Sunday, January 31, 2021

Love, Treachery, and Other Terrors by Katherine Campbell

What a fun novel. I don't think I've read anything like it. It is part fantasy (there are fairies), part historical religious commentary, part spiritual warfare, part romance, part a coming of age story, and maybe even part allegory. It has quirky characters, clever plot twists, humor, and spiritual lessons about revenge and forgiveness and growing into God's calling.

The plot begins with the princess of a medieval country wanting to be queen and freeing two dastardly fairies so they can grant her wish. But the fairies are a conniving pair and make life miserable for the citizens of the kingdom. While the princess had murdered her older brother, she had let her younger brother travel to another kingdom. There he comes to grips with his calling from God.

The story is fun and well written but I enjoyed even more the allusions and symbols. One has to know a bit of church history and theology to get some of it, like arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. There are also references to Christian rituals, like the Divine Office. And I couldn't help but wonder if the fairies represented angels, both the good and the fallen. The bad ones sure worked hard at temping people to do evil.

This is an entertaining novel. I enjoyed it and will be looking for the next tale from her.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Katherine Campbell is a humor lover and writer of fairy tales. She is a homeschool graduate from New Jersey and published her first book, a children's novel, at age nineteen. She studied entertainment media at John Paul the Great University in San Diego, where she met her husband. She returned with him to his home state of Washington. You can find out more about her and her work at

BookBaby, 250 pages.

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

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, January 30, 2021

The Power Worshippers by Katherine Stewart

I read this book in my ongoing attempt to understand the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections and the years in between.

To understand American politics today, Stewart writes, we need to understand the Christian nationalist movement. It originated as a cultural movement, addressing social issues, but has now become a political movement. It's ultimate goal is power, she claims. (3)

Christian nationalism is an ideology asserting America was founded as a Christian nation and it to be governed not by consent of the people but rather by biblical principles. It is not a grass roots movement. “The leaders of the movement have quite consciously reframed the Christian religion itself to suit their political objectives...” (7) It has succeeded in radicalizing the Republican party to the point it denies the other political party has any legitimate claim to political power. (8) Democratic and constitutional norms are rejected. (8)

Stewart follows the development of Christian nationalism with the roots in the Christian defense of slavery during the Civil War. She notes the influence of Robert Dabney and Rousas Rushdoony in the forming of the Christian right. Rushdoony advocated the idea of a social and political order rooted in biblical law. (104) His ideology is called Christian Reconstructionism denoting the idea that when history takes a wrong turn, God leaves a remnant to reconstruct society to biblical order.

Stewart is critical of the Christian nationalism movement. She is critical of those like David Barton who promote the concept of the Christian founding of America. She is critical of those desiring to outlaw abortion, perhaps partly because she experienced a life saving abortion herself, after bleeding for hours, losing 40% of her body's blood. She is critical of Christian evangelistic ministries, especially among children.

Her conclusion? “In short, Russian leaders see America's Christian right as a tremendously useful vehicle for influencing American politics and government in a manner favorable to Russian interests.” (271) She notes, “Russian leaders' evident interest in manipulating America's Christian nationalists for their own purposes...” (271) “America's Christian nationalists have not overlooked Putin's authoritarian style of government; they have embraced it as an ideal.” (272) That should really give Christians pause to think.

This is a good book for Christians to read, giving them insight as to how others see the current state of Christianity in America. It is also a sobering look at how Christian nationalistic ideas can lead to an attack on democracy itself in an attempt to overthrow a decision by the vote of the people.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Katherine Stewart has had her work appear in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the American Prospect, the Atlantic, and other publications. She is the author of The Good News Club, an investigation of the religious right and public education. Photo © Alan Howell

Bloomsbury Publishing, 352 pages.

Friday, January 29, 2021

Veiled in Smoke by Jocelyn Green

Historical fiction is not my preferred genre but I did enjoy this novel. I learned a great deal about the great Chicago fire of 1871 within the fictional context. I really like the author note at the end, verifying which aspects of the novel were, in fact, reflection of actual events. The plot revolves around two sisters who owned a bookstore their father had owned before his Civil War experience. The bookstore burns in the fire, the women loosing almost everything. While they and their father survive, their troubles intensify as the father is accused of murder.

A major aspect of the father was “soldier's heart,” what we have now come to recognize as PTSD. It was heartbreaking to see how such men were treated, especially as he was eventually taken to the Cook County Insane Asylum. That facility became notorious for the way it treated its inmates.

