Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Double Deceit by Stephanie Humphries

The story starts out with Elaina Bryant, a young 26 year old widow, who has come back, after a ten year absence from her childhood home with her mom and younger sister, to start over after a devastating accident that took the lives of her husband and baby daughter.

When she is offered a job at the local bookstore, she feels good. When she begins to fall in love with her boss, Ryan Hill and his mother Sandra is telling her eerie things concerning her dead daughter, she becomes distrustful of everyone, even her best friend Peter, who has loved her sister Natalie for years, but hasn't spoken of his feelings. When Natalie meets a guy agt aSingle's Conference, she falls hard for him.

When Elaina begins receiving strange letters from her deceased husband, even datged afterf his death, she thinks she's losing her sanity, but then she receives crank phone calls, even at the bookstore that no one believes. When she also receives a CD with her daughter's crying, she truly believes she's lost it. When Peter is out on a call the night she brings in a photograph as evidence she's not crazy, she decides to go find the answers herself, which puts herself in grave danger.

If you enjoy suspense with a twist, this book is for you.
I received this ARC from Walnut Springs Press.

Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Date Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-1-935217-94-7

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Sons of the Covenant: Vol. 1: Sophia

Sons of the Covenant: Vol. 1: Sophia by Keith Terry

When the editor of this book contacted me about reviewing this most intriguing historical novel, I wasn't quite certain of what was in store for me. What insued was a much clearer and deeper understanding of one of our much beloved Prophets, Joseph F. Smith, son of Hyrum Smith, who was murdered along with his brother, Joseph, our first Prophet, in Carthage Jail in June 1844.

Brother Terry was approached by descendants of Joseph F. Smith with his unpublished journals, providing rich material for a sweeping story surrounding our 6th President and Prophet. When you read this wonderfully captivating and spiritual historical novel,take in consideration what the times were like in the mid 1800's and later and that Joseph had trials and frailties like everyone else. Some might be shocking, but be not judgmental.

Our story does center around Sophia Krushchenko, a young 17 year old Catholic postulant from the Ukraine, who is traveling to Vienna via train with her parents and younger brother. When an unforeseen incident occurs, it leaves Sophia and her family s tranded in a snowy blizzard in the mountains. With Sophia's courage and strength, she finds help, then finds herself in the jungles of primitive Borneo along side a Catholic nun. There she finds untold danger, but soon finds her way via train and ship towards Vienna, but with the onslaught of the war, she finds her way home delayed. She winds up at a small hospital in Santa Ana, California, where she is treated with scorn and indifference by the new doctor, Jared McBride, who has lost his faith.

When Sophia observes Joseph on the dock in Honolulu, she feels like he is very familiar to her. When she finds out that Joseph is a passenger on the same ship, she finds a way to meet him through Joseph's biographer, Caroline.
Just a few of the unknown stories of Joseph's life to bem ade public here are total details of little Joseph, just 5 years old when his father Hyrum and Uncle Joseph were murdered, was touching his father and not knowing his father was really dead inside that pine coffin lying in the Mansion House, seeing his father and Uncle's bodies change in looks.

Because Joseph also lost his dearly beloved mother, Mary Fielding, at such a young age, he didn't have a father figure to look up to, so he did some things not appropriate for a young LDS boy and young man. It did take Joseph a long time to get a handle on his violent temper, the one negative trait he had that concerned he and those closest to him.

I've just touched on a couple of these interesting and noteworthy episodes from Joseph's life. We know he became quite a man and implemented Family Home Evening as one of the most important programs we have in the Church.
I highly recommend this book for everyone, even those who are having struggles with their Testimonies. Towards the end, Joseph shares his vision he had as Prophet just before he spoke at his last General Conference in Oct 1918. This sharing in his own words affected me so much, I was literally sobbing. Thank you Joseph and Keith!!!!

I received my Review Copy from Sally Johnson, Creative Director and Editor of this historical novel.

Publisher: Digital Legends Press
Date Published: July 2011
ISBN: 978-1-934537-33-6

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Presley Arrangement by Monte Wayne Nicholson

The Presley Arrangement by Monte Wayne Nicholson

When I was perusing the web for information on Elvis, I noticed a website advertising this book and it intrigued me. The only copies I could find on amazon were way out of my ballpark. I finally found a small publisher in my own home state of Washington and bought a copy. This book generated so much controversay when it first came out in '87, copies mysteriously disappeared from the shelves. Now you can purchase a copy from this small publisher who earned the rights to re-publish the book in '04. The book is so controversial, it could only be written as fiction. If you are an Elvis fan like I am, you'll love this novel and be wondering about it long after you've finished it.

Mark Howe is a newly retired cop from Los Angeles and he and his wife Brigitte are vacationing cross country in their huge motorhome. Mark decides to stop off at Graceland in Memphis to take pictures and practically runs into Elvis running to a quickly descending helicopter. He takes two pictures, one of Elvis standing by the chopper and the other a fuzzy photo with Elvis and two bodyguards.

What ensues during the rest of this exciting tale causes Mark to narrowly escape being killed. With the help of his brother Dave, a cop in Muncie, Indiana and a new friend that's a dead-ringer for Clint Eastwood, he is able to unravel the mystery of whether Elvis is alive or not, and if so, who was buried in the casket.

I've heard Monte is writing a sequel. I sure hope so. A movie would sure be great. If you've ever wondered if those Elvis sightings were not real, this novel should change your mind. And, just for pure entertainment and a suspense roller coaster ride, this book is for you. There are a few twists and turns to keep you guessing.to the end.

I purchased my book from the publisher.

Publisher: Living The Dream Press
Date Published: 1987, 2004
ISBN: 0-9761764-2-4 (trade paperback)