Category Archives: The Golden Reviewer

Once Wicked Always Dead by T. Marie Benchley

Molly Madison has it all – Country Clubs and the luxury of city life in Florida. Her husband, Phillip, is a successful attorney – her world is almost perfect. Suddenly everything comes crashing down. Her parents are killed in a fierily automobile and she learns Phillip is gay. After hearing all the gory passionate details from his lover, she leaves everything behind and heads to Montana and her family home – The Ghost Bear Ranch. She plans to divorce Phillip and start a life. Molly is unprepared for her instant attraction to Clayton Leatherbe, the ranch foreman.

Molly is unaware of the sociopath creating havoc with a sense of her own justice. Phillip want her to sell the ranch so he can further his political ambitions. Her refusal causes a riff in their relationship. Molly’s ranch falls prey to an unscrupulous land developer determined to get the ranch and he will stop at nothing to obtain his goal.

Everything seems to go wrong at the ranch since Molly took over as owner. Several murders have occurred – Phillip’s ex lover is out to exact his revenge on Molly – Clayton is questioned by the local police. Who exactly is Molly’s best friend Leeza – how does she fit into all this? Clayton has uncovered a family secret that could destroy Molly and the ranch, her very life is in jeopardy. The book is about secrets, lies, murder, love and loyalty,

Highly recommended! The book will hold your interest from the very first page to the last one. An excellent mystery. Ms. Benchley is an excellent writer of fiction.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. 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.” Her former blog was at http://GoldenReviewer.blogspot.com.

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

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

This is an amazing book – a delightful interesting read. Sixteen women leave St, Louis, Missouri en route to the Nebraska Territory. They are Drake’s Ladies Emigration Society. The ladies have been promised free government land in their own name, the only stipulation – they must homestead the land and live on it for five years. Mr. Harold Drake is really an unscrupulous con artist who has an entirely different agenda that the one presented to the ladies.

Upon arriving in Plum Grove, Nebraska they learn Drake’s true purpose in bring them to Nebraska. They are to be brides for the men in Cayote. Eleven of the woman decide to take Drake’s offer and go to Cayote. Five stayed in Plum Grove. The book is five womenfolk’s story in one – Sally, Caroline. Ellie, Hattie and Ruth. They would obtain the promise land and make a home for themselves. They would unite and develop five parcels as one large homestead. Their story is one of courage – women who risked everything for the dream of owning land and finding love on the prairies of Nebraska. These five are among the hundreds of single women who successfully homesteaded in the west and conquered the vast wilderness.

Ms. Whitson is an excellent writer. She holds your interest page after page. You will laugh, cry, feel their pain. but above all you will share their dreams and hopes as they leave their past behind and embark on a better. brighter future.

Highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. 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.” Her former blog was at http://GoldenReviewer.blogspot.com.

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

Support BookGateway.com by purchasing this book through Amazon: Sixteen Brides

She Walks In Beauty by Siri Mitchell

The book takes place during the late-Victorian area. An area where money and appearance means everything and one would do anything to obtain. The women were put through a training regimen to take on a role in society. The story mainly is about two young girls – Clara and Lizzie. This is the season they will make their debut. The objective is to either be engaged or married at the end of the season. The catch of the year is Franklin De Vries, heir to the De Vries’ fortune. Both girls are in competition to win Franklin as their husband.

Lizza is really cut out for this kind of life. She doesn’t resent her mother pushing her towards the final goal. She whole heartily embraces the balls, dancing, flirting, etc. Her main goal is to become Mrs. Franklin De Vries. Clara, on the other hand. is being forced into playing a role she doesn’t want. She must marry Franklin to restore the family’s honor. It seems the De Vries owns her father a huge debt that can only be paid by Franklin’s marriage to Clara. Her father and aunt will do anything to make this happen. Clara doesn’t even like Franklin, but she will do as asked – she has no other choice. She is more comfortable around Harry – the second son.

The book is a delightful read. The author keeps you turning the pages. Whose circumstances change practically overnight? Does Franklin propose to Clara or Lizzie? What happens to Harry? How does God figure into the conservation between Clara and Harry? What is society’s (general Victorian) attitude towards the poor? Are some races simply inferior to others?

Highly recommended. Ms. Mitchell is an excellent writer of historical fiction.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. 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.” Her former blog was at http://GoldenReviewer.blogspot.com.

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

Support BookGateway.com by purchasing this book through Amazon: She Walks in Beauty

Humanitarian Jesus by Christian Buckley & Ryan Dobson

This is an amazing thought provoking book. I liked it, but I didn’t at the beginning. I thought this is another one of those books where the authors tell you all the good things they and their organization is doing for the poor and the environment. As I turned the pages I begin to understand how all the organizations are working throughout the world helping to alleviate some of the poverty. I did not always agree with their views or those of the interviews, CEOs and President, of various humanitarian organizations. You probably won’t either, but they will get you thinking about the world’s problems.

Jesus was and is the most humanitarian person ever. He fed the multitude, healed the sick/lepers, raised the dead and gave sight to the blind. He also walked away from a number of people without doing anything for them. Jesus did not come to feed the poor or take care of the environment. He came to save our souls (forgiveness of our sins) so we may have external life with our Savior. His main purpose was to proclaim God’s salvation and His Kingdom. Jesus said there will always be poor among us.

As one interviewer pointed out – when we look at human suffering, we react, we don’t respond, Most of the time this doesn’t help. Another stated – don’t look at the issue – look at the people. People are living in trash dumps, being sold into slavery, prostitution, dying daily by the thousands for lack of clean water, AIDS, etc.

The question is: do you feed the hungry and then talk about Jesus and forgiveness or do you talk about forgiveness and then fill their stomach. Maybe you feed them, plant a well for clean water and let someone else worry about their salvation.

Some churches are beginning to take creation seriously – they are concerned about the environment, we must look at the people – not the issue. We must take everything to God and let the Holy Spirit guide us. We must step outside the four walls of the church. Jesus commands us to go out into the world and be disciples.

Highly recommended. The book will certainly get you to thinking – is there anything I can do – can I do more or am I going to ignore the problems and let someone else do the work?


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.

Shut Up And Kiss Me by Christie Craig

This is an exciting, fast-moving story with intriguing characters and a little mystery and murder thrown in for good measure. The story is about love, regrets, secrets, stalking and Native American culture. The culture of an almost forgotten society – the belief of Council Elder Redfoot Darkwater and his spirits. Shala Winters is a photojournalist, living in Houston, Texas who has been hired by Major Johnson of Precious, Texas to put it on the map – bring tourism to the town. There are some that are not too thrilled that she is coming to their town and are very vocal in their protest.

Shala arrives in Precious just at the time the Native Americans are holding their annual powwow. The sign clearly states no cameras allowed. She is reluctant to leave her expensive Nikon camera at the gate and takes it with her, as it always happens when we disobey the rules, something goes wrong. A woman in the crowd takes a picture. Sky Gomez, one of the dancers, believes Shala has taken the picture and snags her camera and refuses to return it. After talking to the Tribal Council, she is told Sky has the camera and will return it in a week if she pays the asking fine – whatever it may be. She becomes angry and is determine to track him down and get her camera back. After running all over town, even going into the Funky Chicken Bar, doing a disco dance with one of the men, she is told where he lives. Arriving at his home, she demands the return of her camera. When Sky refuses, she calls 911 to have him arrested, this is where things become interesting. Sky Gomez is the Police Chief of Precious, Texas.

The book mainly centers around Sky and Shala and their love affair. However, the secondary characters Redfoot, Veronica. Jose, Maria, Matt and Lucas makes the story special. The story will keep you turning pages. You will laugh, cry and be completely confused as to what could possible happen next! Read the book to see how the story unfolds? What happens when Shala returns to Houston? Do they catch the bad guys? Who committed the murder?

