Friday, October 9, 2015

The Methuselah Project by Rick Barry (Review)

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (September 27, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825443879

  • In World War II, German scientists began many experiments. One never ended.

     Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed―until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.

     When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success―but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America―just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015―and the world has become an unrecognizable place.

     Katherine Mueller―crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle―offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee?

    My Review:

    This was an interesting fiction book. Roger Greene was a pilot in WWII and got shot down in a firefight  with German planes. Instead of going to a regular pow camp he was taken to a special jail where he underwent an anti aging experiment. It worked but the doctor died and most of his research burned. So poor Roger spent the next 70 years of his life in another jail with researchers trying to recreate it. The characters and plot were interesting and unique. I loved Roger. I thought the spiritual aspect needed more development though. There was a lot of buildup to the meeting of Roger and Katherine. We learned about her present story in between the telling of Roger's years in captivity. The first meeting happened later in the book than I expected. It was a good transition for the book to a faster paced race to the end. It was a good conclusion but the opposite would have fit the book better in my opinion. Overall a good different kind of book. I liked reading it. Recommended.

     Rick Barry is the author of Gunner’s Run, another World War II novel, Kiriath’s Quest, and over 200 articles and fiction stories. In addition to being a World War II buff, he is the director of church planting ministries at BIEM, a Christian ministry operating in Eastern Europe. He holds a degree in foreign languages, speaks Russian, and has visited Europe more than fifty times. Rick lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. Visit him at, or on Twitter (@WriterRickBarry)

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Tuesday, September 29, 2015

    A Wedding at Orange Blossom Inn by Shelley Shepard Gray (Review)

  • Series: The Pinecraft Brides
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Inspire (September 15, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062337740
  • In the third book in New York Times bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray's Amish Brides of Pinecraft series, a wedding brings together two young widowed parents . . . and gives them a second chance at love

    Emma Keim was heartbroken when her husband, Sanford, passed away, leaving her to raise three young daughters alone. Though several years have passed, her relatives have made it no secret that they expect Emma to remain a widow, mourning Sanford indefinitely. But when she meets Jay Hilty—a handsome widower with three young sons of his own—Emma is delighted to have a new friend who understands her struggles. Still, she is dismayed that her family is so opposed to their friendship—and the idea of it ever becoming anything more. She honors her husband's memory every day, but is she destined to be alone forever?

    Emma's gentleness with Jay's boys stirs something in his heart that's been quiet for far too long. But when his oldest son becomes engaged to a local woman, suddenly Jay, Emma, and their children are swept up in wedding preparations. Witnessing his son's joy, Jay wonders if it's time for him to move forward, too, and find happiness again.

    Once again, love has come to Pinecraft. But can these two parties of four become a happy, healthy family of eight?

    My Review:

    A Wedding at Orange Blossom Inn is the third book in the Pinecraft Brides series. I have enjoyed reading all of them. The two main characters of this story are Emma and Jay. There were many supporting characters including all of the children they each have. Emma has three young girls and Jay has three sons. They add really interesting side plots to the book. There are complications of course. Emma's parents and ex in laws do not want her to move on and remarry. A major side plot develops with Jay's oldest son. He falls in love with the lady who runs the Orange Blossom Inn's niece. At one point it kind of felt like that plot was taking over the main plot of Jay and Emma. But overall the story worked together. There were many funny moments including one pizza loving dog. I love this series. I recommend reading them in order as most of the character's stories keep going in the next book. The Orange Blossom Inn and Beverly are the backbones of the whole series. I can't wait to read the next book in the series which promises to focus mainly on Beverly's story.

    Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town's bike trail.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Tuesday, September 8, 2015

    Counting on a Cowboy by Debra Clopton (Review)

  • Series: A Four of Hearts Ranch Romance (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (August 11, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401690519

  • After losing everything she held dear, Abby never wants to love again. But a certain cowboy may just spur her to wonder if love might be worth the risk.

