A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

Champion backcountry snowboarder Gage Watson has left the limelight behind after the death of one of his fans. After being sued for negligence and stripped of his sponsorships, he’s remade his life as a ski patrol in Montana’s rugged mountains, as well as serving on the PEAK Rescue team. But he can’t seem to find his footing–or forget the woman he loved, who betrayed him.

Senator and former attorney Ella Blair spends much of her time in the limelight as the second-youngest senator in the country. But she has a secret–one that cost Gage his career. More than anything, she wants to atone for her betrayal of him in the courtroom and find a way to help him put his career back on track.

When Ella’s brother goes missing on one of Glacier National Park’s most dangerous peaks, Gage and his team are called in for the rescue. But Gage isn’t so sure he wants to help the woman who destroyed his life. More, when she insists on joining the search, he’ll have to keep her safe while finding her reckless brother, a recipe for disaster when a snowstorm hits the mountain.

But old sparks relight as they search for the missing snowboarder–and suddenly, they are faced with emotions neither can deny. But when Ella’s secret is revealed, can they learn to trust each other–even when disaster happens again? – from author’s website


I thought Ella should have been older than her mid-twenties because of how long it would have taken her to become a lawyer and in the position she was in in the law office and then became a senator. It also seemed a little unbelievable for Ella and Gage to only have known each other three days before the betrayal and then not see each other for three years and yet still have such strong feelings for each other. I was also sometimes confused about whether the characters were skiing or snowboarding. At times the wording made me think they were snowboarding and then in the next scene it seemed like they were skiing. Maybe I’m just not familiar enough with that world to differentiate between the terms used. Putting those few things aside, I found the characters likable and the overall story enjoyable. Seeing the redemption in their relationship with the history of the lawsuit between them and then putting it aside to help find Ella’s brother and his friend while battling the elements was a nice little story.
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Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley

In an effort to get her security consulting business off the ground, Kelsey Allen has been spending a lot of time up in the air, rappelling down buildings and climbing through windows to show business owners their vulnerabilities to thieves. When she is hired to pose as a conservator at the Pink Palace Museum in order to test their security weaknesses after some artifacts go missing, she’s ecstatic. But when her investigative focus turns from theft to murder, Kelsey knows she’s out of her league–and possibly in the cross hairs. When blast-from-the-past Detective Brad Hollister is called in to investigate, Kelsey may find that he’s the biggest security threat yet . . . to her heart. – from author’s website.

I enjoyed Kelsey’s character and how she was interested in computers but also old things. I could relate to the contradicting interests and it made her more likable. I liked Brad’s character well enough, although the situation with Elle, his ex-fiancé, was a little frustrating and off-putting. I also didn’t entirely like how it concluded itself. The suspense in the book kept me on the edge of my seat and I enjoyed constantly trying to figure out who was behind the murders but never quite being sure until the climax. It made for an enjoyable cold case turned active investigation.

Over Maya Dead Body by Sandra Orchard

FBI Special Agent Serena Jones arrives on Martha’s Vineyard with her family, ready for a little bit of R&R and a whole lot of reminiscing as they celebrate the engagement of an old family friend. But crime doesn’t take a vacation, and she’s soon entangled in an investigation of a suspicious death tied to an antiquities smuggling ring.

When her investigation propels her into danger, Serena must stay the course and solve this case before anyone else dies. But just how is she supposed to do that when the two men in her life arrive on the scene, bringing with them plenty of romantic complications–and even a secret or two? – from author’s website


This is the first book I’ve read in this series and it would have been better if I had read the first two books as they were referenced on several occasions and I think I would have been more able to relate to the characters. Reading only this book, I didn’t get enough of a description of Nate and Tanner for my liking. For example, it never mentioned their ages or gave much of a description for what they looked like. Despite there being two murders in the book, I didn’t find the suspense to keep me on the edge of my seat, but that could also be because I wasn’t as invested in the characters.

The Way of Hope by Melissa Fisher

“Am I welcome here?”