Highly recommended. You will thoroughly enjoy Christie Craig’s brand of humor. Look for other books she has written – you will enjoys those as well.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. 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.” Her former blog was at http://GoldenReviewer.blogspot.com.

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

Support BookGateway.com by purchasing this book through Amazon: Shut Up and Kiss Me

No More Christian Nice Girl by Paul Coughlin and Jennifer D. Degler Ph.D

This is an amazing book! Did you know that Jesus had a nice side and a salty side? He was not nice 100% all the time. He rebuked people, but always in love. Have you been taught the watered down version of Jesus or the 360 degree Jesus? Today’s Pastors only want to teach the one-sided Jesus. They tend to skip over the scriptures where Jesus was assertive. They want you to believe that Jesus was/is always gentle, meek and mild. That is not true – Jesus could and was assertive when it became necessary for him to do so.

Girls are taught from a early age that they should be “sugar and spice and everything nice”. In other world be passive, keep silent. don’t raise your voice or get angry – never say no. Christian Nice Girls (CNG) are just this. They believe God wants them to be nice to everyone – do what anyone wants and don’t make waves. Are you a CNG? This is now what God wants of you. He wants you to be a God’s Good Woman. A woman who courageously walks with integrity and purpose. She is not a doormat – letting people walk all over her. She can be like the 360 degree Jesus – she can be salty. She can say no, be assertive with love and still be a good Christian person. She can be bold and assertive – she does not have to be a people pleaser who tries to do too much. There are many women in the Bible who were God’s Good Women – are you one?

The Bible states that a woman should be submissive to her husband. Read 1st Peter, Ephesians 5:21-33 and Colossians 3:18-19. How do you interpret these scripture? CNGs literally live their life this way. What God wants you to be is more honest, assertive, and truly loving inside your marriage and with others. The higher power is God.

Highly recommended. The authors give you precise directions on how to change from a Christian Nice Girl to a God’s Good Woman. Are you willing to change? You will probable displease some if you do, but the reward is worth the change – a more fulfilling life.


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.

Cast of Characters by Max Lucado

This is a very intriguing and thought provoking book. Who are these characters? They are Moses. Esther, Paul, Peter, Job, the rich young ruler, Lazarus – to name a few. They are you and me. They were not a list of “Who’s Who in Purity and Sainthood.” Their live were marked by scandal and intrigue. These are people of the Bible – famous biblical characters. They had problems just like you and me. They were very human and imperfect just like you and me. Guess who was there to make everything right. Jesus – that’s who. He will make everything right for you and me -all we have to do is ask and believe. Jesus (God) is the hero of all. He is the God of second chances – our Maker – our Savior – our salvation. When we try to do it our way – it is impossible, but all things are possible for God.

Highly recommend you read this very interesting book, Lucado is an excellent author. He puts you right in the picture – you are there in the tents, tending the flock, and yes, even with the shepherd boy – David – on the battlefield when he slays the Philistine giant Goliath. And in the midst – hovering over us all is GOD.


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.

Beirut 39 edited by Samuel Shimon

The book is a collection of short stories, novels and poems written by 39 Arab writers under the age of 40. 450 young writers across the Arab World, Europe and America submitted their writings, but only 39 were selected to be published. The presentations have been translated from Arabic to English by various translators. The books takes the reader into the regions of the Middle East and Africa. The reader feels, hears, tastes the culture of the Arab World. One will live the horrors of war, destruction of their home land, corrupt regimes and experience the pain and frustration of a nation constantly at odds with the rest of the civilized world. These 39 young writers have put their very souls into their writing, hoping to be recognized and published. One cannot but relate to the discipline of the Islamic religion – the call to prayer morning/noon/night, and the pride of the many who constantly practice their belief – the piety of true believers.

The is book is one that will cause the reader to pause and thank their Heavenly Father that we live in a land where we have freedom of worship, speech, etc, without fear of retaliation or imprisonment. These young writers brings one face to face with a civilization far removed from our own – one of suffering, lack of freedom and fear of the unknown.

