Category Archives: Reviewers

A Kiss for Cade by Lori Copeland

Cade is a bounty hunter, the town of Winterborn, Kanasas’ most notorious citizen. He has a reputation of having the fastest draw, bringing a number of outlaws to justice. He left his own town fifteen years ago, leaving his sweetheart Zoe behind. He is only returning now due to the death of his sister and brother-in-law. His sister’s dying wish is for Cade to return and make the decision as to whom will raise her four young children. Zoe is very close to the children and can’t understand why Addy did not give her the children. Even though it goes against everything she holds dear, Zoe respects Addy’s wish and sends for Cade.

A Kiss for Cade
by Lori Copeland
Harvest House
January 2010

According to Zoe, a bounty hunter is not a person to raise children or to make a decision as to what is best for them. After all, Cade has never been back since leaving and he won’t stay this time. She will fight him for the children as they are all she has – Zoe’s husband was killed in a bank robbery.

How will Cade’s return affect her life and the children? She has loved Cade for so long, how will she cope with his return? Has he changed from the boy she knew or has he become hardened with the life he lives? Does Zoe get the children, or will Aunt Laticia get her way? What happens between Cade and Zoe?

One must read the book to see how things play out. The book is one you can’t put down, keeping you in suspense to the last page. You will learn how the whole town helps Cade reach his decision. I highly recommend the book for all readers. You will be enthralled by Ms. Copeland’s ability to put you right in the middle of the situation. You will laugh, cry and rejoice with Zoe and her friends, even experience an old fashion middle of the street gun fight. Ms. Copeland is an excellent writer of romance fiction.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Rewards of Simplicity by Pam and Chuck D. Pierce

The book is about simplicity in your life – both physical and spiritual. Simply put – getting rid of the clutter. What is the book, though – personal confessions, a sermon, a bible study, a daily devotional, or two people’s unrelenting faith in Jesus Christ regardless of the circumstances and obeying His commands? It is all of the above. There are three keys to simplicity – faith, focus and function.

While the authors clearly outline how to simplify your life using the three keys, quoting scripture pertaining to each key and detailing personal experiences, I was not overly impressed. The book reads like a personal journal of two people trying to (or who have already) simplify their own lives, obeying God and strengthening their own faith. As such it is just not that interesting or deep. On the face of it, we all know that we live cluttered lives, but I found nothing here that surprised or added to what I already knew I should be doing. The Pierces have served the Lord for many years, have written several books, and are well known. People will no doubt purchase this book because of who they are; however, it is one I would not. I cannot in good faith recommend the book.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Not a Sparrow Falls by Linda Nichols

Mary Bridget Washburn is a young woman who has made some wrong choices in her life and needs to escape. She is able to get away from immediate trouble, but she has to live a life in fear and withdrawal. She knows she needs to break free, but will she be able to? Alasdair MacPherson is a pastor at a well established church, writes for a magazine, gives talks at seminars and has a radio program. However, behind this facade, his world is falling apart after the death of his wife and the devastation of learning that the church elders are unhappy with his work and want him to quit. Mary and Alasdair’s paths cross and the story takes an amazing journey through two lives looking for healing and redemption. This story was inspiring. I love the constant weaving of God’s truth and promises throughout the book. I enjoyed being reminded that once we are God’s children, He will not forsake us. I would highly recommend this well written, inspiring book.

This book was a free copy from the publisher.

The Lost Virtue of Happiness by J.P Moreland & Klauss Issler

The Lost Virtue of Happiness is about accessible, balanced Christian spirituality.

In a bipolar culture overrun by two diametrically opposed philosophies of happiness, Moreland and Issler offer an alternative. They assert while that happiness comes not through the mindless pursuit of pleasure through consumption, neither does pleasure darken virtue into shades of vice. They help us understand that true happiness comes from within, not without and that it is actually a virtue—the natural outcome of giving up the things that diminish our joy.

