.

Is he? Or did Rock bring danger to her doorstep? In return for his protection, Jeanie agrees to help find the missing coins. Will their thirst for adventure get them killed, or will they discover the true meaning of treasure before it’s too late?

About the Author

 A scientist by training, a romanticist at heart, Maggie Toussaint loves to solve puzzles. Whether it’s the puzzle of a relationship or a who-dun-it, she tackles them all with equal aplomb and wonder. Maggie writes romantic suspense for The Wild Rose Press, contemporary romance for Muddle House Publishing, and cozy mystery for Five Star.

She has five published romantic suspense novels: House of Lies (won the 2006 Readers Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense), No Second Chance (won 2 cover awards), Seeing Red (LASR book of the week), Muddy Waters ( Beacon finalist), Hot Water (EPIC finalist, cover art winner), and Rough Water.

Her mystery titles include In For A Penny, On the Nickel, Death, Island Style, Murder in the Buff, Dime If I Know, and Gone and Done It.

Her works blend mystery and romance, often with a dash of humor.

Besides being a member of Washington Romance Writers, she’s also a member of First Coast Romance Writers, Southeast Mystery Writers of America, Sisters In Crime, and Florida Writers Association. She was awarded the WRW Magic Crystal Award in 2004.

Visit her at and at her alter ego's site

My Review

 In Rough Waters, Jeanie Munro is a single mother raising her two children while trying to run her florist shop, The Muddy Rose, in the small coastal town of Mossy Bog. She has been disappointed in love due to her philandering, trouble-making ex-husband. Then Rock Mackenzie walks into her life. Should she dare trust him?

Rough Waters is a well-written romantic suspense. Great story with well developed characters. Plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader intrigued! Loved the romance between Rock and Jeanie and how it developed. Satisfying ending!

Great romantic suspense story! Flowers, romance, danger...what more could you ask for! Released in late August.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Review: Strange Shores (Inspector Erlendur #11) by Arnaldur Indriðason

  • Series: An Inspector Erlendur Series (Book 9)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (August 26, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250000408
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250000408

Book Description

A young woman walks into the frozen fjords of Iceland, never to be seen again. But Matthildur leaves in her wake rumours of lies, betrayal and revenge.

Decades later, somewhere in the same wilderness, Detective Erlendur is on the hunt. He is looking for Matthildur but also for a long-lost brother, whose disappearance in a snow-storm when they were children has coloured his entire life. He is looking for answers.

Slowly, the past begins to surrender its secrets. But as Erlendur uncovers a story about the limits of human endurance, he realizes that many people would prefer their crimes to stay buried.

About the Author

 Arnaldur was born in Reykjavík on 28 January 1961, the son of writer Indriði G. Þorsteinsson. He graduated with a degree in history from the University of Iceland in 1996. He worked as a journalist for the newspaper Morgunblaðið from 1981 to 1982, and later as a freelance writer. From 1986 to 2001, he was a film critic for Morgunblaðið.

His first book, Synir duftsins (Sons of Dust) came out in 1997, the first in the series with Detective Erlendur. Arnaldur is considered one of the most popular writers in Iceland in recent years — topping bestseller lists time and again. In 2004, his books were 7 of the 10 most popular titles borrowed in Reykjavík City Library. In 2006, his Erlendur novel Mýrin was made into a film, known internationally as Jar City, by Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur.

Arnaldur's books have been published in 26 countries and translated into at least 20 languages.

My Review

 Arnaldur Indriðason is a completely new author to me. I love a good story and Strange Shores is definitely that.  Indriðason is a well known author in Iceland and he will soon be well known in North America as well!

Indriðason brings the bleakness and the penetrating cold of Iceland to life with his words. Iceland which is now a modern European country was once a poverty stricken, barren land.  Indriðason goes back to the past in Strange Shores. Thoughts haunt Detective Erlendur as he makes a pilgrimage to the village he grew up in. Erlendur's mind is clouded with the disappearance of his brother when they were young as well as the disappearance of a young woman. He is riddled with survivor's guilt but needs to know what has happened in the past.

This is a haunting tale. It is beautifully written. Great story that the reader will find riveting.


Monday, August 25, 2014

Review: Rollover: A Dan Mahoney Mystery by Susan Slater

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1099 KB
  • Print Length: 218 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (July 1 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

 A bank heist turns sleepy little Wagon Mound, New Mexico on its ear. It’s no straight-forward, demand all the money at gun-point, and run out the front door kind of robbery. It’s a sneaky tunneling that probably took months to complete and put the thieves in a room of safe deposit boxes—not the vault which held some two million. Safe deposit boxes? What could have made it worthwhile to bypass a cool couple million?

Maybe the one hundred and ten year old sapphire and diamond necklace belonging to eighty-five year old Gertrude Kennedy was the lure. United Life and Casualty carried a policy on it for five hundred thousand and sent their investigator, Dan Mahoney to sort things out.

But he didn’t quite get there when expected. Catching a ride when his Jeep overheats, Dan is the hapless passenger in a rollover that kills the driver and puts him in the hospital only to find out this was no accident. Someone wants him out of Wagon Mound at any cost.

