Sunday, June 30, 2013

"The Condor Song" by Darryl Nyznyk

The Sierra Nevada Mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop for this new legal thriller by Darryl Nyznyk.  The story, inspired by a 1960's fight between the Sierra Club and the Walt Disney Company, combines all the elements of great suspense and a page turning adventure.

Sean Donovan, once a very successful lawyer, has lost everything he held dear. Betrayal by a friend, he is left him alone and in despair. Thirteen years later, as Sean is ready to get on with life, Buck Anderson (an environmentalist) is murdered and Sean is asked to take the case. Does the murder have anything to do with the proposed ski resort? Environmentalism isn't something Sean had steeped himself in, but now he finds himself drawn into a case that not only pits him against a company that would change the landscape, but also against his former firm and the one who had betrayed him. Will Sean be able to help save the Condor and the wilderness from development, and will he solve the murder of Buck Anderson? Will Sean finally be vindicated? 

This is a great read! The characters and plot are well developed, and the writing places you in some beautiful scenes. The legal knowledge infused into the story keeps it real and alive. This book will make a great individual read, but I also think that book clubs would have some lively discussions around topics like: land development, conservation, betrayal, murder, etc. I received a free review copy from PR by the Book in exchange for an honest review.

Special Note:  **For every copy of the book purchased from Amazon on JULY 1st, Darryl will donate $1 to The Sierra Club.**

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales" by Randy Singer

What do a murder trial, three dead lawyers, and the leaking of sensitive information have in common? They are all occurring in and around the life of Landon Reed. Is he the next target?

Landon Reed has served his time in prison. While a quarterback, he was convicted of involvement in a points shaving scheme. Once released, he got married and became a lawyer, knowing the almost impossibility that anyone will give him a chance, but he needed a fresh start. Enter Henry McNaughton. Landon soon discovers that Henry is an incredibly intelligent lawyer. This looks like a great partnership, a place where Landon can learn and grow, until Henry and a couple of other lawyers from the firm die suddenly, leaving only Landon and one other lawyer to work the murder trial. Is someone targeting anyone involved with the firm? Does it have anything to do with the murder trial that is consuming their time? 

And that isn't the only problem in Landon's life. His wife Kerri, gets herself into some questionable situations that threaten their lives and relationship. What will Landon do about her involvement with the leaking of sensitive information? Is this another means to get him out of the picture? 

This book is quite a ride! The twists and turns kept me reading, and the court room scenes were mesmerizing. I found myself almost yelling "watch out!" a few times, and that makes for a very good read. If you like suspense, drama, and riveting courtroom actions; this book is for you. I received my review copy from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

Author Q & A: 
Author video(s): Author Video and Book Trailer 
Randy Singer’s website

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"Crescent" by Homer Hickam

What would you do if you were a warrior who always fought to the death, but when defeated weren't killed? Crescent finds out in this new book by Homer Hickam. The reader is once again introduced to Crater Trueblood, and Helium-3. Why does Crater not kill Crescent, and how will she react to imprisonment?

Crater is so very tired of fighting and war. When he sees the opportunity to defeat but not kill an opponent, he makes the choice for life. This doesn't set well with his opponent, Crescent, whose purpose was to fight and die if defeated, wants nothing more than to escape. But, they find that they enjoy being together. When Crescent is accused of murder, Crater goes out on a limb to try to save his "friend." In order to escape to "Endless Dust," they must navigate the "big suck" and the crowhoppers chasing them. Will they make it? Will they survive?

Homer Hickam tells a good story. I read "Crater" when it came out, and was anxious to read this one. It did not disappoint me. It is a YA science-fiction book that appeals to all ages. I received my free review copy from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

"When Mockingbirds Sing" by Billy Coffey

Leah is lonely, although she tries to keep that to herself. Her stutter keeps kids away and her parents work hard to provide opportunities for her to meet new friends. But when moving to a new town has interesting occurrences, people start to wonder if there is more to her than is at first seen.

Leah loves to paint, but after the move, her paintings are different. It doesn't seem possible that a girl her age could paint with such talent and detail. When asked, Leah tell them that the "Rainbow Man" is helping her see the scenes she paints. This makes people both love and fear her, but all have questions. What is she seeing? It is clear that something is happening because her first painting depicts something that actually happens. Who is the "Rainbow Man"? Could Leah be getting her information from God? Will doubt and fear beat out hope and faith? As Billy Coffey weaves his story, you will uncover the answers.

I love the way Mr. Coffey tells a story. This is my first introduction to his work, but will definitely not be my last. The story is well written and the characters are well created. This will make a good read for both individuals and groups, and I highly recommend it. I received my review copy from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

"Fortress of the Mist" by Sigmund Brouwer

The Kingdom of Magnus is once again under attack in this second book of Sigmund Brouwer's "Merlin's Immortals"series. How will Thomas fight in both his world and the supernatural? Where will he find strength? Who will stand with him?

The Druids want Magnus and Thomas stands in their way. They will use anything to displace and defeat Thomas. As Thomas prepares to defend his kingdom, too many things are out of place. There seem to be spies everywhere, even though no one has come in. Some of the dead seem to be alive again and these things have the people asking many questions. How can Thomas fight the Druids when he doesn't know what they are capable of? Romance begins to form on two fronts, but will Thomas be able to trust either woman competing for his attention? Will Magnus stand firm or fall at the hands of its enemies? The answers to these questions and so much more are found within the pages of this book. Thomas and the Kingdom of Magnus await your arrival.

I love Sigmund Brouwer's writing style and stories. He draws me in with an imagination that puts me in Magnus. While this is a book written for young adults, I encourage adults to indulge as well. It is a good idea to relax into our imaginations once in a while. I received my free review copy from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.

"Sherlock Holmes and the Needle's Eye" by Len Bailey

Sherlock Holmes investigating mysteries from the Bible? Yes. In his new book, Len Bailey enables his readers to look through the eyes of Mr. Holmes while learning to study their Bible in a deeper way.

Sherlock Holmes is one of the best literary detectives in history. With his assistant Dr. Watson, mysteries were solved, problems put to rest. Now Sherlock Holmes turns his attention to the Bible and invents a device to help him - the Needle's Eye - explore deeper mysteries. Watson takes some convincing, but eventually comes around. Characters to meet and mysteries to solve include: Athithophel, Zechariah, Lazarus, and Christ; temptation, murder, and suicide. Pick up your Bible and solve these murders and mysteries with the help of Sherlock Holmes.

I really enjoyed this book. There are two ways to read it - as a novel and as a Bible study. I read it first as a novel while adding some of the Investigative Questions to my reading. I can't wait to go back and use it as a Bible study, completing the Investigative Questions at the back of the book first.. I recommend it to individuals as well as groups because there is not only information but fun here. It is definitely an encouragement to study the Bible deeper, to look more closely at the little things. I received my free review copy from Book Sneeze in exchange for an honest review.