Book Review: One Perfect Lie


One Perfect Lie

by Lisa Scottoline

St. Martin’s Press

General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers

Pub Date 11 Apr 2017

I am voluntarily reviewing One Perfect Lie through the publisher and Netgalley:

Things aren’t always what they seem and that is certainly the case with Chris Brennan.  Chris Brennan is a fake he has applied for a teaching job at Cental Valley High School but he is a fake.  On paper he looks perfect, but in reality…

Chris in fact isn’t Chris at all but in fact Curt Abbott.  Curt in fact has something else in mind, something sinister.  He rents a truck big enough to carry an ANFO bomb but is he out to hurt people or help them?
Ryan’s Mother senses something is wrong he is being secretive and one night she gets a call from him saying he’s at the police station.  Ryan is arrested for burgularly .  

Raz is angry, throwing a bat in anger when he does not make it as a starter.

When Abe ends up  Everyone believes it is a suicide and the first Sunday after his death Chris knows better though.  Abe was murdered and he vows to get justice for the teacher.

Soon the teammates start getting pics of naked girls.  Sexts.

When Raz’s Mother finds a gun in her Son’s room, she’s fearful.

Is Curt really a bad guy, or is he out to catch the bad guys?

Chris isn’t who he says he is, in fact he is an Undercover ATF Agent trying to stop something big from going down on the anniversary of The Oaklahoma city bombing.

Can Chris/Curtis stop these people from destroying more lives?

Find out in One Perfect Lie?

Five out of five stars.

Happy Reading!

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Book Review: At Home In Exile


At Home in Exile

Finding Jesus among My Ancestors and Refugee Neighbors
by Russell Jeung

Zondervan Academic

Zondervan
Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 04 Oct 2016 

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of At Home In Exile through the publishrr and Netgalley:

In 1992 Russel Jeung moved in with Dan Scmidt an Urban missionary in Oakland California.  His move to the Oak Park apartments a Cambodian village in the American Ghetto.

The Oak Park Apartments were in the middle of what was referred to as The Murdered Dubs, the neighborhood between 20th and 29th Avenues.

The Oak Park Apartments was a far cry from his highschool career at Lowell Highschool a magnet school in San Francisco.  His class, the class of 1980 included A Nobel Prize Winner, A Pulitzer Prize Winner and a best selling international author.

After graduating Stanford University he would spend 1985 and 1986 in Wuhan China teaching English.  While there he would read everything that they had in English in the area because he could not watch television not being able to understand the language.

After returning from China he began attending Grace Community Church, a church that combined his Evangelical Faith, and Social Activism.

Russel Jeung lived at Oak Park during the height of the crack academic, and he would face very real danger.

Russel opens up about the danger he saw the way some children in this impoverished area would get sick from lack of proper nutrition.

In 1999 The Oak Park Apartments were condemned forcing its residence to look for a new place to live.

At Home in Exile is one man’s story, a story of a willingness to make a difference, to make sacrifices in order to reach out and help those in need.

I give At Home in Exile five out of five stars.

Happy Reading

On Desert Ground and On A Dime (Two Part Storytelling Poetry) 

On Desert Sand

She walks leaning heavily

On the wooden cane.

She’s come a long way

Since she came back from

Broken and Bloodied.

She’d never be put back together again.
She remembered those first few days

Conscious in a blur

Remembered running to the aid

Of a terrified boy

A soldier not ready to die.

She had saved his life

But nearly lost hers

She saw legs with size eight combat boots

A few feet from her and knew

Instantly what had happened.
She didn’t drift out until they

Had stabilized her

She remembered being loaded into the air ambulance

Quietly praying she’d survive

Then she drifted off to a place she was free of pain.
She woke up to strange sounds

And a familiar face

Her baby sister Courtney who was terrified of planes

Had flown to be with her.
It was hard those first weeks

To simply stay awake.

Your body healed when you slept

She knew that

But nothing could give you amputated limbs back.
When she was stabilized once more

She was sent back to the states

To Walter Reed Hospital

Her sister always by her side.
She had a long road ahead of her

She knew that

But Cheyenne was no stranger to hard Work.