I recommend the book. It will enlighted you and open your eyes.


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.

After The Fall by Kylie Ladd

by Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer

The book is about lust, love, friendship, adultery, trust and betrayal. Kate/Cary and Luke/Cressida are a foursome. They thought their friendship was secure and faultless. This all changed when Luke and Kate started a secret love affair. The book is written in first-person voices and lets the reader know their thoughts and misgivings – guilt, lust, anger, love and fears.

Cary is a quiet, adoring husband, loves Kate without reservations, trusts her completely, and wants to start a family. Kate is a flirt, a firecracker of a women. She loves Cary but yearns for Luke’s love and attention. Luke is also a flirt. He is genuinely fond of women and Cressida has no problems with this – she knows he really loves her. Cressida is a doctor and her unusual long hours at the hospital leaves Luke alone a great deal of the time.

After The Fall dwells into the souls of two young devoted couples that let lust destroy their friendship and marriages. It changes the lives of four people who thought that nothing would ever destroy the vows they exchanged on their respective wedding day.

After The Fall will intrigue you, make you thankful for the love and devotion of your spouse. It will also make you more fully appreciate that the grass is not greener on the other side.

Highly recommended – especially for those of you who harbor feelings for someone other than your spouse.

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

Hellhound On His Trail by Hampton Sides

Prisoner #416-J in Missouri State Penitentiary at Jefferson City is a slender, fair-skinned man in his late thirties with raven hair flecked with gray at his sideburns. He is a person hard to describe or remember – a model prisoner the guards overlook. He has spent most of his adult life behind bars. Today is the day #416-J will escape (in a bread box no less) and be on the run for many months just under the radar.

It is a happy time in Memphis. Tennessee. The third annual Cotton Carnival, Memphis’ answer to Marde Gras, is about to begin. The barge carrying the cotton king and queen is scheduled to arrive shortly after sunset. It is also a time of unrest. The sanitation workers are on strike. The garbage is piling up on the street of Memphis and the Major refused to negotiate. Martin Luther King Jr, is scheduled to lead a peaceful march in support of the workers.

Prisoner #416-J, or Eric Galt as he calls himself, is in Puerto Vallarta pertaining to be a photographer making a movie. The manager of the hotel where he is staying doesn’t know what to make of his mysterious new guest. Gault is meticulously dressed, is a fidgety gringo who mumbles when he talks and drives a two-door Mustang hardtop.

Former Governor George C.Wallace is running for President of the United States. He is making white supremacy the centerpiece of his campaign. Wallace’s hatred of the back man and King in particular is widely known. King is extremely troubled by Wallace’s popularity. King is crisscrossing the country promoting his upcoming Poor People’s Campaign. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover has been obsessed with King for decades. He has carried in a semi public feud with King and the SC LC.

Wallace’s campaign in Los Angeles draws Galt. When did he return to the United States and under what alias? His hatred for blacks and King is growing to the boiling point. He leaves Los Angeles for Memphis and begins stalking King. Martin Luther King Jr, is shot on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee by an unknown assassin who escapes under the very noses of the Memphis police. At 7:05 pm at St, Joseph Hospital is pronounced dead. Who is the assassin?

Every able bodied man and women of the FBI and all police departments are looking for who. Clues point to a man named Eric Galt, but who is he? Galt, under an alias, is eventually caught by Scotland Yard trying to board a plane to Brussels. He is returned to the United States and put in solitary confinement in the Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary – one of Tennessee’s tightest maximum security prisons. By a quirt of faith he escapes and for several days is on the run. He is captured, by accident, in the rugged mountains surrounding the prison and returned. He later died in 1998.

The question is – who is Eric Galt? Some believe he is James Earl Ray or is he. How did an uneducated small time criminal, using so many alias, allude the FBI for so long? A 65 day search that took investigators to Canada/Portugal/England in the most massive man hunt in history. Did he have help – where did he get his money? Was there a conspiracy?

Highly recommended. A very interesting read – a hard book to put down.


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.