Saturday, December 14, 2013

My Review - Rescue Team

4 out of 5 stars
RESCUE TEAM by Candace Calvert is the second book in the Grace Medical series.  I didn’t think it had quite to wow factor of TRAUMA PLAN but still kept my interest until the end.

            Kate Callison is having a hard time assimilating to the staff at Grace Medical.  Becoming the next ER director is her goal, but the allegiance of the staff to the previous director is making her goal an uphill battle.  When a tragedy strikes the ER Kate has to deal with not only the investigation, but haunting memories from her past.  Though her path crosses with search and rescue volunteer, Wes Tanner on several occasions, she make it very clear to him she doesn’t need to be rescued.

            Wes Tanner lives and breathes SAR.  He is passionate about it because he has been on both the giving and receiving end of it.  After being thrown together with the new ER director of Grace Medical, he’s surprised to find her so irritable.  Especially in such a PR driven position.  But, regardless of first impressions, he feels there’s something more to Kate.

            When Kate and Wes take the time to get to know each other, new found respect and personal interest grows.  But they both are holding back the event in their lives that made them who they are today.  What Kate finds out about Wes is heartbreaking.  But, what Wes doesn’t know about Kate could quite possibly be a deal breaker in their budding relationship.

            RESCUE TEAM was a good read, and as always with books from Candace Calvert, the medical jargon and procedures were realistic and fascinating.  The character of Wes made for a great hero, but Kate’s detached personality took a little more time for me as the reader to warm up to.  Though RESCUE TEAM’s pacing was a bit slow, I still enjoyed it, and look forward to LIFE SUPPORT, book three in the Grace Medical series.




Sunday, December 08, 2013

My Review - Soul Survivor

I had the unique opportunity to read SOUL SURVIVOR while it was still in manuscript form.  And though end times storylines are not my genre of choice, I read it at the request of the author. While reading the manuscript, I remember being extremely impressed with the fast pace and intensity of the story.  Now that SOUL SURVIVOR has been released, I read it again to refresh my memory in order to give it a fair review.  And once again, I was blown away at how well the author maintained the momentum of the story throughout the entire book.  The way Mayhew’s incorporates Biblical prophecy and makes it feel so disconcertingly real keeps you turning page after page.  On more than one occasion I found myself wondering ‘what if’.  A great follow-up to DONOVAN’S LAW.



Saturday, December 07, 2013

My Review - TRAPPED by Irene Hannon

4.5 out of 5 stars
TRAPPED by Irene Hannon is the second installment in the Private Justice series.  And though it didn’t quite make my favorites list (where all of Hannon’s other books are) it was still an enjoyable read full of suspense and angst.

Laura Griffith is beside herself with worry when her sixteen-year-old sister takes off, leaving only a barebones note behind.  Though she and Darcy have had their problems, and becoming guardian of her half-sister has more than disrupted Laura’s simple lifestyle, having her gone is never what Laura wanted.  So she secures the help of private investigator, James (Dev) Devlin.  With her emotions on hyper drive, she finds Dev not only a thorough P.I., who works Darcy’s case with drive and determination, but she also sees him as a caring and attractive man.  But personal feelings must be put on hold so they can both stay objective and get to the bottom of Darcy’s vanishing act.

At first look, Laura’s case seems like a typical runaway scenario.  But, as Dev’s investigation continues he’s convinced Darcy couldn’t have fallen off the grid so easily without help.  It’s that help that concerns Dev most.  Knowing the exploitation of runaways is reaching epidemic proportions, he’s fighting the clock to find any evidence that would lead to Darcy’s whereabouts.  And, the more time he spends with Laura, the more he realizes his feelings for her have crossed over from client to something more personal.  Not wanting to break the rules of his P.I. firm, he tries to keep his feelings in check, but it’s getting harder with each new encounter with Laura.   

VANISHED picks up where TRAPPED left off.  Or should I say with the partners of Phoenix Inc. the P.I. firm that is the backdrop for the Private Justice series.  I love Irene’s books.  Her characters are always stellar and her plots creative.  I just felt VANISHED dragged a little.  There seemed to be some redundancy in a few of the chapters, kind of like the instructions on a shampoo bottle-Lather, rinse, repeat.  I don’t mean to sound derogatory, because again, I love Irene Hannon’s writing.  There just seemed to be a momentum shift that flat-lined towards the end.  But in true Hannon fashion, the final climax’s was page clenching. 

Overall, TRAPPED was very good, with just a slight hesitation towards the end.  I can’t wait for the release of book three in the series, DECEIVED, slated for the Summer of 2014.