Giving up was not an option

She was a Soldier, broken and battered

But she had survived.
During those moments

She felt utterly broken

Remembering that Desert

And it’s danger

But it’s beauty too

Always had a way of lifting her up.

She’d close her eyes

And see a child’s hands reach out

For a Chocolate bar

A luxury so many couldn’t afford.
Some thought of that place

As Hell but Cheyenne saw the beauty there.
“Someday I’m going back,

Not as a soldier

But I can do something to help.”
“I’ll go with you

Courtney said.” Not a doubt

In her mind her sister would do as she said.
It took her months, but she learned

To walk again

On legs of titanium and plastic

Only a hand carved wooden cane as her aid.
To Be Continued In On A Dime

On A Dime

He held out a hand eagerly

Dirty and broken

An old dog his only companion.

It hadn’t been long ago

He had been a mere boy

A soldier at eighteen

He had nearly died

In that far off land.
She nearly walked passed him

Then she looked him in the eye

That Boy Soldier from a lifetime ago

Though it had only been a few years.

The years had been not kind

To him.

And her heart hurt.

Life hadn’t been kind

She reached into her purse

For a couple of twenties then

Realized she needed to do something More.

She handed him the twenties

But had something bigger on her mind.

Life had been good to her

Even with what she had lost

On that Desert Sand.
“I know you.” He said

A glint of recognition in his eyes

“You saved my life.

I thought you had died.”
“As you can see

I am very much alive.

What happened to bring you here?”
“Life can change on a Dime.” He said

“And mine changed for the worse.
She shook her head

“This won’t do

No soldier should sleep in the streets.”
She led him to a hotel room

She rented for two weeks

By then she’d find a more permanent Solution.
“It looks like you did

Well for yourself.”
She reached in her bag and

Handed him a book

Titled “On Desert Sand, and soon he Realized despite everything

She had done well for herself.

“Thank you.” He said

As she walked out the door

On two feet that weren’t her own.
True to her word just two weeks

Later she came back to the hotel room

Where he had been staying.

Helped him gather his few belongings

And led him to her car.
“You drive?” He asked

“Yes hand controls.” She laughed.

Before long they pulled into a driveway

A tiny house

Full of all the necessary amenities.

She handed him the keys

“This is your’s.” She said

And then pointed to an F150 in the

Driveway “That’s yours too.

This isn’t a handout

But a hand up she said.

“And when you get back on your feet

You can Pay it Forward.”
He smiled at her

And said

“Once again you save my life.

Once again everything changes on a Dime.”
(C) Michelle R Kidwell

March.29.2017

Book Review:  The Scent of Rain


The Scent of Rain

by Anne Montgomery

Treehouse Publishing Group
General Fiction (Adult) , Teens & YA

Pub Date 28 Mar 2017 

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of The Scent of Rain through the publisher and Netgalley:

Rose Madsen has grown up in the FLDS, forced to be homeschooled by the “prophet” the local public school is closed.

Adan has not planned his escape well.  Stuck in the middle of the desert with no food or water

Track Benally is driving through on his way home to visit his family when he noticed a boy laying in the Desert immediately his Army Medic training kicks in.

Rose has been taught the prophet should always be foremost in her mind so when he is arrested she has him on her mind.

Daisy is four years Rose’s junior and disabled.  Many think she cannot comprehend anything including their Mother butrodsecknows better.

Rose endures abuse for daring have a mind of her own, telling her parents she does not want to get married, and when they inform her she is soon to be married off, she asks them who will care for Daisy.

When Eldon Higbe is released from jail after four months over a hundred people are their to welcome the prophet Home.

Her parents tell her no one would ever want Daisy, and that they would be better off if she died.

Soon the Prophet declares they must kill all non essential animals, and that means Daisy must kill her pet.

While at the creek Rose meets the town Marshall’s third wife, and she tells her of her plan to escape and asks Rose if she’d like to go along.  Soon the women is found dead, murdered.  Bonnie Buttars the Marshal’s third wife is murdered.

It comes to light soon that the reason behind the Prophet’s decree to homeschool all the children came from the cases of abuse.  Fifty seven had been reported.