It’s the most challenging question churches are facing today as people with varying gender and sexual identities long for a safe church to explore faith in Jesus. With a history of condemning people for their sexual temptations, desires, or orientations, many churches and Christians either live paralyzed in fear not knowing what to do or simply adopt the world’s view around them and condone.

But what if there was a different way the Church could show up?

With deep understanding born from her own painful experiences, Melissa shows that somewhere between the extremes of condemning, freezing, or condoning is the way of Jesus, a way marked with courage, compassion, and hope. The Way of Hope aims to equip the church to make a positive difference in the lives of those hurting from their relational or sexual differences as well as inspire those that have different sexual or gender identities towards a relationship with Jesus who wants to offer you a love and hope greater than anything you’ve ever known.
– from the book’s website


I found The Way of Hope to be refreshing and different in its perspective. It didn’t condemn nor condone the homosexual lifestyle but rather emphasized a relationship with Christ and how it can transform a person. This book hit me harder than a non-fiction book has in a long time even though I’m not a homosexual but I could still relate to it. I liked Melissa’s honesty with her memories, feelings, actions, etc. It made me want to listen to what she had to say and made me aware of a perspective I didn’t have before.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.

Hurt Road by Mark Lee

Third Day guitarist Mark Lee is no stranger to heartache and hopes deferred; the road to success is never traveled without missteps along the way. Life is messy and uncertain and full of surprises. And one of the best things he’s ever done is let go of his expectations about how life should be in order to embrace life as it is: a moment-by-moment walk with God.

Hurt Road is the engaging true story of a man who, as a teen, found in music a refuge from the uncertainties of life. Who set out to discover a better way to live than constantly struggling to make sure life turned out the way he planned it. Who stopped substituting what’s next for what’s now and learned the truth–that coming or going, God’s got us.

Poignant, funny, and thoughtful, Hurt Road dares anyone feeling knocked down or run over by their circumstances to give up control to the One who already has the road all mapped out. Includes black and white photos. – from Amazon.ca


This book was a quick read with short chapters containing stories of Mark Lee’s life but also life lessons he learned and wants to impart with us. It focused not only on the positive points in his life but also negative ones. He wrote it in such a way that he was stating this was what happened and how he interpreted it. He turned the negatives into learning opportunities. The book didn’t focus as much on the Third Day (Christian band) aspect of his life as I thought it would since that is what he is known for. Instead, it was a balanced retelling of his life from when he was a kid till now. It was an enjoyable read of Mark Lee’s life that blended lighthearted and less lighthearted moments, his music career and that of Third Day, as well as God’s hand through all of it.

All Saints by Michael Spurlock & Jeanette Windle


Newly ordained, Michael Spurlock’s first assignment is to pastor All Saints, a struggling church with twenty-five devoted members and a mortgage well beyond its means. The best option may be too close the church rather than watch it wither any further. But when All Saints hesitantly risks welcoming a community of Karen refugees from Burma–former farmers scrambling for a fresh start in America–Michael feels they may be called to an improbable new mission.

Michael must choose between closing the church and selling the property–or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. Together, they risk everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

Discover the true story that inspired the film while also diving deeper into the background of the Karen people, the church, and how a community of believers rally to reach out to those in need, yet receive far more than they dared imagine. – from publisher’s website


I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

I watched the movie of this story about a month ago and I liked reading the book as it brought more depth to the main characters. It included a lot of Ye Win’s and Michael Spurlock’s background and had an overall biographical feel and didn’t just focus on saving the church as was shown in the movie. I found this book to be an inspiring message of how God works and how He can work through a community that comes together and relies on Him. I also liked that it included what happened even when Spurlock left for another church, showing that it was God working through Spurlock and that He could still work in the church regardless of who was leading it.

Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore

Tess O’Rourke dreams of becoming the first female chief of police in Long Beach, California. As commander of the East Division, she is well on her way . . . until the night she responds to an officer-needs-assistance call and fatally shoots an unarmed teenager. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Tess is so hounded by the public that she takes a job in Oregon to escape the bad press.