I was surprised to find out there had been a Confederate prison camp near Chicago. Camp Douglas had originally been a Union troop training center but became a prison camp in 1863. We read about the terrible conditions there as well as the even worse conditions for Union soldiers at Andersonville. No wonder so many soldiers had mental and emotional issues after the war.

I recommend this book to readers who would like an informative novel about the great Chicago fire. You'll get a dose of romance along with the stark reality of how people made it through such a devastating experience. You'll also have a mystery to solve although I felt the villain was a bit obvious.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. As a speaker Jocelyn inspires faith and courage in her audiences. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, strawberry-rhubarb pie, the color red, and reading with a cup of tea. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at

Bethany House Publishers, 416 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Truly, Madly, Deeply by Karen Kingsbury

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the positive side, there is a strong Christian message in parts of the book. This is also a deeply emotional story. It will tug at your heartstrings in several places.

There were some aspects of this novel I found deeply troubling. It was apparent Kingsbury had some opinions she wanted to communicate. One was a very pro police attitude. There was so much about their passion to help others, all the good they did, on and on. The message being communicated was obvious and pushed regularly. Another message was the bias of the terrible nature of public education. We are informed public schools are hiding the true story of 9/11. Really. And Kingsbury does one of my pet peeves, the technique of starting a section with a suspenseful dream but not letting the reader know it is a dream until much later. I do not like that deceitful way of eliciting temporary emotion from the reader.

The most disturbing aspect of this novel was the emphasis on the physical aspect of a teen romance. The high school seniors come close to crossing the line several times. We read how her senses were filled with the presence of him and how he worked his fingers along her neck. The most shocking scene was her imagining their wedding night to the point of removing their shirts before her thoughts are interrupted. Having owned a Christian bookstore for 33 years, I've sold and read thousands of Christian novels and have never before seen such an intensity in skirting impropriety in writing romance scenes. Decades ago, such a scene would have never been allowed in a “Christian” novel.

I also felt the novel had a mixed message when it came to humans or God for support. There are times when the parents lean on God, but rarely. Most of the time the teens lean on each other for support and say so. At one point the boy memorizes the scene of him and his girlfriend saying that will get him through the future, not his trust in God. There were frequent mixed messages like that.

My rating: 3/5 stars.

Karen Kingsbury is a New York Times bestselling author with more than twenty-five million copies of her award-winning books in print. Her last dozen titles have topped bestseller lists and many of her novels are under development as major motion pictures. She is an adjunct professor of writing at Liberty University. She and her husband live in Tennessee near their children and grandchildren. Photograph © Dean Dixon.

Simon and Schuster, 368 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Saints, Sufferers, and Sinners by Michael R Emlet

Your friend from church needs some help. You're not a counselor so what do you say? How do you act? Emlet gives us valuable instruction in this book on helping others. While the Bible is not specific, it does give foundational ways to understand and help others. He notes early that what he teaches in this book is primarily for helping fellow believers.

Emlet says every person needing your counsel is facing one of two issues. Every person is struggling with identity at some level which also knowing one's purpose. Every person is struggling with evil on some level, either done to them (suffering) or from within (sin).

How God ministers to His people is the model. We are saints who need confirmation of our identity as children of God. We are sufferers who need comfort in our affliction. We are sinners who need to challenge our sin in light of God's mercy.

Here is a concept I found particularly insightful. With regard to identity, we forget who we are and need to be reminded we are saints loved by God and indwelt by the Holy Spirit. A surprise for me was Emlet noting that we might have difficulty helping someone because we are not living our identity in Christ. That was thought provoking.

Emlet's suggestions are so biblical. In helping those suffering, for example, he looks at how Jesus approached those suffering. He did not compare a person's suffering with that of another. He never gave an explanation for the suffering. Those are two areas where I have missed properly helping another.

I am impressed with the teaching in this book. It is focused on how God approaches these issues and is quite practical. He includes many examples of his own work so we get a good feel for how this helping others is done. I highly recommend this book to every Christian.

You can watch the book trailer here.

You can get a preview, including the table of contents, introduction and first chapter here.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Michael R Emlet, MDiv,MD, practiced as a family physician for over ten years before becoming a counselor and faculty member at the Christian Counseling & Educational Foundation (CCEF). He is the author of several books. He serves as an elder at City Church Philadelphia and enjoys gardening and pottery in his free time. He and his wife are the parents of two young adults.

