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Book Review Corner

by Andreas Symphony

Welcome to book reviews written in my corner of the world. Since I have eclectic tastes in literature, you will find the variety and diversity of the books I review to be vast. I am a lover of Christian and inspirational romance, women’s literature, political and action thrillers, mysteries, historical fiction, memoirs and the occasional paranormal and fantasy without witches or vampires.

In addition to my reviews I will give you a few recommendations that I have would give thumbs ups to. I am an avid reader, writer and lover of the written word. My opinion is just that, my opinion. I do accept free books in exchange for good reviews. I don’t give five stars lightly nor do I concede to popularity contests. I like to mix things up a little, so the books I review are not going to always be new releases. I hope you see something that piques your interest but even more, that you enjoy on your own. Now on to the reviews.


This Christian marriage book by Dr. Brenda Harper is full of truths for those that wish to marry and are married. It focuses on the sanctity of marriage and sacredness of the vows made to one another. There are many helpful pieces of advice.

Book’s Summary

In modern times, the phrase "till death do us part" transcends its religious origins and is now often included in wedding vows as a customary expression of commitment and endurance in marriages. Many couples, regardless of their religious beliefs or practices, choose to include this phrase in their wedding ceremonies as a symbol of their intent to maintain a lifelong commitment to one another.
The inclusion of this phrase can also serve as a reminder of the seriousness, and depth, of the commitment being made; even when divorce is legally recognized as an option.
It is also important to note that though the inclusion of the phrase "till death do us part" in wedding ceremonies does not necessarily reflect a strict adherence to the religious beliefs or doctrines associated with it, it does, however, represent a deeper commitment/dedication to the lifelong union between two individuals. The biblical principle of "until death do us part" emphasizes the solemnity and permanence of the marital bond.

Couples may express their intention to remain faithful and committed to one another throughout their lives, regardless of the challenges and obstacles they may face. The phrase signifies a promise to uphold the marriage covenant until death separates them. It reflects the understanding that marriage is a sacred and enduring bond that requires love, sacrifice, and ongoing dedication.

My Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

"God Ordains Marriages" by Dr. Brenda Harper is a Christian nonfiction book that explores the sacred and enduring nature of marriage. In a world where the sanctity of marriage can sometimes be overlooked, Dr. Harper's book reinforces the importance of the commitment made in the marriage vows, "till death do us part."
The book emphasizes the significance of communication, a key element in any successful marriage. Dr. Harper explores the art of effective communication within the context of a Christian marriage, highlighting its role in fostering a healthy and enduring relationship. She doesn't shy away from the challenges and obstacles that couples may encounter but instead offers insight into the sacrifices and dedication required to overcome them.
In a world where the institution of marriage can be challenged by various external factors, "God Ordains Marriages" serves as a valuable resource for those seeking to understand and live out the profound commitment made in their wedding vows. Dr. Brenda Harper's book is a testament to the enduring power of faith in building and maintaining a healthy and lasting marital relationship.
I love the glimpses of her relationship with her husband throughout this book. It really solidifies the fact that she is not only used by God to guide couples through or on their way to marriage, she follows what she shares. Really good book.

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The first book I’d like to share with you is a mixed genre novel, titled “The Lonely Cowboy” written by Robert K. Swisher, Jr. It is a historical western about the life of an award winning saddle bronc rider and though it is slated as fiction there are portions of non-fiction interwoven seamlessly into the story.

Book’s Summary

At one time, Ben sharps was the world's best saddle bronc rider. He is now a down and out saddle bum. Ben, accompanied by the ghost of his beloved sister who died in a vain attempt to fly, passionately tells his life story to his beloved horse while he rides aimlessly through a remote and beautiful ranch in New Mexico looking for the perfect tree to hang himself. Ben lays bare his deepest secrets, his loves, his accomplishments, his demons, his greatest sadness, and his desperate search for meaning in the no-man's land that connects love and war.

My Review

4.5 Stars out of 5

Ben Sharp was once the world’s best saddle bronc rider. Ben Sharp outlived the accolades, cheers, fan fair and circuit only to find himself at the end of his days, looking for the end of a rope on a horse that had a habit of steering himself.

The Lonely Cowboy takes you through time, relationships, and places that make you happy that emotions can be shared because without them the experience would be incomplete.
Robert Swisher has a wonderful talent of sending you soaring and plummeting in the story of this cowboy's journey that lasted much longer than most people's lifetimes.
Ben Sharp's life on the very surface seems to be what dreams are made of, but even after the toiling is done and the dues are paid, the price for living out those dreams eight to ten seconds at a time wear on even the most seasoned of bronc riders. His life is displayed through unapologetic memories mixed with current thoughts as he ambles through a land that goes from familiar to trails no longer traveled on the back of his best friend Meathead.

This author weaves the past and present and fact and fiction, together in such a way, you feel as though a piece of your soul lived the story.
I enjoyed the highs as well as the lows and everything in between because of this very real portrayal of life through the eyes of someone I will never meet but got to know in the pages of this book.

There was no real lag time in this story. It went along at a smooth pace that made you feel like you were moseying through time at your leisure. I recommend this book if you are interested in witnessing the world of bronc riding, and the affects of war from the eyes of person who is of the age to look back on almost all of his life.

“The Lonely Cowboy” by Robert K. Swisher can be found on online bookstores in both print and digital version.


Christian Biography

God Shots.jpg

 A moving autobiography by Roland Bynum detailing his life from foster care to becoming a noted radio personality


This is a biography of a foster youth who discovers his family twenty six years after being placed into a foster care facility in Detroit, Michigan. His journey takes him from obscurity to being one of America's top radio personalities. On his journey he meets Malcom X, and marches with Martin Luther King jr. In addition, he also become friends with James Brown, the Temptations, Bobby Womack, Solomon Burke, and so many others in the entertainment industry. When he finds his family, he discovers that Smokey Robinson is his uncle. But, more importantly, he remains humble, and discovers God.


This is Roland Bynum's first book. He is a radio personality on KJLH, a Stevie Wonder owned station in Los Angeles, and a retired school teacher from the Pasadena Unified School District. He is the father of 13 children. He gas served the greater Los Angeles area for more than fifty years.


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If you are into thrillers count yourself fortunate. Karen Slaughter has a new medical thriller out titled “The Silent Wife: A Novel (Will Trent)” It is receiving wave reviews from her fans and editorial reviewers alike.

While investigating the killing of a prisoner during a riot inside a state penitentiary, GBI investigator Will Trent is confronted by one of the inmates who claims that he is innocent of a brutal attack for which he has always been the prime suspect. The man insists that he was framed by a corrupt law enforcement team led by Jeffrey Tolliver and that the real culprit is still out there—a serial killer who has systematically been preying on women across the state for years. If Will reopens the investigation and implicates the dead police officer with a hero’s reputation of wrongdoing, the opportunistic convict is willing to provide the information GBI needs about the riot murder.

But Will can’t crack either mystery without the help of the one person he doesn’t want involved: his girlfriend and Jeffrey Tolliver’s widow, medical examiner Sara Linton.

If you are not familiar with Karen Slaughter I would start with her first book in this series, “Triptych: A Novel” It is a psychological thriller with a multilayered story following and trying to apprehend a serial killer. From Atlanta’s wealthiest suburbs to its stark inner-city housing projects, the killer has crossed the boundaries of wealth and race.

If you decide to read either one of these books, give yourself some time because you will be hooked by their fast paced storylines and trying to talk yourself in to reading “Just one more chapter” even as the early rays of dawn light the sky.

Christian Women's Fiction


This is the first book in the Promises to Zion series, a Christian womens fiction saga-like series surrounding four strangers whose lives merge after one accident begins to unpeel the layers of a decades long secret that connects them all.

Summary of My Beauty For Your Ashes

Four lives connected by one secret.

Paige spent nearly a decade working through then overcoming the traumas of her childhood. Now, as a beloved elder in her church who values her relationship with God above all else, she has learned to love herself and looks forward to what life has in store for her.

Still, she finds herself unprepared for the challenge she's faced with when a door from her past is flung open, spilling secrets even she was unaware of.

Elder Brandon Tatum is looking forward to his new ministerial career in the City of Angels. The last thing he has time for is dealing with his feelings when it comes to stubborn, golden-eyed beauties who haunt his dreams.

A secret uncovered by a near fatal accident.

Widower Mason Jenson’s top priority is his daughter, Vivian. When a near-fatal accident jeopardizes her livelihood, his search for a living donor brings him face to face with a beautiful, golden-eyed woman who looks oddly familiar.

Vivian’s grandmother, Victoria Branchett, would also do anything to ensure the health of her granddaughter, Vivian. Anything except leave her in the hands of the man she believes is to blame for her daughter’s death.

As the years of secrets binding these four together begin to unravel, will they overcome their anger and prejudices to find the peace and love they have long desired?

This is a gripping and thought provoking, suspenseful Holy Spirit filled story will have you laughing, crying and maybe even praying for these characters.


If you are looking for something less heart tripping and more soul stirring, I recommend “The Hideaway” by Lauren K. Denton. This Christian Women’s fiction romance will weave it’s story through your emotions and yank – but softly. “The Hideaway” has remained high on the ratings since its debut in 2017, but with Lauren’s recent release of “The Summer House” in June of this year, it has climbed back up to the double digits.

Partial Summary of The Hideaway

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans, but learns that disconnecting herself from her past won’t be so easy. After awhile she isn’t so sure she wants to.

With 4,723 reviews and ratings averaging 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon alone, you know I can’t be alone in believing this book is worth the time it takes to experience the complex characters, beautifully detailed surrounding and compelling story, even if you see the ending before you get there. It is the perfect book to get lost in.

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