Worth A Read

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Dreamer, a suspenseful novel by author Phillip L. Davidson, is not your typical Christian fiction book.  There are some moments of rough language and some situations that can be viewed as paranormal.  This is not the type of “easy-going” Christian romance that I normally read and review.  However, I am open to trying new things.  And the fact that main character David Elliot is motivated, at least in part, by his intense love for his wife made this book worth reading.

This book is action-packed.  If you like something fast-paced, this one will be well worth your time.  My only issue with it is the language.  I realize that in wartime, the language used is much different than what I am used to using and hearing on a daily basis.  However, if a book is being marketed to a Christian audience, I do feel the author should take that into account and tone down some of the language used.  Though I enjoyed the story line, the language alone will keep likely keep this book from making it my “read again” shelf.




About The Book:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dreamer-Phillip-Davidson-ebook/dp/B00EZVKPFU/

Is the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Book Review: A Christmas Kindness

The Christmas season always brings with it a lot of obligations and expectations.  It’s easy to let these things interfere with the real meaning of Christmas, to get so focused on what we need to do and what we want that we forget all about others.

That’s just what happened to 8-year-old Robert in C.C. Gevry’s A Christmas Kindness.  He was excited to see Santa and completely focused on what he wanted to ask the jolly old man for that he didn’t stop to think about anyone else.  But that all changes when a loose shoelace leads to a chance meeting with a little boy who has only one very simple wish for Christmas—a picture of himself and his little brother sitting on Santa’s lap.  That one wish changes Robert’s whole attitude toward the holiday.

This adorable story, as well as the beautiful illustrations by Caroline Mabey, will warm the heart of the stingiest of Scrooges.  It’s sure to become a Christmas favorite for your family, as it has for mine.


cover wrap.indd

About the book:

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?


Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.


Purchase information:

4RV Publishing


Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble Nook





About the author:

Cheryl MalandrinosC.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married. Visit her online at http://ccgevry.com


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Review of “A Reluctant Queen”

Honestly, wow is all I can think to say. In her novel “A Reluctant Queen,” Joan Wolf tells the story of a Qeen Ester, a woman so important to Jewish history that she has her own book in the Bilbe. It’s a story I am very familiar with, one that I have often been fascinated by. The bible tells the basics of the story – how Esther, a Jewish woman, became Queen of Persia and was able to use her influnce with the King to save her people. But very little is said about Esther herself, other that that she was very beautiful. There is so much unsaid, so manu things that the readr can imagine about the story.
And imagine she did! Using the Bible staory as her foundation, Wolf built a beautifl love story between the young Jewish woman and the Persian King. She did a lot of researh on this tbook and it shows in the detail. Not only are the buildings and the landscape described in such detail that I could see them in my mind, Wolf’s descriptions of the Gods and celebrations ofthe Persian religion are very vivid. I am not familiar enough with the religious practices of Persia to know how accurate the descriptions, but they sure seemed real to me!
The one downside to this book was the names Wolf chose for the characters. While I appreciate that she chose names authentic to the culture and time period, I wish they had been easier to pronounce. At the very least, I would have liked a pronounciation guid at the end of the book.
“A Reluctant Queen” is a book I just happened upon at my local library. I am glad I took a chance wih this bok. It’s a book I would very much like to add to my own personal library.

Review of “The Amish Midwife” by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould

Amish books are not my favorite thing to read. In the past, I have tried and failed to read them. I think the problem is the language. The ones that I have tries to read seemed very heavy on Amish words and phrases that were confusing to me. If I have to stop reading to look up words, I don’t always want to return to the book. This has keeped me from wanting to read other Amish books.
But the premise of “The Amish Midwife” intrigued me even more than the word “Amish” in the title annoyed me.
Lexie Jaeger is a nurse midwife living in Oregon. After the death of her adoptive father, Lexie finds a carved wooden box containing two locks of hair and an old letter about property in Switzerland. Seeing these items awakened Lexies desire to know her own birth story, so she heads to Lancaster County, Pennsylvania to find the answers she craves.
Clark and Could have written a beautiful story about self – discovery, forgiveness, and family. Even more impressive to me is the fact that they have created an Amish story that is easy to understand and even easier to get lost in. It was a fun, quick read, that has led me to look into reading more Amish books. I am happy to have a new class of books open up to me.
“The Amish Midwife” has definitely earned its place on my bookcase.
Amish, Lancaster County, Lancaster County Pennsylvania, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Switzerland Leave a comment

Review of OCEANS APART by Karen Kingsbury

   Conner Evans has a perfect life in Florida with his wife and two daughters. A highly respected airline pilot, Conner feels beyond blessed. News of an air tragedy over the Pacific Ocean reminds him how fragile life can be. But it’s been so long since he flew in that area of the world that Conner is sure he knew no one on that flight. He goes on with his life, not letting that one plane crash affect his life. Until the phone call from a strange lawyer. There was someone on the crashed plane that Conner knew, a flight attendant he had shared one night with nearly a decade ago. She has left Conner with the one thing that she loved and cherished in this world- her eight year old son, Max. The son Conner never knew existed.

