The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon (His Earliest Outlines & Sermons Between 1851 & 1954 Vol. 2)

Title:  The Lost Sermons of C. H. Spurgeon (His Earliest Outlines & Sermons Between 1851 & 1954 Vol. 2)

Author:  Christian George (editor)

Pages:  576

Year:  2017

Publisher:  B & H Academic

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I came to know and love Spurgeon’s writings mainly through my son who loves reading and contemplating what those who have gone before us have left behind for us.  The volumes of Spurgeon’s outlines, sermons, the pictures and introduction by the editor give us glimpse of one of those who is among the “great cloud of witnesses” as Hebrews 12:1 states.  Charles Hadden Spurgeon wrote constantly and left for those who are here to carry the mantle of sharing Christ with the world a wealth of wisdom!

To see the pictures of writings in his own hand of what he learned from the Word of God and preparation of sharing with others is staggering.  In a day where so much is instant, quickly said, noted or texted and then forgotten even quicker, these volumes remind us to take time to leave behind for others what the Lord teaches us.

While no man will ever state or write complete truth for only the Bible is inspired and without error, we can learn, meditate, and share in the joy of the Lord from Spurgeon.  When I look at the dates and realize our country would soon be thrown into Civil War within a decade of his writing, it makes what he wrote very poignant and pragmatic.  Please don’t dismiss these books right off because you’re from a different denomination or theological stance; there is truly a treasure trove of wisdom here to be opened and enjoyed.

The sermons cover a multitude of different portions of Scripture sometimes being about one verse and other times more than one verse.  Spurgeon’s volumes cover both the Old & New Testaments.  Next summer, volume 3 will be released and I will be adding it to my personal library for my enjoyment and then for my sons’ families after I go to be with the Lord.  Our personal libraries are something we can pass on to our children and grandchildren or strangers.

So, view this with a heart and vision that look past today to what may be, and add Spurgeon’s wisdom to your library to meditate on and leave for the next generation to glean wisdom from too! 

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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Enigma (An FBI Thriller #21)

Title:  Enigma (An FBI Thriller #21)

Author:  Catherine Coulter

Pages:  496

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Gallery Books

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

While this is the 21st book of this particular series, it’s the first for me!  I kept coming across other readers sharing how captivating and thrilling it was along with the synopsis I read that I found intriguing.  The science part of the book linked with nefarious ways people wanted to use it was extremely suspenseful.  There were several different situations occurring almost simultaneously and I wondered how they would all fit together like a puzzle or if they even would fit together.

So many nights I was up reading and turning pages as I was going deeper into the story so very well crafted by the author.  The various FBI players exhibited unique strengths and weaknesses, but when placed in a team they sure seemed unbeatable.  The team of FBI agents doggedly kept investigating and considering possible suspects and some of what came about you’ll find quite amazing.

In the novel, I would have to say that my two favorite characters are the married FBI agents Savich and Sherlock.  Sherlock’s approach to the Kara character was amazing and touching.  While also helping Kara deal with her crisis, Sherlock helped her to vocalize information that might help the FBI.  Savich is a great FBI supervisor and yet he goes out in the field not to micromanage but to get information that other members of his team need to solve the case.

I plan on going back and reading the other books in this series by Catharine Coulter because I found Enigma focused on telling a great story without the other nuances (i.e. foul language, sex) writers tend to think help build an audience, when in fact they detract from the story.  I cannot wait to see what the older books in the series are like and what might come next from a new author whose stories I plan on reading more of!

Storming the Black Ice (Pacific Rim Series #3)

Title: Storming the Black Ice (Pacific Rim Series #3)
Author: Don Brown
Pages: 356
Year: 2014
Publisher: Zondervan
My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.
This is the third book of the Pacific Rim Series, and it introduces some new characters. All the books in the series could be read as standalone stories. The setting begins in Antarctica with an Argentinian officer uncovers petroleum sources previously discovered, but kept secret by Great Britain. Great Britain and Chile come to a secret accord to develop and share in the profits as they both share overlapping territory in this region. However, now that Argentina is aware of this accord, they join with Venezuela to fight against Britain and Chile. Britain asks the U.S. for help.
Meanwhile, submarine commander Pete Miranda has been thinking about retirement from the Navy. However, his superior asks him to stick around for one last mission that should take approximately six months, perhaps a year to complete. He will be training Chilean sailors on how to man a submarine as Chile is bolstering its Navy due to increasing tensions with Argentina and Venezuela. Also, Pete’s father is from Chile and Pete looks forward to connecting with family and exploring his heritage. Pete agrees, thinking this will be an easy way to close his career and during his time he will be up for promotion to Captain, so what does he have to lose? Boy, does he have it wrong!
As with the other two books in this series, there is plenty of action and tension that will keep readers glued to their seats from start to finish. I liked the look at the different ways various churches put their beliefs into practice. I know very little about these South American countries, so I enjoyed reading about them. The maps that were included were a great help too. The family interactions also made me want to read further in the story to see how those issues were resolved. The realism the author brings to the story to me makes the story so much more believable, ramps up the tension and keeps readers involved and invested in the story to the end. I would recommend this entire series for those who enjoy suspense and action. There is no foul language or sex, which is such a blessing when looking for something good to read. These would make a great gift for Christmas, birthday, or any time!

