Review of Frame 232 by Wil Mara


Genre: Suspense

Series: A Jason Hammond Novel: Book One


This is the first book in a series of suspenseful detective novels highlighting Jason Hammond, an independent billionaire sleuth with a propensity for justice. In this story Hammond is contacted by the daughter of the infamous Babushka Lady of the JFK assassination (Sheila Baker), who needs help after discovering her late mother’s secret, and a tape of the assassination portraying a second gunman. In Hollywood-worthy form Hammond and Sheila run from the bad-guys, while picking up clues to the truth behind the crime that must be made public.

This is a completely fictitious rendition of the events surrounding the JFK assassination, but very entertaining. Wil Mara actually did a good deal of research surrounding the conspiracy theories, but writes–not in accordance to his own views (he believes Oswald was the sole shooter)–but as he imagines would be most exciting for a narrative. The result is an absorbing novel with well-developed characters, electrifyingly cunning scenes of discovery and escape, and just enough real history within the setting to ground the account as a realistic illustration.

The second book of the series, The Nevada Testament (Summer 2014), will bring a completely different mystery from the same loveable detective. I appreciate series like this that draw from familiar characters while having a story all their own.

For more information on Frame 232 check out this Q & A with the author, and the official book trailer on YouTube.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through theĀ Tyndale Blog Network.


Review of Lead! – They Will Follow You as You Follow Jesus by Stephen Owens


Genre: Christian Leadership


Pastor and church planter Stephen Owens offers concise, practical instruction on how to be an effective leader within the body of Christ. He highlights nine disciplines that have helped him grow as a leader, each following the biblical model of the Apostle Paul, and grounded in Scripture. Areas of discussion range from understanding the significance of setting time aside to spend with Jesus, to the importance of community and discipleship, having a right view of finances, and learning to take up the cross joyously.

I love that Pastor Stephen’s teaching is based on the foundation of God’s Word, and also appreciate his willingness to humbly share from his own experiences. It is clear that his priorities are in order, and that God has gifted him with the wisdom to plant and minister within the church, and to edify the current and upcoming generations of aspiring leaders. Pastor Stephen’s encouragement and insight would be a blessing to anyone in or pursuing active ministry.

I received a complimentary copy of this ebook from the author, Stephen Owens, for the purpose of providing an honest review.


Review of Peril by Jordyn Redwood


Genre: Medical Drama/Suspense

Series: Bloodline Trilogy 3


Peril is a medical suspense novel dealing with the strange phenomena of memory transference in organ donor recipients. Morgan Adams is a suicidal pediatric nurse struggling with the challenges of dealing with kidney failure, the toil her health takes on her work and family, and the raw memories of the anniversary of her infant daughter’s death. At the same time, Morgan’s husband, Dr. Tyler Adams, is involved in some cutting edge research experimentation that does not quite go as expected. The plot twists as patients, a police investigation, fascinating medical conditions, and a high risk hostage situation bring new meaning and thought to some of life’s difficult questions, including the lines between morality and science.

This is a thrilling and intriguing story. I especially appreciate that the medical side of the narrative is accurate. The author, Jordyn Redwood not only has twenty years of experience working and teaching in a hospital setting, but she also dedicates her free time to researching medical texts and advising writers to medical accuracy on her blog.

Some of the medical details within the story set my mind reeling and pondering the biblical and moral applications of certain medical procedures. The revelation that organs carry a “memory” also gives me new meaning to the battle between the flesh and the spirit. It has been awhile since fiction has caused me to think so thoroughly, and to ponder such a variety of subjects and applications. I have not yet read the first two books in this series, but am interested in adding them to my collection.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications.


Review of Forever Friday by Timothy Lewis


Genre: Romance

Not Recommended.

As Adam Colby is running an estate sale, he finds sixty years worth of postcard love letters in an old photo album. Struggling to understand how his divorce went wrong, he gets caught up in the old time love of Pearl and Gabe Alexander. Every Friday for sixty years Gabe had written Pearl a love poem on the back of a postcard, and within those postcards the secret of their passionate marriage is revealed. The parallel events of the Alexander’s early twentieth century love and of Adam’s present day reflections are tied together more intricately as the narrative unfolds.

The story is very romantic and emotionally riveting, but I do not recommend it for two reasons: 1) The end was too abrupt for me; there was heavy symbolism so that the reader would know what comes next, but I would have liked the story to play out at least a little more than it did. 2) I do not think the faith element within the book was strong enough considering this is Christian fiction. It does not usually bother me when Christian fiction has subtle themes of faith. In this narrative, however, the supernatural realm (angels, ghosts, eternity) had a fairly significant role, but was presented in a way that made me a little uncomfortable (on the line between Christianity and other religious/spiritual ideas). I would have liked to see the characters depend on God (rather than praying to angels), and also would have liked faith to have been a greater part of their marriage. Essentially the couple worships each other, and while a lot can be learned from their selflessness, they go overboard by not allowing God to be the one uniting them.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from WaterBrook Press.