The Christmas Gate by T.A. Cline Review

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Synopsis: Robert Robinson, a renown author from New York City, is traveling unwillingly through a snow storm on his way to a small farm in upstate New York owned by his editor. Robert’s fame from the success of his books has changed him. His indulgence in big-city parties and being in the spotlight has allowed his arrogance to swell and for him to lose focus of his obligations. Now, being excessively late on the third book of a three book contract, he is given an ultimatum. He can either face legal action from his publisher or take one last chance to finish his book away from all the big-city distractions.

Patty has her own issues, dealing with the memories of her late husband. Always at the edge of depression, she somehow remains visibly strong and in control of her emotions, despite her internal turmoil. While Patty’s father is away to be with a dying friend, she assumes the responsibility of caring for the old farm owned by the New York editor.

Robert is oblivious to Christmas and all that goes along with it. His parents loved Christmas, but he hadn’t spoken with them in over eight years after their argument. Over the years, he has slowly disconnected from everything that reminded him of them. Christmas just became a day for a bigger party.

While at the old farm house, Robert discovers something that has been hidden there for possibly generations. What secrets lay just beyond an old screeching gate? Will the miracle of Christmas find its way to Robert? Find out in the story, “The Christmas Gate.”

My Thoughts: This is a great story for the Christmas season. So many times, I’ve picked up Christmas books but found that they had nothing to do with the holiday. This book has several Christmas scenes that really set the mood for the Christmas season.

The story is similar to a Christmas Carol as the main character learns lessons by the way of supernatural experiences. Robert, the main character develops greatly through the story and goes from an unlikable person to someone who is very endearing.

I loved the setting of the story…it takes place in an old farmhouse in New York in the snow. The author was good at describing the home in a way that made me feel like I was there.

The different scenes that take place in the book are very relevant to our world today and caused me to analyze how I approach Christmas…it’s important not to lose Christ when celebrating His holiday.

I definitely recommend this Christmas story and look forward to reading book 2, which is being released soon!

My Rating: 4 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author to review.

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The Delusion by Laura Gallier Review

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Synopsis: By March of Owen Edmonds’s senior year, eleven students at Masonville High School have committed suicide. Amid the media frenzy and chaos, Owen tries to remain levelheaded–until he endures his own near-death experience and wakes to a distressing new reality.

The people around him suddenly appear to be shackled and enslaved.

Owen frantically seeks a cure for what he thinks are crazed hallucinations, but his delusions become even more sinister. An army of hideous, towering beings, unseen by anyone but Owen, are preying on his girlfriend and classmates, provoking them to self-destruction.

Owen eventually arrives at a mind-bending conclusion: he’s not imagining the evil–everyone else is blind to its reality. He must warn and rescue those he loves . . . but this proves to be no simple mission. Will he be able to convince anyone to believe him before it’s too late?

Owen’s heart-pounding journey through truth and delusion will force him to reconsider everything he believes. He both longs for and fears the answers to questions that are quickly becoming too dangerous to ignore.

My Thoughts: I’m sitting here, trying to decide what adjective to use to begin this review. I want to give this book the credit and recognition it deserves. Amazing doesn’t seem like a “good enough” word to describe this book….

This book provides a visual picture of spiritual warfare…the invisible battle that wages each and every moment of every day around every person on Earth between the dark and light forces. I have never read a book that described this battle in such a clear way. There were moments that I had to put the book down and ponder what I had just read. There were moments when I got goosebumps, thinking about this war that is real but not seen by human eyes. I was on the edge of my seat throughout, flying through the pages, but nervous to see what was ahead.

This was a life-changing book for me. It changes the way I look at prayer and interceding for people with prayer, it showed how truly important prayer is in a very cool way.

The story shows how demonic forces can oppress Christians and possess non-Christians. There were some terrifying scenes that are more terrifying when you realize that this book, although fictional, is based on Biblical truths.

The book is a young adult story, focused around teenagers but would definitely be a good read for teens as well as adults. Because of the difficult and gritty content, I would recommend that it not be read by anyone under the age of 16.

My only problem is that it ended on a slight cliffhanger and I need more of the story! I am eagerly awaiting book 2. I highly recommend this book, it is my top rated book of 2017 so far.

My Rating: 5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers to review.

Invitation: Harbingers Cycle One by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky Review

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Synopsis: Four Bestselling Authors Team Up for Thrilling Supernatural Suspense – Gathering four stories from four bestselling author friends, Invitation is the first collection in the ongoing Harbingers series.

In “The Call” by Bill Myers, four strangers are drawn together to help a student at the mysterious Institute for Advanced Psychic Studies. His gifts are supposedly being honed to assist world leaders . . . but there are some very disturbing strings attached.

Frank Peretti’s “The Haunted” confronts a supernatural mystery, a case of murder, and an exploration into the darkness of the human heart, all centering around a mysterious house.

In Angela Hunt’s “The Sentinels,” animals around the world are mysteriously dying. What could it mean? When the tragedy begins to touch Andi’s dreams, she discovers a terrifying theory.

“The Girl” by Alton Gansky is a gripping tale of a young barefoot girl found holding a scroll in the snowy Oregon mountains. She is sweet, innocent–apparently not of this world–and something wants to kill her.