   Over the past five years I’ve read many Karen Kingsbury books. I thought I had reached the point where I would not have another “new” book by Karen Kingsbury to read until she published another. In fact, I was so disappointed with her most recent series that I was not sure I wanted to read anymore. Then I came across “Oceans Apart”.

And I suddenly remembered all of the reasons I have enjoyed Karen Kingsbury’s work.

Her characters are real people, who just happen to be Christians. Conner has lived his life by hiding his indiscretion from his wife. Michele, his wife, suffers from self-esteem issues and forgiveness. They are not perfect, but they still love God. They have made mistakes, but they still know God loves them. They are enough like me to make them feel like friends. I loved reading about them.

Of course, saying that I read about these characters at all is not completely accurate. I didn’t read “Oceans Apart” so much as I listened to it. “Oceans Apart” is one of the books that I’ve recently listened to on Audible.com. The narrator, Joyce Beam, brought the characters to life, just as much as Karen Kingsbury’s words did. It was a very enjoyable experience, one I would highly recommend.

A Review of Davis Bunn’s HIDDEN IN DREAMS

Dr. Elena Burroughs- a leading authority on dream analysis- is starting a new life in Florida. Just as she begins to settle into her new job, an unexpected visitor stops by. Shortly after, Elena begins to have a series of dreams- very detailed, specific dreams of worldwide financial crises. She isn’t sure what is more frightening- the dream itself, that others are having the same exact dream, or the fact that dream is coming true.

  “Hidden in Dreams” pulled me in from the very first page. Just when I thought I had figured out what was happening and where the dreams were coming from, the author threw in another twist. I loved not being able to guess what was coming next!

  Though Davis Bunn and many of his characters are Christians, the book itself was not “overly religious.” I liked how non-believing characters were encouraged to consider their might be a “higher power” at work in the universe. The Christian element was there, but the suspense, the story itself, was the main focus. In fact, I think many Christian today could learn a lot about how to live from Elena. She made no secrets of or apologies for her faith in Christ. But never once did she force her beliefs on others or think less of someone just because he or she didn’t hold the same beliefs.

  How much better would this world be if more Christians walked in faith like that, rather than just talking about their faith.


When Amish widow Emma Yoder decides to support herself by teaching a quilting class, she doesn’t expect the eclectic group that’s shows up on her doorstep. Her six students- pastors wife Ruby Lee, single father Paul, biker on probation Jan, aspiring song- writer star, and bickering married couple Pam and Stuart- have little in common with one another and even less in common with Emma. Almost from the beginning Emma feels that she might be in over her head. She prays that God will use her to not only teach her craft to her students but to also make a difference in their lives.

There are two things that attracted me to this book. First off was the name “The Half – Stitched Amish Quilting Club” sounded like it might be humorous or light- hearted and fun. The second thing was the author’s name. Though I don’t read a lot of Amish fiction, I know that Wanda E. Brunstetter is one of the more successful authors in the genre. I thought it would be worth a read and was happy to bring it home from the local Library.

Unfortunately, the book was a bit of a disappointment to me. It reads more like a series of loosely related short stories rather than a cohesive novel. Most of the characters never developed to a point where I had much interest in them. One of the characters’s almost felt like he was forgotten and used more as background filler than anything else. A connection between two of the character’s comes so far out of left field that it didn’t seem at all possible of believable.

This is not a book I would want to have on my bookcase to read again. I am looking forward to returning it to the Library to get something I might enjoy a bit more.

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Mardi Gras is always a busy time in Louisiana. For the small town of Newpointe, the festivities include a parade and a temporary spike in alcohol- related mischief. But this is not a typical Mardi Gras celebration. Someone is taking advantage of this hectic time of the year to target the wives of the local firemen. When two are killed on the same day in a nearly identical manner, the city goes into a panic. For Mark Branning, a fire fighter who is separated from his wife, the killings are especially difficult to live with. At least the other fire fighters can protect their wives. Allie won’t even allow mark close enough to protect her.

“Private Justice” is book number one in Terri Blackstock’s Newpointe 911 series. It is full of suspense, twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. Interspersed with the suspense in the love story as Mark and Allie Branning, a young married couple who have lost sight of their love for each other.

The characters in “Private Justice” are well developed. There are subtle hints peppered throughout the story to whet the readers appetite for what’s to come in future books. This is one reader who is anxious to read the rest of the series.


