Sunday, July 29, 2012

Alcatraz The Lost Pearl by Aleshia Robinson

Welcome to my review of Alcatraz - The Lost Pearl. I want  you to see the cover of this book first, and the "about the book" and then below that I will put my review. The cover is intriguing, and deserves more than a passing glance. 

About the Book:

Fifteen year old Alcatraz is being chased. Born and raised in a loving family, she suddenly finds herself fending for her life on the streets of Los Angeles. Consumed with anger, hurt and confusion, Alcatraz turns to the spiritual realm to find life's answers. While experimenting with pagan spells, Buddhist chants, and yoga sutras, she continually encounters a spirit who claims He is God. The Truth she learns from this spiritual quest introduces her to the unexpected world of divine healing, acceptance and unconditional love.

My Review:
This book can be life changing and will change lives, and is about a life and the changes in that life as it progresses. Katherine has had it. Life has been hard for her in ways she didn't expect. She is dealing with trauma, tragic events, and so very much pain. Things keep going from bad, to worse, and yet worse to the point the she changes her name to Alcatraz. However, she is also has joy and occasionally and is finding her passion for art can open doors for her. As her life progresses, Alcatraz seeks to understand religions, and why she just doesn't feel loved, and what she should decide to believe in - to find herself. She needs to understand answers to some of the why's in her life, and she has found a passion for tattoos and tattoo artists along with a gift for drawing and design that few have at her age. In the middle of all this, strangest of all to Alcatraz, are the eyes that keep following her. These eyes just turning up in the places she least expects in her life and she can't figure out the purpose. People keep telling her she is destined for something, but they aren't totally sure what or why, only that she has greatness ahead of her. 

Alcatraz The Lost Pearl is a book well worth reading. It manged to explore many different religions, and the difference between them and real Christianity, not the fake stuff. It is a very real and gritty book that touches on the pain that many of us have gone through, or we know someone who has gone through these kinds of pain. This book takes a very realistic view of many religious believes, and what they do and do not lead people into.

This is a highly, highly recommended read that needs to be shared with many. I am excited about reading the second book in this series!


About the Author: 

Aleshia Robinson is a lover of truth and freedom. Jesus freak. Sex trafficking activist. Missionary. Yoga and Pilates junkie. Wheatgrass fanatic. Decoupager. A spa, salon and restaurant enthusiast. Coffeehouse snob. Hotel hopper. Spanish lover. Latin dancing queen. Music worshipper. She also enjoy writing edgy Christian fiction that awaken souls to the true heart of God.  

The Author's web site:

The book link is here:

I was blessed to receive an e-book copy of this book from the author for the purpose of providing an honest review. Thank you Aleshia Robinson for sharing this amazing book with me!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Kingdom by Brian M. Litfin (Book 3 The Chiveis Trilogy)

First of all I need to tell you, PLEASE DO NOT judge this book by the book trailer. This trailer is simply horrible compared to the two books in this series that I have read. I am so glad I didn't see this trailer first or I  would not have read the books! The books are good, so please by pass the trailer attached to this review. My review of The Gift can be found HERE.

We are back with Teo and Ana. They feel just a bit older, and wiser than in the last book right from the start.  Having discovered the Old Testament that has long been hidden they were yearning for more, for the New Testament. With in the first few chapters we meet a council who has the New Testament and Ana and Teo are getting to help with that. Evil is still abounding. A very evil High Priestess who hates Deu is actively hatching plans to keep word of Deu and his son Iesus Christus from spreading. This "woman" is in control of a blood oath sworn alliance who's purpose is too keep word of Deus from spreading, or being heard. Her agents are spreading hate, malice and evil as fast as possible, while formulating weapons that have long to been lost to this civilization that is being reborn.

Quite good, I am glad I got to read the final book. I was aggravated to start with that there wasn't more of a build up about finding the New Testament and the knowledge there-in. Instead we just sort of jumped into oh that has already happened and here come the battles.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
The Kingdom
Crossway Books (June 30, 2012)
Brian M. Litfin


Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of Tennessee as well as a master’s degree in historical theology at Dallas Theological Seminary. From there he went to the University of Virginia, taking a PhD in the field of ancient church history. He is currently professor of theology at Moody Bible Institute in downtown Chicago, where he has been since 2002. He teaches courses in theology, church history, and Western civilization from the ancient and medieval periods. He is the author of Getting to Know the Church Fathers: An Evangelical Introduction (Brazos, 2007), as well as several scholarly articles and essays. Bryan has always enjoyed epic adventure stories as well as historical fiction, but most of his reading these days is taken up by academia.