Winning over the residents of Rogue’s Hollow might be more difficult than adjusting to her new role as police chief in the small, backwater town. Especially when her closest friend, the pastor’s wife, goes missing and the woman’s cousin is found shot. Tess finds an ally in sheriff’s deputy Steve Logan, but as they track down Rogue’s Hollow’s first murderer, she worries that she’s breaking one of her rules and getting too close to him. – from author’s website


I thought the romance was going to be a bigger part of it based on the book blurb and a couple of scenes in the early part of the book but it was a very minimal part and sometimes wondered if it was going to show up at all. It was so minimal a part that I wondered if there was going to be a second book on the same characters and continue their stories. I enjoyed the suspense in the storyline but in the back of my mind, I kept wondering if the romance was going anywhere or would even show up that I couldn’t enjoy the book fully. If the blurb wouldn’t have misled me to believe that this book would be a romantic suspense, I may have been able to enjoy the book better. The author would occasionally through in scenes or comments that would tease that the romance was going to develop, but I felt like it never did. So, if you are going to read this book, don’t expect romance to be an interwoven thread because it was more like a few crumbs.

High as the Heavens by Kate Breslin

In 1917, Evelyn Marche is just one of many women who has been widowed by the war. A British nurse trapped in German-occupied Brussels, she spends her days working at a hospital and her nights as a waitress in her aunt and uncle’s café. Eve also has a carefully guarded secret keeping her in constant danger: She’s a spy working for a Belgian resistance group in league with the British Secret Service.

When a British plane crashes in Brussels Park, Eve is the first to reach the downed plane and is shocked to discover she recognizes the badly injured pilot. British RFC Captain Simon Forrester is now a prisoner of war, and Eve knows he could be shot as a spy at any time. She risks her own life to hide him from the Germans, but as the danger mounts and the secrets between them grow, their chance of survival looks grim. And even if they do make it out alive, the truth of what lies between them may be more than any love can overcome. – from author’s webiste


This book had a slightly darker tone than I’m used to in the historical books I read because of the setting and storyline. It was a different take on World War I than what I’ve read before with the heroine of the story already being married yet not being with her husband. I liked the few flashbacks of Simon & Evelyn’s love story. It made me root for them that much more. I also liked that the ending wasn’t completely happy because it made it more realistic and still maintained the overall tone of the book. The ending still brought a close to Simon & Evelyn’s story just with not everything resolved as the war hadn’t ended. It is an excellent book for those who enjoy war stories and prefer some darker or more melancholy themes.

“Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.”

All Saints movie

ALL SAINTS is based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all.

After trading in his corporate sales career to become a pastor, Michael’s first assignment is All Saints, a quaint country church with a dozen members. It comes with a catch: he has to close the church doors for good and sell the prime piece of land on which it sits. While developers eagerly eye the property and the congregation mourns the inevitable, Michael and his family look forward to moving on to an established church where they can put down roots.

But when the church hesitantly begins welcoming Karen (kuh-REN) refugees from Burma—former farmers striving for a fresh start in America—Michael feels called to an improbable new mission. Toiling alongside the Karen people, the congregation attempts to turn their fertile land into a working farm to pay the church’s bills and feed its newest people.

Jeopardizing his family’s future by ignoring his superiors, Michael must choose between completing what he was assigned to do—close the church and sell the property—or listening to a still, small voice challenging the people of All Saints to risk it all and provide much-needed hope to their new community. – from movie’s website


All Saints is an inspirational story based on a true story. It contains clean humor and was well done cinematically for the genre. I think my favorite line of the movie is when Forest says, “Only chickens I got is in a KFC box.” Some acting moments felt more forced than others but it didn’t detract from the storyline and the humor wasn’t too cheesy like you sometimes find in Christian movies. I’m not sure how it would appeal to people who aren’t Christians because of some of the Christian lingo and some of the jokes about denominations. However, I didn’t feel like it was overdone. I hope this film makes Christians think about what they’re doing to help other people, especially people with less than them and minorities. As a faith film, I didn’t find it cringe-worthy like a lot of them out there and I laughed numerous times because I found it funny and not because it was ridiculously cliché and cheesy. I also loved how a lot of the Karen people played themselves in the movie and that the movie was set at the real All Saints church.