Friday, March 23, 2012

Gabby’s Stick-to-It-Day by Sheila Walsh

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Gabby is a little Guardian Angel with a big job to do. And, given some of the well-intentioned misadventures her charge, Sophie, gets herself into, it may not be an easy assignment. You see, each of Sophie's good intentioned projects seems to end in a big mess, which means that Gabby, her Guardian Angel, has to work overtime to keep the little girl from harm. When things go bad, Sophie quickly gets frustrated and refuses to continue.

When Gabby has to find a way to imbue Sophie with some stick-to-itiveness, she turns to Galatians 6:9 and whispers into the little girl’s ear, “Let's not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time, we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don't give up.”

This second book in Sheila Walsh’s delightful series emphasizes the value of perseverance for young readers. The youngster in your life will ask to have this fun story read again and again. This oversized, illustrated children’s book comes with a hard cover, making it durable enough to last through many readings.

Reading level: Ages 3 and up
 Hardcover: 32 pages
 Publisher: Thomas Nelson
 Language: English
 ISBN-13: 978-1400318056
 Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.8 x 0.5 inches 

 We thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and Litfuse Publicity Group for providing this book in exchange  for an honest review.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MARTYR by E.G. Lewis

Summit Book Reviews is pleased to welcome author Zara Heritage as a member of our review team. For her first submission, she chose the novel MARTYR, a recent Cape Arago Press release by fellow Summit reviewer, E. G. Lewis. Zara’s debut novel, Cast Me Not Away, is currently undergoing its final edits and will be available in the near future.
As a career writer I am sometimes critical of other people’s writing. When I see something outstanding, however, it makes me want to stand up and shout.

The Seeds of Christianity Series caught my attention with WITNESS, the first novel by E.G. Lewis. I eagerly read each one that followed and believe each book is better than the one preceding it. In MARTYR Mr. Lewis outdoes himself. I cannot recommend it more highly.

Although each novel stands alone, I suggest you read them all, and in order. You will fall in love with this First Century family and their interaction with Biblical events. History comes alive as Lewis weaves fact into fiction to create this memorable saga. The books themselves are not “preachy” as some Christian fiction tends to be.

In MARTYR the main characters, Rivkah and Shemu’el, are now grandparents. They relocate from Antioch to Rome with their adult children and their families. They all have to endure the horrible persecutions of Christians in that time period. However, there is also humor in this novel as well. Rivkah’s interaction with Nasica the rental agent evokes laughter while accurately representing what housing conditions were like at that time. At first, you’ll dislike their feisty neighbor, Severina, then laugh and cry as she transforms into a totally different person with  Rivkah’s influence.

You will experience Nero’s terrifying burning of Rome and their chilling escape thanks to the knowledge of their son, Yudah. His time as an aqueduct apprentice in Antioch serves them well. The autistic giant, Pavlos, introduced in DISCIPLE and a major player in APOSTLE, returns in this book too. Lovable Pavlos is quite a hero. If you don’t shed tears of joy and sorrow over him you are one hard-hearted soul.

Of course, Peter and Paul, Mark and Barnabas are in this book too. How could they not be? Yet, the book isn’t about them. It is about the lives of ordinary people who lived in the First Century and how they managed to survive, maintain and spread the Christian message. Whether you are Christian or not, you will find much to like about this series. It is truly entertaining, educational and inspiring.  MARTYR gets a five-star plus rating in this writer’s estimation.
−Zara Heritage

Paperback: 330 pages 
Publisher: Cape Arago Press (February 20, 2012) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 098259495X 
ISBN-13: 978-0982594957

Friday, March 16, 2012

THE DEVIL IN PEW NUMBER SEVEN by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo with Bob DeMoss

As a true story, I found this a difficult book to read and review.  It is well-written and engaging, and hard to put down. Yet, it is also terribly sad that any family endured what they did. You know from the beginning that tragedy is going to strike, but the events that build up to it continue one after another after another until you want to yell, “Enough already! Get out of town. Run! Save yourselves!”

Mr. Watts, a prominent, wealthy man resents the new pastor and doesn’t like the way he has restructured the church. He begins to harass the pastor in an effort to make him leave. When he won’t give in and move, Mr. Watts sets out to chase the pastor and his family away from his town. Watts does horrible things to this family, and for some reason he gets away with it for years even though everyone knows he is behind it all. Over and over again, this family faces having their home violated, life threatening gunshots through bedroom windows, dynamite blasts that damage the house and more.

