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Know when to keep silent. The rest of Proverbs Chapter 17, we see several other characteristics of wisdom in verses 10 through 28. One characteristic that strikes me is in verse 28, the very last verse in the chapter. This verse reminds us of the importance and the wisdom of keeping silent. There are times to speak out. There are times to share our opinions. There are times to stand for the things we believe in. But, there is also a time to be silent. Sometimes people are talking just to hear themselves talk. They think it makes them sound important to speak or to say lots of words. Wisdom is found in the right words spoken the right way at the right time. Learn to be silent and to listen to others. Not to just talk solely to hear ourselves talk.

Reading through Philippines 1:12-20, we find a man in prison who is thankful and grateful for his circumstances. Looking at this passage, it can be hard for those of us who have gone through tough times to really understand that while Paul is in prison, he is still glorifying God and seeing the big picture in terms of how the gospel is spreading. Paul recognizes that his circumstances are a direct cause of people coming to saving faith in Christ.

When we look at our circumstances, do we see them in light of people coming to Christ? We are only to live to see Christ high and lifted up and whatever situation will bring that about is the one that we should desire. I pray that God will use my every situation to bring glory to Himself and to spread the word about Him.

FROM AMAZON:

No shortcuts, no gimmicks, no empty promises… just practical and proven strategies for overcoming roadblocks and getting on the fast track to true success.

KRISTI’S REVIEW:

We all claim to want more success in our lives, yet what are we doing to actually realize that goal? This book by Tony Jeary is a quick read with lots of great, practical information included. I loved that he has a Christian perspective and shares that unashamedly in the book, while helping people understand the importance and practicality of working hard and being consistent with these principles in order to truly see the success we are looking for. These principles are easy to understand and easy to do, but difficult to do consistently and that is an important point that he discusses as a key. You will be challenged by this book.

Click on the cover image above to see more about this great book.

FROM AMAZON:

When her client and old college friend is murdered, P.I. Kat Justice knows the killer will come for her next. Her survival depends on finding her unknown enemy first…and working with homicide detective Mitch Elliot, her onetime crush. It’ll take all her professional skills to ignore the sparks between them, but Kat can’t allow the handsome cop to get close. She’s seen too many people she loves die, so she vows just to do her job without getting emotionally involved. Yet keeping her distance may not be the best way to protect her heart—or their lives.

KRISTI’S REVIEW

As the second book in The Justice Agency series, we get to see the older sister, Kat, as she struggles with a direct threat to her. The storyline does keep moving, a bit slowly in a couple of places, but there are some interesting side-plots that get woven into things. This books gives us a greater glimpse into the rest of the Justice siblings since Ethan, the main character from the first book is on his honeymoon throughout the majority of the book. I enjoyed the characters and her development of them. The romance is a bit predictable, but I appreciated the reliance on God that is paramount throughout the book. Since Kat is a control-freak, she has to learn how to let go and let God. All in all a good book that will keep the pages turning. I give it 4 stars out of 5.

You can learn more by clicking on the book cover above.

FROM AMAZON:

Photographer Jennie Buchanan unknowingly captures a drug-cartel meeting on film. And now she has become a killer’s next target. Even worse, her only protection from the danger that threatens her life is the man who threatens her heart. Dodging bullets almost seems safer than facing the feelings stirred up by seeing former FBI agent and ex-boyfriend Ethan Justice again. Ethan vows to safeguard Jennie from the deadly men on her trail. And for a second chance at Jennie’s love, he’s willing to risk anything to expose the truth—about the drug smugglers, the past and the future together he still wants.

KRISTI’S REVIEW:

I love a good suspense book and this one delivers. This is the first book in “The Justice Agency” series of books which details 5 siblings who run their own private detective agency. There is a good balance of romance and suspense and I thoroughly enjoyed the importance that is placed on relying on God to meet our needs. I didn’t end up figuring out “whodunit” until much later in the book, which is always a pleasant surprise while reading suspense novels. The characters are interesting and Ms. Sleeman does a nice job developing them. I did enjoy meeting the rest of the Justice siblings and look forward to reading their stories in the remaining books. The plot keeps moving throughout and is certainly a page-turner. Overall a nice job and great message.

You can learn more about this book by clicking on the book cover above.


From Amazon:

Genevieve Ferguson has resigned herself to a solitary existence, certain that no man could ever love her now.

Seth Chamberlin knew Genevieve before the tragedy. He longs to restore that vivacious spirit to the broken young woman she has become.

But God may have another path in mind, and nothing is easy in the wild west, where danger is as close as the weather, and just as deadly.

Will Genevieve find peace in the midst of her trials or is love too much to hope for? Will Seth have the strength to follow the path God has set for him or will temptation be too strong to fight? Find out in the continuation of the Ferguson and Chamberlin saga, Into the Sun.

Kristi’s Review:

Karina Harris has continued the story with her wonderful characters from the first two books in the series. Genevieve is still having trouble adjusting to the trauma that is described in the first book. Karina doesn’t spend a lot of time dwelling on the details of the inciting event, but instead focuses on how that has changed her view and ability to relate to other people. Karina tells a beautiful story of triumph over fear and uncertainty in the midst of tragedy. She did a beautiful job of weaving the story and the plot line is very well done. The characters are believable and well developed through the story. I enjoyed getting to see the depth of the characters that are created and the overwhelming focus of how God can work and move through the tragedies in our life to remind us of our truly great worth. This is a wonderful series and this book is a fantastic addition to the Elements of Change Series.

Click on the book cover above for more information on the book.

From Amazon:

“I should have killed you when I had the chance. You have no idea, do you? Life is just a crazy coincidence? That’s fine. I have a feeling even mercy has a limit.”

The terrorist’s words haunt Rachel Saunders. Are they the ramblings of a psychopath? Or is there someone else out there who is watching Rachel and deciding if she should live or die?

When Rachel stumbles across something she was never meant to see, she discovers all the random events from the past year have connections that are much closer to home than she ever imagined. Now she must elude terrorists intent on killing her and piece together the clues to identify her enemy before time runs out and many more people lose their lives.

When all the secrets and lies are revealed, will Rachel be able to handle seeing her world as she know it fall apart? Will she be able to forgive one last betrayal from the man she thought she loved?

Kristi’s Review:

This final book in the series starts off six months after book 2 ends. The same action-packed tempo we’ve come to expect from the other books in the series, is carried through to this book just as well. The plot line has several twists and turns which I found to be believable and fun to keep the story moving. I enjoyed getting to meet Rachel’s father and getting the chance to explore his character more. The conclusion of the bombing plot was handled well.

My favorite part of the book is toward the end when Rachel realizes her need to depend on God. She has some a very poignant time of learning to trust in Him with everything that she is and I found that extremely refreshing. I was a bit disappointed with the very end of the book and the wrapping up of the romance storyline. I felt that there wasn’t quite enough time dedicated to that and it seemed that Rachel’s emotions flipped a little too quickly to be completely believable. Maybe just a little more time spent exploring that would have helped. All in all, I thought this was an excellent finale to a great series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through this and am excited to see what is next for this author.

Description from Amazon:

The terrorist attack . . .Dawson Tate . . . What if nothing is as it appears to be? When the unexpected happens, Rachel Saunders must unravel the web of secrets surrounding her boyfriend’s work with Homeland Security and their relationship. While confronted with new facts about Dawson’s mysterious ex from Florida and the attentions of DHS agent Garrett Matthews, Rachel must find a way to save the man she can no longer trust. Will anything or anyone survive after the truth is revealed and the mirage fades?

MIRAGE is Book Two in the TRU EXCEPTIONS series.

