Category: book review

The Ghost Book Review

iRead Book Tours

Assassinations, a love story, a kidnapping, and many twists and turns characterizes this riveting novel of historical fiction, circa 1958, thirteen years post World War II.

The Ghost Book Review

About The Ghost

Assassinations, a love story, a kidnapping, and many twists and turns characterizes this riveting novel of historical fiction, circa 1958, thirteen years post World War II.

Events are uncovered where The Ghost, a powerful Vatican Bishop, is sending assassins to retrieve a secret tailpiece – a hidden extension of the 1942 Wannsee Conference Papers that underpinned the Holocaust against Jews. Only two copies of this tailpiece remain where names of thousands of high level Nazis such as Eichmann and Mengele are listed along with their future destinations – should Germany lose the war.

At the same time, New York City detectives working with British M16 secret service, and Israeli Mossad agents, get Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal and his group, (including an Israeli sanctioned killer) involved in order to find and send the crucial coded microfilm to England’s renowned decryption center. Now, in 1958, these Jewish Nazi hunters will not forgive and not forget.

This story is newsworthy testimony regarding the villains who are actual historical figures and are named. Fitting it all together (as in the screenplay based on the story titled: “We Will Find You,”) is the avenging drama of the novel.

My Thoughts

The Ghost is set thirteen years post World War II and follow several characters who are solving and trying to protect secret paperwork that could destroy a Vatican bishop and release the whereabouts of all of the top Nazi criminals.

The story starts off with the attempted murder of a young boy who was trusted by his Mother with the paperwork. This sets off several events that tie in his alcoholic uncle, New York detectives, British secret services and Israeli agents. It is quite the fast moving and complicated plot with a lot of twists and turns. I found myself at times having to go back and double check to ensure that I did not miss anything. It was an excellent story from start to finish and I found myself researching the characters and some of the events that were described in the novel. While heart breaking and some of the events make you feel sick to your stomach as they did happen, these stories need to be told so that we don’t see this happen again. History classes in school do not cover enough of these stories and I think it is important that we teach our youth and adults about these atrocities so that they will never be repeated again.

The story is well written but is fast paced and demands your attention. It blends history with a great sense of mystery and suspense. You never quite know what is coming next. The ending was well suited to the tone of the  novel, although I would love to know what happened next for these characters as I am sure the events in the novel would have forever changed their lives. A definite must read for youth and adults a like.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Rating: 4.5/5

About the Author

Dr. Henry Kellerman, psychologist/psychoanalyst/author, is a practitioner in New York City. His more than 50 years of treating individuals with a host of humanity’s psychological/emotional struggles as well as his more than 30 books published, is testament to his virtuosity AND SKILL in the telling of compelling stories.

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Disclosure:  I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Children’s Cookbook Review

DK Canada

The  Children’s Cookbook is full of delicious dishes kids will want to make over and over again.

The Children's Cookbook Review

About Children’s Cookbook

The Children’s Cookbook brings to life simple recipes from breakfast to light meals to main dishes to even baking for your child and yourself to prepare together. With beautiful full-color photography, simple instructions, and a focus on safety, each one makes an ideal cook-together project that will have children excited to try the new flavors in the dishes they helped make. The step-by-step instructions are easy to follow and feature a picture for every step, so children can see clearly just what to do as they build basic cooking skills, safe kitchen practices, and adventurous palates.

Our Thoughts

Empowering your child with the knowledge, skills and confidence to cook in the kitchen is so important. I still remember my first week on my own in my first apartment and my spouse asking me to make a boiled egg. I can now laugh about it but at the time my response was how the heck do I make a boiled egg??! My parents had always done this for us as kids and in our teen years so I never had to do this on my own. I had no idea where to start and this is not an over exaggeration, I didn’t know what temperature to put the stove at, how long to cook them and how to cook them properly so I don’t make everyone sick. I wont even mention when I had to cut an onion for the first time – I wasn’t even quite sure where to start, which side to cut first and how big/small it should be, my spouse had a fantastic time laughing at me over this one.

As parents, it is so important for us to teach our children these life skills so one they wont repeat our mistakes but most importantly so that they are ready to tackle the world once they leave our nest (because really we don’t want them living on five minute rice and breakfast sausages every day for months on end – not speaking from too much personal experience here!).

This book is perfect for young children and even for teens who are just starting out in the kitchen.

