Friday, May 29, 2009

Night Watchman

The Night Watchman by Mark Mynheir


Ray Quinn is a tough, quick-witted homicide detective in love with his partner, Trisha Willis. She gives Ray something to live for—something to hope in. Until a barrage of bullets leaves Trisha murdered and Ray crippled.

Struggling with his new physical disability and severe depression, Quinn turns to whiskey, scorn, and a job as a night watchman to numb the pain. But when a pastor and dancer are found dead in an apparent murder-suicide, the pastor’s sister approaches Quinn for help.

Reluctantly, Quinn takes the case and is plunged into the perilous Orlando. Soon he discovers that, not only was the pastor murdered, but the case may be linked to his and Trisha’s ambush.

If you enjoy murder mysteries, this one will pull you in and keep you turning the pages. It is well written, with interesting characters and plenty of twists to keep you guessing.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. You can find places to purchase the book by visiting

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

This little book is small enough in size to slip into a purse, but filled with enough insight to ponder throughout the day. It is set up with a devotional thought for each day of the year. The passages are written as though Jesus is talking to you, encouraging you to trust Him and find peace through Him. Each passage is only a few paragraphs, so it can be the starting point for a more in-depth study or a quick thought to ponder throughout the day.

I tend to hit-and-miss with a daily book, so I ignored the dates and read the messages as time allowed, some days were missed, some days I read several. I found many treasure thoughts to highlight and ponder. None of the messages are "new" information, but reminders of promises Jesus has already made to His followers. There are also scripture references at the end of each day for further study.

I enjoyed leaving the book in my car to read while I was waiting for children. It is easy to pick up and enjoy when you only have a few minutes or to read for longer times while you wait. I also liked the small size, about 4 inches by 7 inches.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Hero and Giveaway

Hero: Becoming the Man She Desires is written by Fred and Jason Stoeker. It is directed at young men and talks about the importance of leaving the girls they date better, instead of worse, for having known them. It talks about many of our cultures' lies about intimate relationships and why physical relationships prior to marriage hurt both men and women, but especially women. It examines several different "myths" about physical relationships before marriage.

My boys are still young, so I don't know what age, if ever, I would just hand them this book to read. It is pretty straight-forward and open about the p*rn and garbage that the media portrays as normal. I do think it's a good book for parents or leaders of young men to read. There are many points in the book that I think are valuable for teaching, and that could be beneficial to a discussion. I liked how it teaches young men that women want a "knight in shining armor," a hero who will love, honor, respect, and protect her. There are several good analogies and personal stories/journal entries that make the book (after the first few chapters) read more like a story and less like a lecture. There is one section of about 3 paragraphs that I skipped. The authors warn you that a graphic list of garbage found in some current, popular PG-13 and R movies is coming. I would black that section out with a marker because we don't allow those in our home and I don't want the descriptions here either.

I think the message in this book is essential. We need more young men and women to take a stand for purity. Here is a link to the Random House website with options for purchasing the book online:

I have two copies of this book available as give-aways, so if you are interested, please leave a comment or email me. I will do the drawing 2 weeks from today.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Does the Bible Say about That?

The Bible is filled with advice about all aspects of our life, but finding which scriptures apply to a given situation can be a challenge, especially for kids who are new to studying the scriptures.

What Does the Bible Say about That? is a charming book by Carolyn Larsen, that covers over 300 topics like patience, kindness, jealousy, planning, and even homework. Each topic has a simple one page summary with scripture references, commentary, and a daily goal related to the topic. This book, published by Crossway Books, is written for 8-12 year olds, and deals with issues that are important in their lives as well as topics that apply to all ages.

By taking everyday topics and relating them to scriptures, this book is a gentle way to teach children how to study the scriptures and apply the teachings to their own lives. I have been using it with my 8 year old. Each morning we read a topic together, then look up the quoted scriptures in our KJV (the book uses the English Standard Version). This is helping my son learn WHERE to find the quoted scriptures. We then compare and talk about the versions. We are LDS and have also been looking for related scriptures in the Book of Mormon.

I would recommend this as a book for parents to use with their children. From an LDS perspective, I only noticed 3 topics that don't match up exactly with LDS doctrine, (Hell, Salvation, and the Trinity) and they were presented close enough that it was easy to explain and expand.

Some of the topics are very similar to another, like Honesty and Integrity, but the commentary is different even when the quoted scriptures are the same. Even with 300 topics, there are several important ones missing, like Baptism, Jesus, and Savior, but that is probably because different denominations would present those topics differently.

Overall, my son and I have enjoyed the book and will continue using it for our morning devotion time together. It has been a good way to show him how the Bible can answer his questions and that it has important information on almost every topic.

You can find more information about this book at