Friday, December 06, 2013

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today's Wild Card author is:

and the book:

Bound to a Promise
Creative Enterprises Studio; 1ST edition (2013)

***Special thanks to Rick Roberson for sending me a review copy.***


Real, relatable and refreshing are words often used to describe Bonnie L. Floyd. Perhaps it is because she could easily be a next door neighbor to any of us. Bound to a Promise is a true story of tragedy and redemption that unexpectedly resulted in the opportunity to share that story with others and ultimately, the birth of Bonnie Floyd Ministries.

For more than seventeen years, Bonnie has taken her contagious zeal for the Lord and her authentic love for people to various conferences, retreats and churches throughout the United States and beyond. Her powerful and dynamic messages bring the Scriptures alive to audiences of all ages and offer useful and practical ways to apply them to everyday living. For several years, Bonnie served in various capacities with Women of Faith and is currently an administrator for Barry & Sheila Walsh. More importantly, she has a deep love and respect for God's Word that is born out of her service as a teacher and small group leader for over 23 years.

Bonnie has been married to "her Donnie" since 1987. Both California natives, they now make their home in Celina, TX - a home which provides a perfect setting to delight children and to share Bonnie's passion for cooking by entertaining family and friends. They make their church home at Genesis Metro Church in Frisco, TX where Donnie serves as an elder and Bonnie, who was ordained a Minister of the Gospel in 2010, is an active member in women's ministries.

Visit the author's website.


Bound to a Promise tells the amazing true story of God's faithfulness in the face of unimaginable loss. Bonnie Floyd's father and stepmother had been living a dream life-serving as caretakers of a private tropical island and traveling the world in a sailboat. That life was cut short when three young men boarded their yacht as it was anchored off the coast of Antigua. Determined that there should be "no witnesses" of their theft and brutality, the assailants shot all four people on board. Bound to a Promise includes the fascinating account of the Antiguan trial that brought her parents' killers to justice, featuring some dashing Scotland Yard detectives, a criminal in search of redemption, and many other memorable characters from the island. Bonnie's colorful descriptions of her parents' adventures abroad and her time in Antigua lighten the mood and add a touch of travelogue to the true crime drama. In a truly inspirational twist, Bonnie arranges a meeting with one of the confessed attackers, a man who would eventually claim her as family.

Product Details:
List Price: $22.99
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Creative Enterprises Studio; 1ST edition (2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 098905215X
ISBN-13: 978-0989052153


February 1, 1994: It was six o’clock in the morning on what seemed a normal, cold, foggy day in Fresno, California. Then the phone rang. Donnie was already up and in the shower, so I sprang up in bed, cleared my throat, and answered the phone with my cheery, “Good morning!” as though I had been up for hours.
“Is this Mrs. Bonnie Clever-Floyd?”
I suddenly froze as a cold chill of fear crawled up my spine.
The voice on the other end of the phone was unfamiliar, his question strange, and it sent a shiver through me. For the first time in my thirty-three years, the last person I wanted to be was Bill Clever’s daughter.
“Mrs. Floyd, my name is Paul Howard, and I’m calling from the United States embassy in Antigua. I’m sorry, ma’am, but I need to ask you again, are you Bonnie Clever-Floyd?”
I stood motionless, still confused about why I was afraid to admit to this man who I was. I knew his question must pertain to my dad. Why else would he have been asking if I was Bonnie Clever-Floyd? I had never hyphenated my name, and as hard as it was to give up the name Clever, when I married Don Floyd, I became a Floyd through and through.
After a long pause, I firmly replied with a cracking voice, “No!”
By that time, I was sure Mr. Howard had discerned that the phone call was not going to go well. But then again, do those types of calls ever go well? “Mrs. Clever-Floyd, are you the daughter of William Norman Clever?”
He asked for the third time.
I simply could not reply. I was pacing the floor; dread had filled the room, fear had taken up residency, and confusion had consumed my mind. I heard Mr. Howard say, “Mrs. Floyd, Mrs. Floyd, are you still there?”
I knew I had to answer this Mr. Howard. I could not hang up and pre- tend the phone had never rung; it was far too late for that now.
“Yes, Mr. Howard, I am still here.”
With relief in his voice, he asked for the last time, “Mrs. Floyd, are you the daughter of William Norman Clever?”
After a long silence, I answered solemnly, “Yes, Mr. Howard, I am.”
So now the inevitable was about to be spoken. My life was about to change in ways no one in their wildest imaginations could have ever dreamed. But it was not a dream; it was a nightmare, and I was wide awake!

