The Masterpiece – Book Review

My daughter gave this book to me as a Mother’s Day present. She does know her mother well. Over the years I have read many of Francine Rivers books both fiction and non-fiction. Her newest book, The Masterpiece, is one of the most riveting books I have ever read. Two people who seem so different on the surface, yet have much more in common than they ever thought possible, come together in this book to discover what God has in store for their lives. Each has their own dark past. One hopes for a better future, while the other has given up believing that hope is possible despite a hunger that can’t be denied.

Roman Velasco, a well-known artist, formerly a teen gang tagger, has a near-death experience while on a road trip with his personal assistant Grace Moore. Although he’s only in his mid-30’s he has a sudden heart attack on a restaurant sidewalk. While others work to bring him back to life, he experiences the terrifying grasp of demons pulling him down to the depths of hell. After just discussing Jesus Christ with Grace, Roman screams for him to save him. The next thing he experiences is seeing a bright light and feeling Jesus take his wrist and pull him to safety while telling the demons to release him.

That scene alone overwhelmed me because many years ago, after escaping an abusive marriage and finally finding healing in Jesus Christ, I asked God to show me what he did in me so that I could help someone else. God gave me three visions. One of those visions was a similar, though not exact, scene that Rivers describes with Roman. Even now, more than twenty years later, I can still hear the demons taunting me. I can still feel the heat from their grasping fingers trying to pull me off that sharp cliff. I can still remember trying to hang on by my fingernails feeling that I was lost. I can also remember Jesus Christ coming to my rescue and demanding that the demons release me because I was his child.

If you have ever doubted that God is real. If you have ever wondered if Jesus will really save you. Whether you are new to the faith or have never had the gospel shared with you, you have to read this book. Rivers writes stories that are realistic, putting her readers in the midst of the story. I promise that once you start this book you won’t be able to put it down until you reach the end. Even though it’s more than 400 pages, I finished it in two nights of reading. Get your copy as soon as possible.

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The Theory of Happily Ever After

I almost didn’t finish this book. I order a lot of books so I couldn’t remember what this was when I first received it. I thought it might be a nonfiction book on marriage. I want to thank the publisher Revell for providing me with a copy of this book so that I can write an honest review. When I read the first few chapters, all I saw was a book that was silly and frivolous. But, I persevered and discovered that this was a novel, a comedic novel on romance. As I read through it I realized that the author had written a somewhat bizarre novel that was more of a caricature of people going through the trials and tribulations of romantic encounters. I can’t imagine anyone that I know going through these experiences. I don’t want to give a spoiler of the actual events, but let’s just say that some of the experiences in this book are at the extremes of the imagination. It is a well-written book, but the comedy is what I would describe as “zany”, which is I’m certain was the author’s intent given the cover art and her other books. Kristen Billerbeck writes zany well, even if this type of story is not exactly my cup of tea.

Blind Betrayal Book Review

Blind Betrayal is the newest book in Nancy Mehl’s  “Defenders of Justice series”. Her lead characters are U.S. Marshals working to get a witness to Washington to testify on an important case. Although the circumstances are somewhat expected, being followed by hired hit men, racing against time, losing contact with their headquarters, etc., the story of how they overcome these challenges is not boring. Join Marshals Casey and E.J. as they as they learn to trust each other again and find a way to complete their mission before it’s too late.