Monday, September 24, 2018

Lethal Target - A Review









A Review

Janice Cantore has written a powerful sequel to her earlier book, Crisis Shot. Tess O’ourke has now been the Chief of Police of Rogue’s Hollow, OR, for just about a year. The community has accepted her and she feels a part of the community she has made her home. At least until the body is literally found at the doorstep of her home. Oregon’s new legal pot trade has made itself at home in her community – but, surprisingly, there has been an uptick in the number of opioid overdoses during that same time. Suspicions run high that there is a connection between the pot farms and the increasing drug crisis – but Tess, the County Sheriff, nor the Federal DEA can find a connection between the two.

The book has enough suspense to keep this reader’s nose in the book for the four or five nights it took to read. Written by a former police officer, the book has the sound of truth from the first page to the last. Though probably classified as a romantic suspense, the romance is relatively light and does not overwhelm the plot as is sometimes happens in books of this genre. The role of faith is also present – a bit more than romance – but not overwhelmingly so. The book could easily find a home in the public library, the church library, or in the home of anybody looking for a well-written suspense novel.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.









Sunday, September 23, 2018

NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible Third Edition Hardcover - A Review





NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible

Third Edition

Hardcover



A Review

Thomas Nelson has created one of the better Study Bibles that have crossed my path. I find little wrong with this compilation of helps.

The helps are indexed and are presented in full color. The 500+ brief word studies scattered throughout are helpful, lots of practical helps (“Truth in Action”), and an extra -long concordance (compared to most Study Bibles), all add extra value to this new edition. I was surprised that the hardcopy version did not include the three ribbon bookmarks found in other editions Built with a nice sturdy cover, the book feels solid and well-built.

Concerns are minor and personal. Though I am not a fan of Jack Hayford’s theology, this is a book that I am still glad to have in my library – it has valued thoughts from a leader of the church. Similarly, I am concerned about the choice to put Jesus words in red. I much prefer a Bible with all text in a common black font. Finally, all of the helps add considerable weight to this Bible. I can see this book being used at my desk, rather than being carried into church on a Sunday morning.

This would not be the first Study Bible I would add to my library – but it does belong there.
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This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.



Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The Portable Seminary (2nd Edition) - A Review













A Review

Full of useful information – this book is not a portable seminary. No reader should take it off the shelf and expect to cover the topics to the depth that a typical seminary education would provide.

Having said that some topics are covered in further depth than others. A good overview of theology is provided – this is most of the first third of the book, though the author does sneak chapters on “Biblical Languages” and “Interpreting Scripture: Hermeneutics & Exegesis” into the middle of the theological chapters (immediately following a chapter on the “Doctrine of Scripture” and prior to “The Doctrine of God the Father”}. The author is strongly supportive of inerrancy; but, he clearly states, this doctrine must not be used to distinguish between authentic Christians and apostasy. Definitions are given for many of the most important terms, but few examples are given. For example, a clear distinction is made between exegesis and eisegesis – but no examples are given of either. In fact, no single example (from beginning to end) of exegesis is given. Similarly, no complete example of writing a sermon (from idea to finished sermon outline or text) is given.

Other topics covered include:
  1. Five chapters introducing the Old Testament and New Testament 
  2. Three chapters on evangelism: Apologetics, World Religions, and Missiology 
  3. Five chapters on church history 
  4. Four chapters on practical theology: Homiletics, Leadership, Ethics, and Christian Education 
It is not clear who has officially contributed to each chapter, versus allowing the quoted material to be included. Several pages of “Contributors” are included, but it is not clear who contributed what to the final volume. The ARC I was provided did set aside “1 page” for “Acknowledgments”, but it was blank and it is not clear what role these “acknowledgments” played in the development of the book.

To summarize, the book has lots of information, but the depth and helpfulness of that material will vary depending on the chapter and area of study. USE WITH CAUTION.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



The Cost of Betrayal - A Review










The Cost of Betrayal



by

Dee Henderson
Dani Pettrey
Lynette Eason

A Review

The publisher has brought together three accomplished writers to create a set of three romantic suspense filled novellas. Each story stands alone – there is no connection between them.