Today Bryan lives in downtown Wheaton in a Victorian house built in 1887. He and his wife Carolyn are parents to two children. For recreation Bryan enjoys basketball, traveling, and hiking anywhere there are mountains. The Litfins attend College Church in Wheaton, where Bryan has served on the Board of Missions and as a deacon. He also helped start Clapham School, a Christian primary school in Wheaton using the classical model of education.

Book Three in the Chiveis Trilogy
War and disease have destroyed the modern world. Centuries later, feudal societies have arisen across Europe. No one can remember the ancient religion of Christianity—until an army captain and a farmer’s daughter discover the Sacred Writing of the one true God.

As Teo and Ana encounter the forgotten words of the holy book, they realize its message is just what their kingdom needs. Though exiled from their homeland, they join their hearts in a quest to return. But now an ancient pact has united the enemies of the Christian faith into a dark alliance that threatens to consume the known world. Racing to stay one step ahead of their enemies, Teo and Ana must battle heinous villains, stormy seas, and the powers of the underworld itself. As armies begin to mass for a final battle, the odds favor the forces of evil. Can Teo and Ana bring divine truth to Chiveis—or will the Word of God fade from the earth forever?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Kingdom, go HERE.

The book link is: 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Perfectly Ridiculous by Kristian Bilkerbeck

This was a cute read that was too close to home in a few areas. Alas, I am also the girl with the parents with the messy house, as well as the Mother who makes all her own clothes in prints that just don't work for me. I have had plenty of good home made clothes. I liked that more once I was old enough to pick out my own (non-large flowered) prints and make them myself. So for the first part of this book Daisy and I have plenty in common, including writing in journals. But there the majority of the similarities end and this book really kicks in.

Daisy and her best friend Claire decide to leave the USA and go to Argentina. Claire wants a vacation, and Daisy must fulfill requirements for her collage scholarship. Clair's parents are always gone, but Daisy's parents aren't about to let their daughter go abroad with out them. When Daisy's Mother finds out that the place Daisy can work in to meet her requirements, a children's ministry outreach, is run by her old college classmate, Libby - that seals the deal. They are all going to Argentina!! From there the confusion, a touch of mystery, adventure, romance and just trying to figure out life and herself all find Daisy very quickly!

Perfectly Ridiculous is a fast cute read with a pleasing enough ending.


About the Book:

The final in the Universally Misunderstood Young Adult Series
Daisy Crispin is at a crossroads. In one direction lies the promised land--life at college, away from her embarrassing and overprotective parents. In the other direction is reality--her strapped bank account, an ailing father, and family priorities. Daisy knows the "perfect" daughter wouldn't have to think twice. But maybe Daisy was never really perfect on any level, because she does not want her life to look the way her parents think it should. She won't let that stop her, though. Now that she has been given an exciting free trip to Argentina before going to college, she's thrilled--until her parents decide to go along with her.  

Get your copy HERE!!!! 

About the Author

I grew up with a strong sense of justice.  I simply knew the way things should be.  And since I’m not smart enough to be a district attorney, I am a novelist.  My childhood was slightly confusing.  I blame my parents for this.  Oh heck, I’m going to blame them for everything.  I think I would have turned out normal if it weren’t for them.

Okay, probably not.  I am a fourth-generation Californian, and an American mutt, but identify most strongly with my Italian heritage.  My mother’s family, of strong Norwegian/German descent, tried to teach me how to do things right.  How to cook, clean, sew, budget accordingly – all the things a proper young girl should know to be a contributing member of society.  I, however, failed miserably.  For my 40th birthday, my grandmother gave me a cookie gun, so it’s clear she hasn’t given up on me yet!  That is eternal optimism!
My dad’s Italian family taught me about the good life.  The indulgent life.  How to eat, shop and be merry.  My Nana had very tiny feet and a penchant for shoes (she worked at the Emporium, no doubt to fund her shoe addiction).  My afternoons at her house had no lessons, other than how to walk in her high heels, drape myself in her mink stole and drip myself with rhinestones.  Tastefully, of course.  I picked up on this lifestyle much quicker.
I graduated San Jose State University with a degree in Journalism & Mass Communications (emphasis in Advertising), gave my life to Jesus during college and found my true love in a Christian Singles’ Group, which yes, I skewer in “What a Girl Wants”.  He is German.  Practical.   And a Contributing Member of Society.  I am still Italian, fluffy and an aficionado of fine shoes & handbags. 
Together, we have four children and now it’s our turn to confuse them.  The circle of life.  Dysfunctional family style.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Rare Earth by Davis Bunn

