Friday, May 29, 2009

"Night Watchman" by Mark Mynheir

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Ray Quinn is a tough, quick-witted homicide detective in love with his partner, Trisha Willis. She gives Ray something to live for—something to hope in. Until a barrage of bullets leaves Trisha murdered and Ray crippled.

Struggling with his new physical disability and severe depression, Quinn turns to whiskey, scorn, and a job as a night watchman to numb the pain. But when a pastor and dancer are found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, the pastor’s sister approaches Quinn for help.

Reluctantly, Quinn takes the case and is plunged into the perilous Orlando . Soon he discovers that, not only was the pastor murdered, but the case may be linked to his and Trisha’s ambush. Torn between seeking revenge or responsibility, Quinn is thrust into the case of his life.

Author Mark Mynheir gives readers his most profound police thriller to date with The Night Watchman (first book in The Night Watchman Private Detective Agency Series). Readers of all ages will devour this gripping murder mystery that bristles with tension and intrigue. In a taut cop-style all his own, Mynheir delivers an inside look at the thoughts, feelings, fears, and challenges police officers experience while investigating violent crimes and the lost souls who commit them.

Author Bio:
A detective with the Criminal Investigations Unit of the Palm Bay Police Department, Mark Mynheir investigates violent crimes and writes riveting Christian fiction. A U.S. Marine with a passion for martial arts and firearms training, Mark has worked on narcotics units, SWAT teams, and myriad high-risk situations. His four novels offer a realistic glimpse into the gritty world of law enforcement and the rarely seen raw emotions behind the badge. Mark lives in Florida with his wife and three children.

What I have to Say:
To be quite honest the summary on the back of The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir didn’t make me jump up and down with excitement to read this novel, but it sounded like it had potential. And that potential didn’t disappoint. Ray Quinn, a retired homicide detective, stuck in a job as a night watchman and drowning his grief and depression over a job related disability in alcohol. When a pastor and dancer are found dead in the apartment building he watches the pastor’s sister cries foul and asks him to help her prove it was not a “murder-suicide.” He eventually agrees and is propelled at first only to prove wrong that the former co-worker that worked the case does not complete his cases in full. The case, he discovers, may be linked to the ambush that lead to his disability and his former partner/fiancĂ©’s death. This encourages him to search for the truth despite warnings from his former boss. Once I committed to this book, I could not set it down. There were many breaks at work I wanted to extend only to read a little more. Maybe it should be said “don’t judge a book by it’s summary.”

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

Friday, May 8, 2009

"Enduring Justice" by Amy Wallace

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In Enduring Justice, Hanna Kessler’s childhood secret has remained buried for over two decades. But when the dark shadows of her past threaten to destroy those she loves, Hanna must face the summer that changed her life and the man who still haunts her thoughts.

Crimes Against Children FBI Agent, Michael Parker knows what it means to get knocked down. And when the system fails and a white supremacist is set free, Michael’s drive for retribution eclipses all else.

A racist’s well-planned assault forces Hanna and Michael to decide between executing vengeance and pursuing justice. When the attack turns personal, is healing still possible?

This thought-provoking novel deals with healing from sexual abuse, the balance of justice and mercy, and maintaining mixed-race friendships in the midst of racial tension. Readers who enjoy investigative thrillers by Dee Henderson, Colleen Coble, and Catherine Coulter, and who watch crime dramas like Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, and Without a Trace will love this book—and the entire series.

Author Bio:
Amy Wallace is the author of Ransomed Dreams and Healing Promises, a homeschool mom, and self-confessed chocoholic. She is a graduate of the Gwinnett County Citizens Police Academy and a contributing author of several books including God Answers Moms’ Prayers and Chicken Soup for the Soul Healthy Living Series: Diabetes. She lives with her husband and three children in Georgia .

What I have to Say:
When I first received the novel Enduring Justice, by Amy Wallace, I really wanted to read it but was nervous because I had not read her previous works to the series. The summary intrigued me so much that I just went for it. While I may have had a better understanding of the back story and characters if I had read the first two books, I do not think having not read them ultimately took away from my understanding and enjoyment of the story. I could not put this book down!
This novel deals with so many pivotal issues in today’s society. These issues range from sexual abuse to hate crimes that stem from racial discrimination. A main character’s haunted past leads her to healing, truth, love, and the courage to save others from the same tragedy she has had to face. These hate crimes turn person, and a tight-knit group of FBI “families” struggle with the difference between vengeance and justice, leaving the reader to wonder if healing is still possible. Could these brutal attacks have ruined these friendships, co-working relationships, and romantic relationships? I am a reader that loves a good thriller, and Amy Wallace most certainly delivers.

