The Kremlin Conspiracy by Joel C. Rosenberg – You Won’t Want To Put This One Down

Joel C. Rosenberg is one of my favorite authors.  If he writes a new book, I want to read it.  So glad that I had the opportunity to read his latest book, The Kremlin Conspiracy.

What newspaper can you pick up today where you aren’t reading another article about Russia?  Do the headlines about the Russian President, Russian journalists being murdered or former Russian spies being poisoned grab your attention?  If so, you will want to read Joel’s newest book, The Kremlin Conspiracy, which seems to have been ripped from today’s headline news.

The Kremlin Conspiracy is a novel about the increasing tensions and threat of a military show down between the United States of America and Russia.  Why in the world is Russia making a bold, but irrational, overreach of power?  Though set on the world stage, Joel make this story personal by following the lives of Marcus Ryker and Oleg Kraskin through their relationships, work and the people that surround them, some of whom are powerful and influential world leaders.  When their lives intersect how will they be changed?  The reader comes to know and care about these people as their countries come closer to being on the brink of war.

From page 1 until the very end Joel holds the reader’s attention.  One way I can tell if a novel is really good, is when I put the book down I’m still thinking about the characters and wondering what will happen next.  There are some surprises in this story and you will be kept on the edge of your seat.  I’m already looking forward to the next book in this series.  I sure hope that Joel writes it quickly!

Something I especially appreciate about Joel’s books is that he weaves the Christian faith into some of the characters.  I like that he is able to write an interesting story that doesn’t include filthy language or details about sexually immorality.

If you like suspense novels or fast-paced political thrillers that keep you up at night, you will want to read Joel C. Rosenberg’s newest novel, The Kremlin Conspiracy.  You won’t want to put this one down!

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers, Inc for the opportunity to read The Kremlin Conspiracy for free in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

#JoelCRosenberg

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Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad – Fascinating, Intense & It May Keep You Up Late

I love a good mystery filled with suspense and intrigue.  That’s why I wanted to read author Michele Rigby Assad’s new book Breaking Cover – My Secret Life In The CIA and What It Taught Me About What’s Worth Fighting For.

Have you ever wondered how in the world someone ends up working for the CIA as spy?  It’s not like you take a class in school or get a degree in spying.  What type of person is well suited to become a spy?  As a Christian, how do you reconcile the deceptive practices that are necessary for spying with your Christian values?  Those are just a few topics that Michele talks about in her book Breaking Cover.

It was sobering to learn about what Michele and her husband Joseph experienced when they were in field.  They endured a lot, from the bureaucracy within the CIA, the transitory secretive life that being a spy necessitates and the ever-present perils that surrounded them.  Not just once and a while, but every day their lives were on the line.

Reading about what Michele endured, because she is a woman, gave me a greater respect for the work that she did and the sacrifices she and Joseph made to help protect our Country from those who sought to do us harm.  I couldn’t have done what she did, I would have quit!  There was one scene in the book that left a lasting impression on me.  Michele was driving to work in Iraq, not exactly a safe and friendly place for women.  She was at a stop light when all of a sudden some very evil men took notice of her.  Not good…not good at all.  How in the world was she going to get out this situation alive, much less unharmed?  That was just one of the many stories that gripped me and kept me up late at night to find out how things were going to turn out.

As intriguing as their ten-year careers were, it was interesting to see how they transitioned out of the CIA into regular life.  It’s not like you can fill out a resume and list your jobs and give references.  Michele shared that there is a high recidivism rate for CIA agents.  They end up coming back to work for the CIA because the transition can be too hard.

What I appreciated most about Michele and Joseph Assad’s story was how God had gone before them and was using the incredibly trying and difficult circumstances they lived in for ten years to prepare them for a greater mission.  They learned and honed their skills, talents, abilities and discernment.  One day, they would be called upon to employ all they had learned and much more to help bring to 150 Christians from war torn Iraq to safety.

I came away from reading Breaking Cover more grateful for the Country we live in and freedoms we have.  I have a greater appreciation for the work that people in the intelligence community do to keep our Country safe.

Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad is fascinating, especially from the unique perspective of a woman being a CIA officer and a counterterrorism expert in the Middle East.  I highly recommend this book, but be forewarned, you may be staying up late at night because it’s too intense to put down.

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Breaking Cover in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Russia Rising by Mark Hitchcock – A helpful guide to better understand Bible Prophesy

I was excited to read pastor and teacher Mark Hitchcock’s newest book Russia Rising – Tracking the Bear in Bible Prophecy.

Pastor Mark Hitchcock is a solid Bible and prophesy teacher.  He is well balanced and does not get off track like some Bible prophesy teachers.  He doesn’t try to manipulate current events into fulfillment of Biblical end time events.  He’s not a date setter and has good understanding of Scripture and a healthy respect for God’s timetable which He alone knows.