Having laid a strong foundation, Moreland and Issler move on to an remarkably simple presentation of how engaging our whole lives in spirituality through discipline is related to happiness. And then, chapter by chapter, they provide a framework of simple disciplines and suggestions to improve our relationships with God and others, focusing on opening our hearts, strengthening our minds, and taking risks.

There is even an entire chapter on applying some of these disciplines when dealing with anxiety and depression. While this particular application may not speak to everybody, it is certainly relevant in a culture where we are anxious for nearly everything.

I found The Lost Virtue of Happiness an intellectually stimulating, personally challenging, and practical book. It was easy to read and is well organized. But make no mistake, this is no “one-size-fits-all” self-help road map to supposed success. Rather, its goal is that we be united with God and formed into the image of Christ and enter into his joy.


Bryan Entzminger is a saxaphonist, supply chain analyst, elder at Springhouse Worship & Arts Center, and a superhero to his wife and daughter. His widely read personal blog is bdentzy – Thoughts for the Journey.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Gospel According to Lost by Chris Seay

Lost is a television phenomenon with strong cult following; combining strong character development with mysterious plot lines, bound together by strong writing. The premise of this book is to connect Lost to the gospel of Christ. The unsaved who follow this series might well be attracted to such a book and Mr Seay, for the most part, does a serviceable job of making this connection.

I say “for the most part” because several of the chapters involve something of a reach causing a few of the “connections” to feel contrived. Nowhere is this more evident than the chapter on Jacob where the biblical references even get a little fuzzy. Still, there is some good stuff here for a seeker.

Another group that might find this book worthwhile would be a gaggle of Lost geeks in search of material for a Bible Study / Lost discussion.

I basically enjoyed this read but couldn’t help the feeling that it is a bit premature. I doubt that the writers of Lost really have the gospel in mind and where they take this last season could completely undo much of this book’s premise.


Ronnie Meek is is a guy who likes to share good reads with other people and warn them about boring or bad stuff. His personal blog is It’s In There Somewhere where he is currently blogging through the New Testament.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Eastern Stars by Mark Kurlansky

This is a very complex book! – Is it a history of the sugar mills and the town of San Pedro de Macoris … or a history of baseball and its players? Yes to both.

San Pedro de Macoris is a small town in the Dominican Republic. For centuries their main industry has been sugar – exporting it to Europe and the United States. The great mills are no longer being operated, just abandon empty rusty buildings. The few left employ very few for four to six months per season. The town is extremely impoverished. Each ruling government party has bought in European and American developer to build large hotels to encourage tourism, but few tourist have come. San Pedro is one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the Dominican Republic and one of the poorest.

The main mill is controlled by the existing ruling government party and at the start of the sugar season, a big banner goes up over the mill which reads “Gracias Presidente por ina nueva zafra” – Thank you President for a new cane harvest, as if he has anything to do with the good or bad harvest.

The second industry in San Pedro de Macoris is baseball. “Baseball is not just a way of life – it’s the way of life.,” says the author. Make shift stadiums are everywhere – boys of all ages play baseball in dirt filled lots with sock balls and cane stick bats. Their dream is to make it in the United States big leagues – becoming rich and famous, returning to San Pedro to build big mansions and drive SUVs. The town is overrun with scouts from all leagues – sorting through all the promising candidates. Boys as young as 14 years are signed with a major US teams to be groomed to their full potential. Some never make it to even the A league, being released and sent home. But a select few have made it to the big leagues, keeping the dream alive for all the other boys.

Seventy-nine boys from San Pedro have made it to the Majors – Jose Cano, Alfonso Soriano, and Sammy Sosa to name a few. Sammy is the only batter to hit 60 or more home runs for three consecutive years. He is one of only five players to hit 600 home runs.

The book is a story of many who sought freedom from poverty through baseball. However,the total failures are almost the same as successes. When one asked the question – Why does the town of San Pedro produce so many baseball players? The answer – Because we don’t have anything else to do and we aren’t tall enough for basketball.