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

"Mama's Got a Fake I.D." by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira

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Formula for identity loss:

1. Take one multifaceted, intriguing human being.

2. Bless her with a child.

3. Mix with today’s cultural assumptions.

4. Add the demands of motherhood.

5. Presto! All identity except Mom disappears.

For every woman wondering what happened to the unique combination of gifts and abilities she was known for before kids came along, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has good news: in Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., Rivedeneira helps moms reclaim their full identity as creative beings, gifted professionals and volunteers, loving friends, children of God—and mothers.

This inspiring and practical guide shows women how to break free from false guilt, learn a new language to express who they really are, and follow God’s lead in sharing their true self with others. After all, motherhood doesn’t have to mean losing one’s identity. Instead, being a mom makes it possible for a woman to discover a more complete identity as the person God made her to be.

Author Bio:
The former managing editor of Marriage Partnership and Christian Parenting Today, Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira has been a trusted voice writing and speaking to women for more than a decade. Today she is the managing editor of, an online community for Christian women in leadership. Rivadeneira works from home in the Chicago suburbs, where she lives with her husband and their three children.

What I have to say
Mama’s Got a Fake I.D., by Caryn Dahlstrand Rivedeneira, is a great book for moms, anyone who has a mother, knows a mother, or has an identity to read. It is so easy to loose ourselves, our personal unique identities, in the midst of other’s perceptions of us. Even as a twenty something, single, not even close to having kids yet individual I learned a lot from this book. Rivedeneira poses questions to the reader that will surely make you think.
My favorite and most thought provoking question she throws out is “What do others need to know about you to know the real you?” That one had me thinking for quite a while. This book is well worth it in that it will surely aide in personal growth! With questions, mom stories, and the straight up sometimes not so easy truth you will be taken through a journey. Caryn, you should know that I actually like correcting grammar too, I live in Wisconsin and love it, and your Romania story touched me because I have heard very similar stories to it. (My uncle is a missionary in Romania). There is your start to getting to know the real me.

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group

"Dear Mom" by Melody Carlson

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Every mom knows how communicating with a teenage girl can be difficult, even impossible at times. One-word answers. Defensive conversations. Daily arguments. How typical for teens to put up such barriers. All the while, moms truly long to know what their daughters really think.

Best-selling author Melody Carlson, whose books for women, teens, and children have sold more than three million copies, bridges this chasm with trusted insight. She speaks frankly in the voice of the teen daughters she’s written for and she tells it like it is: struggles with identity, guys, friendship, and even parents—it’s all here. The straight-talk to moms covers such things as “I need you, but you can’t make me admit it,” “I’m not as confident as I appear,” and “I have friends. I need a mother.”

Instead of focusing on outward behaviors, Dear Mom looks at a young woman’s heart and reveals to moms:

· how to talk to teens so they hear,

· how to connect despite the differences of perspective or years and experiences,

· and how strengthen the bond every mom and daughter ultimately wants.

The lively chapters in Dear Mom can be dipped into topically or used as a read-through tool by moms and daughters alike to understand what motivates or deflates, troubles or inspires—and just in time for Mother’s Day and all the Mother’s Days ahead.

Author Bio:
Melody Carlson is the award-winning author of more than one hundred books for adults, children, and teens, with sales totaling more than three million copies. Beloved for her Diary of a Teenage Girl and Notes from a Spinning Planet series, she’s also the author of the women’s novels Finding Alice (in production now for a Lifetime-TV movie), Crystal Lies, On This Day, These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking, and A Mile in My Flip-Flops. A mother of two grown sons, Melody lives in central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. She’s a full-time writer and an avid gardener, biker, skier, and hiker.

What I have to say

Dear Mom, by Melody Carlson, is the perfect read for any mom who has moments of struggle or absolute frustration in her relationship with her teenage daughter. While I was never the stereotypical teenager I do think that any mom can find at least something to take from this book and strengthen her relationship with her daughter.
Carlson might have her teenage self stuck in her body, and for your benefit! Through this book she opens the door to a teenager’s mind to the mother. Mom, if you read this book you will know what your daughter is thinking, how she does NOT want you to respond, and ways that will be useful in responding. Written as a letter from daughter to mother Carlson never loses the voice of a stereotypical teenager, even going so far at the beginning of the book to plead with mom to put this book down and not read it because it will not help, and mom’s too busy anyway. So if you two got into a fight because she wants to go to the movies on Sunday but you want her home with you to spend time on Mother’s day, go get this book!

This book was provided for review by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group