Louisiana, Newpointe 911, Private Justice, Terri Blackstock Leave a comment


I’ve been struggling a lot with writing this review.  Not because the book wasn’t real written, because it was.  Not because I didn’t enjoy the book, because I did.  My struggle has been in finding the right words to use.  This book was very powerful and emotional, right from the beginning.  It’s so hard for me to think of just the right words to adequately describe the way I felt while reading this book.

The book I am talking about is Special Delivery by Kathi Macias.  It is the second book in her new Freedom series.  While I have not read the first (it has been on my MUST READ list for quite a while now, and, after reading this book, has now moved to the top of the list), I didn’t feel like I was missing out on anything.  There was enough backstory woven through this to understand what happened in the first book, but not so much that it took away from the enjoyment of reading this one.

Special Delivery is the continuing story of Mara, a young woman with horrible first-hand experience of the horrors of human trafficking.  At a young age, she was forced into modern day slavery by her “loving” uncle.  Thanks to the help and kindness of a pizza delivery man, Mara was rescued from her dark past and has made a new life for herself.  What she doesn’t know is that her uncle, though he is behind bars, still holds considerable power and is bent on making her pay for what he sees as her betrayal.

This is more than just Mara’s story, however.  Other young women are featured throughout the book, each in some way affected by the human trafficking trade.  At times, I was confused about the women.  I had trouble keeping track of who was who and where each girl was from.  That didn’t really detract from the story for me.  It just made it so that I had to concentrate a little harder on the reading.

This is not a book that can be read quickly.  There is just too much information here.  Macias delves into the dark world of human trafficking with a deep understanding of the problem.  This wasn’t my first time hearing about modern day slavery.  Within the last two years, I’ve actually heard about two trafficking rings in my home start that were broken up.  Still, reading about Mara and Francesca and Lawan brought tears to my eyes.  That they could be real girls, possibly working in my hometown, breaks my heart.

There was a time when I considered writing a book like this.  After hearing about human trafficking and how near impossible it is for young girls to escape a life they never chose for themselves, I wanted to write a book about a woman who survived it, a woman who dedicated her life to helping others find a way out.  There is still a small part of me that would like to do that someday.  At least there was before I read Special Delivery.  I am not sure that I could handle the emotional toll of writing a book like that.  And if I did, I am certain I would not compose something nearly as gripping as Kathi Macias has.

I highly recommend this book.  But beware—it is not a light read.  Not only do I advise having a good amount of time to devote to reading the book, I also advise readers to have a box of tissues handy.  Your heart will be touched by the women in the book and the God they learn to love.

You can read more about Kathi Macias and her work at her website.

Special Delivery can be purchased at Amazon.com by clicking here.

, Contemporary slavery, humantrafficking, Kathi Macias, modern day slavery Leave a comment

Favorite Author?

Recently I was asked to name my favorite author.  I paused.  There are so many possible responses.  How do I know which one to give?

L.M. Montgomery, who wrote Anne of Green Gables, the book that made me want to be a writer?

Karen Kingsbury, whose work made me realize that it is possible to make a living writing fiction that honors God?

Linore Rose Burkhard, who writes the most amazing Regency Romance stories I’ve ever read?

Christa Allan, whose work never ceases to amaze me and always makes me stop to think?

Or maybe my favorite is one of the many other authors whose books pepper the shelves scattered throughout my home.  In truth, I can’t pick just one favorite.  There are so many books that I enjoy, so many authors whose words transport me to a different place (and often a different time), so many stories that have impacted my life.  Choosing just one is nearly as impossible as choosing which of my three sons is my favorite.

I think that is what I enjoy the most about reviewing books.  I get to read genres I might normally pass over in the store or at the library.  Sometimes, I find that a book I would not normally consider to be “my thing” (Twilight comes to mind here) is one that was well worth the reading.  Sometimes I find one that I would normally be tempted to buy is one that I am better off without (nope, don’t ask….not gonna give a name!)  And sometimes I find a new author I’d never read before who really speaks to me.

That is what happened with Kathi Macias.  Kathi’s books are very inspirational to me.  All of them that I have read so far involve young women in difficult situations, situations that are impossible for humans to get through alone.  They are good reminders that no matter how bad things seem, God can make something beautiful from the ashes. Her most recent book, Special Delivery, is what I am reading right now.  It is a well-written, very powerful look at the ugly world of human trafficking.  I haven’t finished the book yet, so I can’t write a review of it at the moment.  But I will have the book done before the weekend is over, and a review will posted on Monday.  Be sure to stop by then to check it out!

In the meantime, you can check out the review I have posted about her book, People of the Book.

And, just in case you are interested, People of the Book has landed near the top of my favorite book list!

How about you?  What are your favorite books and favorite authors?

Anne of Green Gables, , Kathi Macais, People of the Book, Special Delivery Leave a comment