New Growth Press, 208 pages.

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

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta, MD

The key to treating dementia,” Gupta writes, “is prevention...” (227) Prevention is what this book is about. Gupta addresses what he calls the five pillars of brain health. Originally identified by AARP, they include move, discover, relax, nourish, and connect.

I was most impressed with the value of movement. Exercise is good for the body and the mind. Immobility can kill you, Gupta writes. When you're immobile, circulation slows, your body uses less of your blood sugar, there is a negative influence on blood fats and blood pressure, and it promotes muscle atrophy. The surprising fact is that walking two minutes every hour is associated with a 33% lower chance of dying over a three year period. (103) Exercise reduces senility as it increases blood flow (105) and strengthens the immune system (106)

Gupta writes about the benefits of discovering, such as taking up a new hobby or learning a new software program or language. There is the importance of sleep and relaxing, reducing stress. He informs us that eating certain foods and avoiding others helps prevent brain decline. And connecting, interacting with others, boosts our immune system and reduces the risk of cognitive decline.

There is a twelve week program included, suggesting adding a habit a week. Gupta rounds out his book with a final section on what to do when the diagnosis of Alzheimer's is given, such as where to find help.

Some of the information included in this book may be well known or just plain common sense. I do recommend it as a good compilation including the latest findings, a good explanation of cognitive decline conditions, and wise advise.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Sanjay Gupta, MD, is CNN's Emmy Award-winning chief medical correspondent and New York Times bestselling author. A member of the National Academy of Medicine, he works as an associate professor of neurosurgery at the Emory University School of Medicine.

Simon & Schuster, 336 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Monday, January 25, 2021

Missing and Endangered by J A Jance

I have read almost all of Jance's novels and she continues to write engaging ones. I started out with the J P Beaumont series, Seattle police detective then retiring to Bellingham but still solving murders. I've not been a fan of the Ali Reynolds series but the Joanna Brady books are right up there with Beaumont.

What I like best about this novel is the personal nature. Yes, there are murders and a bit of suspense but how these events affect people is the best part of the novel. There are two aspects to the plot. One is a family situation where a parent is killed. The other is a case of sextortion. The personality of Sheriff Brady comes through in the work the department does to understand how it came about that a deputy shot and killed a man. The personality of Joanna's daughter shines when her college roommate falls prey to a deviant mastermind.

Jance just continues to be good at crafting engaging novels with real characters. The character interactions and dialogue feel like I'm reading about real people with real feelings dealing with real situations.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

J A Jance had her first novel published in 1985, featuring J P Beaumont. Twenty four more Beaumont novels followed. She has written nineteen novels featuring Joanna Brady set in southeastern Arizona where Jance grew up and sixteen Ali Reynolds novels set in Sedona, AZ. Jance has a degree in English and Secondary Education and a M.Ed. in Library Science. She taught high school English for two years and was a K-12 librarian for five years. She spends her time between Seattle and Tucson.

William Morrow, 384 pages.

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

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Taking America Back for God by Andrew Whitehead and Samuel Perry

I listened to this book in my ongoing effort to understand the 2016 and 2020 U.S. presidential elections and the years in between. While I consider myself an evangelical Christian, I was greatly surprised at the number of evangelicals reported to have voted for Trump in 2016. In previous presidential elections, the morality of the candidates seemed to have an impact on how evangelicals voted. This did not seem to be the case in 2016.

This book helped me understand the underlying ideology of Christian nationalism. I had no idea of the intensity of its existence in the political realm. The authors helped me understand what the ideology is and how Christians and others embrace or reject it. Much of the information in this book comes from questionnaires and personal interviews.

Many strongly believe that the United States is a “Christian nation,” blessed by God from its founding. That blessing is in danger of being lost because of moral and cultural decline so drastic action needed to be taken. I was surprised to find that this movement is not a grass roots one but was strategically designed. While initially one might consider the actions as aimed toward cultural issues, it soon became a strong political force.

The authors take a good look at the current state of Christian nationalism, at least up to mid-2019 when this book was written. They are quick to point out that not all evangelical Christians advocate Christian nationalism. There is some pressure from well known Christian leaders, however, as they claim a true Christian is one who believes the U.S. is a Christian nation, blessed by God. Like the authors, I wonder what Christians in other nations think of that kind of rhetoric.