He doesn’t scare easily. He hasn’t lived his life looking over his shoulder and he’s not starting now. But when fiancée, Elaine Linden, disappears and people close to the case turn up dead, maybe he should reconsider. The note slipped under his door in the dead of night says it all—“it’s not what you think”.

About the Author

 Susan has lived in the Southwest for 32 years. The enchantment of New Mexico comes alive in her Ben Pecos series - The Pumpkin Seed Massacre, Yellow Lies, Thunderbird, and A Way to the Manger.

My Review

Rollover is my first introduction to author Susan Slater. Rollover is a Dan Mahoney mystery and is published by one of my favorite publishers Poisoned Pen Press which focuses on mystery novels. PPP has a great track record with me so I knew I was in for a treat.

Rollover is set in the Southwest, in New Mexico specifically in the very real small town of Wagon Mound. It is generally a sleepy little town however a bank robbery quickly wakes everyone up! It is a complicated bank theft though...a tunnel has been dug that leads straight to the safety deposit boxes and ignores the vault. The object of the heist is a magnificent diamond and sapphire necklace belonging to an elderly woman. The necklace is insured by United Life and Casualty which sends insurance investigator Dan Mahoney to Wagon Mound.

Dan Mahoney is injured in a rollover on his way to Wagon Mound and ends up in the hospital which puts the investigation behind...but was this accident a deliberate action? There are plenty of questions and lots of twists and turns in this excellent mystery thriller! The reader is kept on their toes until the end.

Great read!  What makes this story most fascinating is that the bank heist really did happen in Wagon Mound in 1988 but it was never solved. Looking forward to the next Dan Mahoney Mystery!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1296 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0804178747
  • Publisher: Delacorte Press (Sept. 2 2014)
  • Sold by: Random House Canada, Incorp.
  • Language: English

Book Description

Jack Reacher returns in the latest fast-moving, action-packed, suspenseful book from #1 New York Times bestselling author Lee Child.

You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely, notes Jack Reacher—and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA.

Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott—an American marksman gone bad—is one of them. And after fifteen years in prison, he’s out, unaccounted for, and likely drawing a bead on a G-8 summit packed with enough world leaders to tempt any assassin.

If anyone can stop Kott, it’s the man who beat him before: Reacher. And though he’d rather work alone, Reacher is teamed with Casey Nice, a rookie analyst who keeps her cool with Zoloft. But they’re facing a rough road, full of ruthless mobsters, Serbian thugs, close calls, double-crosses—and no backup if they’re caught. All the while Reacher can’t stop thinking about the woman he once failed to save. But he won’t let that that happen again. Not this time. Not Nice.

Reacher never gets too close. But now a killer is making it personal.

About the Author

 Lee Child was born October 29th, 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV's "golden age." During his tenure his company made Brideshead Revisited, The Jewel in the Crown, Prime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars' worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment. The first Jack Reacher movie, based on the novel One Shot and starring Tom Cruise and Rosamund Pike, was released in December 2012.

Lee has three homes—an apartment in Manhattan, a country house in the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar's Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.

My Review

 Lee Child's Jack Reacher series has long been one of my favorites. That said, Personal, is not one of my favorites. Why is this? I don't find the story intriguing for some reason. It is mostly set in England instead of the USA. I enjoy Reacher wandering the back roads of the USA more I imagine than becoming involved in some political conspiracy involving heads of state. I usually avoid that type of thriller.

I really enjoyed the ending but I found the book plodded along to get there. Not my favorite Reacher.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Review: NIV Pink Bible An Invitation to Hope Published by Zondervan

  • Paperback: 1184 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Lea edition (August 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310431786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310431787


Book Description

Designed to uplift both survivors and co-survivors, the NIV Pink Bible offers timeless words of comfort, hope, and encouragement through specially written inspirational insights by a breast cancer survivor.

This pink Italian Duo-Tone™ Bible is a beautiful choice for any woman whose life has been affected by breast cancer. Designed to uplift both survivors and co-survivors, the NIV Pink Bible offers timeless words of comfort, hope, and encouragement through specially written inspirational insights by a breast cancer survivor. The NIV Pink Bible: An Invitation to Hope contains the complete text of the New International Version—with reflections and stories to encourage, and an index to hundreds of Bible verses to comfort.

Features include:
  • Complete text of the NIV—the world’s most popular modern-English Bible
  • An index to hundreds of verses of hope and encouragement
  • 10 beautifully designed pages of prayers, reflections and encouragement
  • Ribbon marker
  • Presentation page—great for gift-giving

My Review

 Do you know a breast cancer survivor? This bible is the perfect gift for a woman who has survived. This bible will provide the inspiration for the survivor to thrive. It will provide comfort during the dark periods.

The NIV Pink Bible not only contains the entire NIV edition of the bible, it also contains an index of verses that provide hope, comfort and encouragement.  There is also a special section providing prayers and stories from survivors.

This bible edition is a beautiful volume. It will become a treasured heirloom. While I am not a breast cancer survivor, my aunt is and I know this bible will be a welcome and treasured gift to her.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Review: Vengeance is Mine: A Red River Mystery (Red River Mystery #4) by Reavis Z. Wortham

  • Series: Vengeance is Mine (Book 4)
  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1464202605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1464202605

Book Description

 In October of 1967, The Summer of Love is history, rock and roll is dark and revolutionary, and people in the small east Texas community of Center Springs simply want to live their lives as quietly as possible. But a handsome darkness in the form of Las Vegas gangster Anthony Agrioli has left the business to hide out in the tiny backwater settlement with his blond bombshell girlfriend.

Two years earlier, Agrioli met newlyweds Cody and Norma Faye Parker in a Vegas casino and heard their enthusiastic descriptions of the perfect place to settle down and raise a family. At least it was perfect, before their peaceful world found itself directly in the crosshairs of a coming confrontation.

Back in Center Springs, thirteen-year-old Top Parker has what his grandmother, Miss Becky, calls a Poisoned Gift. His dreams, though random and disconnected, always seem to come true. This time Top dreams he’s a wagon hub with spokes converging from all directions. To him, the spokes symbolize that something is coming, but he doesn’t know their quiet community will soon be a combat zone when the gangsters arrive, but they’re after something else and not Agrioli…yet.

A sheriff crooked as a dog’s hind leg, an unsolved murder in the river bottoms, counterfeit money and a bank robbery all wrapped in a country Shakespearian comedy once again brings together Constable Ned Parker, Constable Cody Parker, Deputy John Washington, Judge O.C. Rains, and the rest of Wortham’s real and sometimes wacky cast of characters.

Other Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Mob enforcer Anthony Agrioli’s latest assignment is to rub out some Cuban casino owners in Las Vegas—and their young children. He takes care of the adults without trouble but has some problems killing the kids. He takes it on the lam, beating it out of Vegas before his boss can track him down, but not before hooking up with a beautiful blonde (who will turn out to be a handful of a different sort than he had hoped). Hiding out in Center Springs, Texas, Anthony soon finds out this seemingly peaceful town is like a beacon for violence and corruption, most of which has nothing directly to do with him, but all of which soon ensnares him. This very entertaining novel, set in 1967, is reminiscent of Donald E. Westlake’s Mob comedies The Fugitive Pigeon (1965) and The Busy Body (1966), which, like this book, feature offbeat characters getting themselves into offbeat situations—although this book also has a more serious side, too. Those who have read the author’s earlier books, including The Right Side of Wrong (2013), will be familiar with Center Springs and its rather unusual denizens, but knowledge of those earlier volumes is not required. This is a fully self-contained story, and it’s real corker. --David Pitt --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

"Reavis Wortham doubles down in Vengeance is Mine, the fourth in his Red River Series, and for mystery readers it's a Full House when Las Vegas intrigue invades Center Springs, Texas. Aces High, Constables Ned, Cody Parker and company are terrific riding and reading partners."

 -Craig Johnson, New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries, the basis for A&E's hit series Longmire

Reavis Wortham is the new voice to be reckoned with in suspense fiction.  His sense of place and character is second to none.  Clear the calendar after you open the cover of VENGEANCE IS MINE, because ain't nothin' else gonna get done once you start reading.

--John Gilstrap, Author of END GAME and the rest of the Jonathan Grave thriller series

"Reavis Z. Wortham's Vengeance is Mine is a winning and unusual book.  Equal parts small-town tale and thriller, the combination is both entertaining and emotionally engaging.  Wortham is at his best in the small Texas town of Center Springs, where this and his three other "Red River Mysteries" are set.  The small-town characters carry the day but Wortham hits his thriller marks too, and the result is a solid and humane story."
 -- T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of "The Famous and the Dead"

One part suspense story and one part coming of age novel, Vengeance Is Mine is all parts entertaining. With crackling dialogue and colorful descriptions, Reavis Wortham makes rural Texas of the 1960s roar to life. Vengeance Is Mine is a page turning novel with multi-layered characters and plot twists that will leave the reader guessing until the very end. It is not to be missed.
Michael Morris, author of Man in the Blue Moon

"Loaded with healthy doses of humor, adventure, and intrigue, populated by a remarkable cast of characters both good and bad and featuring one heck of an electrifying climax is a throwback to the pulp era in the best possible sense. A great read."  --Owen Laukkanen, bestselling author of The Professionals and Kill Fee

Reavis Wortham is the new voice to be reckoned with in suspense fiction. His sense of place and character is second to none. Clear the calendar after you open the cover of Vengeance is Mine, because ain’t nothin’ else gonna get done once you start reading. (John Gilstrap, author of End Game and the Jonathan Grave series)

One part suspense story and one part coming-of-age novel, Vengeance Is Mine is all parts entertaining. With crackling dialogue and colorful descriptions, Reavis Wortham makes rural Texas of the 1960s roar to life. Vengeance Is Mine is a page-turning novel with multi-layered characters and plot twists that will leave the reader guessing until the very end. It is not to be missed. (Michael Morris, author of Man in the Blue Moon)

Loaded with healthy doses of humor, adventure and intrigue, populated by a remarkable cast of characters both good and bad, and featuring one heck of an electrifying climax, Vengeance is Mine is a throwback to the pulp era in the best possible sense. A fantastic read! (Owen Laukkanen, bestselling author of The Professionals and Kill Fee)