Kristi’s Review:

Six months have passed since the non-stop adrenaline rush that took place in the book Baggage Claim. This story continues with the same level of intensity and page-turning action that I enjoyed so much from the first book in the series. Amanda takes the situation and is able to weave quite a tale through this book. I enjoyed the plot twists and continued character development. This book also adds a new character, Garret Matthews to the mix and that is handled well. I thoroughly enjoyed this second book in the series and again, felt that things reached a good conclusion in this story. True, while I was able to pick out the “bad guy” pretty early on, I never suspected how they would go about bringing him down and that was fun to read through. I did like the reference to the faith in God aspect and while it was mentioned several times, I consider it in the “light” category of Christian references. (Mentioning about faith in God and the need for God to impact daily life, but not specifically referencing the need to trust in Jesus Christ.) Readers who enjoy action and suspense sprinkled with romance will not be disappointed.

Click on the cover picture above for more information.

 


From Amazon:

Montana native, Rachel Saunders, is looking forward to her all-expense paid weekend trip to New York. But, when her luggage is lost and she is accosted by an infuriating Homeland Security agent named Dawson Tate, events take a dangerous turn. Now, can she and Dawson elude their enemies and prevent a terrorist attack before the bomb in their possession is detonated in the center of Manhattan–all while keeping their obvious attraction to one another in check? Find out in this Romantic Thriller.

Kristi’s Review:

I read this book as part of a box set that I purchased on sale. The entire set was pretty good and I’ll get to each of the other 6 books over the next few weeks, but this is the first book in the set and it really started things off well. I admit, I hadn’t seen the cover of this individual book and looking at it now, I’m not a fan, nor do I think that it accurately portrays the feel of this book. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. This book moves so fast and the action never seems to stop! I couldn’t put it down and just kept turning pages all the way until the book ended. The characters are well thought out and I really enjoyed a tough, take-care-of yourself female lead. Still, it wasn’t too overdone and felt believable and genuine. The entire book is written from Rachel’s perspective, and while this book is complete and the story has a complete ending, it is certainly left open for the sequels. I didn’t feel like things were left hanging open, like with some book 1s. The story is clean and there is discussion about faith in God, though it is subtle. I give this book 5 stars! Great romantic action/suspense.

Synopsis from Amazon:

“I do believe God can forgive him. I really do. I’m just not sure I can.”

Ryan’s revelation shocks Rachel to the core. Are the foundations of a three-cord marriage strong enough to handle even the worst deception? Even when two are willing to give up?

Rachel suspects Ryan’s betrayal, but when she finds out the truth, her life is torn upside down and inside out. Ryan hides his past, fearful that when it catches up to him, it will destroy him and everything he has worked to build.

When the past finally meets the present, both Ryan and Rachel are lost in a world of confusion, pain and misery. Knowing God can and will forgive every repentant heart doesn’t ensure that they are capable of doing the same.

Is forgiveness a feeling or an act of obedience? Will God give them the strength to do the impossible?

 
My Review:

Darlene Shortridge’s novels take a decidedly and unapologetically Christian perspective in dealing with the issues that people experience in real life. “Forever Loved” is certainly no exception. This story introduces us to Pastor Ryan Bradley and his wife Rachel. After just a couple wrong choices, they find their lives spiraling out of control and find themselves questioning everything they have ever believed in. This story is a perfect picture of how giving in to sin in our lives compounds and compounds until we reach a point where we look up and wonder where God is and what happened. However, just as poignant is the description of how God can intervene through others and prayer to pick up the pieces of shattered lives if we will only turn to Him and surrender our lives to His perfect will.

Sin in our lives is not pretty and there are parts of this book where that is so evident. However, as Darlene clearly shows, there is always hope. The characters in this story are realistic and well developed. The plot line continues to move throughout the book to keep the reader turning pages. I know that readers will be blessed and have their faith strengthened as they read of God’s unfailing love in “Forever Loved.”