The book is not a critique of Christian nationalism but rather a statistical look at it as well as what people say who embrace or oppose it. The authors did make a prediction, suggesting the future will see a reduction in numbers but an increase in activity. Sobering words with some prophetic force.

I recommend this book to those interested in understanding the movement and its current state.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Andrew L. Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Clemson University and Assistant Director of the Association of Religion Data Archives.

Samuel L. Perry is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Religious Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

Oxford University Press, 288 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, January 23, 2021

The Beauty of an Uncluttered Soul by Carla Gasser Illustrated by Vivian Kammel

About the Book:

Allow God's Spirit to Transform You from the Inside Out

Then the world seems chaotic, extreme, and out of control, we sometimes find ourselves wishing for order and simplicity in our personal lives, hoping to gain a sense of peace and purpose. Scroll through social media, read bestselling self-help books, or watch any DIY television show, and you will discover there are plenty of ways to transform your home, your body, and your life.

But how do we care for our souls?

The Bible teaches us how to apply the principles of self-care and minimalism to the clutter within. Using the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) as a guide, this nine-week devotional will help you cleanse yourself from the inside out by allowing God's Spirit to come and produce the soul qualities you're longing for.

Purge your past.

Shake out worry.

Open your heart.

Cleanse your mind.

Declutter your attitudes.

We all want more love, joy, peace, patience, and self-control. Let this book be your guide to soul transformation.

You can read an excerpt from the book and see some of the amazing artwork here.


My Review:

What a refreshing idea: deep cleaning the soul, detoxifying it, getting rid of all the clutter it contains. Gasser helps us do that by searching the Bible, observing soul habits, using the knowledge we gain, and leaning on God to allow the Spirit to transform us within. Each weekly exercise includes good teaching, Scripture references to read, and several questions to answer.

A couple of the studies really impressed me. On peace, Gasser emphasizes we need to have peace with God before we can have peace with others. I was surprised that meant I needed to surrender by faith to God, completely trusting Him. Another surprise was the need to purge past mistakes, those things that keep me from experiencing peace with God. I liked her teaching on gentleness, that it may not be our normal disposition but it can become our attitude through the inner work of the Holy Spirit.

I had not really thought of the order the fruit of the Spirit is listed in Galatians and appreciated Gasser's insight. The first three are attitudes (love, joy, peace), the next three are intentional actions (patience, kindness, goodness), and the last three are soul attributes (faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). There is a reason they are listed that way.

An added aspect to the teaching is the wonderful artwork. Visual images have an impact on our emotions and thoughts and the watercolors are a visual incentive to relax.

I highly recommend this study on developing the fruit of the Spirit.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Authors:

Carla Gasser is a speaker, teacher, blogger, and writer. She is passionate about communicating truth and grace, connecting passion and purpose, and championing others to share their stories. She is the proud mother of four young adults and lives in Hudson, Ohio, with her husband. You can learn more about her and join her on the journey by visiting Photo: © Andrew Jordan Photography.

Vivian Kammel is an artist and graphic designer based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When not designing or creating, she spends her time exploring the city with her husband. View more of her work and story at or Instagram @viviankammel.

Bethany House, 144 pages.

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

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, January 22, 2021

Mending the Net Blog Tour and Giveaway

About the Book

Book:  Mending the Net

Author: Dr. J. Doug Stringer

Genre: RELIGION / Christian Ministry/General

Release Date: February 9, 2021

 In 1981, Doug Stringer was a fitness instructor with his own exercise studio. He knew there was a God, but he lived as if God didn’t exist. Tired of his own hypocrisy, disgusted with his life, he sat down in the back room of his studio one night, put his head in his hands, and prayed: “Lord, if You can use someone like me after all I have done to wound Your heart, I make myself available to You.”

What happened soon afterward started a ministry that reaches out to thousands of lost and hurting people around the world.

Mending the Net: Bringing Hope in a Hurting World is the story of Doug’s ministry from its humble beginnings until today. Obviously, much else has changed in the world since then. Doug himself has changed, having gone through a battle with stage four cancer. Doug’s wife, Lisa, wrote the book God Did Not Do This to Me to share their trials and triumphs through that cancer journey.

But what hasn’t changed is Doug’s undefeatable spirit and love for others, which shine through in his books, his ministry, and everything he touches.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review 

There is such a need to spread the gospel, the task may seem impossible. But Stringer shows that churches and ministries of different denominations and nationalities can come together and accomplish much.