    Running from a past that haunts her, Abby Knightly is drawn to the cozy town of Wishing Springs, Texas. Maybe this small town could offer hope and healing and a future for Abby . . . if she’s brave enough to reach out and take it by the reins.

    Bo Monahan isn’t interested in the new romantic destination his little town has become—or the women who might be looking at him like he’s their next Mr. Right. Between taking care of his Pops and his growing stirrup business, he isn’t looking for serious romantic commitments. But when the infant son he never knew about shows up at his doorstep, his world is turned upside down.
    This confirmed bachelor might not think he needs a wife, but he sure needs help. Even Abby can see that, and despite her best efforts to keep her distance, she can’t help but be drawn to this new father-son duo. As Abby throws herself into helping Bo navigate fatherhood, hope sparks between them, revealing that maybe, just maybe, they can navigate their dark pasts and emerge together into a future as bright as the Texas sun itself.

    My Review:

    This is the second book in the Four of Hearts Ranch Romance series. Counting on a Cowboy can stand alone but all the characters are the same except for Abby who is new in town. The main focus of this book is on Abby and Bo. Bo Monahan is one of the co owners of the Four of Hearts Ranch and has a side business of making stirrups. Abby meets him on her first day in town by accident. When she learns Bo has a baby and it was left at his doorstep, she feels like she needs to step in and help the clueless cowboy. This was supposed to be an inspirational romance book. I felt a little let down by the lack of spiritual development and content in the book overall. The secondary characters were good and made the book interesting. Abby and Bo had sparks from the beginning. Abby had serious things in her past she needed to move beyond before she could start a relationship with Bo though. The conclusion was satisfying and fit the book. I enjoyed reading this book and look forward to the next book in the series.

    Debra Clopton is a multi-award winning novelist who was first published in 2005 and has more than 22 novels to her credit. Along with her writing, Debra helps her husband teach the youth at their local Cowboy Church. Debra is the author of the acclaimed Mule Hollow Matchmaker Series, the place readers tell her they wish was real. Her goal is to shine a light toward God while she entertains readers with her words. Visit her website at

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    R.I.P. X Reading Challenge hosted by The Estella Society

    I have participated in this reading challenge for years. R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril  is what the title stands for. It officially runs from September 1 through October 31. It is perfect for ushering in the Fall season. I sign up for Peril the Third which is a one book commitment. There are several options to pick from. I have not picked my title yet. The only requirements are that the book fit into one of the following genres. I really enjoy mystery and suspense.

    Dark Fantasy.

    For more information and to sign up please go to this website:

    Thursday, August 27, 2015

    'Til We Meet Again by Ray and Betty Whipps (Review)

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (August 18, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496405487

  • Ray and Betty Whipps both served in Europe during WWII: Ray as an infantryman under General Patton in the trenches of Normandy, Paris, and Belgium, and Betty as a field nurse in Cherbourg, France. The two met when Betty tended to Ray after he was injured in a mortar blast. Both strong Christians, the two bonded over their shared faith, and as Betty nursed Ray back to health, they fell in love and vowed to marry after the war. However, soon after Ray returned to his unit, he was captured by German forces and held captive in Stalag VII, Germany’s largest prisoner of war camp. It was there that Ray’s faith was put to the ultimate test as he endured the most horrific weeks of his life―weeks marked by brutality, malnutrition, back-breaking labor, and near-constant death. The only thing that kept him alive was the dream of someday reuniting with Betty.

    Told in first person from Ray’s perspective, with personal wartime letters from Betty interspersed throughout, ’Til We Meet Again is a sweeping love story set amid the backdrop of WWII. The perfect combination of “in the trenches” battlefield accounts and classic 1940s romance, this memoir reads almost like a novel. It is an epic story of faith, hope, and love, and a nostalgic look back at one of the most memorable periods in American history.

    My Review:

    This was a good Memoir set during WWII. Ray and Betty Whipps served in the US military. Betty was a nurse and Ray was in the army infantry. The majority of the book focuses on Ray's war experiences. Part of the love story came from the copies of Betty's letters home. The book is mainly told from Ray's perspective. The book was well written and easy to read. The story held my attention from beginning to end. My favorite part of the book is witnessing the Christian faith of Ray and Betty in action. I do wish the love story was a bigger part of the book. Overall this was an interesting memoir that I enjoyed reading. Recommended.