Dee Henderson’s story, “Betrayed”, shares the work of the Falcons – Ann, a retired FBI agent, and her husband, Paul. They have discovered a small box of leftover beauty products which also contains a knife, a murder weapon. The problem is that Janelle Roberts was convicted of the murder six years ago, but she probably is not the perpetrator. The Falcons need to find a way to get Janelle out of prison and discover the actual murderer.

Dani Pettrey’s story, “Deadly Isle”, has a young woman, whose engagement had recently been broken, finding that her cousin has been murdered and her own life is threatened. Finding the guilty party would mean risking her life yet again.

Lynette Eason presents a story, “Code of Ethics”, full of medical and police officers – who may or may not be able to be trusted.

Each could serve as a prequel for a series – though there is no indication that will be the case. I have previously read books by Dee Henderson and Dani Pettrey, their stories were suspenseful as those found in their books. Though I have never read a title by Lynette Eason, I expect the same is true for her books. These stories will make a good read during the cool Fall evenings facing readers over the next few months.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions expressed are mine alone.



The Monastery Murders - A Review






The Monastery Murders


by
E.M. Powell



A Review

A well-written mystery taking place in the middle ages. The protagonist is an agent of the King and his assistant. A group of monks are being systematically killed off and unless Barling and Stanton could discover the culprit, all those residing at the Monastery could be at risk.

I have no problem recommending the book with two exceptions. There is no warning given to the reader that there is one explicit heterosexual scene and a longer (though not explicit) description of a gay romance. If this were apparent in advance, this reader would have chosen to not read the book. If made into a movie (as written), I expect the film would be rated ‘R’ - though, with a bit of gentle editing (of the book or the movie), it could easily receive a ‘PG-13’ rating. Because of the lack of warning and the possibility of these scenes being triggers for some, the book receives a 3-star rather than a 4-star review.
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This review is based on a free electronic copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.



Wednesday, September 12, 2018

NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible Burgandy Leathersoft Cover 3rd Edition - A Review














A Review

Thomas Nelson has created one of the better Study Bibles that have crossed my path. I find little wrong with this compilation of helps.

The helps are indexed, they are presented in full color. The 500+ brief word studies scattered throughout the are helpful, lots of practical helps (“Truth in Action”), and an extra -long concordance (compared to most Study Bibles), all add extra value to this ne edition. I also appreciate the three ribbons included to provide bookmarks – not just the two that normally are included in most Study Bibles. Built with a nice simulated leather cover, the book feels solid and well-built.

Concerns are minor and personal. Though I am not a fan of Jack Hayford’s theology, this is a book that I am still glad to have in my library – it has valued thoughts from a leader of the church. Similarly, I am concerned about the choice to put Jesus words in red. I much prefer a Bible with all text in a common black font. Finally, all of the helps add considerable weight to this Bible. I can see this book being used at my desk, rather than being carried into church on Sunday morning.

This would not be the first Study Bible I would add to my library – but it does belong there.
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This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.


NKJV Spirit-Filled Life Bible Black Genuine Leather Cover 3rd Edition - A Review










A Review

Thomas Nelson has created one of the better Study Bibles that have crossed my path. I find little wrong with this compilation of helps.

The helps are indexed, they are presented in full color. The 500+ brief word studies scattered throughout the are helpful, lots of practical helps (“Truth in Action”), and an extra -long concordance (compared to most Study Bibles), all add extra value to this ne edition. I also appreciate the three ribbons included to provide bookmarks – not just the two that normally are included in most Study Bibles. Thumb-indexed with a nice leather cover. The book feels solid and well-built.

Concerns are minor and personal. Though I am not a fan of Jack Hayford’s theology, this is a book that I am still glad to have in my library – it has valued thoughts from a leader of the church. Similarly, I am concerned about the choice to put Jesus words in red. I much prefer a Bible with all text in a common black font. Finally, all of the helps add considerable weight to this Bible. I can see this book being used at my desk, rather than being carried into church on Sunday morning.

This would not be the first Study Bible I would add to my library – but it does belong there.
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This review is based on a free copy provided by the publisher for the purpose of creating this review. The opinions are mine alone.