I was amazed at how over 200 ministries and churches agreed to work together in the greater Houston area. They didn't just talk about the problems but actually worked together in practical ways. The key, Stringer says is a passion for God and compassion for lost souls.

Ministry leaders and pastors would be encouraged by reading this book. They would see it is possible for ministries in a community to work together. While Stringer has a framework others can follow, the work that has developed is actually a wide variety of ministry styles.

What an encouragement to come together and be part of something larger than ourselves.

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

Dr. J. Doug Stringer is founder and president of Turning Point Ministries International and Somebody Cares America/International (SCA/SCI). Doug’s years of ministry have taken him to numerous communities and nations—from urban to foreign missions, from garbage dumps to the palaces and halls of government leaders.

As an Asian-American, Doug is considered a bridge-builder of reconciliation among various ethnic and religious groups. A sought-after international conference and crusade speaker, he addresses thousands of people each year throughout the U.S. and abroad on topics such as persevering leadership and community transformation.

Over the years, Somebody Cares has become a model for connecting needs with resources during natural calamities. Through the expansion of the disaster preparedness and relief collaborations, the ministry has established a Global Compassion Response Network.

Doug is the author of Leadership Awakening, In Search of a Father’s Blessing, It’s Time to Cross the Jordan, The Fatherless Generation, Somebody Cares, Born to Die, Hope for the Fatherless Generation, and Living Life Well.

I have no text on this. The author is suddenly rewriting large chunks of the text. All I have is a note from him:

This book (Mending the Net) will be available February 2021, but the message is so needed today. Regardless of how the elections turn out, we, the church, must Spread the Net, Wash the Net, MEND the NET, and Cast the Net together…if we are to bring healing and hope, and see a mighty harvest…

Doug resides in the greater Houston area with his wife, Lisa, and daughter, Ashley.

More from Dr. J. Doug

This book (Mending the Net) will be available February 2021, but the message is so needed today. Regardless of how the elections turn out, we, the church, must Spread the Net, Wash the Net, MEND the NET, and Cast the Net together…if we are to bring healing and hope, and see a mighty harvest…

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 22

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 23

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 24

Texas Book-aholic, January 25

Inklings and notions, January 26

For Him and My Family, January 27

Simple Harvest Reads, January 28 (Spotlight)

deb's Book Review, January 28

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 29

Artistic Nobody, January 30 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Ashley’s Bookshelf, January 31

Beauty in the Binding, February 1 (Spotlight)

Sara Jane Jacobs, February 1

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, February 2

CarpeDiem, February 3

Happily Managing A Household of Boys, February 4


To celebrate his tour, Doug is giving away the grand prize package of a $20 Starbucks gift card and a copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Lethal Intent By Cara Putnam Blog Tour

About the Book

Book:  Lethal Intent

Author: Cara Putman

Genre: Romantic Suspense

If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman.

Caroline Bragg’s life has never been better. She and Brandon Lancaster are taking their relationship to the next level, and she has a new dream job as legal counsel for Praecursoria—a research lab that is making waves with its cutting-edge genetic therapies. The company’s leukemia treatments even promise to save desperately sick kids—kids like eleven-year-old Bethany, a critically ill foster child at Brandon’s foster home. 

When Caroline’s enthusiastic boss wants to enroll Bethany in experimental trials prematurely, Caroline objects, putting her at odds with her colleagues. They claim the only goal at Praecursoria is to save lives. But does someone have another agenda? 

Brandon faces his own crisis. As laws governing foster homes shift, he’s on the brink of losing the group home he’s worked so hard to build. When Caroline learns he’s a Praecursoria investor, it becomes legally impossible to confide in him. Will the secrets she keeps become a wedge that separates them forever? And can she save Bethany from the very treatments designed to heal her? 

This latest romantic legal thriller by bestseller Cara Putman shines a light on the shadowy world of scientific secrets and corporate vendettas—and the ethical dilemmas that plague the place where science and commerce meet.

Click here to get your copy!

My Review

This book got off to a bit of a slow start for me but once firmly into the plot it was engaging. Putnam is always good at revealing aspects of legal work and this novel concentrates on cutting edge cancer research. Caroline, the heroine, is a new legal hire and has to deal with a corporate structure that leans toward cutting corners to get necessary treatment to children as soon as possible. It was interesting to learn some of the FDA requirements for approved clinical trials. I also learned a bit more about CAR T-cells and HeLa cells.

