Category Action/Adventure

A Woman’s Guide to the Wild

A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Manual
By Ruby McConnell
Sasquatch Books
Retail Price:  $18.95
Amazon Price: $13.15

Book Description:  For women who enjoy hiking, camping, backpacking, and other outdoor recreation or those inspired by Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, this is the definitive guide to being a woman in the great outdoors. This friendly handbook covers the matters of most concern to women, from “feminine functions” in the wilderness to how to deal with condescending men, as well as the basics of wilderness survival tailored to women’s unique needs. It includes gear lists in addition to advice for camp setup, fire building, food and water, safety, weather, and navigation.

Review

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. It is not only instructive, but entertaining.  The author carefully points out what actions a woman in the wilderness must take to not only survive but enjoy her wilderness experience.  You can tell that McConnell loves the wilderness and wants to share her knowledge with other women to equip them reconnect with nature.

This book is very thorough, giving you not only guidelines but lists on what to bring, how to stay safe, first aid, dealing with weather, how to set up camp including your cooking area, and much more.  Yet is is small enough to put in your pack so you can reference it while out hiking or camping.

If you are new to the wilderness experience, this book is definitely one you will want to read and even study.

~Reviewed by Tricia C.

 

    Dry Bones

    Product DetailsDry Bones
    by Craig Johnson
    Penguin Books
    Retail Price:  $16
    Amazon Price: $13

    Book Description:  The latest installment of Craig Johnson’s New York Times bestselling Longmire series—the basis for LONGMIRE, the hit drama series on Netflix

    Craig Johnson’s The Highwayman is now available from Viking
     
    When Jen, the largest, most complete Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton ever found surfaces in Sherriff Walt Longmire’s jurisdiction, it appears to be a windfall for the High Plains Dinosaur Museum—until Danny Lone Elk, the Cheyenne rancher on whose property the remains were discovered, turns up dead, floating face down in a turtle pond. With millions of dollars at stake, a number of groups step forward to claim her, including Danny’s family, the tribe, and the federal government. As Wyoming’s Acting Deputy Attorney and a cadre of FBI officers descend on the town, Walt is determined to find out who would benefit from Danny’s death, enlisting old friends Lucian Connolly and Omar Rhoades, along with Dog and best friend Henry Standing Bear, to trawl the vast Lone Elk ranch looking for answers to a sixty-five-million-year-old cold case that’s heating up fast.

    Review

    As a book reviewer, I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing, the kind of author with so much talent and drive that anyone who buys one of their works will be back the next day to buy the rest.  Craig Johnson is a new voice that I believe is the “next big thing” as is seen by his books being turned into a Netflix series.  I love the main character. Longmire is a likeable, gruff and very decent character and the reader is drawn effortlessly into his world.  Johnson skillfully immerses the reader in the rhythms and mores of the West, smoothly integrating history and folklore.  While this latest installment is Book 10 and can be read independantly of the others, I recommend reading the entire series.  You won’t regret it!

    ~Reviewed by Don M.

      The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn

      The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn: A NovelThe Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn
      By Lorie Benton
      Waterbrook
      Retail Price:  14.99
      Amazon Price:  $11.38

      Book Description:  In an act of brave defiance, Tamsen Littlejohn escapes the life her harsh stepfather has forced upon her. Forsaking security and an arranged marriage, she enlists frontiersman Jesse Bird to guide her to the Watauga settlement in western North Carolina. But shedding her old life doesn’t come without cost. As the two cross a vast mountain wilderness, Tamsen faces hardships that test the limits of her faith and endurance.

      Convinced that Tamsen has been kidnapped, wealthy suitor Ambrose Kincaid follows after her, in company with her equally determined stepfather. With trouble in pursuit, Tamsen and Jesse find themselves thrust into the conflict of a divided community of Overmountain settlers. The State of Franklin has been declared, but many remain loyal to North Carolina. With one life left behind and chaos on the horizon, Tamsen struggles to adapt to a life for which she was never prepared. But could this challenging frontier life be what her soul has longed for, what God has been leading her toward? As pursuit draws ever nearer, will her faith see her through the greatest danger of all—loving a man who has risked everything for her?

      Review

      This was an excellent story. From the moment I began this book I was mesmerized.  The main character is someone we can relate to as as women as she runs the gamut of emotions.  She is at the same time both vulnerable and strong as well as fearful yet courageous. As the novel unfolds we see that Tamsen’s selfish and cruel step-father plans on taking advantage of Tamsen’s beauty to make a prosperous matrimonial match. He controls her and manipulates her but Tamsen’s fiery spirit urges her to flee…straight into the arms of Jesse Bird, who aids her in escaping her father’s tyranny. Their escape spurs Tamsen’s stepfather and her  intended husband to pursue her. Jesse Bird is a man who knows the terrain and how to keep them one step ahead of the chase. His heart is drawn to the beautiful, vulnerable woman, who entrusts herself into his care, but knows the depth of his feelings are not reciprocated. Tamsen simply doesn’t see any other option than to trust him for it would be far worse for her to fall back under her father’s control and be forced into a loveless marriage.

      The author does a great job of drawing you into the story and you become involved in their lives like they are friends, not characters in a book.  She transports you to a different time and place as she delves into the complexities of the human heart and spirit.  I highly recommend this.  It was a wonderful book.

      ~Reviewed by Annette E.

        Samantha Sanderson at the Movies

        Samantha Sanderson at the Movies
        By Robin Caroll
        Zonderkidz
        Retail Price $8.99
        Amazon Price: $8.09

        Book Description:

        Sam Sanderson is an independent, resourceful, high-tech cheerleader. She dreams of becoming an award-winning journalist like her mother, and so she’s always looking for articles she can publish in her middle-school paper (where she secretly hopes to become editor). And with a police officer for a father, Sam is in no short supply for writing material. It seemed like the perfect opportunity. When an explosive device is found in the local theater, Sam gets the lead on this developing and controversial story—controversial because the movie theater has recently come under attack by a renowned, outspoken atheist for allowing a local church to show Christian movies. Sam’s police-officer father happens to be heading the investigation, and Sam can’t resist doing some sleuthing of her own with the help of her best friend Makayla’s techno-genius. But when Sam’s theories end up being printed in the school paper, she lands in big trouble—and danger!

        Review

        This is an installment in a series of faith-based mysteries features middle school age Samantha Sanderson who wants to be an investigative reporter.  With her dad being a Police Detective, she often has local mysteries to solve along with her best friend Makayla.  This particular book finds the duo investigating a potential bombing in a local theater.  It is easy to follow along as they find clues along the way to solve the mystery.  This novel is for middle-age girls and is a light read.  It has enough suspense and intrigue to keep you interested, but there is nothing too scary.  The author does a great job of capturing the feeling of community and relationships.

        ~Reviewed by Allie B.

          A Deadly Business

          A Deadly Business (Mia Quinn Series #2)A Deadly Business
          By Lis Wiehl
          Thomas Nelson
          Retail Price $26.99
          Amazon Price: $19.56

          Book Description:

          “Wiehl’s experience as a former federal prosecutor gives the narrative an authenticity in its depiction of the criminal justice system. Henry’s expertise in writing mysteries and thrillers has placed her on the short-list for the Agatha, Anthony, and Oregon Book awards. The coauthors’ . . . fast-paced detective series will keep legal thriller readers and John Grisham fans totally engrossed.” —Library JournalA prosecutor of violent criminals. A detective on a dangerous beat. When these two pros take on an off-the-books case, the line between professional and personal becomes perilously blurred. When a twenty-two-year-old convict walks into the courtroom, his eyes confirm what Mia Quinn already guesses: he blames her for his conviction. In seconds, he knocks her to the ground and holds a razor blade to her throat. While she manages to escape without injury, it’s just one more reminder that Mia’s job prosecuting Seattle’s s most dangerous criminals is far from low risk.As a single mom, the last thing Mia wants is for her work to follow her home or discover that it already has.

