Tag Archives: Book Review

Trial Run

Trial Run (Fault Lines)Title: Trial Run
Author: Thomas Locke
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2434-4

“You will remain in complete control and in total safety at all times. If there is any sign of discomfort or distress or risk, you will return immediately and end the ascent. I will begin the count now, from five to one,” Gabriella instructs Charlie as he transitions into another time frame in Thomas Locke’s novel, Trial Run.

First in the Fault Line series, this three hundred and eighty-four page paperback targets those who enjoy thriller-suspense fiction involving mind control. With no profanity or extreme violence, topics of threatening plots and potential death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The book concludes with an excerpt from the next book in the series, the author’s biography, and advertisements.

In this current-day story set mainly in Santa Barbara, California, Shane Schearer’s life is uprooted from working on her MBA to being a wealthy partner in a business adventure. When she meets fellow UCSB theoretical physics student, Trent Major, she helps market his dream-induced algorithm project that allows one to access separation of body and consciousness.

However, Trent’s venture has already been implemented in its early stages by a team in Switzerland that can travel between time, using a process that is a cross between telepathy and teleportation. When another subversive group who stole the same quantum computing system uses it for sinister outcomes, not only Trent and Shane must find out and destroy those wanting control.

With the scientist’s eidetic memory being the core ingredient, Shane and a plethora of characters have to ascend or transport into a realm that shows the future. After multiple testers become comatose, those involved begin to realize the system’s ultimate power.

As each player travels on their psychological journey to uncover true motives and emotional feelings, the story’s peak ending is predictable. Leaving several unanswered questions for what comes next for Trent and Shane, readers will wonder what out-of-body experiences are in the sequel.

Using the pen name of Thomas Locke, Davis Bunn has sold over seven million copies of his award-winning novels that have been published in twenty languages. Having won four Christy awards in fiction, he divides his time between Oxford and Florida.

Thanks to Baker Publishing for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Baker Publishing, Amazon, and DeeperShopping with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Fiction

Day of Atonement

Day of AtonementTitle: Day of Atonement
Author: David A. deSilva
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-2471-7

“Whether under a Ptolemy or an Antiochus, whether under Honiah or his brother, we will still follow the law of Moses and traditions of our ancestors,” Binyamin is reminded in David A. deSilva’s novel, Day of Atonement: A Novel of the Maccabean Revolt.

At three hundred and twenty pages, this paperback targets those who enjoy historical fiction of the Maccabean period between the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Using one profane word several times, topics of abuse, torture, and murder may not be acceptable to immature readers. With a topical map of Israel and an author’s note at the beginning of the three-part book, acknowledgments, a helpful list of characters, and the author’s biography are at the end.This reader wishes there was consistency in capitalizing all pronouns of God for reverence.

In this story based in Judea leading up to the Maccabean Revolt, one man pines for his brother’s position as the high priest while another brother is tempted to shed his Jewish upbringings. Wanting to shape the future of Jerusalem, both are determined to enhance the Temple Mount by blending Jewish and Greek traditions.

As more than one set of siblings deals with the Hellenizing of the new city to be named Antioch-at-Jerusalem, religious sides are chosen as Greek gods and idols are merged into sacred Jewish sacrifices. For political reasons, King Antiochus has to often intervene to enforce necessary changes as the Temple is further desecrated.

Questioning if God has rejected His people, each Jew must decide his or her loyalty to His covenant as Greek soldiers plan to overtake the city. With the Jews realizing they need to turn back to the Almighty, the results offer a possibility for a sequel to the story.

Having over seventy characters and a third of them relevant to the story, the sometimes complicated plot may be overwhelming to some readers. As this reader knows little about the period portrayed, the story’s detailed historical account is fictionally engaging. A map of the city of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount during that time would be helpful.

With this being his first novel, author deSilva has written over twenty non-fictional books. His yearning to understand the Apocrypha at a young age led him to serve as trustees’ distinguished professor at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ohio. He lives in Florida with his wife and three sons.