Russia Rising starts with a history of Russia and goes into recent incidents that give evidence that Russia, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, is exercising more and more power and is actively expanding their reach into other countries, like Syria and Iran.  Russia is a formidable foe on the world stage.

One area I disagreed with Mark was his take on 2016 US presidential election.  He spoke of the Russian fake news strategy and the DNC “hacking” as the work of Russian spies.  That narrative is one that is suspect at best and may have actually been internal leaks from someone within the DNC.

Mark went into great detail to explain why the king of the north, from Ezekiel 38-39 and Daniel 11 is modern-day Russian.  He also discussed the various interpretations on when the War of Gog and Magog may take place.  He not only covers his own opinion on when this event may take place, but he also addresses other views and explains if they line up with Scripture, history, current events and Bible prophesy.

I especially appreciated Mark bringing the discussion of Bible prophesy and end times back to Christ.  He reminded the reader that anticipating the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ should impact us to live holy lives and eagerly share the Gospel message with unbelievers around us.

If you want to have a better understand biblical end time events and know what in the world is going with Russia and how it all fits into Bible prophesy, pick up a copy of Russia Rising by Mark Hitchcock.

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers and Tyndale Blog Network for the opportunity to read Russia Rising for free.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Rule of Law by Randy Singer – A Fast-Paced Thriller Filled with Intrigue – Be Forewarned This Book Make Keep You Up at Night

Reading the description of the storyline is what drew me in and want to read Rule of Law by Randy Singer. Intrigue, suspense, politics and the news media sounds like a story ripped from today’s headlines.

The story opens with Navy SEAL Team Six ready to deploy on a mission in Yemen, led by Patrick Quillen. Before the reader finds out if the mission will succeed, we are taken back two months earlier and meet Paige Chambers, a young attorney, who is about to come up against famed and unconventional attorney Wyatt Jackson. Little does she know how their futures will converge.

As the story continues the President, Vice President and their staff, military personnel and families, Supreme Court Justices, the news media and Islamic clerics all come into play to make this story, which is full of twists and turns, come alive.

Randy Singer is a writer whose work is new to me. I love it when I find a good author. Not only do I get to enjoy their current work, but now I can go back and read their earlier novels.

What makes an author a great writer verses one that’s so, so? I’m not sure I know the answer to that. But I can tell you from the opening pages of this book, I was hooked. I was interested in the story, I cared about the people, even the bad guys. I wanted to know what would happen next and I wanted to understand what made these people tick and why they did what they did. The pace didn’t let up and it kept me guessing until the end. Be forewarned, Rule of Law may keep you up late at night to find out what happens next.

As I read Rule of Law, I was forced to examine my thoughts on what rights the President of the United States should have to executive privilege and what lengths they can go to, to protect our nation. Should they be allowed the bend or even break the law? It’s one thing when it’s an administration that I trust and respect, but another when it’s one I don’t support.

Rule of Law by Randy Singer is a fast-paced novel filled with intrigue and surprises. It’s thought provoking and a great read. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading Randy Singer’s other novels.

I would like to thank Litfuse Group and Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to read Rule of Law by Randy Singer. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore – If you like mysteries and police novels, give it a try.

I had previously read a novel by Janice Cantore and was looking forward to her new book Crisis Shot.

The story starts out with Long Beach Police Commander, Tess O’Rourke answering an emergency call where a fellow officer is imminent danger.  How Tess responds, right or wrong, will affect her future.  The story could be taken out today’s headline news, where every action a police officer takes is scrutinized and condemned, even when there is little merit to critic’s narrative.

When the fallout from Tess’ action doesn’t seem to be winding down, she decides to make a move to a small town in Oregon, with the hope of being able to resume the career she loves in law enforcement.  It a huge change in her life.  As Chief of Police in the small town of Rogue’s Hallow, she will be answering to the mayor and city council.  It might be a small town but even there, evil is at work.

I sort of liked the main character Tess, but didn’t feel like I got to know her well or really care about her like I wanted to.  There was a bit of a disconnect.  At first, I struggled with how Tess continually compared police work and what people were like in the small town compared where she had spent most of her life, in Long Beach, CA.  Then I realized if I had made such a drastic change in my life, I would likely be reflecting back on where I came from and what it was like back then.  The reader will get an understanding of how police work in a big city differs from a small town.  I liked how the relationships with fellow police officers changed as they worked with their new Police Chief.

The overall pace of the novel seemed to drag.  Tess encountered many obstacles and people seemed to be tight lipped and withheld important information.  I didn’t guess who the bad guy was, there weren’t a lot of clues along the way, just lots of suspicious behavior on the part of several towns people.  I didn’t really connect with the characters.  I didn’t come away from reading the book saying, “I can’t wait to find out what happens with Tess next.”  Something was missing, but I’m not sure what it was.