          Now Detective Charlie Carlson is suggesting the very thing Mia doesn’t want to believe—that her accountant husband’s deadly car accident was no accident at all. When Mia and Charlie encounter resistance to reopening the case, they take the investigation into their own hands. And they find much more than they bargained for.

          Was Mia’s husband more than an accountant . . . and less than an honest man? As the truth becomes more shocking and the case grows more complex, her husband’s killers take note of Mia . . . and her children. How far will this prosecutor go to learn the truth about her husband—and how far will she have to go to protect her family?

          Review

          This is the second book in the series and I’ve waited so long for it and was so excited when it came out!  And I must tell you, it was well worth the wait!  I love the main character, Mia, who is a prosecuting attorney, whose husband recently died. While it  was declared an accident, there is an air of mystery that is leading her to believe that his death was anything but accidental.  She is hit with so much in this book and we get to walk with her as she sorts it all out.  The book has a great deal of suspense in it, which kept me turning the pages well into the night. The author did a fantastic job with the plot and characters, making them interesting and believable.

           ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

            The Promise: Beth Wiseman

            The Promise: Beth Wiseman
            by Beth Wiseman
            Thomas Nelson
            Retail Price $15.99
            Amazon Price: $11.79

            Book Description: 

            Mallory’s search for happiness leads her to a faraway place. There she finds heartache, betrayal—and danger.Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal—to save a life. She had that chance years ago, and she failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave everyone she loves behind in order to take it.Tate Webber has loved Mallory for many years. He understands that Mallory will never be happy with him until her deepest heart’s desire is satisfied. When Mallory decides to travel across the world to fulfi ll her dreams, Tate begs her not to go but tries to give her the space she needs. Mallory embarks on her dangerous journey only to discover how swiftly and easily promises can be broken. And Mallory can only pray that she will make it out alive.Inspired by actual events, The Promise is a riveting love story that asks the question: how far will we go for love?

            “Takes readers to a place where promises mean something very different than expected, and where her protagonist realizes that the life that needs saving is her own. . . . Wiseman draws readers into a world of deception, danger, and defiance. Readers will feel the anguish of Mallory’s loved ones as they pray for her to make it home.” —Booklist 

            Review

            This was an exciting book that takes you on a trip around the world and back.  The author keeps you in the thick of things as you follow the main characters through dangerous terrain and heart stopping adventure.  While it is a love story, there is much more too it than that.  Wiseman focuses on God’s love and protection when your world comes crashing down around you. I could hardly put it down until I was able to finish!

            ~Reviewed by Rosie B.

              A.D. 30

              by Ted Dekker
              Center Street
              Retail Price $25.00
              Amazon Price: $25.00

              Book Description: 

              A sweeping epic set in the harsh deserts of Arabia and ancient Palestine.

              A war that rages between kingdoms on the earth and in the heart.

              The harrowing journey of the woman at the center of it all.

              Step back in time to the year of our Lord…A.D. 30.

              The outcast daughter of one of the most powerful Bedouin sheikhs in Arabia, Maviah is called on to protect the very people who rejected her. When their enemies launch a sudden attack with devastating consequences, Maviah escapes with the help of two of her father’s warriors–Saba who speaks more with is sword than his voice and Judah, a Jew who comes from a tribe that can read the stars. Their journey will be fraught with terrible danger. If they can survive the vast forbidding sands of a desert that is deadly to most, they will reach a brutal world subjugated by kings and emperors. There Maviah must secure an unlikely alliance with King Herod of the Jews.

              But Maviah’s path leads her unexpectedly to another man. An enigmatic teacher who speaks of a way in this life which offers greater power than any kingdom. His name is Yeshua, and his words turn everything known on its head. Though following him may present even greater danger, his may be the only way for Maviah to save her people–and herself.