It is bright, bold and to the point – there is no question about what each step is asking you to do, there is the proper safety notes in place and they use ingredients you will have on hand. I joke about the boiled egg but in all honesty, children need to be shown these simple meal items. I loved that they included simple things like boiled and scrambled eggs. They also include items like making your own pizza from scratch, naan bread, chicken curry and a variety of delicious recipes from various cultural backgrounds. There is something for everyone in this book. The step by step photos are a huge bonus, I am a visual learner so this helped me greatly. You can compare what you are doing to the pictures and make corrections. There is something for all skill levels, make sure you start off easier but then as your child’s confidence grows – choose something harder. The possibilities are endless and the big bonus? Your child spending quality time with you in the kitchen. A complete win win for this Mom.

The Children's Cookbook Review

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Dead Sea Rising Book Review

Dead Sea Rising Book Review

From #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jerry B. Jenkins comes a heart stopping adventure of historical proportions in Dead Sea Rising.

Dead Sea Rising Book Review

About Dead Sea Rising

Nicole Berman is an archaeologist on the brink of a world-changing discovery. During her first dig in Jordan, she believes she has found concrete evidence of a biblical patriarch that could change history books forever. But someone doesn’t want the truth revealed. While urgently trying to connect pieces of an ancient puzzle, a dangerous enemy is out to stop her.

“From a criminal investigation in Manhattan to the birth of Abram in ancient Ur, Jerry Jenkins weaves together a tale of drama and suspense that will draw you into the lives of two families separated by 4,000 years of history yet sharing remarkably similar struggles of faith. Dead Sea Rising combines the thrill of a whodunit with the moral and political intrigue of the ancient, and modern, Middle East. But be prepared. Once you begin, you won’t be able to stop until you reach the final page!”  — DR. CHARLIE DYER, PROFESSOR-AT-LARGE OF BIBLE, AND HOST OF THE LAND AND THE BOOK RADIO PROGRAM

My Thoughts

Dead Sea Rising is an intense thriller crossing two time periods with a connection that will astonish you.

The novel covers the life of Nicole Berman who is an archaeologist following in her Father’s footsteps. She has put in a request to complete a dig in Saudi Arabia – a location that she feels holds a secret that will rip apart everything we ever knew about religion and history. While this is in the background of our plot, Nicole’s Mother is attacked in their family home which was made to appear as a fall. This quickly escalates as the police are forced to investigate whether this was domestic abuse, an attempt by Nicole to harm her Mother or worse – an attempt of murder. As the story progresses we learn new revelations about her Father’s history and how this attempt on her Mother’s life may be tied to Nicole’s work and potential dig in Saudi Arabia.

This story flips back and forth with the story of Terah and the birth of his son, Abraham. We view the struggles of Terah both morally and religiously as he battles between the Gods of his ruler and the God of his wife. We watch as he makes painful decisions that alter the life of others around him and ultimately himself.

This was an amazing story from start to finish – I loved how he managed to intertwine the two stories but at the same time develop each one fully so that you are left on the edge of your seat never knowing what was coming next. This is a definite must read novel.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Jerry B. Jenkins’s novels have sold more than 70 million copies. Twenty of his books have reached the New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. The phenomenally bestselling Left Behind series inspired a movie starring Nicholas Cage. Jenkins has been featured on the cover of Newsweek and his writing has appeared in Time, Guideposts, and dozens of other periodicals. He and his wife, Dianna, have three grown children and live in Colorado.

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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The Golden Scepter Book Two

The Golden Scepter Book Two

In the second book of The Dragon Artifacts, The Golden Scepter, magic and chaos rule the land.  For lovers of wizards, magic, mighty kingdoms, elves, and dragons, don’t miss this series.

The Golden Scepter Book Two

About The Golden Scepter

The Western continent is in turmoil. The Dragon King, Bakari, and his riders have lost their dragons to an evil queen bent on conquering the land. High Wizard Roland Tyre has other ideas about how to save the people.  Driven by the pounding call of his scepter to unify the land, he sets out to bring one nation after another to his banner

Will the power of the scepter drive Roland to madness or glory?  Will The Dragon King get the power of the dragons back?  Or will darkness cover the land under the reign of an evil queen?

My Thoughts

Book Two in this series is a fast paced, action packed adventure that you will not want to put down.

Their world seems to have been plunged into a magical darkness and without the power of their dragons, all seems almost hopeless. Bakari has such a good heart and does what is right but has this led him to his downfall? Did his kind heart and compassion cause him to lose the dragons to a ruthless new leader? My heart went out to him in this book, he lost such a big part of him when he lost his dragon which forced him to question his decisions. I loved how he still stayed true to his nature and his morals regardless of what happened. He still wants to save the world, get the dragons back and save his friend but he would do it in a way that he could live with.

Alli’s plight made my heart so sore! She has been my favourite from the day that I picked up his series of books and to see her in such a state. She still remains her fierce and strong self but she has lost that independence and her own history and true strength.