Putnam adds two side issues to fill out the plot. One issue is ethical as Caroline is dating Brian, a man who has invested in the company for which she has started working. She can't talk about her work with him as any information she relates could result in insider trading charges. That puts pressure on their budding romance.

The other issue is about foster care. Brian has established a foster care facility where siblings can stay together rather than be sent to different foster families. He faces a number of glitches in what seems like continually changing regulations.

I recommend this entertaining and informative novel dealing with ethical issues in medical research and the heartbreak of kids in foster care. The character development was done well and the plot was good after a slow start.

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

My rating: 4/5 stars.


About the Author

As a preteen Cara Putman watched lawyers change legislative opinions at an important legislative hearing in Nebraska. At that time, she wondered if she became an attorney if people would give her words the same weight. An honors graduate of the University of Nebraska Lincoln, George Mason University School of Law and Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, Cara has turned her passion for words into award-winning stories that capture readers. Her legal experience makes its way into her stories where strong women confront real challenges.

An award-winning author of more than 30 books, Cara writes legal thrillers, WWII romances, and romantic suspense because she believes that no matter what happens hope is there, waiting for us to reach for it.

When she’s not writing, Cara is an over-educated attorney who lectures in law and communications at the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University and homeschools her children. She and her family live in Indiana, the land of seasons. You can read chapters for most of her books and connect with Cara at her website:

More from Cara

Each novel has a unique genesis story. The spark that launches it into a journey of 90,000 words. For Lethal Intent, that journey began with a friend’s journey of childhood leukemia with her oldest. From watching their family wind through years of treatment including cutting edge therapy trials. Then it developed with the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lack and the thought what would someone be willing to do if they believed they’d found the next strain of immortal cells. The lead characters made appearances in other books, but now would have their opportunity to step to center stage. The story morphed and changed, dictated by the vagaries of the law and changes.

Each story has a spark. For Caroline it was a brainstorming session with my writing buddies Rachel Hauck, Colleen Coble, and Denise Hunter. That was when her backstory developed, all the things that happened to her to form her into the adult she is on the pages. One who cares deeply about others but who is fundamentally scared, longing for a place she can relax and take a deep breath.

Each story has a spark. For Brandon, it was brainstorming with another writing friend Tricia Goyer that lead to a creative job for a hero that wasn’t the typical law enforcement. His role with the group foster home was set and the backstory filled in quickly. What would it be like to be separated from and lose a brother in the foster care system? Would that generate this need to keep sibling groups together? And then the law changes and the fabric of your professional identity and something so much deeper is threatened.

Each story has a spark. The pharmaceutical start-up where ethics collides with the desire to save children. The push to do whatever it takes overshadowing the guardrails of the law. If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman. But does Caroline really have the strength to battle and does she need to?

Lethal Intent grew from each of these sparks and many more to develop into a story I can’t wait for you to read. In the process I learned immense amounts about CAR-T cell therapies and foster care law. Most of all, I hope you’ll fall into the pages and be engrossed in a story you can’t bring yourself to put down until the final page.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 21

lakesidelivingsite, January 21

Texas Book-aholic, January 21

Through the Fire Blogs, January 22

Sara Jane Jacobs, January 22

A Novel Pursuit, January 22

CarpeDiem, January 23

Betti Mace, January 23

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 23

Book Bites, Bee Stings, & Butterfly Kisses, January 24

Blogging With Carol, January 24

HookMeInABook, January 24

For the Love of Literature, January 25

Debbie's Dusty Deliberations, January 25

Fiction Book Lover, January 25 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)

For Him and My Family, January 26

EmpowerMoms, January 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 26

Artistic Nobody, January 27 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, January 27

Where Faith and Books Meet, January 27

By The Book, January 28

Older & Smarter?, January 28

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting, January 28

Inklings and notions, January 29

Simple Harvest Reads, January 29

Blossoms and Blessings, January 29

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30

Splashes of Joy, January 30

Pause for Tales, January 30

Spoken from the Heart, January 31

Just Your Average reviews, January 31

deb's Book Review, January 31

Hallie Reads, February 1

Adventures of a Travelers Wife, February 1

Genesis 5020, February 1

To Everything There Is A Season, February 2

Hebrews 12 Endurance, February 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, February 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, February 3

Southern Gal Loves to Read, February 3

Daysong Reflections, February 3

I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)