Faith, Family, Love and Reviews

Aneko Press: The Christmas Story in 40 Days by Christ Loehmer Kincaid


About the Book:

Do you know the story of the first Christmas, the entire story, not just what you have seen on Christmas specials or heard in Christmas hymns?

Take a few minutes each day for the next 40 days to read about the events leading up to this holiest of nights.  Meet the people who were there, Elizabeth, Zachariah, the Angel Gabriel, Mary and Joseph.  Travel across the Judean countryside to Nazareth and on to Bethlehem.  Witness the birth of Jesus as you never have before.

  • Spend 40 days strengthening your faith.
  • Spend 40 days drawing closer to God.
  • Spend 40 days getting to know your Savior Jesus Christ.

About the Author:

As I was growing up, I dreamed of accomplishing two things with my life: write a book and change the world. You might think that the book was the easy part, but who can change the world?

While I was publishing my memoir of my mission trip to Kenya, “A Time for Every Purpose Under Heaven”, that I realized my dream of changing the world is not so foolish. Like every item on anyone’s bucket list, this too could someday be crossed off my list. I have come to realize that to change the world means to change one person’s world.

My daughter and I returned to Kenya in the spring of 2013 and while there met many more men, women and children who need positive change in their lives. My daughter began working on a nonprofit organization to help these people, to empower them and improve their way of life. Tumaini Volunteers, Inc., was born and remains a work in progress.

In addition to my writing and involvement with Tumaini Volunteers, I work fulltime in the medical field, mentor a Kinship kid, mentor my church’s college students, and sponsor a Compassion child.

I am not anyone special, but I now know that change is possible. The world can be a better place. We just need to get out there and do the work that God has given us to do.

My Opinion:

I know it’s late and I’m so sorry about that – life happened and so this got put on the back burner along with some other things. If you’re looking for a short but meaningful devotional for the Christmas season then The Christmas Story in 40 Days is definitely one that I would recommend. It is suggested that in order to finish by Christmas Eve to begin this devotional on November 15th, and if you buy it now you’ll have plenty of time when November rolls around again. I also want to note that the Bible passage given at the beginning of each day’s reading is from The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. I don’t like to use The Message but it isn’t hard and doesn’t add any time to grab my own Bible and read the passage listed.

Each devotion takes five minutes or less unless you want to go deeper or you use the notes section to make your own notations – it can be used as you see fit for your or your families needs. There is no denominational bend so just about anyone who is Christian can use this devotional through the Christmas season, of course we should always remember Christ’s birth and His death and resurrection every day so maybe this shouldn’t be just a ‘Christmas’ devotional. I like that while the readings are short, they are also deep and meaningful and really help one focus on Christ’s coming and what all that entailed both then and now.

Please check out what other bloggers thought at Aneko Press’ Link-up.



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Kregel Tour: The Aleppo Code (Book 3 in The Jerusalem Prophecies series) by Terry Brennan

code_zpsffgtleak About the Book:

The living members of Tom Bohannon’s band of adventurers gather again in Jerusalem–physically battered, emotionally exhausted, spiritually challenged, and in various stages of shock–to examine a copy of the tenth-century Aleppo Code, the oldest complete text of Jewish scripture. What the clues inside reveal could lead to the reuniting of the Ark of the Covenant with its true source of power, a weapon that could lead to victory for this ragged bunch trying to save the world.

Hunted by the relentless assassins of the Prophet’s Guard and caught in the web of an international conspiracy plotting the conquest of Europe, Bohannon’s team searches the ruins of Ancient Babylon. Their search lands them amid the chaos that engulfs western Iraq, but they must press on to accomplish one of the most pivotal pieces of end-times prophecy. This intrepid group will uncover secrets that require them to risk everything for their faith, their country, and the peace of all mankind.

Unfolding against the backdrop of an Israeli/U.S. strike against Iran and the planned economic overthrow of the European Union by the sinister, secret head of the international Muslim Brotherhood, The Aleppo Code is a heart-pounding race. Brennan takes an epic story on a grand scale and tells it primarily through the eyes of one man who is desperately trying to save the world as he follows God’s purpose for his life.

Purchase your own copy at Kregel.

Learn more about the author and his book on his website, Terry Brennan.

