The Girl behind the Red Rope by Ted and Rachelle Dekker Review

gbr

Synopsis:

Ten years ago, Grace saw something that would forever change the course of history. When evil in its purest form is unleashed on the world, she and others from their religious community are already hidden deep in the hills of Tennessee, abiding by every rule that will keep them safe, pure–and alive. As long as they stay there, behind the red perimeter.

Her older brother’s questions and the arrival of the first outsiders she’s seen in a decade set in motion events that will question everything Grace has built her life on. Enemies rise on all sides–but who is the real enemy? And what will it cost her to uncover the truth?

For the first time, bestselling authors Ted Dekker and Rachelle Dekker team up and deliver an intense, tightly focused ride through the most treacherous world of all.

My thoughts:

In a lot of ways, this story reminded me of the film, The VIllage, which was a movie that I loved. A group of people living off the grid to avoid the terrifying Furies that are lurking outside the red rope that circles the perimeter of the compound.

I enjoyed the story but for some reason I had a difficult time connecting with the characters. I’ve found that fictional stories about spiritual warfare can be difficult to pull off. I didn’t find this one to be well done. I loved the atmospheric quality to the story but the plot was somewhat lacking.

Overall, this was a book that I was not bored by but I wasn’t a huge fan of it.

I received this book from the publisher to read and review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

My Rating:

2.5 stars

The Reluctant Disciple by Jim O’Shea Review

rd

Synopsis:

Ryan Kates is a paranormal expert, TV host, and skeptic. He hosts News4th, a nationally popular cable show focused on UFOs, ghosts, and everything that goes bump in the night. Ryan is used to dealing with the weird and unexplainable, but when bizarre paranormal phenomena rock the planet he finds himself questioning his long-held views.
As these phenomena escalate, mass hysteria and political tensions begin to mount on a global scale. The world begins to spin out of control and a former flame reenters Ryan’s life, bringing her family along for the ride. The pawns are moved into place, and Ryan must confront the ultimate evil on the world stage, culminating in a supernatural encounter far beyond his wildest dreams.
The Reluctant Disciple establishes a credible connection between End Times biblical prophecy and our society’s fascination with the paranormal, taking readers on a thrill ride they won’t soon forget

My Thoughts:

I’ve read many books about the end times but this one was very unique. The story begins with a “ghost story feel” and then evolves into something far more sinister.

The author’s take on the events leading up to the tribulation period (the rapture, the antichrist and false prophet) are very interesting and thought provoking. Because the prophecies in the Bible that have yet to come true are sometimes vague or told with symbolism, there are various theories on how things will occur. There was one thing in the book that really seemed far-fetched to me but could be possible, depending on the current state of society at the time this would occur.

There were many very creepy moments. Demons are the scariest entity to me so there were parts of this book that were very scary.

I loved the chess references and the way everything came together in the end. The way the author weaved the story together was very skillful and clever.

Overall, this was an interesting and creepy story that I enjoyed.

My Rating:

I received this book from the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Secrets by Beckie Lindsey Review and Giveaway

Secrets FB banner copy

 

About the Book

Secrets

Book: Secrets

Author: Beckie Lindsey

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: February, 2018

Every girl has a secret she hopes the light will never find–but the demons already have.

Four girls. Four sets of secrets. Four searching for answers.

Mackenzie is the shy, awkward new girl at school, depressed and desperate for a real friend. When she stumbles upon the deepest secret of a sarcastic, angry-at-the-world track star, Krystal, they become instant enemies-especially about the flirtatious baseball player, Bryce.

Tammi, a gloomy singer/musician who couldn’t care less about what others think of her, meets Sadie, a dancer and a people-pleaser with a cotton candy disposition. They have nothing in common until their lives begin to collide in more ways than one.

As the girls’ worlds begin to converge, their secrets rather than their similarities draw them together. Meanwhile, all that’s kept hidden has left them vulnerable to a battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep the girls chained to their pasts while angels of light work to free them.

Can good ever come from evil? Can beauty ever arise from ashes?

 

Click here to purchase your copy!

My Thoughts

I always enjoy stories about spiritual warfare as they provide a visual image of the battle that goes on within the spiritual realm. This story follows 4 teenage girls who all have struggles and issues and the demons and angels that are battling for their souls. The story is full of drama and some very serious issues. I appreciate that the author did not sugar coat the story, the girls were realistic and gritty at times. Because of the content of the story, this would not be appropriate for younger teens.

The scenes of the demons were chilling and the scenes with the angels were very uplifting. I love that when the characters called out to God, they immediately found the help they needed.

The characters were each unique. The story provides what I imagine is an accurate picture of public school in this day and age. I think many teens would find this book interesting and I highly recommend it.