Thanks to Kregel Publications for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Kregel Publications, the Book Club Network, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Christian, Fiction

Letters from My Father’s Murderer

Letters from My Father's Murderer: A Journey of ForgivenessTitle: Letters from My Father’s Murderer
Author: Laurie A. Coombs
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4229-2

“The girl who had been motivated by anger and vengeance, who wanted to go into that prison to inflict further pain and suffering, was now replaced with a woman whose sole desire was to follow God and bring good,” Laurie A. Coombs admits in her book, Letters from My Father’s Murderer: A Journey of Forgiveness.

At two hundred and thirty-two pages, this paperback targets those interested in concentrating on God while dealing with the heartbreak of a parent being murdered. With some profanity, topics regarding adultery, murder, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The English Standard and New King James versions of the Holy Bible are referenced.

Losing a parent is devastating; losing one due to a senseless murder is unfathomable. When the author was in college, she learned her father had been killed and could not grasp why the incident happened.

After Anthony was convicted and sent to life in prison, ten years later the young woman who was married with children could not move on from the past. Having walked away from God at age fifteen, it took irritability, depression, and panic attacks to bring her to her knees to the Almighty.

As her journey of healing began, she felt led of the Holy Spirit to face her demons and contact Anthony to resolve her fears and frustrations. Not wanting to forgive him for the past that altered her future, Coombs began corresponding with a man that was scared to admit his feelings of guilt, remorse, and shame.

While God did not allow visitation between the two initial enemies, He did bring both to understand the tragic pitfalls of an inappropriate relationship that led to one man’s death.

What they did not expect was the transformation of learning true forgiveness, how to love your enemies, purging oneself of bitterness and blame-shifting, and obtaining joy and freedom through reconciliation by knowing God’s grace, mercy, and power.

This tear-jerker collection of letters sent back and forth between two deeply broken individuals solidifies how God uses those He loves for redemption and purpose, having us realize we all are in need of the Savior.

Author Coombs is dedicated to writing and speaking on issues of forgiveness, redemption, and the hope through Jesus Christ. She, her husband, and children live in Nevada.

Thanks to The Book Club Network Inc. for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on The Book Club Network, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Biography, Christian

Noah’s Voyage

Noah's Voyage (I Can Read! / Adventure Bible)Title: Noah’s Voyage
Illustrator: David Miles
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-74683-6

“There is going to be a flood. Build an ark. Then two of every creature, one male and one female, will come. Put them on the ark. Then wait,” God instructs Noah in the retold Bible story of Zonderkidz’s children’s book, Noah’s Voyage.

Part of the “I Can Read!” Adventure Bible series, this numbered thirty-two-page paperback targets children four to eight years old interested in knowing more about the Biblical story of Noah and the ark. Using the New International Version of the Bible, the story is taken from the Old Testament. Containing the concepts of obeying and trusting God, its level is for developing readers.

After a book-ownership page and message to parents regarding the “I Can Read!” series, illustrator Miles’s expressive and detailed designs fill both sides of the opened pages, leaving blank backgrounds for black wording in an easy-to-read font. The end of the book includes sections titled “People of the Bible” and “Did You Know.” There is also an advertisement for three other books in the Adventure Bible Family series.

Following well-known Biblical events, this charming and engaging rendition is of God telling Noah He loves him and asks the six-hundred-year-old man to build an ark since the people did not follow God’s rules.

Noah and his three sons work hard and build the massive boat. God brings the animals in pairs to the ark, and they are assembled on the top, middle, and bottom floors of the huge ship. After God closes the window, the floodwaters appear, and it rains for forty days and forty nights, covering all the land.

Noah, his family, and the animals are safe. After one hundred and fifty days, the water began to recede. Noah sent several birds free to fly, making sure the land had reappeared. In the end, Noah built an altar to God and thanked Him for keeping them safe. God put a rainbow in the sky, promising never to flood the earth again.

Although the book does not go into detail of the tragic story not in the ark dying in the rising waters, it is Biblically sound. The story offers children a glimpse at how powerful and loving the Creator of the universe was to save Noah and his family.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Book Look Bloggers, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Childrens, Christian

Five Days in Skye

Five Days in SkyeTitle: Five Days in Skye
Author: Carla Laureano
Publisher: David C. Cook
ISBN: 978-0-7814-1307-7

“The fact he’d already turned her into a blithering idiot once didn’t bode well for her quick thinking. But she’d manage. She had to. She hadn’t come this close to achieving her goals just to let a man get in her way,” the determined Andrea believes in Carla Laureano’s novel, Five Days in Skye.