...a winning and unusual book. Equal parts small-town tale and thriller, the combination is both entertaining and emotionally engaging. The small-town characters carry the day but Wortham hits his thriller marks too, and the result is a solid and humane story. (T Jefferson Parker, New York Times bestselling author of The Famous and the Dead)

Big city excitement and violence come to quiet Center Springs, Tex., in Wortham’s homespun fourth Red River mystery (after 2013’s The Right Side of Wrong). In the fall of 1967, Las Vegas hit man Tony Agrioli and his new girlfriend, Samantha Chesterfield, decide Center Springs is “the perfect place to settle down and start a family.” Two years earlier in Vegas, Tony met honeymooners Cody Parker, a Center Springs constable, and his bride, Norma Faye Parker, who spoke highly of their hometown. Unfortunately for almost everyone, one of Center Spring’s leading citizens also has ties to Las Vegas, and Constable Ned Parker, Cody’s uncle, is soon dealing with an unsolved murder, counterfeit money, and a bank robbery. The appealing cast includes 13-year-old Top, Ned’s grandson, and Top’s cousin, Pepper (also 13), who chafes at life in the country. Wortham pays homage to a disappearing way of life in this thoughtful series. (Publishers Weekly)

Reavis Wortham doubles down in Vengeance is Mine, the fourth in his Red River Series, and for mystery readers it’s a Full House when Las Vegas intrigue invades Center Springs, Texas. Aces High, Constables Ned, Cody Parker and company are terrific riding and reading partners. (Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries, the basis for A&E’s hit series Longmire)

Mob enforcer Anthony Agrioli’s latest assignment is to rub out some Cuban casino owners in Las Vegas—and their young children. He takes care of the adults without trouble but has some problems killing the kids. He takes it on the lam, beating it out of Vegas before his boss can track him down, but not before hooking up with a beautiful blonde (who will turn out to be a handful of a different sort than he had hoped). Hiding out in Center Springs, Texas, Anthony soon finds out this seemingly peaceful town is like a beacon for violence and corruption, most of which has nothing directly to do with him, but all of which soon ensnares him. This very entertaining novel, set in 1967, is reminiscent of Donald E. Westlake’s Mob comedies The Fugitive Pigeon (1965) and The Busy Body (1966), which, like this book, feature offbeat characters getting themselves into offbeat situations—although this book also has a more serious side, too. Those who have read the author’s earlier books, including The Right Side of Wrong (2013), will be familiar with Center Springs and its rather unusual denizens, but knowledge of those earlier volumes is not required. This is a fully self-contained story, and it’s real corker. (Booklist)

About the Author

 As a boy, award-winning writer, Reavis Z. Wortham hunted and fished the river bottoms near Chicota, Texas, the inspiration for the fictional setting for THE ROCK HOLE. He was born in Paris, Texas, but lived in Dallas. “We grew up in the city and went to school there, but every Friday evening my parents put us in the car and made the 120-mile drive to Chicota, where we truly lived at my grandparents’ place in the country until Sunday evening, when we came back to the city. Our true home was that little scratch farm in Lamar County.”

Author Reavis Z. Wortham’s first novel, THE ROCK HOLE, is described by Kirkus Reviews as “an unpretentious gem written to the hilt and harrowing in its unpredictability.” Kirkus also listed it as one of the “Top 12 Mysteries of 2011.”

BURROWS, the second Red River Mystery, received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly, “Wortham's outstanding sequel to The Rock Hole (2011)... combines the gonzo sensibility of Joe R. Lansdale and the elegiac mood of To Kill a Mockingbird to strike just the right balance between childhood innocence and adult horror.”

In a recent Starred Review by Kirkus Reviews says of BURROWS, “As in Ned’s debut (The Rock Hole, 2011), his grandchildren, Top and Pepper, are on hand to provide welcome humor and lend perspective to the acutely and unobtrusively observed small-town landscape. The result is that rare bird, a mystery with something for everyone.

Reavis also penned DOREEN'S 24 HR EAT GAS NOW CAFE. More than 1,500 newspaper and magazine articles bear the byline of this award-winning Texas writer. THE ROCK HOLE was a finalist in the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association.

THE RIGHT SIDE OF WRONG, book three in this gripping series, will be released in July, 2013.

Reavis is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Writers’ League of Texas, and the International Crime Writers Association.

He lives with his wife, Shana, in Frisco, Texas.

My Review

Fabulous series by author Reavis Z. Wortham. I have read the entire series and have enjoyed it immensely. It is set during the 1960s in northeast Texas. It was a time that was less than fifty years ago but feels like a lifetime ago. Following the adventures of Top and Pepper, the grandchildren of Ned and Becky Parker, is always fascinating.

This latest book, Vengeance is Mine, is filled with dizzying action throughout as former mafia lieutenant Tony Agrioli and his new wife settle into Center Springs. The town is soon engulfed by Tony's pursuers and the associates of a crooked lawman. Pepper longs for the action of California and the mystic of the Summer of Love during a time when their lives are consumed with more action than anyone can hope for.