I received this book from the author/publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

About the Author

Beckie LindsayBeckie Lindsey is an award-winning poet, author, blogger, and the editor of Southern California Christian Voice, a division of One Christian Voice, a national news syndicating agency. She is a major coffeeholic and enjoys a good book with a cat on her lap. She also loves to hike and hang out with family and friends. Beckie and her husband, Scott have three adult children, two adorable cats and live in California.

Guest Post from Beckie

Why I write YA and the BFA series

By Beckie Lindsey

 

I believe a teenager still exists inside each of us.

 

We hear a familiar tune from our “glory days” and are instantly tapping our toes. Mentally, we’re back in high school —poofy bangs, scrunchie, neon off-the-shoulder sweatshirt — and all. Oh, wait. That’s me back in the ‘80s!

 

Ah, yes. There is something wonderfully awful about those coming-of-age years.

 

From the first kiss to the first breakup, there are memories we cherish and some we don’t care to ever revisit. Being a teen can be exciting, confusing, painful, joyous, or even all of those things at once!

 

No matter how different your teenage experience was from mine, one thing is true for us all: these years have an enormous impact on who we become as adults. We can all sympathize with the plight of puberty and the longing for independence and acceptance. Yeah, there’s still a teenager in all of us!

 

These are the reasons I write YA.

 

My hope is to use the power of storytelling to move past barriers and open hearts to accept how much God loves and desires a personal relationship with us.

 

At every age, we all need the grace and love of Jesus.

 

In the Beauties from Ashes (BFA) series, I write about relatable characters with difficult issues and traumatic pasts to enlighten readers about the unseen spiritual battle referred to in Scripture. Each character has a secret that has left them vulnerable to the battle in an invisible realm where demonic creatures fight to keep them chained to their pasts and angels of light work to free them.

 

The characters and their issues are complex, just like real life. In fact, some of the topics are often considered too taboo to talk about openly. But what is left in the dark, festers and grows. It is only in the light that we can be free. In the BFA series, readers experience the character’s quest for truth, love, grace, and freedom while hopefully finding the same for themselves.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, November 13

Inklings and notions, November 14

Genesis 5020, November 15

Multifarious, November 16

Blogging With Carol, November 16

Carpe Diem, November 17

A Baker’s Perspective, November 18

Godly Book Reviews, November 19

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 19

Robin Is Bookish, November 20

Remembrancy, November 20

The Becca Files, November 21

Christian Centered book Reviews, November 21

Ashley’s Bookshelf, November 22

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 22

Wonders of Anomalies Book Reviews, November 23

amandainpa, November 23

Bibliophile Reviews, November 24

Janices book reviews, November 25

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 26

Bigreadersite, November 26

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0af

To celebrate her tour, Beckie is giving away a grand prize of a $30 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d56f/secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

When Through Deep Waters by Rachelle Dekker Review

wtdw

Synopsis:

Alicen McCaffrey finally has the life her mother always dreamed for her: beautiful home in Santa Monica, successful husband, adorable daughter. Then tragedy blows her carefully assembled facade to pieces. Worse yet–Alicen feels solely responsible. At rock bottom, she decides to accompany a childhood friend back to Red Lodge, Montana, where they spent summers together as kids.

The peaceful mountain landscape, accented with lush forests and small-town charm, brings back happy memories of time spent with her beloved, eccentric Grandma Josephine. Alicen begins to hope that perhaps things could be different here. Perhaps the oppressive guilt will lift–if only for a moment.

But when Alicen starts hearing voices and seeing mysterious figures near the river in the woods, she begins to fear she’s completely lost her sanity, as it’s rumored her grandmother did. Or might there be more to Red Lodge than meets the eye? Could the voices and visions be real–and her only means of finding the healing she so desperately needs? Or will they prove to be her final undoing?

My Thoughts:

This is a difficult book to review because I have many mixed feelings about it. I didn’t really know what to expect when I started reading it, based on the synopsis and it was definitely different than anything I’ve read before.

It almost felt like the author was adding elements of magical realism to the story and trying to fit them into the story of salvation but to me, it didn’t quite work. The theology behind some of the things said and seen in the story just didn’t make sense. I’m not a fan of magical realism/paranormal aspects so this probably had a lot to do with my feelings towards the book.

I liked the character of Alicen and felt that her grieving process seemed very realistic. I also found the descriptions of how depression felt as very accurate. I also loved the friendship she shared with Louise and the support she received from her.

The story moved very fast and I found myself flying through the pages. Unfortunately, I just felt like some elements of the story were confusing and a bit strange. It wasn’t the book for me.

My Rating: 2.5 stars

I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Empowered by Craig Parshall Review

em

Synopsis: Just when a mysterious death in Washington, DC, appears to have voodoo connections rooted in New Orleans, Trevor Black also receives an invitation to speak at the national ABA convention in the city.

