Hurt Road – Book Review


The Synopsis:

For Third Day guitarist Mark Lee, the road to success was not without missteps and surprises along the way.  Hurt Road is the story of a young man who found in music a refuge from the uncertainties of life.  Who set out to discover a better way to live than constantly struggling to make sure life turned out the way he planned.  Who stopped substituting what’s next for what’s now.  And who learned that though all the miles between birth and death come sweet mercies – and music for the journey.

My Review:

I am not a huge fan of autobiographies so it was quite difficult for me to pick up this book and read it.  I usually find this type of book to be long and drawn out, boring and very hard to read.

But, because I am a huge Third Day fan I decided to give Hurt Road, by Mark Lee a try.  And I’m glad I did.

Mark has such a gentle, soft, easy to read style of writing that reading his story was enjoyable and interesting.  He has had a life of ups and downs, like many of us, and he has gained wisdom and insight through his experiences.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys autobiographies, but especially to music lovers, as much of it is geared towards musicians.

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*


Shine – Book Review


The Synopsis:

Actors aren’t the only ones who play roles.  Al of us do, nearly all of the time.  We walk into a room, figure out who we’re supposed to be in this context, slip into character, and say the lines we know we should say.  We become someone else.  Maybe we tell ourselves it’s some version of us, but deep down we know this inauthentic role is not what God wants for our lives – and it’s not what we want either.

With fascinating personal stories and sharp insight into human nature, former actor Allison Allen calls you to drop the brave act and step into the role of a lifetime – being your real self in Christ, no matter what the critics might say.  She gives you permission to talk about, rather than around, the things you feel, freeing you to step out of the shadows and into the light of God’s true calling.

My Review:

I love a book that is raw, real, emotional, full of pain, fear, joy, happiness.  This is life.  This is real life.  That’s what is so amazing about Shine.  Allison Allen gives us a transparent look into her story and her life.  Through it we are encouraged to step out of hiding, and into being the real you that God created you to be.  And be proud of that you. Allison’s writing kept the book entertaining and enjoyable.  This is a great book for teenage girls, boys and adults.  We can all learn from Allison’s experiences and her wisdom.

Excellent book!

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*

Armed and Dangerous: The Ultimate Battle Plan for Targeting and Defeating the Enemy – Book Review



The devil has come to steal, kill and destroy.  Hell has unleashed fury against every believer.  Yet many Christians live in denial, letting the enemy steal their blessings, destroy their relationship with Jesus, and kill their purpose and identity.  But no more!

With passion and insight gained from years on the frontlines of spiritual warfare, John Ramirez equips you with the biblical weapons and practical strategies you need to battle the enemy successfully, including how to

  • discern and shut down the enemy’s tactics and next moves
  • fight with your God-given authority
  • break free from destructive patterns and replace them with godly ones
  • fortify your mind and heart against attacks
  • take back what the devil has stolen
  • grow in wisdom and maturity in Christ
  • and more!

Here is everything you need to fight for your purpose, your destiny, your family and your loved ones – and even for unbelievers so they, too, will have the opportunity to make it the cross.

It’s time to live the life God designed you for.  It’s time to become ARMED AND DANGEROUS.

My Review:

This was a very interesting book!  I really enjoyed the depth that it brought to the discussion on spiritual warfare.

It is so important to be armed and on the offence when it comes to spiritual warfare rather than always being on the defence trying to avoid the enemies tactics.  Thanks to this book, especially the powerful declarations and prayers, I feel well equipped to take on the enemy in a world that is full of him.

I recommend this book to anyone that has an interest in defeating satan in their lives.

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*

The Day the Angels Fell – Book Review



It was the summer of storms and strays and strangers.  The summer that lightning struck the big oak tree in the front yard.  The summer his mother died in a tragic accident – and young Samuel Chambers would have done anything to turn back time.  Even today, he can hardly believe it all happened…

Prompted by three strange carnival fortune-tellers and the surfacing of his mysterious and reclusive neighbour, Sam begins his search for the Tree of Life – the only thing that could possibly bring his mother back.

His quest to defeat death will entangle him and his best friend Abra in an ancient conflict, forcing Sam to grapple with an unwelcome question.

Could it be possible that death is a gift?