    Review copy provided by Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

    Wednesday, August 26, 2015

    "Anne of Green Gables," My Daughter, and Me: What My Favorite Book Taught Me about Grace, Belonging, and the Orphan in Us All by Lorilee Craker (Review)

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale Momentum (August 20, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1496403438

  • A charming and heartwarming true story for anyone who has ever longed for a place to belong.

    “Anne of Green Gables,” My Daughter, and Me is a witty romp through the classic novel; a visit to the magical shores of Prince Edward Island; and a poignant personal tale of love, faith, and loss.

    And it all started with a simple question: “What’s an orphan?” The words from her adopted daughter, Phoebe, during a bedtime reading of Anne of Green Gables stopped Lorilee Craker in her tracks. How could Lorilee, who grew up not knowing her own birth parents, answer Phoebe’s question when she had wrestled all her life with feeling orphaned―and learned too well that not every story has a happy ending?

    So Lorilee set off on a quest to find answers in the pages of the very book that started it all, determined to discover―and teach her daughter―what home, family, and belonging really mean. If you loved the poignancy of Orphan Train and the humor of Mennonite in a Little Black Dress, you will be captivated by “Anne of Green Gables,” My Daughter, and Me. It’s a beautiful memoir that deftly braids three lost girls’ stories together, speaks straight to the heart of the orphan in us all, and shows us the way home at last.

    My Review:

    I enjoyed reading this book especially because Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite series ever. The author has a good writing style and the story flowed well. The only part I did not like is where she speculates on what the different birth parents were thinking at different times. The main theme of the book revolves around her adoption, Anne's adoption, and her daughter's adoption. The book is a memoir and she tells her life story along with the others seamlessly. Her humor is refreshing. The book held my attention from beginning to end. I loved the parts of Anne of Green Gables she works into the book. I am convinced I need to re read it now. I have a different perspective having read this book. God is our heavenly father which makes us not truly orphans is one the things I am taking from this book. Recommended.

    Lorilee Craker speaks for MOPS groups and at other events for mothers. She writes on entertainment for a major daily newspaper and is the author of several books including Loving Life with Your Preschooler. She lives in Michigan with her husband, Doyle, and their two sons.

    Review copy provided by Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.

    Sunday, August 23, 2015

    Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin (Review)

  • Series: Waves of Freedom (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (August 4, 2015)
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800723422

  • It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges--and dangers--await them.

    Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

    My Review:

    Through Waters Deep starts a new series called Waves of Freedom. It is a Christian historical fiction book set right before World War Two in the US. The main characters in this book are Jim Avery and Mary Stirling. This is one of my favorite authors because she puts enough historical detail without weighing the book down. I enjoyed reading this book. It had romance, suspense, and mystery. The characters and plot were well developed and interesting. The book held my attention from the beginning to end. I felt like I was a part of the book. Mary and Jim were an unlikely team. Mary comes off as timid, quiet, and shy. Jim is a good looking navy officer. They went to high school together but Jim was enraptured with Mary's best friend. Then they meet up again unexpectedly in Boston and become friends. They have chemistry but Mary is convinced he would never want her. He does not speak up when he starts to like her and almost loses the chance forever. I liked how the characters matured over the course of the book. Great start to a new series. I have read and enjoyed all of this author's books. Recommended.

    Sarah Sundin is the author of With Every Letter, On Distant Shores, In Perfect Time, and the Wings of Glory series. In 2014, On Distant Shores was a finalist for the Golden Scroll Awards from both AWSA and the Christian Authors Network. In 2011, Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference. A graduate of UC San Francisco School of Pharmacy, she works on call as a hospital pharmacist. During WWII, her grandfather served as a pharmacist's mate (medic) in the Navy and her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. Visit for more information.

    Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review.