Rose runs off after freeing her sister’s bird and heads for the caves where she finds Adan dehydrated and hungry.  She is fearful of strangers but she can’t leave him there to die.

Soon Rose hears a search party and she knows if she’s caught she will be severely punished.

When they are found and someone tries to stab Adan Rose stands in the way and gets stabbed in the chest.  Adan not carrying what happens to him goes to find help.  When the medic tells her parents their daughter needs a specialist or will likely die her Mother refuses but her Father steps in and agrees to having her transferred to see a specialist.

While visiting Rose in the hospital the prophet decides that she will be his seventy fifth wife.  Rose ends up being taken from the hospital by the woman determined to please the so called Prophet.  Her finally determined not to see his daughter hurt More seeks help in getting her back.

The Scent of Rain is the story of a tragic, intolerable situation, but it is a story of Hope and love as well.

I give The Scent of Rain five out of five stars.

Happy Reading.

Book Review:  Between Heaven and the Real World


Between Heaven and the Real World

My Story

by Steven Curtis Chapman with Ken Abraham

Revell

Biographies & Memoirs

Pub Date 07 Mar 2017 

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of Between Heaven and The Real World through the publisher and Netgalley:

Steven Curtis Chapman is a well loved Christian singer who has seen a great deal of success but he has also suffered great tragedy.

Born on November 21.1962 Steven Curtis Chapman is the son of Judy and Herb Chapman.  He was the second son to the family his older brother Herbie was conceived before their parents were born and Steven was conceived to save their marriage.

Steven father’s Herb was a self taught guitarist and singer with a unique style, but he was well loved.

Growing up his brother Herbie was the best singer in the house,the brothers would sing together Herbie singing the lead.

During his Freshmen year of college after Newcomer Sandi Patty took interest in using one of the songs he had written Steven transferred to Anderson University in Indiana to study music.

Steven Curtis Chapman performed onstage at the Grand Ole Opry for the first time when he was nineteen, but by no stretch of the imagination did that first performance on that stage go smoothly.

Not long after he was introduced Mary Beth Chapman (no relation) and after finding out for certain they weren’t related in anyway they began dating.  On October.13.1984 Steven Curtis Chapman and Mary Beth Chapman were married at Mary Beth’s home church in Springfield Ohio.  Mary Beth was nineteen, and Steven twenty one, they had fifty dollars between them and a Ford Pinto but they were married.  They were unable to have a fancy honeymoon, but Steven did splurge on one night at the Clarion, then they were headed to music city with only fifty dollars in their bank account.

It wasn’t long before troubles in their marriage began to appear but despite the conflict there was much love.

On February 24 1986. Mary Beth delivered a baby girl they named Emily Elizabeth Chapman.  When Emily was only a couple of months old the Chapman’s lost their home and most of their belongings to fire, thankfully no one was injured.

In the Fall of 1986 Steven Curtis Chapman went on tour for the first time.

In May of 1987 Steven Curtis Chapman’s first record  with Sparrow Records (First Hand) was released. 

Shortly after they moved into their new home Mary Beth miscarried their second child.  But on October.2.1989 Mary Beth gave birth to their first Son Caleb.  On February.06.1991 Mary Beth gave birth to another son Will.

Mary Beth battled depression.  Ten years before they would loose their youngest daughter, they grieved for friends who had lost a daughter in an accident.

After years of assistance on the fact that she needed a sister Emily’s parents adopted a little girl from China Shaohannah Hope Chapman gave Emily what she wanted a little sister, but even after insisting she could only do it once Mary Beth and Steven would adopt twice first a sickly little girl named Steven Joy then Maria who was so close in age to Steven it would be like having twins.

One night while they were trying to give Stevey Joy and Maria a bath, and they were wanting none of it Steven came up with the song “Cinderella”.

When she was only four Maria gave her heart to Jesus on February 20 2008, they could not.  OnMay.21.2008 Little Maria was killed in a driveway accident when Will was slowly pulling into the driveway Maria darted in front of the Old Land Cruiser before Will had time to stop.  Despite begging and pleading with God little Maria would not make it.