He knows he’ll be in enemy territory, both as a disbarred attorney and as a follower of Jesus, but he determines to travel there and confront the supernatural element. Right after a grisly murder in his hotel room puts him on the suspect list, his daughter disappears, leaving a note that suggests a connection to the local cult religion. Now Trevor must not only crack the case but try to protect Heather from forces of darkness clutching at her soul as well. And just as he discovers that his ability to sniff out the supernatural has its limitations, Trevor learns that this web of evil extends far beyond isolated murders, enslaving scores of innocent children, with its head perhaps linked to the highest seats of power.

My Thoughts: Books about spiritual warfare and the invisible war that wages around us always fascinate me. This book follows Trevor Black, a former lawyer who can see past the invisible veil…he sees demons and is attuned to the demonic forces surrounding him. He is called by a former coworker to investigate a suspicious death which leads him to discover something very sinister behind everything.

This book was very fast paced and exciting. The reader is taken from North Carolina to New Orleans to Washington DC and meets many colorful characters. Although there are a lot of characters in this book, it was fairly easy to keep track of who was who.

The writing is very atmospheric. At one point, I was on a boat in a New Orleans bayou and I could almost hear the sounds and fear that a gator would attack.

I truly believe in the battle of good and evil and appreciate that Craig Parshall writes about the subject. I will definitely pick up more books by him. This is book 2 in the Trevor Black series but it works as a standalone. I enjoyed it more than the first book, The Occupied…read my review of it Here.

My Rating: 4.5 stars

I received this book from Tyndale House to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Coldwater by Samuel Parker Review

cq.jpg

Synopsis: Having forfeited his youth to the state prison system, Michael moved back to the only home he’d ever known. An empty shell of a man who now lived–if it could be called living–in the still vacant house of his parents in a town with one stoplight. A town that hated him. Had always hated him. And was ready to pick up where the prison system had let off.

Now he’s on the run from men who’ve tried to kill him once; but Michael is more than an ex-con. A powerful, sinister force creeps inside him, threatening and destructive. Who–and what–it will destroy next is the only real question. From the bold voice that brought readers down Purgatory Road comes a new pulse-pounding, spine-rattling tale of vengeance and justice that will have them up all night.

My Thoughts: The first chapter of this book is possibly one of the most anxiety-provoking and stressful scenes that I’ve read in a book, ever! I am extremely claustrophobic and the thought of that scene as it’s very vividly described by the author sent chills down my body and almost caused me to stop reading because of the intensity of the scene. This is a testament to how great Samuel Parker’s writing is.

Parker is very good at showing the reader things through the character’s eyes instead of narrating it and “telling” it. The scenes were all very descriptive and I found myself on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out what was truly going on in the story.

This is the kind of story that is best experienced by knowing very little about the plot. This makes the revelations more interesting.

I found the story to be a great thriller but not such a great novel as far as the Christian aspect goes. There were definitely supernatural elements at play but I was very disappointed to only truly see the “evil” side of things. The “good” never showed up and I feel like a great opportunity was missed. I was pleased to find that the content was very clean and lacked cursing and graphic scenes. There were some scenes of violence but the author left a lot to the reader’s imagination instead of getting too graphic.

Overall, I found this to be an exciting read but would have liked more faith content.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from Baker Publishing Group to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

The Christmas Gate 2 by T.A. Cline Review

cg

Synopsis: “I became paralyzed with fear. Tears started to run down my cheeks as I sat motionless on the bed facing the locked door.”

Patty had slowly opened up to Bob. She thinks she might be falling in love with him. Even so, he has gone back to New York, and she has not heard from him in two weeks. It is another loss for her. First, her mother died when she was young, and then her husband, Matt, was killed in Afghanistan. She has lost all that were close to her. All but her dad and he is her rock. He is the one that gives her strength.

In, The Christmas Gate 2, Patty’s life becomes like a roller coaster, with the ups and the downs. She loses, and then wins, only to lose again. Then Patty is rocked with an emotional bombshell. She tries to gather herself together, then only another heartbreak again.

She resigns herself to wait at the old farm house until Bob returns to her. She unleashes what Bob had uncovered during his earlier stay, and she too is taken on a journey that will bring to the surface the things she has buried deep inside her, things that she has forgotten, things she refuses to confront, and things that could eventually set her free. Patty and Bob’s story continues in, The Christmas Gate 2.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the first book, The Christmas Gate, so I was very excited when the author sent me the second book to read and review.

This book picks up right after the first one ended but is told from Patty’s point of view. Patty has been through a lot and goes through a lot in this book. At the risk of mentioning spoilers, I will stop describing here 😉

There were some moments in this book that really surprised me and I had no idea how the author was going to “fix” the situations. I found the story very clever and sweet.

I really liked Patty, and getting to know her better in this book. She’s a tough gal on the outside but the reader discovers that she is still dealing with some hurt and frustration issues.

I read this book in one sitting and enjoyed it just as much as the first one. I would definitely recommend it.

My Rating: 4 stars

I received this book from the author to read and review. All opinions are my own.