26 09 2019

forged through fire cover


This was a very interesting story about the life of the author, Mark D. McDonough, MD.  All that he went through would have stopped most people, but he kept going on.  At the age of 16, getting terribly burned over about 60% of his body while his mother and youngest brother died in that same house fire.  He had a stroke, lost another brother to suicide.  This is just a taste of what he went through.  But he didn’t quit.  He went on to be not just a doctor, but a plastic surgeon to help restore burned victims like himself.  While he was going through his first surgery, he had a near death experience (NDE).  That bolstered his faith, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from becoming an alcoholic like his father.


This is a book not just about what he went through, but how he got through it.  This is a very encouraging story that will help all of us to keep on going…to not quit.


When Mark McDonough was a teen, a catastrophic fire claimed the lives of his mother and younger brother. It also left Mark with burns on over 65 percent of his body. During a long and painful recovery, his faltering faith in God was strengthened by a remarkable near-death experience. Inspired to pursue a career as a plastic surgeon to help those who suffer as he has, McDonough has overcome numerous other adversities on his journey, including addiction and a stroke. Now he shares his incredible true story of survival and perseverance to bring hope and healing to those dealing with great physical and emotional pain.

Anyone who has suffered or watched a loved one suffer from a personal trauma, disease, or loss that has tested or stolen their faith and exhausted their emotional resources will find real hope in this redemptive story.


mark mcdonough


Mark McDonough is a physical therapist, physician, and plastic and reconstructive surgeon.  A graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and trained in general, burn, and plastic surgery at the University of South Florida and Vanderbilt University, he has served as an adjunct professor in physical therapy and worked with trauma patients at hospitals in Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida, where he later founded his own practice.


Forged Through Fire became available for sale September 3, 2019.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.


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13 09 2019

Gryphon Heist cover      This is a gripping story of espionage.  You have a few main characters, but the main one is Talia, who has just gotten a job at the CIA, along with Eddie, who was in the same class as Talia.  They are put in the “Others” division, with Brennan as their supervisor.  He puts the two of them on a “simple” case, working with civilian, Tyler.  But, it ends up this case is anything but simple.


There is the undertone of Christianity, but not very strong.  This has a strong hint of the past of what Talia went through as a child, and how it relates to this case.  This also is how Talia is reacting to working with a bunch of thieves.  Is the CIA involved in this?  That question remains to be answered still at the end of the book.  We are left in a cliff hangar.


Did I enjoy this book?  Immensely.  Different than my usual, but it kept me glued to it.


Talia Inger is a rookie CIA case officer assigned not to the Moscow desk as she had hoped but to the forgotten backwaters of Eastern Europe–a department only known as “Other.” When she is tasked with helping a young, charming Moldovan executive secure his designs for a revolutionary defense technology, she figures she’ll be back in DC within a few days. But that’s before she knows where the designs are stored–and who’s after them. With her shady civilian partner, Adam Tyler, Talia takes a deep dive into a world where only criminal minds and unlikely strategies will keep the Gryphon, a high-altitude data vault, hovering in the mesosphere.
Even Tyler is more than he seems, and Talia begins to wonder: Is he helping her? Or using her access to CIA resources to pull off an epic heist for his own dark purposes?
In this Ocean’s Eleven-meets-Mission Impossible thriller, former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot James R. Hannibal offers you a nonstop thrill ride through the most daring heist ever conceived.


james-hannibal    A former stealth pilot from Houston, Texas, James R. Hannibal has been shot at, locked up with surface-to-air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist.  He is a two-time Silver Falchion Award winner for his Section 13 mysteries for kids and a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series for adults.


The Gryphon Heist became available for sale September 3, 2019.


I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.

Stories Jesus Told: The Lost Son Comes Home

2 09 2019

lost son cover

This was an enjoyable book taken from the parable in the Bible of the Prodigal Son.  It is written in a way that children will be able to understand it.  It also teaches that real love is unconditional – no matter what we have done, the Father will welcome us.  A good life lesson that hopefully the children would remember as they grow up into adults.


The parable of the prodigal son comes alive in this picture book. Realistic artwork helps children connect to the characters’ emotions: the prodigal’s discontent, the father’s heartbreak, the brother’s jealous anger, and more as the story unfolds. As children understand these emotions, they begin to grasp God’s unconditional love and forgiveness as demonstrated by the father welcoming his son home.


tim ladwig


Tim Ladwig is a published author and an illustrator of children’s books. Some of the published credits of Tim Ladwig include Tonight You Are My Baby: Mary’s Christmas Gift (HarperBlessings), Probity Jones And The Fear Not Angel (Paraclete Poetry), Good King Wenceslas.


The Lost Son became available for sale August 7, 2019.


I received a complimentary copy of this book in ebook style from NetGalley for this review.