How this pastor could put his church and his congregation above his family’s safety is beyond my comprehension. He felt God was calling him to do this, and perhaps so, but he caused his family to endure it with him. Did he do the right thing? In hindsight maybe he would have chosen a different path, but we can all say that.

I can only imagine what Rebecca Nichols experienced as a child. Fortunately for her brother, he was too young to remember much. Both, however, lost their parents far too soon. Thank Heaven for a kind and loving aunt who took over. 

This pastor’s two, now adult, children have learned to forgive those who hurt them and their parents. Forgiveness is most valuable to the one doing the forgiving than to the one being forgiven, and so it should be. Rebecca Nichols Alonzo and her brother, Daniel Nichols, deserve peace and happiness after their tumultuous childhoods. So do their grandparents, aunts and uncles who also suffered heartbreaking losses.

This book is highly recommended. We appreciate the complimentary copy we received from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.
—Gail Lewis

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (July 16, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414326599
ISBN-13: 978-1414326597

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


In The Coming Revolution, Dr Richard G. Lee presents an optimistic thesis for America’s future. Lee begins by recapping the mood, beliefs and founding principles that culminated in the American Revolution. Drawing hope from the past, he predicts that the deep roots of Christianity which lie dormant in the history of our nation will spring to life once again and blossom forth.

He anticipates a returning of the nation to God similar to what occurred in the 18th Century during the period known as the Great Awakening. With this fundamental change in social morality he believes, like a giant ocean liner, our nation with begin to slowly turn. And, in this process, move away from its infatuation with secular materialism.

While Dr. Lee’s beliefs will find much opposition in the current political arena, he brings a message of hope that many pray will become a reality. The Coming Revolution is great reading in these trying times.
—E G Lewis

Disclaimer: We thank Thomas Nelson Publishers for providing us a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


After reading a review of The Master’s Wall by Sandi Rog, I bought a copy, and loved it. I was eager to also read the second in her Iron and the Stone series. When Yahshua’s Bridge was published, I bought that one too. Now, I look forward to the third book.

I recommend reading The Master’s Wall before Yahshua’s Bridge. Although it can stand alone, the first book will make the second more enjoyable. Of the two, my favorite is the first, but both are excellent.

In her depiction of ancient Rome, and the early Christian church, Sandi Rog does an excellent job. Her suspense and drama make you want to keep reading. She did, however, tackle one topic that few would. Perhaps because of her illness (mentioned by her editor in the forward of this book) she is no doubt more focused on the afterlife in this novel than her previous one. When a major character is martyred, she makes an attempt to depict that person’s experience with angels and the “bridge” to Yahshua. Her vision of Heaven is very different from my own, and I’m tempted to criticize her description. However, I admire her for the attempt. It’s nothing I would try to describe and it apparently led to the book’s title.

For the most part, this novel is highly engaging and enjoyable and is recommended.
—Gail Lewis  

Product Details:
Paperback: 360 pages
Publisher: DeWard Publishing
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9781936341177

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

MAKE IT STAY by Joan Frank

Love in an age of freedom, friendship at an age when years begin to count, loyalty in a time of suffering, and hope in the face of despair, Joan Frank’s Make it Stay has it all. A feast for the senses, it combines the wondrous scents of Neil’s culinary expertise with the sea-salt spray of a boat and fear of rogue waves. Northern California green contrasts with the bold sun of Arizona. And a loyal wife takes her place in the present, her love contrasted a spouse's other loyalties born of his past.
Bold brash Mike stands beside the shadowed Tilda, and readers immediately share Neil’s wife Rachel’s curiosity. But Tilda is curious too, and sometimes questions unanswered are better than healing balm to relationships. Time changes priorities and relationships. Meanwhile change alters the measuring of time. Ingredients that tasted wrong on their own can mix to a glorious feast, and holding too tight is sometimes the saddest way to make things not stay.
In Make it Stay Joan Frank takes readers from staying to leaving to staying again. Telling a story of genuine people, gently touching their hurts, she creates a story guaranteed to touch and stay in the reader’s heart.
Disclosure: I was given a bound galley of this novel by the publishers, the Permanent Press, in exchange for my honest review.  
--Sheila Deeth 

Hardcover: 160 pages 
Publisher: The Permanent Press (March 30, 2012) 
Language: English 
ISBN-10: 1579622275 
ISBN-13: 978-1579622275

Friday, March 2, 2012


In Twilight’s Last Gleaming Robert Jeffress expresses concerns that should resonate with every conservative reader. He begins with a sobering list of the ills affecting the heart and soul of our nation…the wholesale effort to remove any and all restrictions on same-sex marriages, abortions and embryonic stem cell research, runaway spending that is creating an insurmountable debt, the failure to adequately protect our borders, the pervasive political correctness that prevents us from waging a war on terrorism, the willingness to abrogate American’s rights at home to please Islamists abroad, the secular materialism that has caused people to deny that the United States was founded upon Christian principles.  