Here it is Friday again, and time for another review. Today you get to hear some about Rare Earth by Davis Bunn. The last book I read by him was The Lion of Babylon. You can find that review here if you like.
In this book Marc Royce winds up in Africa. He is working for a company named Loadstone. He finds himself in the shadow of a volcano, working diligently to distribute food and work on relations with the local chiefs. Oddly enough, the locals feel that he thinks he is a chief, and he explains that he is just an accountant here to audit and oversee the situation. One chief has found Jesus and he has had a vision. He isn't sure if Marc is the man he saw in the vision or not. One thing is for sure, Africa is dangerous and the children are hungry, and one man's sister hates Marc. She is convinced that his company, Loadstone, is the reason that her bother is missing, and maybe dead. Now the rare earth elements have come into play and the stakes are only going to get much higher. A rather interesting read!


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Rare Earth
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Davis Bunn


Born and raised in North Carolina, Davis left for Europe at age twenty. There he first completed graduate studies in economics and finance, then began a business career that took him to over forty countries in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Davis came to faith at age 28, while living in Germany and running an international business advisory group. He started writing two weeks later. Since that moment, writing has remained both a passion and a calling.

Davis wrote for nine years and completed seven books before his first was accepted for publication. During that time, he continued to work full-time in his business career, travelling to two and sometimes three countries every week. His first published book, The Presence, was released in 1990 and became a national bestseller.

Honored with three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction, his bestsellers include The Great Divide, Winner Take All, The Meeting Place, The Warning, The Book of Hours, and The Quilt.

A sought-after speaker in the art of writing, Davis serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, Oxford University.  

Marc Royce stares out of the helicopter, a sense of foreboding rising with the volcanic cloud. Below, the Rift Valley slashes across Africa like a scar. Decades of conflicts, droughts, and natural disasters have left their mark.

Dispatched to audit a relief organization, Royce is thrust into the squalor and chaos of Kenyan refugee camps. But his true mission focuses on the area's reserves of once-obscure minerals now indispensable to high-tech industries. These strategic elements--called rare earth--have inflamed tensions on the world's stage and stoked tribal rivalries. As Royce prepares to report back to Washington, he seizes on a bold and risky venture for restoring justice to this troubled land.

But this time, Royce may have gone too far.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Rare Earth, go HERE.

The book link is: 076420906X 

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Gifted by Ann Gabhart

From the author of Words Spoken True comes The Gifted. I didn't realize this was the 5th in a series, but it is. Even so, I read it with out a problem. The start was a wee bit slow, but I am worried I am having that kind of week!

Jessamine Brady is parent-less, so she has been raised by a Shaker family. Jessamine wasn't quite old enough to sign into the formal Shaker lifestyle forever, but she was getting close to that age. So here she is, picking berries and low and behold! A man named Tristan has been shot, and so Jessamine and her friend take this man from the outside world to their Doctor. The Shaker rules are quite restrictive, you just think you knew rules from the Amish! So now our young lady has a man who is different, and who she has some feelings for, and she has helped him which is against the rules of course. But really, if the rules are partly to use your hands to work, and give your hearts to God, then how could she leave this man alone to die instead of help him? What about Shaker's not marrying? Doesn't that complicate things terribly!

Well Jessamine is about to find herself, her gift, Tristian's gift, and at the same time have to figure out if this is the life she really wants live.

About the book:
By 1849, Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down. Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

The thousands of loyal fans of Gabhart's Shaker novels will love this entrancing story of learning to trust the gifts God gives us and let him guide us through life.

Some dreams were meant to come true.
Jessamine Brady has been in the Shaker Village for half her young life, but in spite of how she loves her sisters there, she struggles to conform to the strict rules. Instead she entertains dreams of the world outside. When Tristan Cooper seems to step out of those dreams to entice her into the forbidden realm beyond the Shaker Village, her life turns upside down. 

Will Jessamine be able to survive the storms of the world? Or will she retreat back to the peace of Harmony Hill?

About the Author:
Ann H. Gabhart started writing when she was ten and has been writing ever since. Her first published writings were personal experience pieces, youth stories, and poems in church periodicals such as HomeLife. Her first novel, a historical romance about the settling of Kentucky, was published by Warner Books in 1978. Since then, she's published numerous books for both adults and young adults. The Scent of Lilacs, her first inspirational novel, was chosen as one of the Top Ten Books in Christian Fiction in 2006 by Booklist magazine. Her first Shaker book, The Outsider, was a finalist for Christian Fiction Book of the Year in 2009 and was a Top Pick by Romantic Times Book Review Magazine.