              Review

              I am going to be honest here.  I am not usually a Ted Dekker fan. Most of his writings tend to give me the creeps.  I just don’t like that sort of thing.  This book is different than what he usually writes.  It is historical fiction set in the year A.D. 30 and the main character faces many struggles, one of them being what she should do with Jesus and His teachings. The book is very exciting and full of action and adventure. Dekker has a way with words and captures the each scene so fully with his words that you feel as though you are right there in the thick of things as Maviah faces her struggles as well as the biggest decision of her life.  I highly recommend it.

              ~Reviewed by Pam R.

                The News Makers

                Product DetailsThe News Makers
                By Lis Wiehl and Sebastian Stuart
                Thomas Nelson
                Retail Price:  $26.99
                Amazon Price: $18.38

                Book Description:  

                TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. Is it due to her hard work and talent, or is she at the center of a spiraling conspiracy?

                Erica Sparks is a beautiful and ambitious reporter who has just landed her dream job at Global News Network in New York. And while it was hard to leave Jenny, her cherished eight-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband, Erica is determined to succeed in the cutthroat world of big-time broadcasting. She can only hope her troubled past won’t come back to sabotage her dreams.

                Although the wounds from her divorce are still fresh, Erica can’t deny the chemistry between her and her new producer, the handsome and empathic Greg Underwood. But a relationship is the last thing she wants right now.

                On her very first assignment, Erica inadvertently witnesses—and films—a horrific tragedy, scooping all the other networks. Mere weeks later, another tragedy strikes—again, right in front of Erica and her cameras. Her career skyrockets overnight, but Erica is troubled. Deeply. This can’t just be coincidence. But what is it?

                Erica will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. But she has to make sure disaster—and her troubled past—don’t catch up with her first.

                Review

                This was a fantastic suspense novel in the Christian Genre.  It is obvious that the authors did their research of the media, especially network news reporting and Wihel brings with her the experience she has derived from being on Fox News.    The story is captivating and grabs you right from the start as you sense the danger and intrigue ahead.  The characters were well-developed and likable and you could relate to them easily.  The book moved along nicely and was easy to read.  While the plot was somewhat predictable, I did find myself surprised in several instances as the plot took some turns that I wasn’t expecting. This suspenseful novel offered a real journey into the competitive world of television news.

                ~Reviewed by Tricia C.

                  If I Run

                  Product DetailsIf I Run
                  by Terri Blackstock
                  Zondervan
                  Retail Price: $15.99
                  Amazon Price: $9.42

                  Book Description: 

                  Casey knows the truth.

                  But it won’t set her free.

                  Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

                  But what is the truth? That’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up. Casey Cox doesn’t fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan’s skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn’t guilty, why did she run?

                  Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan’s damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

                  Review

                  Terri Blackstock is a Christian fiction writer that has become well known for her Christian mystery/suspense novels.  Her books are full of danger and intrigue as well as suspense and mystery and this one is no different!  InIf I Run Blackstock sets the stage for and exhilarating, satisfying read with redemptive qualities.  The book is well written and the characters are fully developed and she has an overriding theme of God’s redemption in a messed up world.  It left me thinking deeply about my own expectations of others, and understanding Gods plan in my own life.  This author always gets me thinking and challenges me to take a look at my own preconceived notions and judgments.

                  Reviewed by Allie B.

                    The First Hostage

                    Product DetailsThe First Hostage
                    By Joel C. Rosenberg
                    Tyndale House
                    Retail Price: $26.99
                    Amazon Price: $18.38

                    Book Description:  “The president of the United States . . . is missing.”

                    With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

                    As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .

                    Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

                    Review

                    Events in this novel could very easily happen in today’s world and many parts of the plot could be pulled form the headlines in any major newspaper.  It is that realistic.  The First Hostage follows. J.B. Collins a reporter for the New York Times who has been covering ISIS activities. This book’s opening finds him in Jordan, covering a recent attack in the area. During the attack the leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, the president of the U.S.A. is missing and presumed captured and the king of Jordan has to fight for his kingdom and his very life.   There is so much action and suspense that you will not be able to put the book down without a good reason.  I found myself up late at night reading because I was so intrigued.  The ending certainly sets the stage for the next book in this series, and readers find it hard to wait for it!