Always magical to fall into the bosom of the Parker family and the drama that continually surrounds them. Fascinating to grow up with Top and Pepper. Vengeance is Mine is a great book...easy to recommend. Read the whole series if you can.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Review: Next Step - How to Start Living Intentionally and Discover What God Really Wants for Your Life by Timothy K. Lynn

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Carpenters Son Publishing; Spi edition (August 1, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940262194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940262192

Book Description

 Are you feeling stuck, overwhelmed, unfocused, depressed, anxious, worried, empty, or just like you’re not living up to your full potential?  Are you ready to make your next step a step in the right direction?

Next Step:  How to Start Living Intentionally and Discover What God Really Wants for Your Life by Timothy K. Lynn will show you how to get from where you are to where you want to be—and it all starts from where you are right now.

Wanting to put his life on the right track, author Timothy K. Lynn developed the powerful Next Step system out of necessity. At the age of 16, Lynn had a wife and child, had dropped out of school, was on welfare and food stamps, and was working seven days a week just to make ends meet.   Now a successful businessman, Lynn has used the Next Step system for over three decades. 

A faith-filled system for intentional living, Next Step shows you how to discover what God wants for your life. Ideal for individual study and small groups, Next Step addresses four key components—faith, self, family life, and life work. For anyone ready to receive God’s grace, and create a life of meaning, purpose, and abundance, Next Step is the ideal next step.

So if you’re ready to reduce the clutter in your life and move along the path God has laid out for you, begin a real and ongoing conversation with God, get focused, be the person you want to be, develop meaningful and loving relationships, and find satisfying work, make Next Step your next step.

About the Author

 At an early age, author Timothy K. Lynn found himself facing adult challenges: at 16, Lynn had a wife and child, had dropped out of school, was on welfare and food stamps, and was working seven days a week just to make ends meet.

At 16, Lynn had a singular focus: providing for his new family. Realizing that faith was central to having—and executing—a meaningful life plan, Lynn, through God’s grace, began to develop a system for keeping his life on track and maintaining focus. Inspired by Andy Stanley’s Starting Point, Lynn created a system centered on the four crucial components of faith, self, family and life’s work.

Lynn authored and published NEXT STEP - How to Start Living Intentionally and Discover What God Really Want for Your Life.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, Timothy K. Lynn is an entrepreneur, author and teacher, but above all, a man of faith. He has used the Next Step system for over 30 years.

The Founder and Chairman of a successful company, NIR Roof Care, Tim pioneered the NIR Rooftop Maintenance Program (TM) in 1988. He worked for 25 years to make building owners aware of its benefits. Tim also created an instructional program for roofers selling and consulting with customers, becoming Certified Roof Care Specialists. Now, mature roofers who want to retain their value to a company, can utilize their experience to extend their careers and the life of many roofs.

My Review

 I participate in a number of bible studies each year so I think that I have the right background to assess the participant guide for Next Step which can be used for individual or group study. Next Step does not have an accompanying book or video series which most bible studies today have.  It is a workbook.

Author Timothy K. Lynn believes there are four pillars to life:  Faith, Self, Family and Life's Work.

The workbook is divided into six sessions: 

  1. You, Time and Circle of Influences
  2. Faith
  3. Self
  4. Family
  5. Life's Work
  6. Conversations with God
It is a very interesting bible study that I think is suitable for mature believers. There is plenty of blank pages for notes based on your contemplations. Would I recommend it for any of my small groups? I don't think so. It is better served for personal bible study.

Well written and insightful. Great for personal study. It is also good for learning time management. The graphs and tables at the end in the Resources section are a great help. Great help for goal setting.

Review: Dead Float: A Cal Claxton Mystery (Cal Claxton #2) by Warren C. Easley

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 429 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press; 1 edition (July 1 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00LA5XAQ0

Book Description

If you are a fly fisherman, it doesn’t get any better than the salmon fly hatch on the Deschutes River, Oregon’s legendary trout fishing venue.  Cal Claxton–a small town lawyer who works to fish–has to pinch himself when his best friend and fishing guide, Philip Lone Deer, asks him to help guide an upcoming trip with a group of executives from a high-tech firm in Portland.

But the trip through the remote Deschutes River Canyon turns ugly when a member of the fishing party is murdered.  Everyone in the party is a suspect, including Cal himself.  Does the fact that the company’s value is about to explode play into the crime?  And what about the freight line running along the river?  All Cal knows is that he better come up with answers because he’s suspect number one….

About the Author

My love affair with the mystery genre started with Ian Fleming’s James Bond gems when I was in graduate school at Berkeley.  The paperbacks were easily concealed, and I was usually packing one in those days.  In the eighties, I lived in the espionage capital of Europe–Geneva–so naturally I turned to the spy thrillers of Greene, le Carre, Travanian, and Furst.  When I repatriated, I was thirsty for American novels.  I lived Mosley’s and Connelly’s L.A., Paretski’s Chicago, Hillerman’s Four Corners and Burke’s gulf coast.  Now my reading time has heavy competition from my writing, but I love the Northwest mystery writers like Crumley, Ford, and Margolin. Clearly, the Northwest’s unique blend of eye-popping natural beauty, optimistic, resilient people, dark  winters and crazy beautiful summers has inspired some great crime fiction.

I started writing my own mysteries five years ago.  I moved to Oregon intent on reinventing myself, so it was only natural that I had my protagonist, Calvin Claxton III, do the same, although I moved from the deep south and Cal from Los Angeles.  However, Cal’s motives were born of tragedy–the suicide of his wife.  A workaholic prosecutor for the city of L.A., Cal underestimated the depth of his wife’s depression and missed the danger signals.  So as a guilt ridden, shattered man, he moves to the small town of Dundee, Oregon, in the heart of Oregon’s wine country, starts a one man law practice and buys an old farmhouse up in the Dundee Hills he calls his Aerie.  He has a daughter in grad school at Berkeley, and his only companion is Archie, a precocious Australian shepherd.  Cal’s a lonely man who takes solace in the ever changing natural beauty of his surroundings and the meditative relief he finds in fly fishing.    

Struggling to regain an emotional foothold, Cal develops a reputation as a man who will fight for his clients, even if they lack financial resources.  He’ll take on cases no one else will touch, and  go the extra mile to get at the truth no matter what the cost.  The cases often put him at odds with the code of his profession and in incredible danger.  In this way, Cal begins to find meaning in his life and maybe even a shot at redemption.      

  For more, visit and

My Review

This is the second Cal Claxton Oregonian Mystery in the series. The first book was titled Matters of Doubt. It is obvious that author Warren Easley loves the beautiful state of Oregon and loves fly fishing. The main story focuses on these aspects and that is where Easley's strengths lie. The Northwest is my home and I love to see that it is realistically portrayed.

Fishing guide Philip Lone Deer has asked his friend, Cal Claxton, who is a former prosecutor but now a small town lawyer to accompany him on a trip to the Deschutes River with some clients from Portland, Oregon. (Cannot read Deschutes without thinking about the Deschutes Brewery but I digress). While on the trip, CEO Hal Bruckner is murdered. Can Cal solve this case in which he is a suspect ... will his past history with Alexis Bruckner fog his powers of deduction. Lots of twists and turns and everyone is a suspect.

Good series. Always like stories about the Northwest. Good mystery!

Children's Book Review: An Armadillo in Paris Julie Kraulis

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tundra Books (Oct. 14 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1770495266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1770495265

Book Description

A winsome armadillo from Brazil takes a trip to Paris in this delightful new picture book from Julie Kraulis. Arlo is an armadillo who is always up for adventure. His grandfather, Augustin, loved adventure too. When Arlo was born, Augustin wrote travel journals about his favorite places for Arlo to use when he was hold enough to go exploring on his own. When Arlo reads about Paris and the one the French call La Dame de Fer, or Iron Lady, he decides it's time to strike out on his first adventure. He travels to France and, guided by Augustin's journal, discovers the joys of Paris: eating a flakey croissant at a café, visiting the Louvre, walking along the Seine and, of course, meeting the Iron Lady... But who is she? Each spread has a clue about her identity, and kids will see hints of her scattered throughout the book. This book is like a gorgeous stroll through Paris with an adorable new friend--a stroll you'll want to take again and again.

About the Author

Toronto-based artist and author Julie Kraulis is passionate about ideas: the unexpected, profound, whimsical, smart. Since completing her Bachelor of Design in Illustration at the Ontario College of Art & Design, Julie has created images that form a diverse body of work ranging from fine art to illustration to design. Her creative journey is one of hope and disbelief, soaring and stumbling. All that she encounters in this wide world becomes her inspiration and she delights in sharing these treasures with others. She is a stop and smell the roses kind of gal who loves to create.

Julie has a unique but adaptive style that can be applied to business needs, as well as personal commissioned work.

My Review

You do not have to be a child to enjoy An Armadillo in Paris. It is charming. Delightful! I love it!

 An Armadillo in Paris is gorgeously illustrated. The illustrations of Paris are realistically and beautifully drawn. Arlo the Armadillo's adventures in Paris cover all the top spots such as the Louvre, the Champs Elysees, and the Arc de Triomphe. He discovers the macarons of Paris which are the colourful, light cookies filled with ganache. He rests on the beautiful Pont Neuf. Arlo has his portrait painted on the banks of the Seine. He searches for the mysterious Iron Lady. And of course he finds her to his delight!

Thank you for taking me back to Paris Arlo. Any child would be lucky to receive this delightful book. What a treasure!

Review: Family Meals by Chef Michael Smith

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Canada (Aug. 5 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143184113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143184119

Book Description

Wondering what to make for dinner that everyone in the family will enjoy? Looking for simple and delicious recipes to make for breakfast, school lunches, and weekday dinners when you are short on time? Want to make mealtime fun and get your family involved in the kitchen? Stress no more: Michael Smith is ready to save your day! Michael is his family’s cook and has been creating delicious, healthy meals for them for years. Now he’s here to help you make—and enjoy—great-tasting dishes while you satisfy even the pickiest eaters in your family.

