Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel

This novel is by the same author who wrote Elisha's Bones which I loved. So I settled into this one fully expecting something, if not like it, at least as well defined. It is not.

I had to let this one sit for a couple of days before I could write this review. This is a psychological thriller and frankly, it is not a light read. In some ways that is a good thing, in other's not so good because it gets deeply reflective so that you are not sure what the story is about or where it is going.

There are a lot of readers who like that kind of suspense in a novel. I prefer storyline suspense. Keeping the reader in suspense while all the characters know what's going on is not a tactic that I have a lot of patience with. Once I found out what CJ Baxter's brother was capable of, I could finally settle into the read because I knew where it was going. You may not have that problem at all. 

We get a clue when brother Graham sucker punches CJ during a little basketball one-on-one at Grandfather Sal's funeral. The little blurb that shares a CJ memory of a so-called hunting accident happens many pages later. This is when the story should take off like a rocket blast, but it doesn't. We must meander around reminiscing about the younger years of CJ, meet his mom and find out how rotten his dad was to her and her revenge. Which all ties together when we find out what really happened long ago and why CJ just can't seem to connect with Dad and Brother Graham. 

The climax is the best part of the story (isn't that the way it is supposed to be?) but it isn't just one eye-popping moment. We've got several in a row which keeps the pages turning and the midnight oil burning. It's a keeper.

Don Hoesel is a Web site designer for a Medicare carrier in Nashville, TN. He has a BA in Mass Communication from Taylor University and has published short fiction inRelief Journal. He lives in Spring Hill, Tennessee, with his wife and two children.Elisha's Bones is his first novel.

Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate

I am not sure when I was so enchanted by a book, except last year there was one called According To Their Deeds, which I raved about. Well, this one is just as rave-worthy and is definitely a keeper! I give it five stars and I rarely do that, ever.

This story spoke to me on so many different levels. If you have never lived through a hurricane, then you won't identify as well with the first part of this book. Lisa Wingate captured the true essence of all hurricane die-hards. If we live "far enough" from the coast we never think it will be "that bad". Category 1 is "Just a little rain", Category 2 is "Just a little blow and some rain". We actually pick up our skirts when it come to Category 3-5. Wingate pegged it though.

There is only one draw back with this book. If an author wants to capture not just the flavor, but the blood of a people, then the author must live with them for a little while. Wingate didn't quite get the blood of the Creole or Cajun people that Kai and Donetta ride the bus with. I lived in Cajun Country for 26 years and it wasn't exactly on the nose, but I seriously doubt anyone who does not live in South Louisiana would notice.

Daily, Texas has some truly wonderful characters. They are believable and so earthy that they smell as fragrant as a spring rain. Donetta Bradford has a glorious sense of humor and Kai learns a lot from her. This story is better than warm sweet rolls and coffee. I think it is the best one yet!

There are just a very elite few authors who you can trust enough to buy a book just because their name is on the book. One day I'll write a post on this club. For now, rest assured, Wingate has graduated to the "Buy it because her name is on it" group. You won't ever be disappointed.

Lisa Wingate is a popular inspirational speaker, magazine columnist, and national bestselling author of several books, includingTending RosesA Month of Summer, and The Summer Kitchen. Lisa and her family live in central Texas. Visit

Escaping the Cauldron by Kristine McGuire

The last half of this book is much better than the first because there are some extremely wonderful personal experiences and insights  which would help anyone who is mistakenly taking the same path Kristine McGuire took. 

I think this could have been a much more powerful read if McGuire had delved more into her thought processes when she made the decision to dabble in the occult, and then she fell head over heels into being a medium. It would have been  so very beneficial to others who may be tempted in doing the same thing… OR who are in the middle of the same thing. ALSO… walking readers through the reasons she felt compelled to turn her  back on God and embrace the “spirit guides” would help people to grasp the lesson driven home here,  and help them to identify their own thought processes. It was a deliberate decision on her part, but I know beyond any shadow of doubt that God never turned His back on her! I know there was a God-sized hole in her soul that she was trying desperately to fill. She was saved but not satisfied. Too many Christians today think that once saved, always satisfied, and that just isn't so. This book proves the point.

I see a tremendous potential for God to reach thousands of people and draw them back to His side away from the dark abyss… not that they will lose their salvation, but they certainly can be taken home early.

I also believe there is a huge potential to give hope to some Christians who have dabbled in Wicca and who have invited demons into their homes to oppress and to destroy, by McGuire's  assurances that while she may have gone down a dark path for a season, God never, ever let go of her. That is shining a light on Satan’s lies that people lose their salvation and can never hope for God to forgive them for turning their backs on Him.

While this is good, it could be gripping and life changing. While trying to balance on the fence between the impersonal and personal, she did not give the punch that it could have had.

There are also several grammatical mistakes and typos. They are not necessarily storyline stopping, but are a little distracting.

Please understand that I believe Christians need to read this book. I think that Christians today are filled with warm fuzzies and have this adroitness to either ignore there is a Devil or to completely disbelieve our battle is not with flesh and blood but against the dark principalities. I'm not sure when this will hit the book shelves, but be watching for it. It is already available for purchase at: Kristine McGuire's website It would be an excellent study group book.

Beguiled by Deeanne Gist and J. Mark Bertrand

Deeanne Gist has done it again! Her collaboration with J. Mark Bertrand produced an excellent read. It is definitely worth the money.

In her first works, there were one or two stumbles with sentence structures, but this has proven that Gist is an excellent author and has lengthened her stride into a real professional.

We have a young girl, Rylee Monroe, who's the sole support for her Noni (grandmother), who is involved with a Robin Hood bandit only by association. The bandit seems to rob only her clients or past clients... She's a dog walker and cat feeder, so I guess it would be the clients' owners that are robbed.

Rylee meets the local newspaper reporter and together they try to unmask the cat burgler who only steals sentimental things and leaves more valuable items behind, then gives these items to non-profits with a note instructing them to sell the item and use the proceeds.

Along with the protag, Rylee and the co-protag, Logan the newspaper man, we have an Adonis who is a corporate lawyer and a womanizer, a creepy criminal who has supposedly gone straight, a gardener with a shady past, a newspaper boss who seems a bit unreasonable and cranky, and a bunch of rich people who allow Rylee to breeze in and out of their homes and the love of their pets. It all mixes very well. Add a dash of menace and a pinch of tension-filled darkness (Rylee must walk dogs at night, too), and this recipe bakes into a satisfying fare.

Deeanne Gist has a background in education and journalism. Her credits include People, Parents, Parenting, Family Fun, and theHouston Chronicle and she has a degree from Texas A&M. Dee is the author of five previous bestselling novels including A Bride in the Bargain and lives in Houston, Texas. Visit Deeanne's Web site
J. Mark Bertrand has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston. After one hurricane too many, he left Houston and relocated with his wife Laurie to the plains of South Dakota. For more information, visit 
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