Thursday, April 26, 2012

"Tandem" by Tracey Bateman

Two women with unexpected, unsettling things happening in their lives are drawn together in a small town. Abbey Hills is the setting for this new suspenseful tale from Tracey Bateman. Lauryn McBride is not only working to settle the estate of Marcus Chisholm, but she is also taking care of her father. Her father has Alzheimer's, which makes Lauryn's work at the auction house that much harder. Amede Dastillion comes to town because she receives a letter from Lauren about some family heirlooms. Could this be the clue she needs to find her sister?

People and animals begin dying, but not of natural causes. It seems that there is ritualistic killing going on, just as there had been in the past. What does this have to do with Amede's arrival in Abbey Hills? How is Lauryn involved, if at all. It seems that evil has returned threatening everyone in the small town. Are vampires really there?  Will Billy, a missionary, be able to help? Tracey Bateman takes us into a world where vampires exist and good sets out to conquer them.
Interesting book! It held my interest and kept me glued to my seat at times. "Tandem" follows "Thirsty," the first book of this genre for Ms. Bateman. She proves that readers never tire of the classic struggle of good versus evil. Fiction readers of all types will enjoy this and Ms. Bateman's other work. I received my free review copy from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

"Swipe" by Evan Angler

The Mark, The Pledge, The Dust - three parts of this new post-apocalyptic novel by Evan Angler. Thirteen is the new age of "adulthood" in the world destroyed by war, famine, and fear. This is the age when children are marked as citizens of the global union and pledge their allegiance. Now they will be able to get a job and buy things without needing a parent around. So, with the benefits, why is Logan nervous? His nervousness comes from the fact that his sister, Lily, "disappeared" after going to the marking station. His family changed and now Logan is approaching his 13th birthday.

Not only is Logan nervous getting the Mark, but he has been feeling like he is being watched and followed. He doesn't even feel safe at home. Is he truly being followed, and if so, why? The new school year is also beginning, and a new girl has joined his class. Erin's family is in turmoil and she wants to fix it. But will her "fixing" lead to problems for Logan? Then, there is Peck, the leader of "The Dust." Why is he being hunted? Who is the spy at school? Will Logan discover the truth before it's too late? The action, intrigue, and interesting technology will keep readers glued to the page.

This book totally held my attention from beginning to end. I wanted to know what was going to happen to each of the characters. The author made me feel for them, especially the Unmarked. This book is aimed at ages 8 and up, and will encourage some interesting conversations between peers and at home. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"The 13th Tribe" by Robert Liparulo

What if there was a 13th tribe of Israel created when the people rebelled against God by building a golden calf? What if they thought they could earn their way to Heaven by killing others, and what if they were immortal? These are just a few of the questions posed in this new book by Robert Liparulo. While the story reaches back in history for its beginning, it is set in the present day Israel. 

Jagger Baird is the head of security for an archaeological dig on Mt. Sinai. Little does he know that these killers are looking to make a larger statement than they have ever made before. Many more people will die in their mass murder plot. But, little does the 13th Tribe know that when they threaten Jagger's family, they have kicked a hornet's nest. The battle is for the lives of many. Who will survive? Pick up the book and hang on for a wildly thrilling reading experience.

I really enjoyed this story. It has a little of everything, so will appeal to a broad base of readers. The characters are interesting and unique, the battles and scenarios realistic. I enjoyed the story very much and will look for more books by Mr. Liparulo.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

"Moloka'i" by Alan Brennert

The Hawaiian Islands have long been a place of exotic richness. But, visitors have brought disease to the islands, one disease being leprosy. The appearance of lesions can send you to a special hospital, destroy your family, and eventually send you to Moloka'i, the leper colony.

Rachel Kalama is six years old when she has to say goodbye to her uncle. It seems that leprosy has claimed him and she misses him. But, a year later, Rachel is in the same predicament. As her parents try to hide the two lesions, a hastily said slur from her sister rips Rachel from her family. Thus begins Rachel's journey into something no seven year old should have to face. Moloka'i becomes her home, and while Rachel has many difficult moments, her youthful resiliency wins. Through the horrors, setbacks, and poignant scenes, Rachel shines through as an example of living. If you choose to take this journey to Moloka'i, you may find your life changed. Why not come listen to Rachel tell her story?