Try some of Michael’s favourites, such as:

· Weekend Pancakes

· Nacho Burgers

· Old World Chicken Cacciatore

-Special Shrimp Fried Rice

· Tortilla Lasagna

· Boston Cream Cupcakes

About the Author

Chef Michael Smith graduated with honors from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York in 1991. He worked in London, South American and Caribbean restaurants before coming back to North America and Manhattan.
In 1992 he moved to Prince Edward Island, from where he has become Canada’s best-known chef, the winner of the James Beard Award for Cooking Show Excellence and host of Chef at Home, Chef at Large and The Inn Chef on Food Network Canada and in 26 other countries.

He is today an award winning cookbook author, newspaper columnist, roving Canadian cuisine ambassador, restaurant chef and home cook.

My Review

This is a gorgeous cookbook! Chef Michael Smith is not only a celebrity chef, he also cooks for his family every day. Family Meals is a fun yet practical cookbook which is exactly like Chef Michael Smith's style. I am impressed with the amount of good, practical recipes. And with his obvious love of hot sauce!

 It is laid out in straight-forward manner and is beautifully illustrated. It is divided into the following sections:

  • Breakfast and Brunch
  • Lunchbox and Snacks
  • Simple Salads
  • Cook Ahead
  • Soups, Stews and Casseroles
  • Slow Cookers and Pressure Cookers
  • Family Meals in Minutes
  • Meatless Mondays
  • Vegetables and Whole Grains
  • Sweets and Treats
Some of the recipes that I would like to try are Special Shrimp Fried Rice, Tortilla Lasagna, Chili-Glazed Sweet Potatoes, Herb Roast Tomatoes and A Pan of Pork Chops with Marmalade Mustard Pan Sauce.....MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm! And for dessert: Fallen Chocolate Cake Stuffed with Whipped Cream and Flaming Banana Splits. I have already made the Ice Cream Sandwiches...divine!

Here is the recipe for the Ice Cream Sandwiches that I made:
(recipe reprinted with permission)

Ice Cream Sandwiches
Makes 20 treats for a birthday party
2 cups (500mL) of all-purpose flour
½ cup (125mL) of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon (5mL) of baking soda
½ teaspoon (2mL) of salt
1 cup (250mL) of butter, at room temperature
1 cup (250mL) of white sugar
1 cup (250mL) of brown sugar
1 tablespoon (15mL) of pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ½ quarts (2.5L) of your favorite ice cream
Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°F). Turn on your convection fan if you have
one. Adjust your shelves so 2 trays can bake evenly at once. Line 2 or 3 cookie
sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda
and salt.
Toss the butter into the bowl of your stand mixer. Measure in the white sugar,
brown sugar and vanilla. Beat on high speed until thick and smooth, scraping
down the sides now and then. Add the eggs and beat until thick and creamy.
Add the flour mixture and beat on slow speed just until evenly mixed. Too
much mixing will toughen the cookies.
Evenly scoop out the dough and with your hands roll into balls. Arrange
12 balls on each cookie sheet, leaving them lots of room to spread as they bake
(they will double in size). Bake in batches until the cookies have slumped,
flattened and firmed, 10 minutes or so. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
While the cookies bake, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop
out 1/2 cup (125 mL) of ice cream and flatten between two smaller pieces of
parchment to form an even puck-shaped disk about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick.
Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining ice cream. Freeze
until needed.
Build sandwiches with the ice cream. Serve, share and make more to fold
in parchment and freeze for next time, or freeze the leftover cookies for
future assembly.

I highly recommend this beautiful and practical cookbook!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review: Windigo Island: A Novel (Cork O'Connor #14) by William Kent Krueger

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1359 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (Aug. 19 2014)
  • Sold by: Simon & Schuster Canada, Inc.
  • Language: English

Book Description

Cork O'Connor battles vicious villains, both mythical and modern, to rescue a young girl in the latest nail-biting mystery from New York Times bestselling author William Kent Krueger.

When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don't solve the mystery of how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, Cork O'Connor, former sheriff turned private investigator, is soon on the case.

But on the Bad Bluff reservation, nobody's talking. Still, Cork puts enough information together to find a possible trail. In Duluth, Minnesota, he learns from an Ojibwe social worker that both Duluth and the Twin Cities are among the most active areas in the US for sex trafficking of vulnerable women, many of whom are young Native Americans. As the investigation deepens, so does the danger. Cork realizes he's not only up against those who control the lucrative sex enterprise, he must also battle government agencies more than willing to look the other way.

Yet Cork holds tight to his purpose, Mariah, an innocent fifteen-year-old girl at the heart of this grotesque web, who is still missing and whose family is desperate to get her back. With only the barest hope of saving her, Cork prepares to battle men whose evil rivals that of the bloodthirsty Windigo and who are as powerful, elusive, and vengeful as the dark spirit Michi Peshu.

Praise for Windigo Island:

“A punch-to-the-gut blend of detective story and investigative fiction.... Krueger has written a novel as blistering and crucial in its indictments of contemporary evil as The Jungle.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Krueger paints a vivid picture of the sordid cycle of poverty, abuse, alcoholism, and runaway (or throwaway) children on the reservation, and reminds us of the evil of men all too willing to exploit the innocent.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

About the Author

 Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, William Kent Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota. He currently makes his living as a full-time author. He’s been married for over 40 years to a marvelous woman who is an attorney. He makes his home in St. Paul, a city he dearly loves.

