Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Cross and Christian Ministry by D A Carson

Carson argues that the message of the cross must shape all our ministry. We forget it is the power of God and maybe think it “foolishness.” We turn to strategic planning instead.

This book is a wise exposition of the passages and contains many challenges for Christian leaders. Paul resolved to know nothing except Christ and him crucified. What would our ministries look like if Christ crucified was at the very center? Would musicians really be sneaking their way back up to the stage during the after sermon prayer if we valued Christ crucified more than smooth performance?

Other challenges include what it really means to be spiritual. Do leaders see it as their passion to bring people to consistent Christian living in light of the gospel of the crucified Christ? (Loc 1790/2270) Do we understand the serious nature of Christian leaders being entrusted with the gospel and that “all their service turns on making that gospel known and encouraging the people of God, by word, example, and discipline, to live it out”? (Loc 1492/2270) Do preachers remind us we are called to suffer or allow us to be comfortable in our lifestyle?

This book is a good wake up call to Christian leaders. Carson writes that “Christian leaders dare not overlook their responsibility to lead the people of God in living that is in conformity with the gospel.” (Loc 1790/2270) It is an awesome responsibility to have been entrusted with the secret things of God.

I recommend this book to Christian leaders who desire to see their ministry centered in the gospel. You will be reminded of the serious nature of your call. You will be challenged to evaluate your ministry in light of Paul's words in 1 Corinthians. Carson has provided questions for review and reflections so this book could be used for a church board study or in a small group.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Donald A. Carson (PhD, University of Cambridge) is research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois, and is the author or editor of more than fifty books. He is one of the founders of The Gospel Coalition and an active guest lecturer in academic and church settings around the world.

Baker Books, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Breaking Toxic Soul Ties by Tom Brown Blog Tour

About the Book

Title: Breaking Toxic Soul Ties: Healing from Unhealthy and Controlling Relationships  
Author: Tom Brown  
Genre: Non-fiction, relationships  
Release Date: January 9, 2018

Going through this world in relationship with other people inevitably creates connections in our inner being called soul ties. When these relationships are loving, supportive, and nurturing, positive soul ties are created. But if the relationships become abusive or manipulative, or cause rejection, they can create a toxic brokenness within the soul that we carry with us, even long after the relationship ends. If these toxic inner soul ties are not broken, we will experience failure, fractured relationships, and even health problems throughout life. In Breaking Toxic Soul Ties, Tom Brown describes his own story of rejection and the process of inner healing he experienced. He helps you to identify and diagnose toxic relationships as he breaks down the difference between positive and negative soul ties. He also shows why toxic soul ties develop and how they can only be broken by a process of inner healing through confession, forgiveness, and prayer. The truth is, unless your self-image is firmly rooted in the truth of your identity in Christ, you will always be susceptible to bad soul ties. Tom Brown describes the way for you to move forward in life and leave pain and brokenness behind for good!

Click here to purchase your copy!

My review

This book is filled with spiritual insights. Brown draws on Scripture and personal stories to help readers identify toxic relationships, understand why they are drawn to them, and ultimately be healed from the experiences.

I have read a few books on this topic and this one is right up there at the top. It is written in a way that is easy to understand and has biblical information I've never read before. For example, David might have been an illegitimate son of Jesse. That would explain much of his behavior as well as some of Psalm 51. Brown has a good explanation of 1 John 2:2, that Jesus died for the effects of others' sin on us as believers. He has good insight on why, in the story of the woman caught in adultery, the man was not accused.

Brown also has many insights into why we behave as we do. I really appreciated his insights into the kinds of experiences we might have had that lead to our desiring harmful relationships. He helps readers identify the various forms of manipulation and how to recognize proper authority.

How to be healed from toxic relationships is also included in the book. I liked his teaching on inner healing. He has good information on dealing with feelings of guilt or rejection. And he ends his book with a very good section on establishing a proper self-image in Christ.

I recommend this book to those looking for a very understandable and practical book on toxic relationships. 