He correctly posits that the problems listed above will undoubtedly lead to America’s demise. Jefress asks the question that so many of us have, “How did we get into this mess?” He correctly lays the blame on the Christians of this nation who have been too eager to go along to get along and willing to compromise their beliefs in the process. 

Of course, we all know that, sooner or later, our nation, our way of life…everything will be gone. The end is coming. So it’s not a question of if, but when. He makes a compelling case that, while it is not possible to prevent the world from ending, it is possible to change God’s timing. The wisdom of this book is encapsulated 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 

Twilight’s Last Gleaming is not an obituary, but a clarion call to do what, as Christians, we have been called to do. There is still time, but the clock is ticking, If enough people take Jefress’ advice to heart. Refreshingly frank, upbeat and invigorating, this book is a must read for any Christian who is concerned about the country’s slide into iniquity and wants to do something about it. 

We thank B&B Media and Worthy Publishing for providing us with a copy of Twilight’s Last Gleaming in exchange for an honest review.

—E G Lewis 

Product Details
Format: Hardback
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-1-936034-58-1

Thursday, March 1, 2012

NOT IN THE HEART by Chris Fabry

The concept for this book was an outstanding idea. If your child is dying and needs a heart transplant and there’s a match with a condemned prisoner of course you’d take it. But, what if that prisoner is innocent?

As the parent of a child with a congenital heart defect, this premise intrigued me, and I wanted to read Chris Fabry’s Not In The Heart the moment I heard of it. However, this novel is more about addictions and redemption than anything else. The condemned prisoner was a skid-row alcoholic before he was arrested and convicted of a murder. In prison he experiences a Christian conversion that leads him to want to do something good with his life, like donate his heart, or convert others.

The dying young man is primarily viewed through the main protagonist’s eyes…his father, Truman Wiley. Wiley is a journalist estranged from his wife, Ellen, and children Abigail and Aiden. He’s addicted to gambling and obsessed with the stories he follows around the world. Any money he makes goes to casinos or to internet gambling. He’s losing his home, his car and is pursued by dangerous people he’s borrowed from and can’t repay. Even his family is threatened.

Meanwhile, his estranged wife lures him into writing a book about the condemned prisoner who may save their son’s life. Although he accepts that assignment and loves his family, he won’t visit his son in the hospital. He’s very self-centered.

Tru Wiley, with his daughter Abby's help, ferret out clues to the murder missed by everyone else. Their evidence seems to imply that the man in prison probably shouldn’t be there…at least not for the crime he was convicted of.

Tru’s wife, son, and others repeatedly attempt to convince Tru and Abby of the value of believing in Christ. Both, of course, resist until the end. This is, after all, a Christian novel. Tru is a despicable character in my mind, yet not allowed to do anything too terrible. When Tru is being shot at in an attempt to kill him, his chosen defense is to shoot out the tires of his assailants. Really? They’re trying to kill him! But, apparently main characters in Christian books don’t kill anyone, not even very bad guys.

Tru is unkind and unfair to his family. Neither his personal angst, nor learning he was the child of an abusive alcoholic dad, made me feel empathy or sympathy for him. I also didn’t approve of the wife’s tolerance of her estranged husband’s behavior. Although presented as a strong woman when caring for her seriously ill son, Ellen doesn’t practice tough love in regard to the addict. I didn’t find her a likeable character either.

Chris Fabry does an admirable job of writing and weaving in suspense over who actually did commit the murder. However, the intent of the novel seems to be to show the advantage of Christian conversion and even makes a comment against “religion.” I take umbrage with that since it’s religion that has maintained Christian faith through the ages. Where would we be without religion? But, I digress.

This was a well-written novel of mystery and suspense, despite unlikeable characters. As expected, Tru improves toward the end of the book; however, the solution to the murder will surprise you. Whether Aiden survives or not, you’ll have to read to the last pages to find out.

Chris Fabry leads us toward a shocking, but excellent ending. The conclusion exceeded my expectations.

Thank you to B&B Media Group for providing us with a review copy of this engaging novel.
—Gail Lewis

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (January 20, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1414348614
ISBN-13: 978-1414348612