Good book for baseball fans and historians. They will thank this small impoverished town for turning out such great players in a sport that has become America’s pastime. The Dominican Republic may be a challenged nation, but it sure turns out some great baseball players who have the dream of making it in the Big Leagues.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

Mornings In Jenin by Susan Abulhawa

This is the story of a young Palestinian girl named Amal borne in the refugee camp of Jenin. Her family had been evicted from their home during the 6-Day war between Palestine and the soon to be State of Israel. One must read the book to follow her journey from Jenin to a Jerusalem orphanage to Beirut, Lebanon to America and her decision to return to Jenin.

Mornings In Jenin
by Susan Abulhawa
Bloomsbury USA
Feburary 2010

Young Yasser Arafat had just formed the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the world would soon label him a terrorist. Tears will be streaming down your face as you experience her fear in being constantly under Israel’s guns/planes/tanks, the watchful eye of the Israeli solders, and the war crimes of Ariel Sharon. You will hear the voices behind the headlines of the massacres in Lebanon. Who are the terrorists – Israel or Palestine – the PLO or Israel’s Prime Minister. Will she survive her return to Jenin?

The author was born to refugees of the 6-Day War and has first hand knowledge of what it is like to be a Palestinian under Israel’s thumb. The story will keep you turning pages to learn how she survives the death of her family, her marriage, the birth of her child and the hardships she endures in America trying to fulfill her father’s dream of getting an education. You will experience the family’s struggles to survive through over 60 years of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

A must read book for all ages. When you have finished I believe you will come away with a different view of the Israeli government that is supposedly an ally of the United States.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.”.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

The Apothecary’s Daughter by Julie Klassen

I downloaded this book to my laptop via Kindle for free. I thought it looked good and plus it was free, so why not?? Wow!! I think my kids missed a few meals while I was reading this one! Great book! Lilly Haswell has had some sadness in her life and she is trying to figure out where she fits in her world. She’s good at “assisting” her Dad, but as a woman she is not allowed to be an apothecary. She gets the chance to follow a different path, but life is not always easy and she must chose to leave dreams behind. The part I liked best about this book is the romance story line. In most Christian fiction books it is pretty easy to tell who the girl is going to marry, but in this book the author does a great job of changing the story line and keeping you intrigued. Through all of Lilly’s up and downs she continues to keep her faith and trust in God alive. I highly recommend this book and will be reading Julie Klassen’s other books soon.

Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

A captivating book about a dogwalker in upscale Charleston who seems to have trouble following her or is she causing the trouble? Will the journalist she has taken a liking to help her and can she trust her heart with him? Gist and Bertland join forces to create a story line which will keep you interested in what happens next. I enjoyed this book from the first chapter to the last. I am a fan of Deeanne Gist and have read all of her books. This one is not like the others because of her collaboration with J. Mark Bertrand. You still get a great story line, the romance, and now there is the enjoyable suspense to go along. I just couldn’t put it down!

This book was a free copy from the publisher.

Once an Arafat Man by Tass Saada

Once an Arafat Man is the amazing story of a Palestinian sniper, well located within the PLO – he was even a chauffeur for Yasser Arafat – turned chef in the US, who then converted to Christianity and returned to his homeland to help those he once hated.

Likes: illuminating insight into the perspective of the Palestinian’s plight from refugees from their homes to unwelcome residents of neighboring Arab states. This story takes you deeper than the typical world news headlines to understand the the hatred and perspectives of the people of the Holy Land and offers hope into what the power of love and faith can achieve.

Dislikes: conversational tone/style of the book is abrupt and sometimes lacks smooth transitions between topics and events. Recommended for anyone interested in the middle east conflict on a personal level or the issues surrounding converting from Islam to Christianity.


Joel Freyenhagan is the husband of a wonderful wife and is the father of three children. His wife blogs at BooyaBooks.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.