A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)

Title: A Casualty of War (A Bess Crawford Mystery #9)
Author: Charles Todd
Pages: 378
Year: 2017
Publisher: William Morrow
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Bess Crawford is once again called on to help a soldier in need. This time the soldier, Alan Travis, claims that a soldier in a British uniform tried to kill him, a British soldier himself and not once, but twice. The soldier looks very much like Alan’s cousin. Alan suffers a head wound that causes the aid station to doubt his claims. He is returned to active duty after being cleared by the Base Hospital. When he is returned to the aid station with a bullet wound in his back, claiming the same soldier tried to kill him again, the authorities investigate his claims. It is discovered that the man Alan claims tried to kill him is dead. Now, the hospital staff begins to doubt his sanity and perhaps the first wound to his head was more serious than they thought. He is transferred to a mental hospital until he can be further evaluated. Bess feels responsible and tells Alan she will see what she can discover.
Bess is home for two weeks leave after the war is finally over. However, instead of spending the time with her parents, she ends up chasing clues as the mystery surrounding Captain Travis goes deeper than she originally thought. She has Simon Brandon at her side for protection and help, but can he truly keep her safe when a murder happens in the small village of the Travis family? Bess is convinced Captain Travis is sane and won’t rest until justice for him clears his name, freeing him, but at what cost?
In her role as a nurse, Bess has been involved in quite a few mysteries so now that the war is over I am very curious to see how this series will continue. I thoroughly enjoy the time frame of this series as well as the setting. I love reading about all the small villages and their intricacies of life, how townspeople interact with one another and strangers. Bess leaves no stone unturned, even though many times she has no authority, in her investigations. She just can’t leave a mystery alone, even when she should for her own safety. I also liked seeing more of Simon in this story and would like to know more about his background. Maybe there might be a mystery with Simon and his past as the focus? I’m looking forward to seeing how Bess encounters her tenth mystery!

Frontier Destiny (Preacher: The Epic Continues)

Title: Frontier Destiny (Preacher: The Epic Continues)
Author: William W. Johnstone
Pages: 568
Year: 2017
Publisher: Pinnacle
My rating 5 out of 5 stars.
First, let me say I cannot wait until another book like this is released! I loved reading 40 Guns West followed by Blackfoot Messiah. Preacher is a mountain man who avoids towns and prefers to be out in the wilderness. He knows the mountain range like the back of his hand. He is known by many tribes and names. While some are friendly towards him, others at least respect his ways. Preacher is a no-nonsense man and cares little for those who harm others, rob, cheat, steal or are in his neighborhood bringing destruction to the beauty of the wild.
While he is very different from his siblings, he loves his parents. Once in a while, he visits them in town though not for long. Preacher’s siblings think he is crazy and have really very little understanding or tolerance of the man. Preacher refuses to fit anyone’s mold but his own. I like that while he also fears little, he is not one to jump into the thick of a matter without first thinking and planning his moves.
I really enjoyed being able to curl up and enjoy a good, solid story and want to read more of Preacher’s adventures. While one may think being called Preacher makes him a clergy man, trust me that isn’t why he is called that name. The reason why is one that you will enjoy discovering for yourself! So, grab a copy for yourself and maybe for another reader you know to give as a gift, and get lost in the adventures of a mountain man called Preacher!

Too Far Down (The Cimarron Legacy #3)

Title:  Too Far Down (The Cimarron Legacy #3)

Author:  Mary Connealy

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

To really enjoy this story, please start with the first book in the series, No Way Up followed by Long Time Gone as the characters and plot are continued from book one all the way through to the final, Too Far Down.  Mary Connealy’s finale in this series kept me up through one whole night so I could read the book in one sitting.  That’s how exciting and adventuresome the Cimarron Legacy series is, and you don’t want to miss out!

The excitement began for me from the first page until the last.  Throughout the book, it never let up!  With many characters’ actions ongoing along with the threats to the ranch while at the same time the parents being in a different state and experiencing troubles there, makes for engaging a reader from the get-go.  I couldn’t read or turn the pages fast enough to see what was going to happen, or where the danger was going to come from next!

Plus, the “who” behind all that had occurred to the Boden family and the ranch was going to be revealed, and when it was, what a stroke of genius!  I never saw the “who” coming; it was great!  I will miss the CR ranch and many other holdings along with the Boden family as they became a part of my imagination world.  To take time to read is something I hope more people decide to do because the novels being published and tales being shared make reading an enjoyable pastime!  Whether I read alone or with other members of my family as each person reads what they enjoy, it makes for great sharing time with them!  I also get to share about these authors with other readers and friends.  So, with the holidays just around the corner, please consider buying the series for those who you know love a good book!

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.”

12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Book #1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas)

Title:  12 Days at Bleakly Manor (Book #1 in Once Upon a Dickens Christmas)

Author:  Michelle Griep

Pages:  192

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Barbour Publishing

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

Like a well-woven Dickens tale, Michelle Griep has amazingly accomplished a well-crafted tale with the flavor of a mystery.  The characters are various and few, but don’t let that fool you as what happens the moment one starts reading the book is before too long you just must keep reading! The story is set in the year 1850 which helps also bring atmosphere to the tale being told.

The lead female is a young woman with a broken heart, living with her aunt near the poverty level.  This picture of her current situation is opposite to where and how she once lived.  The lead male is to be married a year by now, but instead he is cold, starving and beaten in a cold jail cell in London.  Out of nowhere envelopes are timely hand delivered to specific individuals with various promises if they remain for the 12 days at the manor.  Who is the mysterious head of the manor or writer of the invitations?

I don’t want to spoil it too much so I won’t share any more, but this is a book that many will want to share with others, or give as gifts.  In 2018, comes the second book, A Tale of Two Hearts, and I for one will be waiting to read it and share with my family and friends!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.