Monthly Archives: February 2017

Audiobook Review: Raptor 6 by Ronie Kendig

Title: Raptor 6
Author: Ronie Kendig
Narrator: Adam Verner
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Series: Quiet Professionals, Book 1
Genre(s): Military Thriller, Contemporary Romance
Published: 2014

 Book Description (from publisher, Shiloh Run Press):

Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when these two things are threatened by hackers, Dean’s Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop the hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option. Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, endangering the US national security, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart—a move that might come at the highest cost.

My Thoughts:

This may be the first of its type (military fiction) that I’ve read so far, certainly my first by this author, and I have to say I’m impressed.  Even though this is a little bit outside my normal reading habits, I read so many positive reviews of Ronie Kendig’s novels by bloggers whose opinions I respect, I had to give this a try.  Especially when I found a good deal on the audio version.

Here’s a glimpse of what I loved about Raptor 6.  The action and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what might be coming next.  The characters were engaging and felt realistic, with flaws and a history.  I really enjoyed seeing the camaraderie among the Raptor team members, and I loved how Zahrah stood by her beliefs even when things got difficult.  And yeah, “difficult” is probably the understatement of the year.  This book definitely puts the hero and heroine through the ringer, which makes for some intense reading, and plays a big part in the development of their relationship.  I also found the first person viewpoint of one of the bad guys a pretty fascinating complement to the rest of the story.

Recommended to those who enjoy an action and suspense oriented story with romance on the side.  Raptor 6 is first in the Quiet Professionals series, which includes Hawk (November 2014) and Falcon (May 2015), each telling the story of another of the Raptor team members introduced in this book.

Specific to the Audio Edition:

I haven’t come across very many Christian fiction audiobooks read by male narrators yet, so Adam Verner’s performance made for a nice change.  He did a good job differentiating the characters’ voices and making even the female voices sound natural.  I also thought his narration included just the right amount of character and emotion to give depth and added interest to the listening experience.  I think audiobook fans will find this one worth listening to.

Featured Reads: Three for the Books, February 2017

Three for the Books, February 2017

The monthly “Three for the Books” post is where I feature new (Hot Off the Presses), best selling (Topping the Charts), and award winning (Cream of the Crop) Christian fiction books. I select one title to feature in each category and provide links to where you can browse additional newly released, best selling, and award winning titles. For my featured reads, I’m also including links to some fabulous reviews by fellow bloggers, so you can check out what others are saying. Have you read any of these featured titles? Any others you’d like to give a shout-out? Comments are always welcome!

Hot Off the Presses

Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert released this month from Tyndale House. It’s Book 3 in the Crisis Team medical drama series. Available in print and electronic editions. I loved Books 1 and 2 in this series, and can’t wait to read this one too.

Featured Review: Linda of Mocha with Linda says of Maybe It’s You, “Calvert once again demonstrates why she has been dubbed the author of Medical Hope Operas as she seamlessly weaves together elements of suspense, danger, romance, and faith.” Check out her full review of Maybe It’s You here.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More New Releases

Topping the Charts

A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner appears on the February CBA bestsellers list in the historical fiction category. This “novel of the dust bowl” is available from Kregel Publications in print and electronic formats.

Featured Review: Beth reviewed this novel at Straight Off the Page, saying of the book’s young main character, “Pearl’s narration brings freshness and balance to the harsh setting better than I could have imagined. Her naivety and moments of deep insight and clarity blend together in such a skillful way.” Click to read more of this review of A Cup of Dust.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More Best Sellers

Cream of the Crop

A Worthy Pursuit by Karen Witemeyer won the 2016 Carol Award for Historical Romance. This novel is available from publisher Bethany House in print and electronic editions, and from Recorded Books in audio formats.

Featured Review: Over at the Fiction411 blog, Amy writes, “Saddle up for another action-packed, swoon-worthy historical romance! Karen Witemeyer fans old and new will love this story of a bounty hunter with a heart of gold and a timid teacher with fierce protective instincts.”  You can find her full review of A Worthy Pursuit here.

Quick Links: About the Book | Author’s Site | More Award Winners

Top Ten Tuesday: Inspirational Romance


Happy Valentine’s Day! Since today is Valentine’s Day, I figured what better genre of fiction to talk about than Romance. Am I right? And, conveniently enough, this week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is “All About Romance Tropes/Types.” Since my preferred flavor of romance is the Inspirational Romance variety, that’s the type of romance my list will focus upon.

Following are a few of my favorite Inspirational Romance series and standalones from the last few years:

First the Standalones

(alphabetically, since narrowing the list down was already tough enough without forcing myself to rank them):

1. A Broken Kind of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

This was the first book I read by Katie Ganshert and it made a big impression on me. A wonderful contemporary romance, but also so much more than a romance. Here’s my (somewhat lengthy) review of A Broken Kind of Beautiful.

2. Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay

Yowser. This one packs some serious emotional punch. Seriously. If you haven’t read it yet, why not? See my review of Dear Mr. Knightley to see what you’ve been missing. Also, I recently learned that it’s now available as an audiobook. Be still my heart!

3. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers

Because what kind of list of inspirational romance could be complete without this one on it? This is a beloved classic of this genre for a reason. See my review of Redeeming Love.

And Next the Series

(also alphabetically by author):

4. Crisis Team series by Candace Calvert

The first two books in this series have bumped this author’s work rapidly up my must-read list. To find out why, check out my reviews of By Your Side and Step by Step. And, in case you were unaware… the third book in this series (Maybe It’s You) just released this month!

5. Eyes of E’veria series by Serena Chase

I guest-blogged with this author before I read her books. And then I read her books and totally fell for her storyworld and characters. See my reviews of The Ryn, The Remedy, The Seahorse Legacy, and The Sunken Realm.

6. Elite Guardians series by Lynette Eason

This series of romantic suspense novels features a group of highly skilled female bodyguards. Pretty good premise, huh? And well written to boot. Check out my review of the audio edition of Always Watching. I’ll be posting my review of Without Warning in the next few weeks, but suffice to say, that one’s pretty fabulous too. Can’t wait to read the next two titles in the series!

7. Hope Harbor series by Irene Hannon

After reading the first two titles in this series, I want to visit the lovely seaside town of Hope Harbor, even if it is fictional! See my reviews of Hope Harbor and Sea Rose Lane.

8. Royal Wedding series by Rachel Hauck

This series is among my favorites in audiobook format, because Eleni Pappageorge does such a fabulous job as narrator, with the characters’ British and southern accents. See my reviews of Once Upon a Prince, Princess Ever After, and How to Catch a Prince.

9. Beacons of Hope series by Jodi Hedlund

For fans of historical romance, this series is a treat. It centers around historical lighthouses in Michigan and their operators. I’m a little behind in reading this series, but I hope to catch up one of these days! See my reviews of Out of the Storm, Love Unexpected, and Hearts Made Whole.

10. Full Steam Ahead series by Karen Witemeyer

For a witty read with a historical and scientific spin, check out Full Steam Ahead (see my review). There’s a novella (Love on the Mend) in the series too, that I’ve been wanting to read.

Let’s chat. What are your favorite romances? And will you be making any time for a romantic read this Valentine’s Day?

Christian Fiction Book Club Connection, February 2017

Book Club Connection

Welcome to the February 2017 edition of the Christian Fiction Book Club Connection. Thanks for stopping by! Whether you’re a pastor or ministry leader thinking of forming a book discussion group at your church, a current member of a book club, or simply a fan of Christian fiction hoping to connect with other readers, you’re in the right place. Please consider subscribing to my blog so you won’t miss future posts.

Today I’m providing information on Christian fiction discussions scheduled to take place around the web this month. I’m also featuring a handful of recently released Christian fiction titles for which a discussion guide is available, either included in the book itself or on the author’s or publisher’s web site.

Online Discussions Coming Up This Month

The ACFW Book Club‘s February selection is From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden. You can subscribe to the group’s e-mail list now, by following the instructions on their Web site, to be sure not to miss any announcements or discussion questions.

By the Book is an in-person book discussion club that has introduced an online Facebook-based discussion option. To join in online, like the By the Book Facebook page, and be sure to check back there periodically for any discussion that may not have made it into your news feed. February’s selection is My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

For February, the Christian Fiction Devourers group on Goodreads is discussing The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck AND The Lady and the Lionheart by Joanne Bischof. Grab your copies and head on over to the discussion forum to check in with others who are in the midst of reading these books.

The Fans of Amish Fiction Goodreads group discusses one Amish fiction title per month. The selection for February is Apple of His Eye by Kelly Caldwell. To join in, visit the group’s online discussion board.

Jamie of the Books and Beverages blog hosts a monthly Inklings discussion series for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Sometimes fiction, sometimes non-fiction, the title for the month of February is Sir Gawain and the Green Knight translated by J.R.R. Tolkien. The discussion is planned for February 16, 2017.

Recent Christian Fiction Releases Featuring Discussion Guides

The Silent Songbird by Melanie Dickerson (Thomas Nelson, November 2016, Historical Romance)

Hope’s Design by Dawn Kinzer (Morningview Publishing, November 2016, Historical Romance)

Soar Like Eagles by Terri Wangard (Celebrate Lit, December 2016, Historical Romance)

So, friends, what have you been reading lately? Any titles you’d recommend for book club discussions?