Alzheimer’s Disease Can’t Rob Us of God’s Love

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Deb’s Dozen: Alzheimer’s Disease steals memory, but never God’s love–we are always His.

Christmas usually brings a plethora of entertaining stories about the wonders of the season. Kathi Macias’s Christmas stories bring us subjects to ponder deeply. To the Moon & Back is no different. Alzheimer’s Disease is terrible–robbing people of their memories and abilities to interact with loved ones and other people in their lives. Most stories about Alzheimer’s are told from the perspective of caregivers observing the process. Macias tells the story from inside the person developing the disease-tells us how they feel–how confused, how lost, how alone. But she also gives us hope and reminds us that those of us who are Christians are never alone: God is always with us and will carry us home.

Rachel is not sure what is happening in her life. She only knows life has changed since the accident. She doesn’t seem to be able to remember things, where she is, how to cook, she never seems to be able to take care of her husband right any longer. Peter is angry since the accident–blaming Rachel for everything wrong with his life–wondering why she can’t get it together anymore and do even the simplest things. Their daughter, Lilly, is caught in the middle. She sees what is happening to them both and knows the responsibility will be hers to care for them. Alzheimer’s, you see, doesn’t just affect the person with the disease, but everyone around the person too.

You’ll be challenged by this story, saddened, and made joyful. To the Moon & Back is a story well worth reading. I must admit reading was tough-my dad died from Alzheimer’s Disease and I know what Mom went through as the disease progressed. To lose a parent or a mate before they die is so sad. Kathy makes us realize what they feel too. Four stars.

Alzheimer'sKathi Macias is an award-winning author with more than fifty books to her credit. She is a popular speaker at women’s retreats and writers’ conferences. She and her husband, Al, live in Southern California. She’s also a mentor to many and a friend to more.

Kathi gave me a copy of To the Moon & Back, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.

Superb Biblical Fiction—Bread of Angels

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Deb’s Dozen: Lydia, maker of purple, friend, benefactor-first convert to Christianity in Philippi.

Tessa Afshar writes such beautiful, believable biblical fiction. Bread of Angels, the story of Lydia, the first convert in Asia, is such a story. But Tessa begins far before that event takes place. She weaves Lydia’s story from when she was a girl in Thyatira, telling of the circumstances of her upbringing and the reason she set sail for Philippi. Tessa gives Lydia a friend, Rebekah, who stays with her after Lydia takes care of her when she is homeless and hungry.

Lydia struggles as a woman alone, attempting to run a business in a culture where women are nothing unless married or under the protection of a man. But she perseveres with Rebekah’s help along with that of Rebekah’s God. Rebekah has taught her that in her time of greatest need, God will provide bread of angels to sustain her-not physical food, but situational or spiritual aid to surmount the difficulties.

You will so enjoy getting to know Lydia as told through the eyes and pen of a talented storyteller. Biblical characters like Epaphroditus and Syntyche and Paul and Silas and Dr. Luke come alive on the pages of Bread of Angels. Five stars!

biblical fictionTessa Afshar is a newly married, award-winning author of several volumes of historical biblical fiction. She was voted “New Author of the Year” by the Readers’ Choice Awards for Pearl in the Sand. She has an MDiv from Yale and has spent the last seventeen years in full time Christian work in New England. And she’s a truly wonderful person and a delight to know.

Tyndale Publishing gave me an Advance Reader Copy of Bread of Angels, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.

Supernatural Crown of Souls Steals Souls

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Deb’s Dozen: An ancient crown brings madness. Tox and Wraith must stop its wearer.

Crown of Souls is Book 2 in the Tox Files series. Like Conspiracy of Silence, Book 1, and The Warrior’s Seal–the novella which preceded them–Crown of Souls is part action, part romance, part supernatural fiction.

Tox Russell is a special forces dude now operating way black. He’s very conflicted about a lot of things: his team, his romance, his past, his future. At the same time, he’s very dedicated to his team, his missions, his country, and his love. These apparent conflicts make Tox a very real and very interesting character, although, I must admit, the frequent mention of his dark past gets irritating. Hearing the “if they knew what I’ve done, they wouldn’t love/respect/follow me” refrain repeated gets old fast.

This time Tox and his team are tasked with finding and bringing in or down a former teammate of Tox’s, Alec King. Alec has apparently gone rogue and must be stopped. Crown of Souls also examines the ever deepening relationship of Tox and Haven Linwood. We wonder throughout the book if they’ll ever rid themselves of their insecurities and the past. Haven is an analysist assigned to the team, Tox’s childhood friend now grown up, and the sister of the woman Tox accidentally killed on a mission.

While Tox and Haven are trying to figure out their relationship, they’re also on a mission to find Alec King and to destroy the artifact that’s driving him crazy. Interwoven between the scenes of their search is the story of Thefarie, a Knight Templar who searched for the artifact in the 1100s. There is an element of the supernatural in the character of Ti Tzzaddik, who appears at the most opportune times seemingly out of nowhere.

My description may sound crazy, but I’ve grown fond of the characters in this series. The book is long, 470 pages, but I read the novel pretty much straight through. Ronie has another great series going–Crown of Souls won’t be the last book with this crew. Four stars.

Conspiracy of SilenceRonie Kendig is an award-winning, prolific author who writes military-themed novels. She’s written over a dozen books containing the stories special forces heroes, military working dogs, and now the Tox Files. She and her husband, Brian, are in the process of moving to New York. We can anticipate many more exciting books-especially as Ronie moves more to the supernatural.

Bethany Books gave me a copy of Crown of Souls, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.