Ann lives on a farm in Kentucky not far from where she was born. She and her husband, Darrell, a bass singer in the Patriot Quartet, have three children and nine grandchildren. Her website is

Available July 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Serpent of Moses by Don Hoesel

Hi There,

Time for another book by Don Hoesel. I have enjoyed his prior books, and you can find my reviews of them here in my blog. I had a bit of a harder time with this one. I hope it was just me this week, but until about the 5th chapter I found it hard to get into things and kept feeling like I was loosing characters. But take heart, by the fifth chapter things picked up fast!

Dr. Jack Hawthorne is back, and there is a murder up front, but things pick up really well when the Serpent is taken out of it's long enclosed resting place. Suddenly things are hoping! The huge Egyptian guy, Imolene, decides to kill everyone off, but he fails with two. The other man races Jack out of there, not to free him, but to keep him captive while they make off with the Serpent. Jacks sort of girlfriend, romance is here in this book. When people start figuring out that Dr. Jack Hawthorne is missing, they start a search to find where he is and what has happened.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Serpent of Moses
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)
Don Hoesel


Don Hoesel is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier
in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from
Taylor University and has published short fiction in Relief
Journal. He was born and raised in Buffalo, NY but lives in
Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife and two children. The
Serpent of Moses is his fourth novel.

Moses built and lifted up the brass serpent,
healing the afflicted Israelites of snakebites.

King Hezekiah called the serpent Nehushtan.
Long thought destroyed, it's been buried for
millennia, secreted under the region's shifting sands.

Now the Israeli government wants it back and they
will stop at nothing to get their hands on it. Yet
they're not the only ones who covet the Nehushtan.

Archaeologist Jack Hawthorne travels to Libya intent
on recovering the sacred object, but one does not
cross the Mossad and expect to walk away without a
fight. Jack and his friends must find the priceless
"snake of brass upon a pole" before those who are
also hunting it find them...and silence them forever.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Serpent of Moses, go HERE.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Nothing To Hide by J. Mark Bertrand (A Roland March Mystery)

Oh Readers,

I am so excited to get to read another J. Mark Bertrand book in the Roland March Mystery. Nothing to Hide is the third book in this series. My book somehow manged to show up late, so I am going to do my best for you with this review! Back on Murder is the first book in this series. My review is HERE. To give you a fast overview - Roland March didn't expect to be back on murder cases, but suddenly he was. With an old school detective tone March manages to solve a big case and not get killed. But things didn't stay peaceful, because soon Roland was called in to figure out another murder that only he can figure out. Pattern of Wounds, my review is HERE. Like the two books before it, Nothing to Hide is page turner.

It opens with Detective Roland March getting a bit of the recognition he deserves, but that is short lived. In the process of finding a headless corpse, who's lifeless hand seems to be trying to signal some clues, things quickly change. Before long there is a total chaos of who to trust, or not trust. Who is a mole, or a traitor, and who is for real? When the pain is so bad inside that you have nothing left to loose, you also have nothing left to hide either. Our man of intelligence, mystery and depth is being plunged into the depths of his own soul and left with major decisions that March alone can make.

I do hope we get to read more books in the future with Roland March in them, as I have yet to be disappointed in any of the books in this series.


This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Nothing to Hide
Bethany House Publishers (July 1, 2012)

J. Mark Bertrand


J. Mark Bertrand lived in Houston, where the series is set, for fifteen years,
earning an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Houston. But after
one hurricane too many he left for South Dakota. Mark has been arrested
for a crime he didn't commit, was the foreman of one hung jury and served
on another that acquitted Vinnie Jones of assault. In 1972, he won an
 honorable mention in a child modeling contest, but pursued writing instead.

A grisly homicide. An international threat.
The stakes have never been higher for
Detective Roland March.
The victim's head is missing, but what intrigues Detective Roland March
is the hand. The pointing finger must be a clue--but to what? According
to the FBI, the dead man was an undercover asset tracking the flow of
 illegal arms to the Mexican cartels. To protect the operation, they want
March to play along with the cover story. With a little digging, though, he discovers the Feds are lying. And they're not the only ones.

In an upside-down world of paranoia and conspiracy, March finds himself dogged by injury and haunted by a tragic failure. Forced to take justice into his own hands, his twisting investigation leads him into the very heart of darkness, leaving March with nothing to lose--and nothing to hide.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Nothing to Hide, go HERE.

A great page about the book from the Author's web site:
A great page about the series from the Author's web site:

Behind the scenes and in depth interviews about this series can be found at the following link:

The book link is: