Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness & Friendship

Title:  Convicted: A Crooked Cop, an Innocent Man, and an Unlikely Journey of Forgiveness & Friendship

Author:  Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins with Mark Tabb

Pages:  224

Year:  2017

Publisher:  WaterBrook

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

This book is about two men who came across one another at a store in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  One is a white cop and the other is a black man buying groceries for his son.  It is on this day (February 8, 2006), that Jameel McGee was arrested for something he didn’t do.  Andrew Collins is the cop who arrested him for possession of drugs with the intention to distribute.  Jameel is confused and angry about the unlawful arrest.  He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time.  He’s not some big-time drug dealer that the cops are after.  Collins is convinced that Jameel is a drug dealer and arrests him after finding dope in “his” car.  To ensure that another drug dealer is off the streets of Benton Harbor, Collins lies on his report and to the court about Jameel, sending him to prison for the next three years.

Angry and filled with a desire for revenge, Jameel McGee waits for the chance to pay back the cop who ruined his life.  But while in prison, Jameel is called by God to let go of his anger and that He’s got it. Jameel learns to let go of his revenge and his anger and after three years behind bars, he is set free. Collins faces the consequences for his unlawful actions.  He is caught with drugs that he had been using as extra evidence against drug dealers and gaining extra money for himself illegally.  He loses his job as a cop and soon afterwards is sent to prison for the next 18 months.

The two men are eventually reunited in Benton Harbor and from there they embark on a journey of forgiveness and redemption.  From that journey, they will learn about the power of forgiveness and grace that lets God back into their lives.  They will discover things about themselves and how no matter what storms come their way in life, God is always in control.

I would recommend this book to others because it is a powerful true story of forgiveness and redemption.  Because of our fallen nature, we tend to think we got this or we can fix that when life throws a curve ball at us.  We often fail to turn to God for help.  Sometimes the bad experiences we have are God’s way of testing our relationship with Him or getting us to come back to Him.  When we let our pride or our unwillingness to let God be in control of our lives, things go from bad to worse.  God’s grace works wonders in a person’s life when he or she is willing to forgive and ask God for forgiveness for all the hurt and the pain that has been done to them and the suffering they have caused others. Taking responsibility for these wrong actions takes a lot of courage and humility.  I would ask others to recognize that this isn’t just a true story about two men getting over what some people may call racial prejudice, but something much deeper than that, something spiritual.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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A Rebel in My House

Title: A Rebel in My House
Author: Sandra Merville Hart
Pages: 250
Year: 2017
Publisher: Smitten Historical Romance
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
Sandra Merville Hart’s novel is gripping from beginning to end! The first novel she wrote is titled, A Stranger on My Land, both stories take place in the historical timeframe of the War Between the States. When I finished reading her first novel, I couldn’t wait until she published another story. The tales she writes touch the heart and soul of readers in a unique way that defies words.
A Rebel in My House is a novel that brought tears to my eyes and that’s saying something. The detailed scenes and the characters seemed so alive to me that it was as if I was there witnessing what was occurring at the time. Sarah Hubbard is a single woman making her living as a dressmaker in Gettysburg when a stranger knocks on her door and requests aid. As time goes on it seems the danger is increasing near her home from the war so Sarah goes to live with her sister and niece in town. Yet, Sarah cannot help but think of the stranger who is once again in the thick of battle.
The knock that began the change in Sarah’s life continues to bring more conflict of the heart than anything else. Of course, Sarah’s conflict with her sister Martha doesn’t help Sarah in any way. Towards the end of the story is when I was near tears as the author depicts a very touching scene that I can imagine took place many times during the war. When I read how Sandra prepared to write this story for us to enjoy, I could tell it really touched her heart with the real people behind the fictional ones.
Please read both of her novels and enjoy them. I sure did and again I cannot wait to see what flows from her pen in the future!