First of the MacDonald Family Trilogy series, this three hundred and thirty-two page paperback targets those who enjoy contemporary romance. With some slang and the word hell used, scenes of passionate kissing may not be appropriate for immature readers. Promoting Christian theology of trusting in God, no eternal plan of salvation discussed in detail. The ending includes seven discussion questions and the first chapter in the next book in the series.

In this current-day tale, thirty-one-year-old Andrea Sullivan has worked her way up the hospitality consultant ladder for the past eight years. Being considered for a vice president position at her job, her plans are derailed when she does not get a contract based on being sexually harassed. Instead of taking a vacation, she is sent to Scotland to close a huge deal involving a well-known international chef’s dream to revamp his deceased father’s hotel.

James MacDonald has it all; the wealthy, good-looking owner of several restaurants has a large following with his television show and cookbooks. Wondering if life has little left to offer, the assumedly flippant playboy struggles with the opposite sex. By staying aloof emotionally, the thirty-five-year-old Scotsman feels he is a brand, not a man.

Dreading the flirtatious attention of another man who she thinks gets everything he wants, Andrea has her heart well-guarded, insisting not to fall in love again. As she thwarts James’s constant approaches, the professional sales woman’s only goal is to get a signed contract.

While the disarming man woos and charms her with his wit and ways showing her the “deep quiet” of the Isle of Skye, Andrea wonders if she can let go of the past feelings of being damaged goods. Only when the two rely on God over a five-day period, can they begin to trust each other.

As an engaging read surrounding the beauty of Scotland, the story reminds readers that God is in control, knowing what is best for us. By accepting He can heal past wounds, two can find a true, loving relationship.

RITA award winner, author Laureano enjoys writing romance and Celtic fantasy series. Having ten years’ experience in marketing, she is a full-time writer who lives in Colorado with her husband and children.

Thanks to the RadiantLit and the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on RadiantLit, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Christian, Fiction

Five Brides

Five BridesTitle: Five Brides
Author: Eva Marie Everson
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-4143-9744-3

“This is all quite mad. We’re going to buy a dress for weddings we’ve not yet received proposals for? And what if one of us never marries? Or waits. A long, long time,” Joan questions her roommates in Eva Marie Everson’s novel, Five Brides.

This four hundred and eighty page paperback targets those who enjoy historical Christian romance. With no profanity or overtly sexual scenes, topics of premarital sex and pregnancy may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reviewer wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

Set in the nineteen fifties in America, five single women’s lives are intertwined around one wedding dress they fall in love with one Saturday and purchase, hoping to wear it when and if they walk down the aisle to matrimony.

Betty, the eldest at twenty-six years old, comes from a wealthy family but has turned her back on her parents’ allowance because she refuses to marry the man they choose, a long-time family friend.

Ever searching for perfect employment, Joan moves in with Betty and ardently saves every dime that she sends a portion back to her parents in war-torn England. Insisting there is no time for romance, she juggles up to three jobs a week as she experiences life to the fullest.

Sisters Madga and Inga have left their sheltered, conservative life raised by strict Lutheran parents. Expanding their wings, Madga becomes an airline stewardess hoping to find Mr. Right in Los Angeles while Inga prefers to hide herself in a book or write.

Lastly, Evelyn is the roommate who no longer wants to follow in her parents’ footsteps of being a farmer’s wife. Doing anything she can to become sophisticated and classy, she turns into a society girl only to have her dreams change course.

As all five women wear the distinctive wedding dress when it is their turn, they grow up, change, and learn to trust God, realizing He directs their paths. An engaging tale, the book promotes how love conquers all, and the Almighty is always nearby.

Multi-award winning author, Everson is president of World Weavers International, director of Florida Christian Writers Conferences, and owns a company. She and her husband have three children as well as grandchildren.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Tyndale, the Book Club Network, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Christian, Fiction

The Midnight Saint

The Midnight SaintTitle: The Midnight Saint
Author: Mitchel Whitington
Publisher: 23 House Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-9393060-9-8

“I just – well, I mean if it’s possible – could we find some way where I don’t have to die right now? Maybe even give me another few years?” Adam begs God in Mitchel Whitington’s novel, The Midnight Saint.