This is a wonderfully poignant book full of good and bad times, happy and sad times, and a good deal of history. I came to love the many characters I met and felt sorrow when one died. The descriptions of leprosy can be intense, but add so much to the richness of the story. Living life to the fullest seems to be an overriding theme here. I recommend this book to individual readers as well as groups. There is so much to discuss here!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"Eyes of Justice" by Lis Wiehl with April Henry

In this newest installment of the "Triple Threat Club," one of them is murdered. It is so unexpected, so devastating, and all the remaining two can think of is catching the killer. But, the killer may be out to get more than one member of the group. A new character arrives on the scene. Her name is Olivia and while she is young and rich, she is also reclusive and picky about what she does with her time. As a PI she can be. This is a case she wants to help with and dives in. While the investigation takes her places she doesn't want to go, she is after the truth. Will the killer discover who she is and mark her for murder too? Why are Cassidy, Allison, and Nicole targets? Is this fourth novel the end of the series? Come join the ladies in their hunt for a killer.

I was shocked when one of these ladies was murdered and the others became targets. I have really enjoyed reading about these three strong female characters and didn't want any of them to die. But....  Lis Wiehl sucked me right into the story again and it wouldn't let me go until I finished. Olivia was an interesting character to add to the story, and I enjoyed learning more about the others. I recommend this book to all mystery/suspense/murder book readers. You will not be disappointed! I received my free review copy from Book Sneeze. Thank you!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Babylon's Falling" by William G. Collins

Daniel, one of the fascinating people of the Bible, comes to life in this new book by William G. Collins. The story unfolds with the authenticity of the setting, bringing the reader into Daniel's world. Of course, we know that Daniel had three friends he traveled with, and they are also a big part of the book. The four young men were taken prisoner, carried to a foreign land, then forced to serve a king whose beliefs were totally different from theirs. Yet, they were able to stand. But, what were they thinking when the hard questions needed answers? What was it like to face trials like the den of lions or the fiery furnace? Come take the difficult journey with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and find out how they coped with the changes in their lives and how they stood firm in their faith.

I really enjoyed this book because it was interesting and well written. The story is one I have heard from childhood, yet Mr. Collins gives some information about the land and people as he tells the story. This work of fiction reminds me of being a child, wondering how these Bible characters dealt with the problems, and trying to fill in the blanks. If you ever wondered, this book is for you. I received my free e-book from the Book Sneeze program.

Friday, April 6, 2012

"The Secret Life of a Fool" by Andrew Palau

Life can be hard when you grow up in the home of a world-famous evangelist. The expectations are high, and sometimes children will rebel. This is the story of Andrew Palau's journey from rebellion to a wonderful relationship with God. 

Rebellion comes in many forms, some worse than others. Andrew's bad choices didn't start out big, but gradually he became involved  in situations that weren't safe. While his parents never stopped praying for him, Andrew knew he was hurting them. But running to Europe, running out of money, trying to make his own way through the world filled with drugs and alcohol, and ignoring the whispers of God only made Andrew more discontent. Then he met Wendy and finally wanted to make some changes. Did they happen overnight? No, but today Andrew has a ministry and a happiness that can't be compared to anything the world has to offer. Are you the parent of a rebellious child? Are you that rebellious child? This book should offer you some hope that love and prayer can get you through to the other side.

I enjoyed this book because it was honest and real. So many times people give up on young people, when we should be praying for them. Do all of these kids return to Christ? No, sadly some stories don't have happy endings, but this story will bring you the power of prayer and love, and the reality that God continues to wait for us. This book is not only for individual readers, but book groups can find a lot to discuss within its pages.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"The Snow Child" by Eowyn Ivey

Ten years ago, Jack and Mabel lost a child. Now, not being able to handle all of the family around them, they have moved to Alaska to carve out a new life. This is no easy challenge for these two who are in their early 50's, but they work hard at it. One big problem is that they are also losing each other in the process. But, a snowstorm brings out the fun in them again and the end up building a snow child. As they begin to find each other again, Faina comes into their lives. Is she the snow child? Is she part of a fairy tale Mabel's father had told her long ago? People think they are crazy, but one day others see her. Her relationship with Garrett blossoms. What will happen between them? Can Faina survive in a world of warmth and structure? Open the pages of this story and you won't be able to put it down until the end!

I really enjoyed this book. It had everything I love about a story contained in the pages. There was love, survival, mystery, suspense, friendship, and so much more. I recommend this book to readers of all types and think book clubs will have a great time discussing the many topics here. I can't wait to read more by Ms. Ivey!