The Christian faith is a small part of the story.  Tess is not a believer, but there are several Christians she encounters along the way.  If there is a sequel I hope that Christian faith is a bigger part of the story.

Crisis Shot is okay.  I would definitely read Janice Cantore’s future books because of my good experience with her earlier novels.  If you like mysteries and police novels, give Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore a try and be sure to read some of her earlier books.

I would like to thank Tyndale House and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Janice Cantore’s newest book Crisis Shot.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

 

Deep Undercover by Jack Barsky – Filled with Intrigue That May Keep You Up At Night

Some books are a pleasure to read and the review is easy to write.  That holds true for Deep Undercover by Jack Barsky with Cindy Coloma.

If you like intrigue, suspense and mystery look no further than Deep Undercover which tells true story of KGB spy Jack Barsky, or should I say Albrecht Dittrich.

I found this book fascinating and of particular interest was Albrecht’s early life.  He was born in 1949 in East Germany, following WWII.  As I read about his early years, I was struck by the contrast between growing up in his war-torn country and life here in the United States of America.

Have you even wondered how someone becomes a spy?  How are you trained to do the job?  What skillsets do you need to be a KGB operative?  What happens if you fail or if you change your mind?  Can a spy have any kind of a real life with a wife, children and friends?  Or is a spy destined to live a life of loneliness where no one really knows him?

Those questions and much more are answered in Deep Undercover which tells about the intriguing life of Jack Barsky.  While his life started much different than your typical American, and his career path took some twists and turns, this man came to love this country and the freedoms that regular everyday Americans have.  The freedom and capitalism that he once fought against, he came to embrace, even at the risk of losing his life.

At the end of the book, Jack explains how he came to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.  I especially liked how he shared about God providentially weaving together the circumstances of his life which resulted in him coming to America and ultimately becoming a Christian.

Something I would like to clarify, the statement by Jack’s soon to be wife Shawna, “You are already a Christian; you just don’t know it.”, is not Scripturally accurate.  Jack may have been in the process of learning about Christ and she saw that his faith was growing, but accepting Christ is a purposeful decision.

I highly recommend Deep Undercover by Jack Barsky, it’s a fascinating book.  Be forewarned, this book may keep you up at night so you can find out what happens next.  If you like mysteries and intrigue, biographies, or you just like to know what makes a man tick, pickup Deep Undercover.  You won’t be disappointed.

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to read Deep Undercover for free.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me – A Memoir by Lorilee Craker

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First and foremost let me say, I love this book!  Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me by Lorilee Craker is a lovely and delightful book.  In this heartfelt exploration about adoption the author shares about  feelings and emotions experienced by adoptees, adoptive parents and biological parents.

I’ve never read any books by Lorilee Craker, but when I read the description of this book, I was hooked.  “What my favorite book taught me about grace, belonging and the orphan in us all.”

I’m an adoptee and Anne of Green Gables is one of my favorite books.  I think I’ve read every book by famed author, Lucy Maud Montgomery.  That’s why I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to read Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me.

Throughout the book Lorilee skillfully weaves characters and scenes from much the beloved books, Anne of Green Gables, as she shares about her own life which began with her adoption.  Lorilee and her husband Doyle are the forever real parents to their sons Jonah and Ezra and their adopted daughter Phoebe.  She also shares about Phoebe’s unique and special journey to become part of the Craker family.

I really appreciated how Lorilee shared the birth mother’s perspective.  She was open and transparent in her quest to find her birth parents and what happened.  Even if an adoptee never seeks out their birth parents, the curiosity remains.

Lorilee shared about her own forever and very real parents and what she and her husband experienced when they flew halfway around the world to bring their daughter Phoebe home.

Interwoven throughout this book are scenes from the precious books and movies, Anne of Green Gables.  This memorable story is about a young girl with carrot red hair who was orphaned and adopted by the unlikely parents of spinster Marilla Cuthbert and her bachelor brother Matthew.  Who would ever think that a spinster and bachelor would be the perfect parents for this spunky, feisty and imaginative girl?  Anne’s life would be forever changed and filled to overflowing with love and friends on the enchanting and beautiful Prince Edward Island.

This story is made even richer as Lorilee shares about author Lucy Maud Montgomery’s life, who herself was orphaned.  While her story turned out different than Anne’s, it’s from her rich imagination this beloved character has a special place in the hearts of many young girls and women.

Lorilee delves into some painful and deep thoughts and emotions from those impacted by adoption.  She tackles the conundrum of how one who is chosen and adopted may focus on being abandoned, rejected and orphaned.  Most importantly she shares how God Himself has adopted Christian believers into His forever family.  Orphans are very close to His heart.

I highly and unreservedly recommend Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me by author Lorilee Craker.  It’s filled with grace and truth; it will enrich your life and touch your heart.

I would like thank the people at Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to read Anne of Green Gables, My Daughter & Me in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.