Krueger writes a mystery series set in the north woods of Minnesota. His protagonist is Cork O’Connor, the former sheriff of Tamarack County and a man of mixed heritage—part Irish and part Ojibwe. His work has received a number of awards, including the Minnesota Book Award, the Loft-McKnight Fiction Award, the Anthony Award, the Barry Award, the Dilys Award, and the Friends of American Writers Prize. His last five novels were all New York Times bestsellers.

"Ordinary Grace," his stand-alone novel published in 2013, received the Edgar Award, given by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition for the best novel published in that year. "Windigo Island," number fourteen in his Cork O’Connor series, was released in August 2014.

My Review

William Kent Krueger is a brilliant story-teller who brings the First Nations people of Minnesota to life in his Cork O'Conner mysteries.  I truly believe he is one of the finest and most captivating mystery authors writing today. His writing flows and pulls the reader in. Windigo Island, like the previous books in the series, is impossible to put down.

A deceased young native woman who has been missing for a year washes up on Windigo Island. What happened to the young lady who ran away the same time she did? Mariah Arceneaux is still missing and her family hires Cork to find her. The former sheriff is now a private investigator. The search for Mariah sends Cork into the world of sex trafficking of young native women. I live in a place where native women continued to disappear at an alarming rate yet no one seemed concerned. Until the horrible truth of the Picton farm came to light. I can easily relate to the tragedy of missing native women. Why are they considered so disposable....

I love to travel to new places when I'm reading. I want to see Duluth, Minnesota now as well as the chaos of Williston, North Dakota. Thanks for taking me there Mr. Krueger. Krueger has a deep understanding of wounded people, wounded souls and the healing process. The lives of the people Cork O'Connor comes in contact with including his family members are forever touched by the evils that O'Connor uncovers. His daughter Jenny figures prominently in this latest book as she searches for inspiration for her writing. Windigo Island is as much her story as Cork's.

Brilliant writing style. Great story. Thought provoking. Another winner for William Kent Krueger. Available August 19th.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: NIV Streams in the Desert Bible By L. B. E. Cowman, Edited by Jim Reimann

  • Paperback: 1536 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan; Box Lea edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310441854
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310441854

Book Description

At some point, every Christian encounters the trials and deep mysteries of the Christian faith. And when that happens they become a thirsty traveler; what hey most desire is hope, comfort, and encouragement to burst forth like a sparkling, clear river.

The hopeful daily readings in the NIV Streams in the Desert Bible promise to revive and refresh today's generation of faithful sojourners by providing daily devotions in modern, easy-to-understand language that beautifully captures the timeless essence of the original. These devotionals are presented alongside Scripture using the popular New International Version of the Bible, and this hardcover edition will be a lasting, elegant resource.

While the devotions in this Bible were originally written by L. B. Cowman-a pioneer missionary in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917-this devotional Bible has been edited by James Reimann. It maintains the beauty of the original Cowman writings while making the devotionals more accessible for the readers of today.

  • Complete text of the clear, accessible NIV Bible
  • 365 daily readings of strength and encouragement from L. B. Cowman
  • Foreword by Jim Reimann
About the Author

L. B. Cowman worked as a pioneer missionary with her husband in Japan and China from 1901 to 1917, during which time they helped found the Oriental Missionary Society. When Mr. Cowman's poor health forced the couple to return to the United States, Mrs. Cowman turned her attention to caring for her husband until his death six years later. Out of Mrs. Cowman's experiences and heartbreak came her first book, Streams in the Desert, followed by its companion Springs in the Valley. During the next twenty-five years, Mrs. Cowman inspired several nationwide Scripture distribution campaigns and wrote seven more books. Finally, on Easter Sunday in 1960, at the age of ninety, Mrs. Cowman met face-to-face the God she had served so faithfully for nearly a century.

Jim Reimann has more than five million books in print in twelve languages, including the updated editions of Streams in the Desert and My Utmost for His Highest. He was a former retail executive and past chairman of the Christian Booksellers Association. As an ordained minister, Bible teacher, author, and expert on Israel, he hosted teaching tours of Israel and other Bible lands, which he offered through his website.

My Review

This is an updated version of the well known early devotional bible, NIV Streams in the Desert Bible. It was first published in 1925 and was extremely popular. It has been updated for today's reader by Jim Reimann.

The devotions in this bible are an encouraging collection of writings for the believer to mediate upon. This is the perfect bible for those in need of comfort. 

Devotion for August 23 (Matthew 26:41): Dear Friend, never go out into the danger of the world without praying first. There is always a temptation to shorten your time in prayer. A good reminder to take the time to "watch and pray". It is important to prepare yourself for the challenges of the day so that you can resist temptations. We are reminded that "a life without prayer is a powerless life"

Do you know someone who can use some comfort in their life. Someone who has forgotten how powerful God's word is and the importance of prayer to reach out to the Lord in times of need. This bible would be a wonderful gift for such a person.

Great deal currently on Amazon for the ebook: it is only $4.99.