Chapter 1
Growing Up In Two Different Eras
As I stood paralyzed in time by the dread of what was coming next, highlights of my life that led to this terrifying moment played through my mind like a B-rated movie trailer in the old theater on a Saturday afternoon.
I grew up in Columbia, California, which is a historic state park in the Mother Lode Country. Columbia was founded during the gold rush days back in 1850 by a small party of prospectors who discovered the lode or main vein of gold in that region, the mother lode. News of their discovery spread, and a flood of miners soon joined them.
Unlike many settlements that have changed with the times, Columbia seems to be frozen in the 1800s. Growing up there was wonderful! How many kids get to grow up in two different eras at the same time?
Within the state park my family owned two popular saloons and the Columbia House restaurant, which was opened by my grandpop in 1958. Then in 1960 Dad took it over after moving to California from New Jersey with Mom and my two sisters, Susan and Linda. I came along in December of 1961, so unlike the rest of my family, I am a native Californian.
The Columbia House was a favorite place among the locals as well as visiting tourists. Everything on the menu was scrumptious, and all our recipes were originals and made from scratch. Dad’s navy bean soup actually made him a local celebrity—so much so that the townspeople called him “Billy Bean Soup.”
Dad began calling me “Bonnie Bean Soup” after himself, and eventually I became just “Bean.” I loved being called Bean better than Bonnie. Every time Dad called me Bean, I heard him say, “I love you.” Since it was my dad who nicknamed me Bean, it was the same honor to me as a son who is named after his father. After all, I secretly wished I had been born a boy so I could be even more like my daddy!
One of my favorite spots in town was the stagecoach. You could always find me at the counter selling tickets, riding shotgun with the driver or on horseback with the stagecoach bandit. Robbing those unsuspecting tourists was so much fun. It’s a good thing I had to wear a bandana over my face because I couldn’t keep myself from laughing.
I had a great life as a child, and I cherish my memories of those days. I would not trade one moment of my childhood. I felt secure in my parents’ love for me and for each other. But the climate soon began to change.
To think their fighting could possibly lead to a divorce was definitely not a place I wanted to go in my mind. I had seen too many of my friends go through that, and the end result was always the same—the parents hated each other, and my friends wound up spending every other weekend with their dads. I was determined that was not going to happen to this “daddy’s girl.”
Don’t get me wrong; I love my mom. She is a wonderful mother who was always about her family and found her fulfillment in just being Mom. There has never been a time when Mom was not there for my two sisters and me. My dad was adventurous, handsome, intelligent, and successful. He was determined to live life to the fullest, and unlike my mom, he didn’t seem content with just being a dad. He was eternally yearning, trying new things.
To keep himself content, Dad began accumulating businesses. He also started buying “toys,” such as boats and motorcycles. His first purchase was a ski boat, and then a twenty-four-foot pleasure boat he and Mom named the Bonnie Sue Lin. One thing was becoming apparent—Dad was never content for long. Soon the Bonnie Sue Lin was not enough. He had to go for something bigger.
The Sarsaparilla was a beautiful, thirty-six-foot Grand Banks yacht, and because it was an ocean-going vessel, Dad started making plans for the big trip he always talked about taking. His dream was to go out hundreds, even thousands of miles beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. And what he really wanted to do was stay out for a few months, instead of a few days. His plan was to sail the coast of California into Baja, Mexico, down and around the tip of Cabo San Lucas, and up to La Paz into the Sea of Cortez.
And that is exactly what we did.

Our Mexico trip was more wonderful than any of us could have imagined. Even my sister Linda, who was in the prime of her teens and not one bit happy about taking an extended vacation, had the time of her life. We grew close as a family in ways we had never experienced before. All we had was each other, and we found that each other was all we needed. Laughter always filled the sea life air. I believe one of the greatest things children can experience is watching their parents laugh together and love on each other. Within just a few short months after returning home, our close-knit family started unraveling. How I wish we could have just returned to the sea.

My Review - Bound to a Promise

BOUND TO A PROMISE is the amazing story of how Bonnie Floyd turned incredible personal loss into a story of forgiveness and redemption.

In one earth shattering phone call, Bonnie Floyd’s life was changed forever.  Finding out her parents were murdered while sailing the Caribbean, Bonnie is devastated and looking for answers.  What transpires is an amazing story of how God used this horrific tragedy for good in the lives of those who came in contact with Bonnie Floyd.  Bonnie became the feet of Jesus, bringing unearned forgiveness and the story of God’s love to the very people who took her parents’ lives. 

I was fascinated not only by Bonnie’s listening ear to the voice of God, but this book also served as a reminder to me to be thankful in all things, and to realize the small inconveniences or difficulties we all experience on a daily basis is nothing compare to the incredible loss and grief others are experiencing right alongside us.  Bonnie truly put faith into action, even when she didn’t feel like it. 

An incredible true story, autobiographical but with all the suspense and angst of a modern-day novel.

Book provided for review purposes.