Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson – Satisfying & Intriguing

It was the title, Hidden Among the Stars, that first caught my attention.  The storyline drew me in and made me want to read Melanie Dobson’s newest book, an author whose writing is new to me.

The story takes place in two periods of time and in two places that intersect as character Callie tries to find out who Luzia and Annika were and if perchance if one of them was related to her beloved friend Charlotte.

Luzia, Annika, Max and Hermann lived in Austria during the late 1930’s and their lives were forever changed as the were caught up in the war when the Nazi’s swept in to Austria.  Eighty years later and 5,000 miles away, Callie is drawn into trying to solve a mystery that was discovered in a children’s book.  Will Callie step outside her comfort zone to solve a mystery and discover the truth?  Will she let down her walls long enough to open herself the possibility of finding love once again?

Hidden Among the Stars was very different kind of book, but I really liked it.  I especially liked the characters from the 1930’s in Austria.  The characters came to life and the situations that they faced as their beloved country was overrun by evil was very compelling.  How would they respond when the anti-Jewish Nazi mentality grew and overwhelmed Austrians?  Fellow neighbors, were they now friend or foe?  Would they protect and try to help their Jewish neighbors?  It was both horrifying and captivating to see what they faced and how they responded to evil in their midst.

The modern-day part of the story took a little while for me to get used to because it was written in the first person, but the rest of the story was not.  After a while, I got used to it.  While I liked the characters, they didn’t seem as real or rich as the 1930’s characters.

The author includes faith in her story and the Gospel message was shared.  I appreciated that the author didn’t include profanity or sexual immorality in the story.  She delicately handled a scene where one of the characters was raped.

As the story unfolded, I figured out some of the mystery, but not all of it.  It kept me guessing until the end.

I would describe the book as satisfying and intriguing.  It unfolds and develops slowly, but that’s okay because you are learning about the characters and what they are going through.  There is some about this book that is almost poetic, probably most visible in the character of Callie.

I recommend Hidden Among the Stars by Melanie Dobson.  If you like mystery, intrigue or historical fiction you may enjoy this book.

I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to read Hidden Among the Stars in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.

 

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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.