Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sherman: The Ruthless Victor

“Sherman: The Ruthless Victor” by Agostino Von Hassell and Ed Breslin is one of six books in The Generals series and is about one of the great Union generals in the Civil War, William Tecumseh Sherman. In the first two chapters, we learn about Sherman’s childhood and his years at West Point. When Sherman was a small child he lost his father and was sent to live with a foster family, but he never really felt included in the family and always felt beholden to them. When he went to West Point, he finally felt like he was home. These years made Sherman the man he was. He wanted fame and to remembered as a great person. He did not want to be indebted to anybody, especially his in-laws. In chapters three through seven, we learn about his life up until the Civil War. Sherman wanted to be a military man, but he wanted to be in the action and he needed financial security for his family so he resigned from the military. He moved a lot in hopes of finding a suitable and lasting job, but he never did. Finally he found a job in Louisiana as the superintendent at the Louisiana Military Academy. He loved the position and he loved the south; Sherman was known for being proslavery. But when the Civil War broke out he knew he had to leave and return to the North. Chapters eight through twelve are about his strategies and battles in the war. We see how Sherman’s motivation for fame played a part in his strategies. We also learn some of the events that drove him to a nervous breakdown. Then we have his return to the battlefield at the Battle of Shiloh. We finish with Sherman’s famous, or infamous depending on where you are from, March to the Sea and finally the end of the war.

We all learn about the Civil War and the great generals in school. But we never learn about how they grew up to be the great leaders they were unless we read books like this. In this book, you will see how Sherman’s childhood played a role in the man he becomes. You will learn why he did certain things in the war that most of us never understood. And you will also learn how personal tragedies and disappointments throughout his life shaped him. I highly recommend this book if you are a Civil War buff. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


“Accused” by Janice Cantore is the first book in the Pacific Coast Justice series. In “Accused”, we meet Detective Carly Edwards. Carly is called to question a teenage boy that could possibly be involved in the murder of the mayor. Carly believes he is innocent but the homicide division is quick to close the case. As Carly investigates the case she gets a call from fellow cop and long time friend, Jeff. Jeff tells Carly there is more than what meets the eye with the case. He tells her that there are others from the police department involved in the illegal importation of drugs and the mayor found out and that is why she was killed. Carly gets help with her investigation from her ex husband, Nick. Nick cheated on Carly when they were married and she has a hard time trusting him again, but she knows he is not a dirty cop. Carly soon realizes most of the people she has helping her are Christians and believe that God will see them through. Carly does not want anything to do with God because she is angry at him for taking her father. While Carly and Nick work on the case, her heart starts to soften toward not only Nick but also God. She realizes just how much she does need God when her life becomes in danger by those she thought she could trust. Will Carly solve the mystery? Will she and Nick get back together? Will she finally and fully let go of her anger towards God? I received a complimentary advanced reader copy of this book to review from Tyndale House Publishers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Have and To Hold

“To Have and To Hold” by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller is the first book in the Bridal Veil Island series. It is set on the fictional island of Bridal Veil off of the coast of Georgia. Audrey Cunningham and her father, Boyd, moved back to Bridal Veil from Pittsburgh in order for Boyd to remain sober and regain his health. The problem that they face when they return to his family home is the taxes. So that the Cunningham’s can keep their home and be able to pay the back taxes, they open up their home and surrounding buildings to boarders who are on the island building a grand resort. The contractor for the building of the resort is Marshall Graham. Audrey does not trust him because his father was a notorious drunk and she fears he is to and that he will cause her father to slip back into his old habits. Everything starts to change when Boyd knows he will not be there much longer to look after Audrey, and he asks Marshall to do it after he is gone and to also make sure she does not turn away from God during this time. Audrey and Marshall become friends during her father’s illness and soon their feelings for each other deepen. Also during this time, there seems to be something underhanded going on at the construction site. Somebody is trying to sabotage the building of the resort. As Audrey and Marshall try to figure out who is doing the damage, they also have to deal with the ups and downs of their new relationship. Will they live happily ever after? Will their faith in God stay strong?

This is a great first book in the new Bridal Veil Island series. There are so many great characters besides the main ones, especially Aunt Thora. You can’t go wrong with a Tracie Peterson or Judith Miller book. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Waking Hours

In “Waking Hours” by Lis Wiehl we meet forensic psychiatrist Dani Harris. Dani is brought in on a case involving the death of a local high school girl, Julie. The awful way that she died leaves the town in an uproar. Dani has help with the case from her former classmate Tommy Gunderson. Tommy was a NFL player and after a tragic accident he quit playing and moved back to his hometown with the goal of becoming a private investigator. Dani and Tommy question several of Julie’s classmates and discover that they were all involved in a passage party. The problem is none of them can remember what happened the night Julie died. Dani and Tommy know one of these kids knows the whole story behind her death and may have even been the one to kill her.

“Waking Hours” is the first book in the East Salem Trilogy. This is a very fast paced book full of suspense. This story has many twists and plots that will keep you guessing, and when you think you have everything figured out it will leave you with a cliffhanger. Lis Wiehl quickly became one of my favorite authors with her Triple Threat novels and she does not let her readers down with her new book. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson.