Monday, June 25, 2012


In “Submerged” by Dani Pettrey, we meet Bailey Craig. Bailey learns of her beloved aunt’s death and has to return to the one place she never wanted to see again. Bailey returns to Yancey, Alaska for her aunt’s funeral with plans to settle her estate and leave in a matter of weeks, but Cole McKenna has other plans. Cole is part of the search and rescue dive team in Yancey. When Cole is called in to recover a dead girl, he soon learns that the accident that killed Bailey’s aunt may not have been an accident at all. He wants Bailey to help him solve the mystery but Bailey is afraid and ashamed to face Cole. When Bailey left Yancey years ago people knew of her fast reputation and how she broke Cole’s heart. In the ten years that she left, she found God but has not completely forgiven herself for her past. Cole also found God after Bailey left and has forgiven her but soon realizes how much he still loves her. Together Cole and Bailey work to solve the mystery before the murderer strikes again and to also settle their feelings for each other.

“Submerged” is the debut novel of Dani Pettrey and is also the first book in the Alaskan Courage series. Ms. Pettrey did a great job of keeping the story moving and keeping the reader in suspense. In this book we see how God is always in control and that the past does not matter to those who love us. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Bethany House Publishers.

This Scarlet Cord

Rahab was a young Canaanite girl in Jericho who hid two Israelite spies. In doing this she was able to save herself and her family from Joshua’s army during the battle of Jericho. During this time Rahab learns of the one true God and finds favor with God and in turn is placed in the genealogy of Christ. That is essentially all we are told about Rahab in the Book of Joshua. “This Scarlet Cord” by Joan Wolf brings the story of Rahab to life by letting us imagine what her life was like before and after she met her future husband, Sala. Rahab was kidnapped as a girl and rescued by Sala. Several years later they meet again. They soon realize their love for one another but he is an Israelite and she is Canaanite. Sala shares his religion and the one true God with her and in her time of need she beings to pray to God instead of the pagan gods of the Canaanites. When Rahab hides the Israelite spies and helps them escape they give her a scarlet cord to hang from her window. The cord will be a sign that she and whoever is in the house will be spared. After Rahab and her family leave Jericho unharmed, both her father and Sala’s father allow them to marry. Many years later their descendent Joseph married Mary who was the mother of Jesus.

I have read and heard about the battle of Jericho since I can remember. But I never paid attention to Rahab and what an important person she was. Joan Wolf brings her to life and shows us that no matter what kind of a person we are God can and will use to for a greater purpose. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Thomas Nelson.

To Heaven and Back

“To Heaven and Back” by Mary C. Neal, MD, is the true story of Mary Neal. In 1999, Mary drowned during a kayaking accident in Chile. While other kayakers were trying to rescue and revive her, she was on an adventure with God. Mary found peace and joy during her time with God’s angels and a deep sadness when she realized it was not her time. Mary tells of her recovery and how she became closer to God during this time. She also finds out that she does have a purpose on earth and begins to realize why God did not take her on that day. This book is more than just the telling of going to heaven and coming back. We also find out about Mary’s life before and after the accident and how God has always been there for her and guiding her even when she was not paying attention to Him.

This book is a great example of how God is always in control of our lives. Most times we read a fictional account that we can relate to but “To Heaven and Back” is about a real person that real things have happened to. Dr. Neal opens up and tells us what her journey with Christ has been like. This isn’t a book that will describe what heaven will be like when we get there. If you’re looking for that, pull out the Bible. This book helps us to understand that sometimes bad things do happen to good people but that he will use that for the greater good and we all have a purpose for being here. I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Click here to learn more about Dr. Neal.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Skip Rock Shallows

In “Skip Rock Shallows” by Jan Watson, Lilly Corbett has graduated from medical school and has returned to the hills of Kentucky. Lilly is an intern at the coal camp of Skip Rock not far from where she grew up. Lilly has a hard time getting started because people in Skip Rock are very superstitious and do not want a stranger or a woman doctoring them. While Lilly is in Skip Rock she runs into a long ago acquaintance, Tern. Tern is working undercover to investigate the safety of the mines and he soon realizes he has feelings for Lilly but Lilly is engaged to another man. Her finance, Paul, tries to persuade Lilly to move to Boston. Lilly starts to get close to Tern and begins to realize that Paul is not the man for her. While Lilly is trying to figure out what God wants her to do and who He wants her to be with, she is busy trying to win the people of Skip Rock over and she starts to gain their trust little by little. Will Lilly listen to God and stay in Skip Rock?

This was the first book that I have read by Jan Watson. I definitely was not disappointed. She makes the characters come to life and keeps the story flowing. We could all learn a lot of Lilly. She is determined and hardworking but also knows that she needs God’s direction especially when we have tough decisions to make. I received a complimentary copy of this book to review from Tyndale House Publishers.