My Review:

“Could it be possible that death is a gift?”  That is the question that I could ask my teenage children and ‘The Day the Angels Fell’ is the book that can catapult our conversation into deeper meaning AND understanding.  This book keeps you reading until you’ve finished every last page.  It asks the hard questions about life and death in such a way that it won’t scare kids away from the answers.  It takes a very talented writer to be able to have lunch a deep conversation while still writing a page turner of a book that you can’t put down.

Although this book was written for a younger audience, I would highly recommend it to peers my own age as well as the younger generations.

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*

Deadly Proof – Book Review



Tapped as lead counsel in a corporate cover-up lawsuit against Mason Pharmaceutical, Kate Sullivan knows this case could make her career.  What really drives her, though, is getting justice for the victims whose lives were ruined by the company’s dangerous new drug.  But when a whistleblower turns up dead, it paints a target on the back of everyone involved.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James steps in to handle security for Kate.  He’s still haunted by  mistakes in his past and is determined never to let something like that happen again.  But it soon appears someone is willing to do anything – even commit murder – to keep the case from going to trial.

As danger closes in, Landon can’t help but admire Kate’s courage and resolve – but will her determination not to back down become too great of a risk?

My Review:

What I loved most about Dylan’s Deadly Proof is the way in which she was able to portray a very suspenseful plot while maintaining faith and a love story all in one great book!

Kate Sullivan in loyal, fearless, determined.  She will do whatever it takes to get justice for her clients; those who have been harmed due to Mason Pharmaceuticals newest, dangerous and deadly drug.    When her life gets connected with former Army Ranger, Landon James, the plot thickens heats up!

This book was a definite page turner that I didn’t want to put down.  As the first book of the new Atlanta Justice series, it has set the bar high and I look forward to the rest of the series being published.

I highly recommend Deadly Proof to anyone who loves a suspense, thriller or love story!

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*

Doing Busy Better – Book Review


Does this sound familiar?  When you’re busy you feel guilty you aren’t spending time with family or with God.  Then, when you try to rest, you feel guilty because there’s so much left to do.  It’s an endless cycle of overwork and exhaustion.

Enough is enough!  In this burden-lifting book, Glynnis Whitwer helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest.  She shows you how to prioritize your goals and your time, how to be present in the moment as Jesus was, and how to find the freedom of true soul rest.  Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work AND for rest.

My Review:

I loved this book and it came at a perfect time in my life.  Sometimes I find myself becoming over-busy and it produces no fruit at all.  I think it will produce fruit, but it never does.  And I always need to take a step back and figure out what the important things actually are.  And this book helped be do just that.  Glynnis shared from her personal story with being over-busy and how she overcame the same obstacles that I so often face.  She shared so much wisdom from her own life, wisdom that I hope to act on for many many years to come.

I highly recommend this book to any woman who finds her life over busy without producing fruit.

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*


The Return – Book Review



Beautiful and winsome, Betsy Zook never questioned her family’s rigid expectations, nor those of devoted Hans – but then she never had to. Not until the night she’s taken captive in a  surprise Indian raid.  Facing brutality and hardship, Betsy finds herself torn between her pious upbringing and the feelings she’s developing for a native man who encourages her to see God in all circumstances.

Greatly anguished by Betsy’s captivity, Hans turns to Tessa Bauer for comfort.  She responds eagerly, overlooking troubling signs of Hans’s hunger for revenge.  But if Betsy is ever restored to the Amish, will things between Hans and Tessa have gone too far?

Inspired by true events, this reply layered novel gives a glimpse into the tumultuous days of pre-Revolutionary Pennsylvania through the eyes of two young, determined, and faith filled women.

My Review:

I really, really enjoyed this book, however, since I did not read the first two in the saga I feel like I was missing something.  I believe if I had read the first two book I would be better acquainted with the characters and be more involved in the story.

That being said, The Return was an excellent read.  There was danger, romance, love, heartache… All the things that make a fantastic book.  The plot was so multifaceted that I never found myself bored of the story or just reading to finish.

The fact that this story is based on true events made it even more fascinating.  I love reading about history and Suzanne Woods Fisher did a tremendous job including historical non-fiction in this book in such a way that made me keep turning the pages one after the other.

I would definitely recommend this book and I can’t wait to read the first two in the saga.

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*


Fault Lines – Book Review



There isn’t much that can throw Charlie Hazard off balance.  But the mystery woman with the striking eyes and the intense request to follow her – now – is about to shake his world.  Knowing little more than her name, Charlie leaves his post as a guard at the Satellite Beach community centre for what he thinks is just another risk-containment job.  But Gabriella, an experimental psychologist, has far more in store for him than protection duty – if the two of them survive the test.