My Thoughts: This is an interesting bind up of 4 novellas, each written by a different author but in stories that are connected to each other (each author narrating one of the 4 main characters in the book). It is presented like a television series with new “episodes” and at this point, there have been 18 novellas written for the series. Because of this, each story is left open-ended, which I don’t like. I’m not a fan of long book series’ so I’m not sure if I’ll continue.

Each story was enjoyable but I think my favorite was The Call by Bill Myers, told by Brenda, a tattoo artist. Each character has a special gift and they are brought together in each story to solve a problem.

The characters all had their own voice (a benefit of having 4 different authors writing each character). They were all different and well-rounded, they also had interesting background stories.

I found the overall story line of spiritual warfare interesting but struggled with the theology of some of the things that happened. When this occurred, I reminded myself that it was fictional, but I do tend to hold Christian Fiction at a higher standard than secular fiction when it comes to the lesson that is learned. Throughout the book, there weren’t really any lessons learned, which I didn’t care for.

Overall, this book was enjoyable but not something that I would read again.

My Rating: 3 and a half stars

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Pokergeist by Michael Phillip Cash Review


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Synopsis: Sometimes life, as well as death, is about second chances. Luckless Telly Martin doesn’t have a clue. An awful gambler trying to scrape by as a professional poker player, he becomes the protégé of world famous poker champion Clutch Henderson. The only catch…Clutch is a ghost.
Telly and Clutch must navigate the seedy gambling underbelly of Las Vegas learning to trust each other in order to win the elusive International Series of Poker, repair their shattered personal relationships and find redemption in this life and the hereafter.

My Thoughts: With the exception of Point Horror and Fear Street, I haven’t read many ghost story books. This story was very unique…it focused on a ghost but it wasn’t presented in a scary way.

The story takes place in Las Vegas and centers around a down on his luck man named Telly Martin. Telly has recently lost his job and is struggling financially. With the support of his wife, he is pursuing his dream of being a poker player, but this dream is quickly coming to an end as he is not doing well. He then through strange circumstances meets the ghost of one of the best poker players of all times, Clutch Henderson. Clutch wants to help him get to the championships and win. The story goes from there.

I loved the glitzy setting of Las Vegas…Vegas is the kind of place that I love to read about and watch shows about but I don’t think I’d like it in real life. I also loved following Telly to his poker games and seeing how he’s treated by the poker veterans. I would be terrified to play a casino table game as I know nothing about them and I’m sure I’d embarrass myself so it was a little comforting to see Telly feeling the same way.

I did find it strange that when Telly first encountered the ghost of Clutch, he didn’t seem extremely surprised or terrified. He seemed to acclimate to the situation fairly quickly. He wasn’t happy with Clutch but he also didn’t seem surprised to have him around.

Clutch was a good character, he was very complex and driven. He had a goal and was determined to get it one way or another. Telly was also a good character but he was a bit negative at times which I didn’t care for.

Overall, this was a fun, lighthearted story that had great pacing and kept me interested with each turn of the page.

My Rating: 3 and a half stars

I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The After House by Michael Phillip Cash Review


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Goodreads Synopsis: Remy Galway and her daughter Olivia are rebuilding their life after a failed marriage in a 300 year old cottage in historic Cold Spring Harbor, Long Island. Little do they know, another occupant is lurking in the haven of their own home. Will the After House be their shelter or their tomb?

My Thoughts: I requested this book because of the cover…it is one of my favorite book covers of all time. Based on the cover and synopsis, I expected a very creepy ghost story, but the story was a lot different than what I thought it would be. The story is not very scary and crosses many genres…paranormal, romance, historical.

I loved the setting of the story…it takes place on Long Island in a very old cottage that is inhabited by an old sea captain. I also  liked the writing style, it was very easy to fall into and adapt to. The story was unique and unlike anything I’d read before.

My main issue with this book was the romance…I despise insta-love, especially in an adult book. The romance in this book was ridiculously fast paced and immature (I tend to give some leeway to YA insta-love as the characters are teenagers).

Overall, this was an enjoyable book when taken for what it is. I do think people would be disappointed if they go into it expecting a scary horror story.

My Rating: 3 stars

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Trance by Linda Gerber Review

tranceGenre: Young Adult, Paranormal

Judging the Cover: This cover has a holographic effect to it that I really like.

Plot According to Goodreads: Ashlyn Greenfield has always known when bad things are going to happen. Each time that familiar tingling at the back of her neck begins, she knows what’s to come: a trance. She’s pulled in, blindsided, an unwilling witness to a horrible upcoming event. But she’s never been able to stop it; not even when the vision was of her mother’s fatal car accident. When soulful Jake enters Ashlyn’s life, she begins having trances about another car accident.

My Thoughts: The premise of this book sounded very interesting to me, so I was eager to read it. Unfortunately, I was a bit disappointed.

The Good: The main character, Ashlyn has a pretty rough life…her mother was killed in a car accident where Ashlyn was the driver, her father is practically absent from her life, and her sister moved away and Ashlyn has no way of contacting her…not to mention the fact that Ashlyn experiences premonitions that she is unable to control. I really felt sympathy for Ashlyn and felt that her character was well developed. Romance in books usually annoys me, especially young adult romance, but the romance in this book was sweet and realistic.

What I didn’t Like: The entire story felt like a huge buildup that didn’t really amount to much. The story dragged a lot in the middle and the ending was extremely predictable. I am not a fan of paranormal elements or things that have to do with the occult, so I didn’t like the numerology element.

My Rating: 2/5 stars. This wasn’t the book for me.