Roland is truly something else in this story – he is usually carefree and driven for power and fame but it takes on a different tone in this book. His desire for power and admiration has grown to the point where it almost seems to consume him. When he uses the Golden Scepter it brings out a new side to him (or a side from the Scepter itself?) which seems to want him to do good (unite the people under one banner, one vision) but all of that power in one person doesn’t just sit right for his friends and colleagues.

This is another excellent addition to this series – I couldn’t put the story down. You become so invested in these characters (they become your friends!) and you had to see if Roland could help Alli, if Roland makes a mistake with the Scepter and if Bakari can rescue the dragons. A definite must read for young adults and adults alike.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Mike is now on his fourth YA fantasy series. For information on his new releases, book reviews, and other relevant info, please join him at www.MichaelSheltonBooks.com.

Mike was born in California and has lived in multiple states from the west coast to the east coast. He cannot remember a time when he wasn’t reading a book. At school, home, on vacation, at work at lunch time, and yes even a few pages in the car (at times when he just couldn’t put that great book down).

Other than reading, Mike enjoys the outdoors, disc golf, and spending time with his family. He has worked in corporate finance for most of his career, publishing his first books in 2016. He has now published 15 YA fantasy books full of adventure, magic, and wizards!

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book in order to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Spring Thaw Book Review

iRead Book Tours

In today’s hectic world, many whodunit fans don’t have time to get their mystery fix diving into a whole novel. Lauren Carr’s SPRING THAW AND OTHER MYSTERY SHORT STORIES is for these fans—but that doesn’t mean whodunit fans who do have time can’t dive in as well.

Spring Thaw Book Review

About Spring Thaw

A novella, Spring Thaw features retired federal agent Chris Matheson from Lauren Carr’s newest bestselling cold case series. When his late father’s former friend is indicted for the seven year old murder of a church bishop, Chris renews old broken friendships to thaw out the cold case.

Featuring Mac Faraday from Lauren Carr’s popular Mac Faraday Mysteries, an estate auction turns into a deadly affair after Gnarly’s antics cause Mac to purchase a gem of a dress, which isn’t his color in Killing Bid. (Previously published in Lauren Carr’s BEAUTY TO DIE FOR.)

Beauty to Die For features the Lovers in Crime, Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates in a race against the Angel of Death to clear the name of a dying woman’s son, who was framed for murdering Miss Pennsylvania. (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR).

Countdown to Murder returns to the Lovers in Crime where Cameron and Joshua try to solve the murder of a young pregnant widow before it happens.  (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR).

Mystery fans will see that every dog has his day, especially if that dog is Gnarly. In Lucky Dog, Gnarly helps Mac Faraday to solve the murder of a wealthy society girl.  (Previously published in BEAUTY TO DIE FOR).

Dog Loving Mystery Fans will get a special treat when they read The Gnarly Rehabilitation Program. In this Gnarly Mystery Short, Bert and Ernie learn the hard way that crime does not pay when they dog nap Gnarly. (Previously published as a bonus feature with A WEDDING AND A KILLING).

Gnarly, the rambunctious German shepherd, is also features in Lauren Carr’s Christmas short, A Gnarly Christmas. It is Christmas day and Gnarly has been up to his old tricks again. Now he’s in the dog house–or rather the boathouse–after stealing the Christmas feast! Moments after Archie and Mac leave Spencer Manor, Gnarly hears a call for help from Rocky, the Maltese down the street. Four assassins for hire have invaded the home of Rocky’s elderly owners. While the home invaders wait for instructions from a mysterious caller, Gnarly must plot to stop them. Can Gnarly save Christmas with only the help of an 8-pound Maltese dressed in an elf suit? (Previously published as a single short story by the same name).

My Thoughts

Spring Thaw is a collection of some of the best short writing mysteries that you will find around. I find that sometimes short stories can be missing information, move too fast or feel too disjointed at parts. This was not the case in this collection from Lauren Carr – we still had her great build up of the plot and character development that she is famous for but just not the length. The stories were easy to read one at a time and put down and come back to (but to be honest, I just couldn’t I had to keep reading – I love the characters so much!). The plots were well designed for a short story and well written – you felt engaged and a part of the story at all times.

Gnarly takes centre stage near the end of the story! He is such a cheeky, clever and adventurous dog (you just want to give him a cuddle but only if you are on his good list!). He is that little bit of comic relief that you need in such intense mysteries.

This is an excellent collection of short stories to cherish over and over – you will not be disappointed with this collection.

You can purchase a copy of this book on Amazon.

Rating: 5/5

About the Author

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

The Giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received a digital copy of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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