My Opinion:

I love a good mystery and weave it together with Biblical history, people and places and well the author might as well know they’ve sucked me in. Such is the case with Terry Brennan’s The Jerusalem Prophecies – all three books pulled me in and kept me reading them till long into the night even when I had to be up at 4:30a.m. to go into work. That said this review is to be mainly focused on the third book, The Aleppo Code, but the first two are an absolute must read before you begin the third book. While The Aleppo Code may be able to be read alone it will be better understood if you start with The Sacred Cipher and then The Brotherhood Conspiracy as each book builds upon the other and the entirety of the story will be better understood by reading the whole trilogy.

As I mentioned above this book picks up where book two left off – Tom Bohannon and his family, friends and colleagues are still being pursued by the Prophet’s Guards and all their lives are still at risk unless they complete the code and take the next steps. Having to struggle with each of their own doubts about their faith each character must examine his or herself to find where they stand when it comes to the Lord. The struggle is real. Trying to decide to step out in faith and put all their trust in the Lord is also real, the characters are well developed and as I read I felt as if I could be right along with them. I could feel the heat of the Middle East, the terror as I’m being pursued by murderers and the thrill and the fear of finding, well, I won’t give away the story.

If you enjoy archaeology, history of any kind but especially Biblical history, twist and turns and a good mystery then look no further than The Aleppo Code because it has it all. Terry Brennan has put a lot of heart and soul in this book and it shows – the details in the book are so real the places almost leap off the pages as I read it. I won’t keep repeating myself about this book and the series in general – this is a must read and I don’t usually say that lightly. While it was a thrilling read and it kept me up late it also took me longer to read than normal because of the detail and not wanting to miss anything. Terry has also kindly included a list of characters, which helped as I read it especially at the beginning to keep them all straight. An excellent read!


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Litfuse Publicity: Wispers in the Reading Room (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery) by Shelley Gray


About the Book:

Lydia’s job at the library is her world—until a mysterious patron catches her eye . . . and perhaps her heart.

Just months after the closure of the Chicago World’s Fair, librarian Lydia Bancroft finds herself fascinated by a mysterious dark-haired and dark-eyed patron. He has never given her his name; he actually never speaks to a single person. All she knows about him is that he loves books as much as she does.

Only when he rescues her in the lobby of the Hartman Hotel does she discover that his name is Sebastian Marks. She also discovers that he lives at the top of the prestigious hotel and that most everyone in Chicago is intrigued by him.

Lydia and Sebastian form a fragile friendship, but when she discovers that Mr. Marks isn’t merely a very wealthy gentleman, but also the proprietor of an infamous saloon and gambling club, she is shocked.

Lydia insists on visiting the club one fateful night and suddenly is a suspect to a murder. She must determine who she can trust, who is innocent, and if Sebastian Marks-the man so many people fear-is actually everything her heart believes him to be.

You can purchase your copy here.


About the Author:

Shelley Gray is the author of The Heart of a Hero series. Her Amish novel (written as Shelley Shepard Gray), The Protector, recently made the New York Times best seller list. A native of Texas, she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Colorado and taught school for ten years. She and her husband have two children and live in Southern Ohio.

You can connect with her at her website, on Twitter and Facebook.

My Opinion:

I have to apologize for two items of note, the first being how late I am in getting this review written and the second is that I have not read the other two books and that is a mistake I will be rectifying soon. While there are two books before Whispers in the Reading Room, this book does stand alone and stands alone quite well I might add. Back before huge libraries with multiple branches came about there were reading rooms, quiet, low key affairs and that is where Lydia works and where Sebastian Marks frequents – both notice the other but have not yet been thrown together until now.

Shelley writes superbly and the mystery weaves a tangled web of deceit and also one of reconciliation and ultimately love. Lydia needs everyone to think that she is still quite eligible for a marriage to one of society’s elite but what she finds our about her beau is anything but redeeming. Mr. Marks comes to her aid and there begins the mystery, who is he? Who is she? Then of course what will become of all of them – the maid, his ‘man’ and the jilted ex-beau? Well I’ll let you read to find out – it was a quick read and one that will keep you guessing the who done it well into the early hours of the morning.

Please do note that there is murder but it’s not described in detail until one the main characters is killed and even then it’s not something that I wouldn’t have an issue with my oldest daughter reading. Also there are mentions of women who are plying their trade, also known as prostitution, but the details are not involved and I don’t think the word prostitution is used – if it is I don’t recall it. Overall, though this book was a fantastic work of fiction and I’m looking forward to reading the first two books because I truly enjoy Gray’s writing and this one is no different.

To see what other bloggers thought please visit the Litfuse Landing Page.



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