This one hundred and seventy-four page paperback targets those interested in stories about dying and heaven. With profanity and using God’s name in vain, the topic of death may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reader wishes there was consistency capitalizing all pronouns of God for reverence.

What would you do if you were given twelve days left to live? In this short twelve-chapter novella that includes an epilogue, the story begins with Adam performing an innocuous act of kindness on his way home from work late one evening. Afterward, he crosses paths with the glowing but deceased Saint Lucia, who tells him he is going to die.

Believing he has twelve days to live, he takes a two-week vacation from work to spend time with his wife and young daughter. When he visits his doctor, he is reported in good health and told to relax with a six-pack of beer and watch football.

Every night at midnight for the next eleven days, Adam and his beloved dog go into the backyard where the man in his late thirties is allowed to ask Lucia one question about death. In turn, the saint explains what Heaven is like and if marriage is there. Recalling verses from the Bible, they discuss God’s divine presence, praying without ceasing, having faith and free-will, and embracing the “magic” of life. Negativity, apologizing, and preplanning for a funeral are mentioned as well as the concept that “every religion is completely right … and completely, totally wrong.”

As Adam deals with his relationship with God, there is no mention of eternal salvation through Jesus dying on the cross, forgiving sin, or being resurrected. Beliefs are given regarding angels, saints, and spirits.

Although there is some sound Biblical doctrine interspersed with both Catholic and Christian overtones, the story focuses on how to remember each day is a gift and God truly loves us unconditionally.

With no biographical information in the book, the author has over thirty years of writing experience and is a paranormal researcher with a passion for history. Living in Texas with his wife and two dogs, he resides in “the most haunted home in the entire state” per Wikipedia.

Thanks to BookCrash for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Christian, Fiction

The Choosing

The Choosing (A Seer Novel)Title: The Choosing
Author: Rachelle Dekker
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
ISBN: 978-1-4964-0225-7

“Lying on the bed were three grey uniforms that were painful to touch – painful because of the reality they drove home: that she was stuck in a life that would never hold the future she had been promised, that she really was as worthless as she’d always feared,” Carrington acknowledges in Rachelle Dekker’s debut novel, The Choosing.

First in the A Seer Novel series, this four hundred and forty-eight page paperback targets those who enjoy dystopian stories of truth versus lies with a blend of mystery and romance. With no profanity, topics of physical abuse, torture, and execution may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reviewer wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

The year is 2257, and the Authority has determined everyone’s worth, position in life, and if they are chosen to be married. When the day approaches for Carrington Hale to attend her Choosing Ceremony, she is devastated she is not selected to become a bride. Marked as worthless and unwanted, she is banned to being a Lint, the lowest-level in society of menial tasks proving she is nothing.

Doomed and discouraged, she befriends another Lint named Larkin who tries to convince her the errors of the Authority and to follow a man named Aaron who shows the way to freedom.

Given a second chance, Carrington begins to question the Authority’s core beliefs of labels and identities, especially when she notices a CityWatch guard that wants to protect her. Trying to find her true self that includes God’s view of her place and purpose, her choices become limited when she is told someone else possesses her.

With an undercurrent theme showing God’s abundant love of feeling wanted, beautiful, worthy, and perfect in His eyes, the book lacks the eternal plan of salvation as it uncovers how a cult twists Scripture, errors in doctrine, and becomes self-righteous.

A quick read that promotes looking inward to find peace through the Almighty, the book quickly engages the reader to consider how sin and shame try to supersede God’s love as Carrington chooses her future both physically and spiritually.

Following in the footsteps of her father’s fiction-writing vocation, author Dekker continues the absorbing storytelling family traits of suspense. With prior experience working in marketing and corporate recruiting, she lives in Tennessee with her husband and cat.

Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Tyndale, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, Godinterest, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Christian, Fiction

Gollywood, Here I Come

Gollywood, Here I Come!Title: Gollywood, Here I Come
Author: Terry John Barto
Illustrator: Mattia Cerato
Publisher: AuthorHouse
ISBN: 978-1-4969-3509-0

“Six months later, the film debuted and Anamazie became a huge star. Devoted fan clubs formed across the country. Everyone said she was another Shirley Purdy,” Terry John Barto writes in his children’s book, Gollywood, Here I Come.

This thirty-two-page oversized paperback targets children ages four to eight years old. With no scary or awkward scenes, the book is about a turkey that rises to stardom after failing and trying again. The one-third to full-page, full-color illustrations by Cerato are colorful and captivating, following the storyline with interesting details.

In this story that promotes persistence and dedication, a young female turkey named Anamazie loves to be the best at what she does. Being the youngest majorette in a parade or trying to become the winner of “Gobbleville’s Got Talent,” she is determined to win.

When she does not come in first place in the acting contest, she smiles but leaves the stage in tears. As her mother tries to comfort her, a talent scout appears and offers the young bird to try out for a part in a Gollywood movie.

With her “stage mom” hovering over her constantly, Anamazie arrives on the sound stage, meets the director, and is hired. For the next week, she practices hard by learning new songs and dance routines. Her parents and brother help her learn her lines.

As her mother encourages her time and time again, the girl enters the movie set but oversteps her bounds by upsetting other actors. After the film is produced, Anamazie becomes a well-known star.

Although she has a private teacher, she returns to her old school and visits with her classmates. They ask questions about what it is like to be a movie star. She reiterates her mother’s mantra of “you can do anything if you work hard and never give up.” The end of the story has the turkey driving off to Gollywood in her limousine.

Although the story portrays the mother as controlling and the rise to stardom somewhat idyllic, the theme throughout the book promotes that hard work and perseverance can help one obtain his or her goals in life.

Director and choreographer of more than two hundred theater productions, Barto is also an author and creative director living in Southern California with his two dogs. No information is available on the illustrator, Cerato.

Thanks to The Book Club Network for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reviewer’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on Book Fun Network and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Childrens, Fiction

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Title: Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Author: Beth K. Vogt
Publisher: Howard Books
ISBN: 978-1-4767-8978-1

“We couldn’t make our relationship work. Too much pressure. Not enough time together. I thought we were managing the long-distance relationship okay, but we had a fight and we couldn’t figure out a way to forgive each other,” Vanessa confesses in Beth K. Vogt’s novel, Crazy Little Thing Called Love.

First of the A Destination Wedding Novel series, this three hundred and sixty-eight page paperback targets those who enjoy inspirational contemporary romance. With no profanity or overtly sexual scenarios, the topic of divorce may not be appropriate for immature readers. After the story, acknowledgments, a reading group guide, a conversation with the author, and advertisements complete the book. This reviewer wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this series of weddings being the main plot point, it has been eight years since Vanessa and Logan divorced. Their marriage did not dissolve due to unfaithfulness to each other, but that they were both young eighteen-year-old high school seniors when they eloped for the wrong reasons.

Realizing they married without considering the consequences, Vanessa tries to understand her yearning for stability and not having to move again, familiar to her military family upbringing. Becoming a storm chaser who questions his decision making, Logan must come to terms that his love for his vocation overshadowed the love of his wife.

Leading separate lives in different states, the once-in-love couple is thrown back together when Vanessa visits Florida to plan her dream destination wedding and happens to cross paths with Logan when rescuing a struggling teen swimmer. Seeing him several times over the next few days, the twenty-eight-year-old woman struggles to focus on her fiancé and upcoming wedding.

With Logan repeatedly feeling he has to make things right in regards to his past, Vanessa does not know how to truly rely and trust others, including God. Trying to face her past to move on in the future, she falters when Logan tries to apologize for their heartbroken and lost relationship.

Although predictable with a somewhat abrupt ending, the love story reinforces that God has His plans for our lives through the often mistakes and challenges. Given second chances when walking in His will, two can find true happiness and a deeper love.

Rating 4.5 of 5 stars.

The author of previously non-fiction, Vogt has worn many hats as an established magazine writer, editor, and romance fiction writer. She is married to a former Air Force doctor and they have children.

Thanks to Howard Books for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

This review will be posted on the Book Club Network, Bookpleasures, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Christian, Fiction