About the Author

Tom Brown is best known for his deliverance ministry. Millions have seen him on ABC’s 20/20, as well as on MSNBC and the History Channel. He is a noted conference speaker, prolific author, and committed pastor. His award-winning Internet site,, reaches more than a million people a year. His books published by Whitaker House are Devil, Demons, and Spiritual Warfare; Breaking Curses, Experiencing Healing; Prayers That Get Results; and Spiritual Gifts for Spiritual Warfare. Tom is the founder and pastor of Word of Life Church in El Paso, Texas. You can find out more at

Blog Stops

Reading is my Super PowerFebruary 27 (Interview)
AllofakindmomFebruary 28
Carpe DiemMarch 3
Simple Harvest ReadsMarch 6 (Guest post from Mindy)
Pursuing StacieMarch 7
A Greater YesMarch 11
BigreadersiteMarch 12

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.

Friday, February 23, 2018

How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

Democracies die. We might think that a coup and violence is required to destroy a democracy. But some democracies die at the hands of elected officials who take subtle steps to authoritarianism.

Is American democracy vulnerable? To answer that question, the authors look back in history and examine the demise of democracies. We can learn lessons from events in other countries. We can spot the warning signs. We can also identify what citizens did to prevent the loss of democracy.

This appears to be a very serious time in the history of American democracy. Guardrails that are not specified in the Constitution but have been the norm for centuries are being abandoned. For the first time in American history the U. S. Senate refused to even consider an elected president's nominee for the Supreme Court when President Obama nominated appellate judge Merrick Garland. (Loc 1911/4806) The authors write, “The traditions underpinning America's democratic institutions are unraveling...” (Loc 1911/4806)

The warning signs are there. Attacking the press and accusing them of lying and presenting false news. Threatening one's opponent with jail. Lying to the public. Marginalizing the other branches of government. Denying the legitimacy of an election.

Is American democracy in danger? The authors are concerned. They present possible futures, depending on whether political gate keepers do their job and whether the norms of mutual tolerance and forbearance are restored. We may very well see a future with greater polarization in politics and among citizens. We may even experience a future event that provides an occasion for the president to demand greater powers.

I highly recommend this book. It is a good exploration of what brings about the death of democracies. It is a good evaluation of the events that have led us to this place in our American history. It is a very good wake up call for us all, reminding us how fragile our democracy is.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt are professors of government at Harvard University. Levitisky's research focuses on Latin America and the developing world. Ziblatt studies Europe from the nineteenth century to the present. Both have authored previous books and have written for various publications.

Crown, 320 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Man He Never Was by James L Rubaart

Rubart is an author who crafts fiction that I know will make me think. He has done that well in this novel. I was challenged to think deeply about spiritual transformation, about being a new creation in Christ, about how that truly comes to be.

The first half of the book moved a little slowly for me. Toren was a football player, let go by the Seahawks for his uncontrolled anger. He wakes up in a hotel room and ultimately realizes he has been missing for eight months. His wife and children, as well as everyone else, thought he was dead. His wife, tired of his angry outbursts anyway, has moved on. Toren struggles to find out where he has been and why his new found control over his temper seems to be fading. He wonders if he will ever be able to win back the love of his wife and children.

A number of thought provoking issues are covered in this book. One is our memories. Are they reliable? Do they change? I was fascinated by the reported work of scientists and their experiments to get rid of unwanted memories, such as those experienced by people with PTSD.

By far the most important issue is dealing with our dark side. Rubart mentions the familiar story of the two dogs within, one white one black. The one fed the most becomes more powerful. Yet a Christian is a new creation in Christ. What about that dark side? What about the old man being put to death and Christ living within? Those are all issues Toren struggles to understand and have become a reality in his life.

I recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a plot portraying the truths of spiritual transformation. You will be given much to think about. While the first part of the novel moved slowly and I felt the whole novel could have been more concise, it is definitely worth reading. Discussion Questions are included so this book would be a good choice for a reading group.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

James L Rubart is the bestselling, Christy, Carol, RT Book Reviews, and INSPY award winning author of nine novels. A professional marketer and speaker, Rubart and his wife have two grown sons and live in the Pacific Northwest. You can find out more at (Photo by Christophoto, Bothell, WA)

Thomas Nelson, 384 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publishers. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Minced, Marinated, and Murdered by N Balen and V Barrott

This novel combines mouth watering descriptions of food, adventures in the interesting city of Lyon, and a murder mystery. Laure is a food writer on assignment in Lyon, France. A beloved chef is found murdered and then another in the same way. As she interviews chefs and samples their masterpieces, she also gathers information to ultimately find the murderer.

Lyon has been described as the gastronomic capital of France. That is why this venture through the food culture of that city is fun. Laure is writing an article on the bouchons in the region. They are restaurants in Lyon that serve traditional Lyonnaise cuisine. They were usually started by women but were now owned by men. Some use local produce while others offer unusual parts of animals. I mean, calf's head with ravigote sauce? Poaching chicken in a pig's bladder? Many of the restaurants mentioned in the book actually exist. Details on the foods served and cooking techniques come from the authors having interviewed the chefs.

Besides the many delicious, if unusual, foods is the mystery. It is sort of in the background until near the end of the book. I was surprised at the clues that led Laure to identify the murderer. Those clues were components of foods. That's unusual but perfect for this novel.

I recommend this book to food lovers and mystery lovers alike. You'll enjoy a journey through the very interesting restaurants and foods of Lyon. You'll learn about the origin of the bouchons as well as the labyrinth of privates passages in the city that date back to the Renaissance. Written in French, the translation is great. The novel is a mouth watering one.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Noel Balen, writer and musician, has over thirty mysteries to his name, including the Winemaker Detective series, a hit cozy mystery and TV series. Hi co-author and wife Vanessa Barrott is a corporate lawyer with a passion for gastronomy and family roots in the Parisian restaurant scene.
Translator Anne Trager founded Le French Book as an expression of her ongoing passion for France and crime fiction. She adapted this mystery into English with the help of award-winning editor Amy Richards.

Le French Books, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Subversive Sabbath by A J Swoboda

Most Christians don't give much thought to keeping Sabbath. It is one of the Ten Commandments. We certainly would not kill or covet, but keep the Sabbath? Swoboda reminds us it is a gift from God. Receiving a gift is one thing but knowing how to use it properly is something else.

I am impressed with Swoboda's heart felt desire to see Christians keep Sabbath. It is a holy time, he says, and it reminds us that all time is God's. The Sabbath rest was experienced in Eden before the Fall so it is not part of the curse. God created Adam and Eve to need a day of rest, even in their perfect state.

I appreciate the many insights in this book. Vacation is not something we find in the Bible. “Because if we kept a weekly Sabbath, we would not need vacation.” (18) Swoboda doesn't even want us to think about work on our Sabbath. The prohibition of work on the Sabbath allows us to center on being rather than doing. (34)

Swoboda also writes about keeping Jubilee and how that would change society. “When the church embraces the Sabbath, our society will change.” (107) Our not keeping Sabbath has an effect on creation. “Creation will simply not work the way it is created to.” (126)

Swoboda's is a convincing argument. His theology is sound. I like it when I see a business closed on Sunday. Because Swoboda is a pastor, they keep Sabbath on Wednesday. Each Christian would need to determine how and when to keep Sabbath but this book gives a solid foundation and many good ideas.

Swoboda's writing style is academic. This would be a good book for pastors and teachers. I am not sure the average layman would appreciate the extensive theological discussion the book contains. There are Questions for Reflection included at the end of each chapter. This book could be used as a small group study for thinking Christians.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

A J Swoboda (PhD, University of Birmingham) pastors Theophilus Church in urban Portland, Oregon. He is executive director of the Seminary Stewardship Alliance and teaches biblical studies, theology and church history at Portland Seminary and Fuller Theological Seminary. He is the award-winning author or editor of nine books and speaks regularly at conferences, retreats, churches, and seminars. You can find out more at

Brazos Press, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Look for Her by Emily Winslow Blog Tour

Look for Her

by Emily Winslow

on Tour February 12 - March 16, 2018


Lilling might seem like an idyllic English village, but it’s home to a dark history. In 1976, a teenage girl named Annalise Wood disappeared, and though her body was later discovered, the culprit was never found. Decades later, Annalise maintains a perverse kind of celebrity, and is still the focus of grief, speculation, and for one young woman, a disturbing, escalating jealousy.
When DNA linked to the Annalise murder unexpectedly surfaces, cold case detective Morris Keene and his former partner, Chloe Frohmann, hope to finally bring closure to this traumatized community. But the new evidence instead undoes the case's only certainty: the buried body that had long ago been confidently identified as Annalise may be someone else entirely, and instead of answers, the investigators face only new puzzles.
Whose body was unearthed all those years ago, and what happened to the real Annalise? Is someone interfering with the investigation? And is there a link to a present-day drowning with eerie connections? With piercing insight and shocking twists, Emily Winslow explores the dark side of sensationalized crime in this haunting psychological thriller.

Trade Reviews:

“An intriguing, suspenseful, and briskly paced story with complex characters, evocative descriptions of England's Cambridgeshire, plenty of clever misdirection, and a satisfying ending.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Using multiple narrators, as she did in The Start of Everything (2013), Winslow spins the plot to a satisfying and humane conclusion, with Keene and Frohmann again proving to be a winning pair.” —Booklist
“Winslow’s kaleidoscopic narrative technique, employing first-person accounts from multiple characters, makes for engaging reading.” —Publishers Weekly
Look For Her is a nuanced, thought-provoking portrait of a crime and its aftermath. Beautifully written with an expertly twisty, surprising story, this is a must-read!” —Chevy Stevens, New York Times bestselling author of Never Let You Go
“Surprising and satisfying, you won't be able to stop turning the pages of Look For Her.” —Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King’s Daughter

My review:

I enjoyed this unusual police procedure novel. The plot combined a cold case investigation with current events revealing additional yet puzzling information. Winslow uses the creative technique of multiple narrators. I was surprised at how well this moved the plot forward. I have to admit that I did forget sometimes who was narrating and that added a bit of confusion to an already very complex plot. I really appreciated the good balance of character development and investigative technique. Some of the character interaction was based on previous novels but this one did read well on its own.

I recommend this mystery to readers who enjoy thinking through a complex plot in which some suspects present lies and some of the evidence seems contradictory. 

Book Details:

Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: William Morrow
Publication Date: February 13th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 006257258X (ISBN13: 9780062572585)
Series: Keene and Frohmann #4 | Each is a stand alone novel
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

From Chapter One
Annalise Williams (Wolfson College),
University Counselling Service,
recorded and transcribed by Dr. Laurie Ambrose
My mother picked the name Annalise for me because of a girl who was killed. Her name was Annalise Wood, and she went missing when she was sixteen. My mother was the same age when it happened. Annalise was lovely, much prettier than my sister and I ever became. She was the kind of girl you look at and think, "Of course someone would want to take her."
Don’t look at me like that. I know that what happened to her was awful. It just seems a very fine line between being the kind of person that others want to be with and be like and treat well, and being the kind of person that some others, just a few, sick others, want to take for themselves. That’s the same kind of person, isn’t it? The loved and lovely. Isn’t that from a poem somewhere? That’s what she was like. That’s the risk when you’re the kind of person who’s wanted. Good people want to be close to you, but the bad people want you too.
There were two photos of her that the media used most: her most recent school portrait, and a snapshot of her laughing, with the friends on either side cropped out. Taken together, they presented the two sides of a beautiful and perfect person: poised and thoughtful, and spontaneous and bubbly. The kind of person who deserves help and attention.
Realistically, if they wanted these pictures to help strangers identify her if they saw her out and about with the bad man, they should have used photos of her frowning or looking frightened. Either there weren’t any (which may well be the case; who would take a photo of that?), or they couldn’t bring themselves to advertise a version of her that was less than appealing. The narrative is important. If you want the “general public” to get worked up, you have to persuade. Attractiveness and innocence must be communicated, even if emphasising those traits makes the real person harder to recognise.
In the end, she was already dead, so it’s a good thing, I suppose, that they used the nice photos. They’re the images that everyone remembers. My mum was a teenager when those pictures were in the paper every day for weeks, then weekly for months. Annalise Wood was the most beautiful girl in the world. Everyone cared about her. It’s what any mother would wish for her child, to be the kind of person that everyone would care about and miss if she disappeared.
It wasn’t until Mum was over thirty that what really happened to Annalise Wood was discovered.
Excerpt from Look for Her by Emily Winslow. Copyright © 2018 by Emily Winslow. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Emily Winslow is an American living in Cambridge, England. She trained as an actor at Carnegie Mellon University’s prestigious drama conservatory and earned a master’s degree in museum studies from Seton Hall University. For six years she wrote for Games magazine, creating increasingly elaborate and lavishly illustrated logic puzzles. She lives with her husband and two sons. She is the author of four novels and a memoir.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit the other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to view the Look for Her by Emily Winslow Participants

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. 

Friday, February 16, 2018

The Prayer That Turns the World Upside Down by R Albert Mohler Jr

This little book is a spiritual gold mine. I have read more books on The Lord's Prayer than I can count yet I was inspired and informed by this one.

Mohler takes about the first third of the book to explain in depth why we need this example of prayer. It shows the kind of prayer God desires. It corrects our natural errors and bad habits in prayer. The rest of the book is a very good commentary on the prayer, phrase by phrase.

As Mohler writes, “...each petition is a theology lesson in itself.” (Loc 1429/1534) He has done an excellent job of explaining the theology to us as well as the impact on our daily Christian life. He shows how our prayers reveal our personal theology. They show what we think of God and ourselves and how we think God relates to us. Our prayers reveal our priorities and our assumptions.

We know we are to be a praying people. Mohler writes, “There is no true intimacy with God without prayer.” (Loc 409/1534) But we need instruction on how to do it. Mohler informs us what each phrase reveals and what it means to us in our daily life. I highly recommend this book to any Christian who wants to understand the value of prayer and become one who prays better.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Joseph Emerson Brown Professor of Christian Theology. He can be heard on his daily podcast, The Briefing, where he analyzes news and events from a Christian worldview. He also writes popular commentary at He and his family live in Louisville, Kentucky.

Thomas Nelson, 224 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Kill Shot by Susan Sleeman

I enjoyed this novel of FBI procedure, suspense, and a hint of romance. While it is the second in the White Knights series and there are some allusions to events in the previous novel, this one read well on its own.

The White Knights is a special task force of the FBI. Rick is a ballistics and weapons expert and our hero. When some experimental, self-steering bullets are stolen and used to kill, the task force is called in. Rick meets Olivia, the psychologist treating the ex-military victim. Tiny sparks of romance between them pop up from time to time as Rick and the task force work the case.

This novel has a good balance of FBI procedure and character development. There is a lot of cutting edge technology used by the task force. I was amazed at all of the information that can be gleaned from DNA, such as age (a four year margin), hair color, race, etc. The task force has an expert hacker and others that are experts at gathering information too.

As for the character development, Rick has been alienated from his parents so there is some character work in that area. I don't like it when an agent allows romantic feelings for a woman he's investigating or protecting, as is the case here. At one point, Rick's concentration suffers as “...his worrying about Olivia left him unable to focus...” (281) Rick had been a sniper in the marines and I would have appreciated his character much more if he had disciplined his feelings for Olivia while working the case. Perhaps a female author writing a lead male character made him just a little too emotional. In some respects I felt Olivia was a much stronger character than Rick.

I did enjoy the novel, however, and do recommend it to those who like reading about cutting edge FBI investigative techniques. There is some suspense included as well as romance.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Susan Sleeman is a bestselling and award winning author of more than 25 inspirational romantic suspense novels. She hosts the popular website She and her husband live in Oregon. You can find out more at

FaithWords, 400 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

They Were Single Too by David M Hoffeditz

I found this to be a confusing book. Hoffeditz writes that singleness is a divinely appointed gift from God with blessings to enjoy. (25) He said he was to “relish the fact that God had lavished the gift of singleness on me.” (38) Yet he was not content in his single state – he was a miserable single. He struggled with jealousy of married couples. Listening to his students talk about becoming engaged was “unpleasant” for him. (38) He writes about having to grow in his acceptance of being alone, and of experiencing “the cloud of isolation.” (57) He longed for marriage and remaining content in his single state seemed “overwhelming” at times. (61)

The more I read of Hoffeditz's experiences, the more I was convinced he did not have the “gift” of singleness. He wrote this book over ten years ago, when he was single, but is now married with two children.

There is some good, general teaching in this book. For example, he writes of trying to fill up the void in his life with accomplishments. He writes about trusting God in adverse circumstances and seeing opportunities to recognize God's presence and provision. He has a good section on temptation. He uses the stories of biblical characters to illustrate his teaching. These general instructions apply equally well to married Christians as well as singles.

Hoffeditz identifies the purpose of this book “is to take a fresh look at exactly what the Scriptures says about singleness.” (10) He does that within the context of his own dissatisfaction with being single. A Christian who truly has God's gift of singleness may well be frustrated with this book, as I was. A Christian who is single but really wants to be married will better appreciate this book and will be able to identify, I am sure, with the discontent expressed with being single.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

David M. Hoffeditz is cofounder and director of Ancient Tours, which leads several trips a year to biblical lands, and president of Iron-2-Iron Ministries. He also teaches part time at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Kregel Publications, 160 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Amendment Killer by Ronald S Barak Blog Tour

The Amendment Killer

by Ronald S. Barak

on Tour February 1 - March 3, 2018



That's the text message Supreme Court Justice Arnold Hirschfeld receives as hearings commence in the U.S. Supreme Court to determine the fate of the 28th Amendment - enacted to criminalize abuse of power on the part of our political representatives.
In court to defend the amendment, retired U.S. District Court Judge Cyrus Brooks observes his old friend and law school classmate Hirschfeld acting strangely and dispatches veteran D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello to find out why.
In the meantime, Hirschfeld's precocious and feisty 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter Cassie, brutally kidnapped to control her grandfather's swing vote upholding or invalidating the amendment, watches her insulin pump running dry and wonders which poses her greatest threat, the kidnappers or the clock. As Brooks is forced to choose between saving our nation or saving the girl.

My Review:

I enjoyed this book. It was rather well written and the characters developed pretty well. My favorite was Cassie, a precocious eleven year old. She might have been a little too precocious as I am not sure an eleven year old would be as mature as she was. The novel is long. I would have preferred that some of the scenes not essential to the plot had been cut.

Unfortunately, I understand this is the sequel to a book that has yet to be published. The motive for the kidnapper stems from that yet unpublished prequel. I found that to be confusing. Not understanding the motive of the kidnapper just made the book less enjoyable for me than it could have been.

I do recommend this novel to readers who enjoy a legal thriller and don't mind not exactly knowing why the nefarious character does what he does.

Editorial Reviews

"THE AMENDMENT KILLER is tense, timely, and terrific!"
-Lee Child, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels
"With an unparalleled sense of terror forewarned on the opening page, Ron Barak's THE AMENDMENT KILLER is a high-speed, tense political thriller about one of today's most fundamental issues, the integrity of our Supreme Court."
- Andrew Gross, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The One Man
"THE AMENDMENT KILLER is a high concept, hybrid blend of a political, psychological and action thriller all rolled into a smooth, savory, and suspenseful mix. Ron Barak manages to channel the best of John Grisham, David Baldacci and even Steve Berry in this amazingly timely tale cast with a Supreme Court backdrop. As prescient as it is thought-provoking and as much fun as it is factual, this is reading entertainment of the highest order. I'd be shocked if this book doesn't become a bestseller."
- Jon Land, USA Today bestselling author of Strong Light of Day
"From its electrifying opening line to its powerful conclusion, THE AMENDMENT KILLER is a ripped from tomorrow's headlines story of law and politics set against the backdrop of the Supreme Court. But more so, it's a story about the lengths we will go for the ones we love. Timely, fast-paced, and heartfelt, you'll mourn the turning of the last page. Ron Barak is a writer to watch."
- Anthony Franze, author of The Outsider
"Ron Barak’s THE AMENDMENT KILLER is easily the best high stakes legal thriller we’ve read in 2017."
- Best Thriller Magazine

Book Details:

Genre: Political and Legal Thriller
Published by: Gander House Publishers
Publication Date: November 1st 2017
Number of Pages: 570
ISBN: 0982759096 (ISBN13: 9780982759097)
Series: Brooks/Lotello Thriller, Volume 1

Grab Your Copy of The Amendment Killer:

Hardback, Paperback, & eBook -- Amazon, Barnes & Noble
AudioBook --,, Nook
Plus Add it to Your Goodreads List!

Don't miss your chance to grab a copy of The Amendment Killer during these two great sales!

The Nook AudioBook will be $9.99 February 20-26, 2018
The Kindle eBook will be $1.99 February 22-28, 2018.

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Tuesday, May 6, 6:30 am

We have your granddaughter. Here’s what you need to do.
Thomas T. Thomas III reviewed the language. Again. He closed the phone without hitting send. Yet.
He stared through high-powered binoculars from atop the wooded knoll. As always, the girl hit one perfect shot after another.
Cassie Webber. Age 11. He’d been tailing her for three months. It seemed longer.
She was chaperoned everywhere she went. Two-a-day practices before and after school. Her dad drove her in the morning. He watched her empty bucket after bucket and then dropped her off at school. Her mom picked her up after school, ferried her back to the practice range, and brought her home after daughter and coach finished. Mom and daughter sometimes ran errands on the way, but always together. Even on the occasional weekend outing to the mall or the movies, the girl was constantly in the company of family or friends. Having someone hovering over me all day would have driven me batshit.
His childhood had been different. When Thomas was her age, he walked to school on his own. And he lived a lot farther away than the girl. His daddy had never let his driver chauffeur him around. Wasn’t about to spoil him. Spare the rod, spoil the child. Didn’t spoil me that way either.
He kept telling himself patience was the key. But his confidence was waning. And then, suddenly, he’d caught a break. The girl’s routine had changed.
She started walking the few blocks between school and practice on her own. Dad dropped her off at morning practice and Mom met her at afternoon practice instead of school. Only a ten minute walk each way, but that was all the opening he needed.
Everything was finally in place. He would be able to make amends. He would not let them down.
This time.
She completed her morning regimen, unaware of Thomas’s eyes trained on her from his tree-lined vantage point. No doubt about it, he thought to himself. She was incredibly good. Driven. Determined.
And pretty.
Very pretty.
He relieved himself, thinking about her. A long time . . . coming. Haha! As the girl disappeared into the locker room, he trekked back down the hill, and climbed into the passenger side of the van. He returned the binoculars to their case. He removed the cell from his pocket, and checked the pending text one more time.
Moments later, the girl emerged from the locker room, golf bag exchanged for the backpack over her shoulders. She ambled down the winding pathway, waved to the uniformed watchman standing next to the guardhouse, and crossed through the buzzing security gate. She headed off to school.
Without taking his eyes off her, Thomas barked at the man sitting next to him. “Go.”
Chapter 2

Tuesday, May 6, 7:00 am

Eloise Brooks stared at Cyrus and shook her head. After more than 50 years of marriage, she understood everything about him there was to understand. Still: “I take the time to make you a nice breakfast. The least you could do is eat it while it’s hot.”
She held the warm cup of tea in both hands. “And can’t you talk to me, Cyrus? Why do you treat me like I’m not here? Like I’m some kind of a potted plant.”
Cyrus moved the eggs around on his plate. Speared a bite of fruit, swallowed it, but showed no visible pleasure in it. “I’m eating. What do you want to talk about? You think the couple cut from Dancing With The Stars last night deserved to be sent packing?”
“Should have got the hook weeks ago. You dance better than he does. Even with your two left feet.”
He didn’t answer. She knew why. “What’re you thinking about? Esposito? Whether 50,000 is enough? Your two left feet?”
“All of the above.”
She gazed at him but said nothing. Notwithstanding his apparent disinterest in the plate of food in front of him, his appetite—and his imagination—were never-ending. He loved upbeat music and dancing. And sports. He couldn’t carry a tune or dance a lick. Except for an occasional round of golf, his sports these days were mostly played out in front of the television. But that didn’t stop him from daydreaming. He danced like Fred Astaire. He sang and played guitar and harmonica like Bob Dylan. He moved around a tennis court like Roger Federer.
However, Eloise knew his real passion in life was the law. He had enjoyed a distinguished legal career, first as a trial lawyer and then as a U.S. District Court judge. Now retired from the bench, writing and teaching, and occasionally trying a case that got his hackles up, when it came to the law, those who knew Cyrus Brooks knew he was second to none. Amazing how sometimes he exuded that—with confidence bordering on arrogance—but at other times did not. More so since Frank Lotello had been shot, and barely survived.
Brooks sat there fidgeting restlessly with the newspaper. Eloise reached over and put her hand on his. “You’ll be great, Cyrus. I need to walk Ryder and get dressed, so we can drive into Court together. Please make sure Maccabee’s dishes have enough water and dry cat snacks.”
Arguments in the case were scheduled to commence in barely two hours. The chance to appear before the United States Supreme Court was rare, even for Brooks, but to do it in a landmark case that could permanently change the U.S. political landscape was unparalleled.
When they were first married, Eloise often attended Cyrus’s court appearances, both to show her support and because the judicial process was new to her. Now long accustomed to Cyrus’s legal adventures, Eloise was a less frequent visitor to the courtroom. Given the importance of this case, she told Cyrus the night before that she planned to attend.
He looked up absently with a gentle, distant smile, still fixed in some far-off place, no doubt grateful for her efforts to distract him, and bolster his confidence. “Macc’s snacks? Sure.”
Chapter 3

Tuesday, May 6, 7:20 am

Cassie left the practice range, looking momentarily at the clock on her phone. School began at eight. She had plenty of time.
She strolled along the familiar middle-class neighborhood route to school, sticking to the tree-hugged, concrete sidewalk. Well-kept houses on modest-sized manicured lots, one after another, adorned both sides of the paved street that divided the opposing sidewalks.
Mouthing the words to the song streaming through her earbuds, she made a mental note of a few questions from her morning practice to ask Coach Bob that afternoon.
Using her ever present designer sunglasses—a gift from her grandparents—to block the sun’s glare, Cassie texted her best friend Madison:
Hey, BFF, meet u in cafeteria in 10. Out after 1st period to watch ur mom & my poppy in S Ct—how dope is that? 2 excited 4 words!
As she hit “Send,” she was startled by the sound of screeching tires. She looked up from her phone and saw a van skid to the curb a few houses ahead of her. A man in a hoodie jumped out and charged straight at her.
She froze for an instant, but then spun and raced back in the direction of the clubhouse. “Help! Help!! Someone help me!!!”
As she ran, she looked all around. No one. She saw no one. The guard kiosk was in sight, but still over a block away. Does he want to hurt me? Why? Why me?
Hearing the man gaining on her, she tried to speed up. If I can just get close enough to the gatehouse for someone to help me. She glanced back, shrieking at the top of her lungs, just as the man lunged. He knocked her to the ground, shattering her glasses in the process. “What do you want?! Leave me alone! Get off me!!!”
She saw him grappling with a large syringe. “No!” She screamed even louder, clawing and kicking him savagely—until she felt the sharp stab in the back of her neck. Then nothing.
Excerpt from The Amendment Killer by Ronald S. Barak. Copyright © 2017 by Ronald S. Barak. Reproduced with permission from Ronald S. Barak. All rights reserved.

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Author Bio:

Described by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak keeps his readers flipping the pages into the wee hours of the night. While he mostly lets his characters tell his stories, he does manage to get his licks in too.
Barak derives great satisfaction in knowing that his books not only entertain but also stimulate others to think about how things might be, how people can actually resolve real-world problems. In particular, Barak tackles the country’s dysfunctional government representatives—not just back-seat driving criticism for the sake of being a back-seat driver, but truly framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people’s lives today. Barak’s extensive legal background and insight allow him to cleverly cross-pollinatepollenate his fiction and today’s sad state of political reality.
In his latest novel, THE AMENDMENT KILLER, Barak calls upon his real world legal ingenuity and skill to craft a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution criminalizingcriminalizng political abuse and corruption that Constitutional scholars across the country are heralding as a highly plausible answer to the political chaos destroying the very moral fiber of the country today. It’s difficult to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not imagine what could—and should—be expected and demanded of those political leaders who have forgotten they are there to serve and not be served.
Barak is also a committed and strident advocate of finding a cure for diabetes. One of the primary characters in THE AMENDMENT KILLER is the feisty and precocious 11-year-old diabetic granddaughter of the Supreme Court justice holding the swing vote in a case in which Congress is challenging the validity of Barak’s hypothetical 28th Amendment. It is no small coincidence that Barak is himself a diabetic. Or that he has committed 50% of the net proceeds of THE AMENDMENT KILLER to diabetes research and education.
Barak is singularly qualified to have authored THE AMENDMENT KILLER, which will appeal to political and legal thriller aficionados alike. Barak is a law school honors graduate and a former Olympic athlete. While still in law school, he authored a bill introduced in Congress that overnight forced the settlement of a decades long dispute between the NCAA and the AAU to control amateur athletics in the United States.
Present-day politicians would do well to read THE AMENDMENT KILLER and not underestimate the potential of Barak’s 28th Amendment. You can read his 28th Amendment at You can also read his occasional political blogs at
Ron and his wife, Barbie, and the four-legged members of their family reside in Pacific Palisades, California.

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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.