Reese Clawsom relishes her work at the Combine and all the perks and power that come with it – including the ability to manipulate perceptions.  But the Combine never anticipated this mind-shifting technology..  If Gabriella’s experiments succeed, the Combine would be destroyed.  And Reese will never allow that to happen.

My Review:

Fault Lines by Thomas Locke ended up being an excellent book in my opinion, but it wasn’t until I was about half way through that I actually thought that.  During the first half of the book I had difficulty keeping track of all of the characters and their roles in the plot.  In the end, however, I ended up loving Charlie Hazard’s character.  His integrity, honour and compassion.  His strength and his skills and abilities.  I also ended up really enjoying Gabriella’s character although I never did fully understand why she was so quiet and seemingly withdrawn.

In the first half of the book I also had some trouble following the plot.  Between Charlie, Gabriella and her team, Reese and her team at the Combine and Charlie’s old friend Donovan Field, it was hard to keep it all straight.  But as with the plot, by the end of the book all the characters came together and the plot came together to end up being a fantastic science fiction novel. (Not my usual choice of genres.  But I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone)

I would definitely recommend this book to others to read.  It is an easy read, a clean read and it keeps you guessing and keeps you anticipating what is next.

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*


High as the Heavens – Book Review



A British nurse in WWI German-occumpied Brussels, Evelyn Marche spends her days at the hospital and her nights working at a cafe… or so it seems. Eve’s most carefully guarded secret is that she also spends her nights carrying out dangerous missions as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.

When a plane crashes as she’s en route to a rendezvous, Eve is the first to reach the downside plane and is shocked to recognize the badly injured pilot as British RFC Captain Simon Forrester.  She risks her life to conceal him from the Germans, but as the secrets between them grow and the danger mounts, can they still hope to make it out of Belgium alive?

My Review:

In High as the Heavens, Kate Breslin intertwines adventure, mystery, espionage, romance, nationalism and history beautifully.  Few books would make great movies.  This is one of them.

Eve is a war widow who is trapped in German occupied Brussels working as a nurse during the day and in a cafe in the evenings.  What most people don’t know is that she also works as a spy for a Belgian resistance group.

While on a mission she is the first to find the wreckage of a downed plane and recognizes the pilot as Simon Forrester.  They have a past.  Romance develops with a LOT of tension! Enough to make you want to keep reading and keep reading.

This book is so full of excitement, romance, kindness, and fun that you won’t want to put it down.

I will be looking forward to Kate Breslin next novel with enthusiasm.

*This book has been provided courtesy of Compassion Canada and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*

The Two of Us – Book Review




After two broken engagements, nurse practitioner Mia Robinson is done with dating. From now on, she only trusts herself and God, and she’s focused on her eighteen-year-old sister, Lucy, and caring for patients. Just as she applies to work for an international aid organization, a phone call from Lucy, who’s pregnant and running off to marry her twenty-one-year-old boyfriend, throws a wrench into all of Mia’s plans.

Jake Tanner may have recovered from the physical injuries he sustained on the job as a police officer, but his heart has yet to heal from losing his former partner in the tragedy. He’s poured himself into starting a camp for the sons of fallen officers and mentoring Sam, the adult son of his deceased partner, who’s asked him to be his best man at his wedding.

Mia is expecting a mess when she arrives to sort out the situation with Lucy, but she wasn’t expecting Jake. And Jake, who can’t help envying Sam and Lucy, doubts he’ll ever experience their happiness for himself. But maybe Jake’s courage and Mia’s caring spirit are just what they need to bring them a lifetime of healing and a forever kind of love. . . .

My Review:

This book was a true page turner that I couldn’t put down!  It was easy to read, easy to engage with and easy to relate to the characters.

Lucy is a fun, exciting, on the edge kind of character who I can’t really relate to but loved getting to know.  Mia is more relatable for me.  She thinks things through, she’s cautious and responsible. Then there’s Jake…

When Mia thinks she is finally on a safe, straight path her sister’s wedding throws a wrench in all her plans.  She meets the grooms best man and the story takes off from there.  The message that this book gets through to the reader is impactful.  So much so that I found myself close to tears on numerous occasions.

Victoria Bylin definitely gets the message across that she is hoping to in this book.  I highly recommend it!

*Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.*