In Our Hands (The Battle for Jerusalem)

Title: In Our Hands (The Battle for Jerusalem)
Author: Erin Zimmerman
Year: 2017
Publisher: CBN
Website: http://www.inourhands1967.com/
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
Recently, I had been reminded of the Six-Day War in Israel by hearing about the movie, though it didn’t come to a theatre in my area, and through some articles in magazines. To realize it happened 50 years ago when I was 6 brought me up short as I don’t remember being taught in school about what occurred in another nation.
When my husband and I sat down to watch this docudrama, we were not sure what we would hear or see. What we did learn was an amazing testimony of how God miraculously brought confusion to the enemy, some of the Jewish people back to Jerusalem and the legacy the soldiers left behind! The cost in lives was high, but when we listened to the soldiers who fought or their children retelling what they knew, it touched out hearts!
We learned it wasn’t something to just listen to and then go on with life; it really made us aware of God’s presence and power. I hope many take time to watch the DVD together and then share what touched their heart or what they learned. Equally amazing was learning what current IDF soldiers do before they start their time in service to their country. It really touched our hearts and at times we felt like we had a lump in our throats!

Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)

Title: Missing Mabel (A Curl Up & Dye Mystery #1)
Author: Nancy Mehl
Pages: 249
Year: 2010
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
My rating is 4 stars out of 5.
I have read all of Nancy Mehl’s more recent books and was happy to discover she had written this mystery series earlier in her career. The story is set in Wichita, Kansas in the present. Hilde Higgins is a young, single woman with a very interesting and some might say strange job. She is a hairdresser for the deceased. She styles the hair of dead people before their funeral services. Her mother is not happy with her career choice, especially since she quit college to pursue this job.
Hilde is called to one of the local funeral homes for a job, but accidentally goes into the wrong room to discover the body of Mabel Winnemaker, awaiting delivery to the coroner’s office for an autopsy. Hilde is supposed to dress the hair of another woman. Hilde quickly leaves the room and finds the correct body and proceeds to do her job. A few days later she is called back to the funeral home to dress the hair of Mabel. The only problem is the Hilde has a photographic memory and the body she has been told is Mabel is not the same Mabel she saw a few days ago. She notifies the funeral home owner, but he thinks she has made a mistake. Then, Hilde is accused of stealing an expensive ring from Mabel’s body and Hilde fears her reputation and career will be ruined. She sets out to find out where the real Mabel is and to notify Mabel’s family of the situation.
An old friend contacts Hilde to renew their acquaintance and Hilde can sure use his help to find out what happened to Mabel. Hilde also makes friends with a crusty old gentleman, Gabe, across the street from the boarding house where she lives. They interaction between Hilde and Gabe were just so funny! Those conversations were one of my favorite parts of the book and I hope Gabe appears in the other books of the series. I also liked how Hilde’s faith in God was evident in how she lived her life. Her best friend was not a believer, but Hilde prayed for her and tried to show her the love of God in how she lives her life. Hilde’s renewed friendship with Adam also revealed his faith, which I thought was so important for the beginning of a relationship. I am looking forward to book two in the series, Blown Away.

Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4)

Title:  Portrait of Vengeance (Gwen Marcey #4)

Author:  Carrie Stuart Parks

Pages:  311

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Thomas Nelson

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Gwen Marcey has finally gotten a full-time job, although she is on probation for four weeks until she can earn her first paycheck.  She volunteers to take a case that really doesn’t appear to need a forensic artist, but is eerily like events from Gwen’s past.  She arrives in Idaho at the Nez Perce Reservation to begin helping the local police force in a double homicide.  Two parents of been brutally murdered and their 4-year-old daughter has gone missing.  As Gwen works the case, she begins having flashbacks of memories from her own childhood and thinks that maybe what happened in her past could be linked to what is going on now.  This is a hard sell to the local police chief.  When Gwen starts to follow leads on her own case instead of the double homicide case, the chief lets Gwen’s boss know that she has missed some interview appointments and is distracted.

Gwen and her best friend Beth who has come along to act as Watson to Gwen’s Sherlock research cases from surrounding states that have a similar set of circumstances.  What they uncover leads them to believe the killer is someone Gwen knows and he/she is wanting Gwen to find out his/her identity.  Gwen also is trying to solve the mystery of her past.  As she gets closer to the truth, more attempts on her life are made.  Gwen refuses to give up, but will her refusal cost her life?

I have thoroughly enjoyed this entire series and would highly recommend it to anyone!  I find the writing style of the author easy to follow and the main character real and down-to-earth.  The author really brings her artistic nature to the story in her descriptions using the names of lots of colors I’ve never heard of, but expanded my knowledge in that matter.  Gwen is a survivor.  She never gives up.  She digs and digs until she finds the truth.  She is willing to risk her life and knows to Whom her life is devoted to.  Her faith has played an ever-increasing role in her life and I liked watching that aspect of her character mature.  I love Gwen’s sense of humor and her friendship with Beth.  I’m always excited when I see a new book in this series is coming out, so grab some of the excitement and get ready for plenty of action and suspense!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Deadly Proof

Title: Deadly Proof (Atlanta Justice Series #1)
Author: Rachel Dylan
Pages: 320
Year: 2017
Publisher: Bethany Publishers
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
What an exciting and provocative new book by author Rachel Dylan where legal courtroom battles will capture not just your mind but your heart as well. When an up-and-coming bright lawyer is tapped for lead counsel to take on a pharmaceutical company allegedly responsible for knowingly putting people at risk with deaths having occurred, Kate Sullivan finds herself being a walking target. Strange things happen to her materials, as well as between her and the opposing counsel who was a friend in college and more!
The most intriguing legal thriller to come out in a long time! People like me who get into reading legal thrillers aren’t going to want to pass this book up! I learned so much about what it takes to prepare for big cases and the multiple people it takes to put legs to finding answers. I love how Rachel paints such a vivid portrait of the pharma industry and the fictional company who must now defend itself at all costs. The questions are just how far will they go to avoid going to court and risk losing billions of dollars in settlement costs?
The adventure and danger will ramp your heart rate up and you’ll find yourself cheering for justice to prevail. Landon, who is a P.I., is tasked with keeping Kate alive throughout the legal battle and the threats she faces that come from many sides. It will take people with very special skills to keep Kate alive and her material safe. I cannot wait until the next story comes out in the series, and I hope you will enjoy the heart-pounding action Rachel writes for readers to enjoy!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

Miss Leslie’s Secret

Title: Miss Leslie’s Secret
Author: Jennifer Moore
Pages: 219
Year: 2017
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Conall Stewart has arrived home from fighting a war only to find his home destroyed and his family gone. No one seems to be able to locate them. With no place to live, Conall migrates to a small village and rents a home. He relishes being back in Scotland and being part of a community. He has dearly missed his homeland. His eye catches Aileen Leslie, but she keeps her distance from him. He employs her young son with various odd jobs. Conall quickly develops an affinity for young Jamie and sees that he is a hard worker who takes pride in a job well done. He also begins to consider Aileen as a friend and perhaps more.
Aileen Leslie came to the village about eight years ago. No one knows her past, except Mrs. Campbell her next-door neighbor who arrived with Aileen. Aileen is a beekeeper to support herself and her son. She will not accept charity, but as Jamie spends more time with Conall she begins to realize Jamie needs a man in his life to instruct him on how to become a man. She even feels a little jealous when Jamie spends time with Conall and shows signs of growing up. She thinks Conall is handsome, but he is rich in her eyes and would want nothing to do with a poor woman like her. She tries to keep her distance, but she is attracted to him and he to her. However, she is keeping a big secret that no one can discover or lives will be put in danger.
The story is predictable, but also enjoyable. There was tension and danger along with romance building to climax of the plot, which held my interest. I have read other books by this author and found them also worth reading. The characters in this story, especially Aileen, were engaging for me. I could relate to her stubborn pride! I liked the characters of Mrs. Campbell and Mrs. Ross to add some light touches of humor. Conall and Aileen have lived through some terrible events in their young lives, but have survived. I liked their strength and tenacity. I look forward to reading more regency romances from this author soon!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”