Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

Prepare for an adrenaline rush!

Nonstop action, believable characters, and an intriguing plotline make False Witness a winner for fans of the Christian suspense genre. 

Singer's characters are quirky from Jamie, the law student seeking justice after her mother's murder whose best friend is an adorable dog to Clark Shealy, a bail bondsman fighting for his wife's life.  Clark increases his likeability throughout the book as he comes to know Christ.

My initial interest in this book was sparked by the topic of the Indian church and giving Dalit children an education.  I was pleased that Singer is addressing this subject, although at times I felt it was inserted in the plot and I would have liked to have seen this subject covered more deeply in the novel.  Maybe that's just because I have a personal interest in the topic.

This book has interesting twists throughout that are clearly designed to keep the reader turning pages and Singer succeeded in his goal. 

I am glad to have a backlist of Singer's books to keep me occupied until his next release.

**Special thanks to B and B Media Group for providing a copy of this book for review.**

I apologize for the plethora of reviews coming to you at once.  I would prefer to spread out the dates, however, I have an upcoming medical procedure this week and need to make sure all the links to my reviews are sent on in time.

The Fine Art of Insincerity is a deep, emotionally impacting read that spans a variety of themes.

Hunt's book is based around three sisters who couldn't be more different (or do they have more in common than they think?) who travel to beautiful St. Simon's island to "unload" their late grandmother's house and end up clearing out their own "baggage" in the process.

Grandmother George also had six other last names.  Yet each of these sisters also faces monumental challenges in relationships.

Ginger struggles with her husband's infidelity, Rosemary struggles with suicidal thoughts, and Pennyroyal contemplates leaving her third husband. 

It is a story of the facade of perfection and the pride of trying to hold it all together.  Ultimately its about the relationship between two sisters who can't bear to be in each other's presence and the God who can reconcile them to each other.  As the sisters embrace brokenness, God unveils His second chances. 

Its also a novel about the grieving process not only for grandmother but over lost marriages, second chances.  I highly recommend this book to all fans of women's fiction looking for a great summer read with emotional depth.  Hunt has once again proven herself queen of women's fiction.

**Thanks to Glass Roads PR for sending a copy of this book in exchange for a review.**

I had been praying for the right Bible for a new reader and just days later received this book in the mail as part of the Crossway Books review program for homeschoolers.  It is a great fit!  In fact I have waited to write about this Bible for so long because it was not sitting in my review stack.  My 6-year-old daughter brings it everywhere.

I received an ESV Study Bible for Christmas.  I find it a great study resource and I appreciate the philosophy behind the translation of this particular Bible.  I still love my King James Bible though.

Colorful pictures add interest, especially in the age bracket where there are many beginning readers.  I agree with some bloggers that the intended age level of 5-8 may be low but this is a wonderful read-aloud Bible with great study features.  At this age, it is great to read to your child and be present for any questions.

This is the closest I've seen to an in-depth study Bible for kids.  I like the fact that this Bible asks key questions helping the child to gain a clearer understanding, another feature that is great for family Bible times. 

There are tons of maps and a Bible dictionary included. Every book has a full page introduction.  I also love the fact that this Bible includes memory verses for kids to focus on throughout the text. 

In short this is a wonderful Bible to add to your collection, in my opinion, if you have children in the 5-10 age range.

**Special thanks to Crossway homeschool review program for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a review.**

Moseley's "faded photograph" cover caught my attention and her topic choice reeled me in.  Cults have always been a topic of interest for me.  I've often wondered what originally attracts cult members.  Even more than that though I love the tale of a cult member who is set free through knowing the living Christ.  I've enjoyed Irene Spencer and Susan Ray Schmidt's autobiographies among others.

Moseley does an excellent job at showcasing the emotions one might go through while leaving a cult.  The plot line kept my interest.  The characters of Jack and Miranda are realistically portrayed. 

I personally didn't feel that I was dragged into the world of the book.  I had trouble reconciling with Miranda beginning a romance at a time when she still has so many issues to work through with the cult.  There were several times throughout the novel where I struggled with believability.

Moseley deserves kudos for creating characters that are likeable.  I appreciate that she tackled subjects such as homeschooling and legalism that are not often addressed in CBA fiction.  Overall, I guess I would label this read as "not for me" although it may just be for you.

**I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program in exchange for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are my own.**

I have been quite neglectful of this blog.  Mainly due to getting caught up in the midst of my first year of homeschooling.  I hope to set up a more regular blogging routine, but have discovered that blogging was edging out writing my own novel.  Meanwhile, I've still been blogging at the Writer's Alley and posting the occasional review at Title Trakk

I've been waiting to share this wonderful book with you.  It is undoubtably one of my favorite reads of 2011.  I read and loved this book way back in January.  Here's my thoughts (as posted on Title Trakk).

Well-crafted historical detail, page-turning suspense and vividly portrayed characters make Wolves Among Us by Ginger Garrett a must-read.

I recently read an article in which an author claimed that "it kept me up all night" is the best compliment a reader can pay her novels.  Garrett's novel remained bookmark free as I devoured page after page in a single sitting.  And as a busy homeschool mom, there are not many books that can keep me up past bedtime.

Its 1538 in the Black Forest of Germany.  I love reading books with unusual settings and time periods, so my interest was immediately captured.  Every detail of the wolf-surrounded village was brought to life.

A double murder strikes up fears in this small medieval village.  The sherriff is perplexed and engages the help of Father Stephan, the local priest.  Father Stephan calls in an Inquisitor in order to find the dark roots of evil that stalk the town.

In a wave of fervor and panic, the murders are proclaimed to be the work of witches.  Physical and spiritual wolves are on the prowl, as a frenzied hunt begins to find the culprit. The charismatic Inquisitor claims to be able to rid the town of evil but as his investigation continues further devastation is unleashed on the town.

Mia is the unloved wife of Sheriff Bjorn.  She tries to be a good and faithful wife, remembering the words of a manuscript for women she helped her father print many years ago.  She still remembers, too, the words of the man whose books her father printed.  These words from Mr. Tyndale are kernels of truth that stay with her during her most painful times.  It is these words that remind her to listen to another Voice, a Voice that distills the fear that runs rampant through the village. 

Wolves Among Us is a novel of spiritual warfare and of the power of a mustard-seed faith.  It is a tale of the horrendous evils inflicted on man and the power of the love of Christ to overcome them.  Father Stephan's life shows the "deadness" of religion and later the overcoming life of trusting the power of Christ for salvation.  Wolves Among Us shows the extraordinary courage of our forefathers in the faith. 

Garrett has penned a book that is not an easy read.  History is filled with tales of blood shed for freedom.  For it was blood shed 2000 years ago on a Cross that first gave us life.  Painfully realistic, there were times I was deeply disturbed by this read. Garrett goes beyond moving the reader on an emotional level and provides spiritual sustenance.

Wolves Among Us has quickly jumped to my favorites list and I eagerly await Garrett's next installment.

Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


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