Even as he was grieving Steven had moments of clarity when he knew his baby girl was in the arms of Jesus.

In 2010 Mary Beth’s book Choosing to See was released. 

Between Heaven and the Real World is a true story of great tragedy, but of great love and even a greater God.

I give Between Heaven and the RealWorld five out of five stars.

Happy Reading.

Book Review:  The Idea of You


The Idea of You

by Amanda Prowse

Lake Union Publishing

General Fiction (Adult) , Women’s Fiction

Pub Date 21 Mar 2017 

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of The Idea of You through the publisher and Netgalley:

Lucy Carpenter is approaching her fortieth birthday and she has it all a new husband, a great career and the possibility of having a baby of her own.

Becoming a parent is much harder than either Lucy or Jonah imagined.  Lucy endures heart wrenching miscarriage(s).

When her stepdaughter becomes pregnant Lucy is saddened by the fact it is not her.

I give The Idea of You five out of five stars.

Happy Reading.

Book Review: A Journey to Victorious Praying


A Journey to Victorious Praying

Finding Discipline and Delight in Your Prayer Life
by Bill D. Thrasher

Moody Publishers

 You Are Auto-Approved

Christian

Pub Date 01 May 2003 

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of Victorios Praying through the publisher and netgalley:

God is attracted to weakness, he loves humble people.  People who are willing to turn to him in a time of need, those who are willing to admit they always need him.

There are times we will feel unworthy, but Christ wants us to know that we have worth.

D.L Moody once reminded us that it’s more important that we teach a man to pray than to teach him to preach, because a man cannot preach if they don’t know how to pray.

If we love someone it is important that we pray for them, but more than that we are to pray for our enemies too.

Praying in the Spirit is important as well.

We should not be afraid to request prayer from our fellow Christians.  Pray even when (especially when) life is busier than usual.

I give A Journey to Victorious Praying five out of five stars.

Happy Reading

Book Review: Truth


Truth

A Bigger View of God’s Word
by Randy Alcorn

Harvest House Publishers

Religion & Spirituality, Christian

Pub Date 01 May 2017 

In this devotional by Randy Alcorn we learn that the most important truth is the truth of who Jesus is.  

We also learn that the Truth does not change according to whether or not we believe it.  It is truth whether or not we choose to believe it.

This book encourages not to buy into the lies and hold onto the truth.

I give Truth five out of five stars.

Happy Reading.

Book Review:  BlackOut


Blackout

Valleyview Tales
by Jan Christensen

Heron’s Nest
Mystery & Thrillers, General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 21 Aug 2013 

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of Black Out through the publisher and Netgalley:

She’s on the side of the road left eye swollen shut when a passerby stops to help her.  He asks her name, she makes up one Alice Strong and an age eighteen, but she doesn’t remember who she really is.  She’s full of bumps and bruises and scratches, Hannah takes her in, helps her find a job at a nursing home, a place to stay.

When a patient dies while she is working Alice Strong feels a rush of strong emotions, for a woman she did not know, or did she?

Soon more of the patients at the nursing home are getting sicker and dying, and it become obvious a killer is on the loose.

Will Alice remember who she is, and will she find out what’s happening at the Convalescent home?

Find out in Blackout in five out of five stars.

Happy Reading.

Book Review:  A Pledge of Silence


A Pledge of Silence

by Flora J. Solomon

All Night Reads
History, General Fiction (Adult)

Pub Date 29 Jan 2013

I am voluntarily reviewing A Pledge of Silence through the publisher and Netgalley:

The book opens up in the year 2000, Margie is eighty one, her daughter Barbara has just died.

We are then transported back to 1936 Little River Michigan, and after graduation from highschool Margie went on to nursing school.  But she leaves behind a man that loves her Abe.  She goes on to graduate nursing school, plan her wedding with Abe but Abe is soon called to fight, and Margie is called to work at Walter Reed Hospital.

Soon Margie finds herself in Manilla but she soon finds herself hurt .  Margie soon finds herself captured by the Japanese.  When Margie learns Abe was shot down her heart is broken.

Will Margie be able to move on with her life and find her happily ever after.

I give this book five out of five stars.

Happy Reading.