Category Archives: Book Reviews

Baseball Faith by Rob Maaddi

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Baseball Faith by Rob Maaddi Baseball Faith: 52 MLB Stars Reflect on Their Faith by Rob Maaddi
Published by Shiloh Run Press on March 1, 2017
Source: Publisher
Genres: Devotional, Christian Life
Pages: 224
Format: Paperback
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Winning the World Series may be the ultimate prize for most MLB players, but a relationship with Jesus Christ is No. 1 for many diamond stars, including:
Hall of Famer John Smoltz
Three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw
MVP Albert Pujols
All-Star Mariano Rivera
And dozens more.

Baseball Faith will inspire you in your faith journey as 52 MLB players--past and present--share their stories and how they are chasing the success that only comes from being God's man and following His plan. These men are committed to living their lives with eternity in mind. Empowered by God, they are looking beyond the competition to a larger goal: following God's game plan for their lives as team players, as husbands, fathers, sons, and then using their influence to point others toward Him.

Baseball season is just around the bend, and I’m a baseball fan, as is my husband, so Baseball Faith grabbed my attention. It’s a good book, a nice devotional for baseball fans, especially maybe teenage boys who are into the sport.

The setup is well done. Each player’s piece starts with a scripture quote and is followed by the player’s thoughts on why that scripture is important to him or about how faith and the Bible are important in his life. Each devotion can be read in less than 2 minutes. The following two pages contain some of the player’s stats and an interesting fact, like “McCutchen cut his dreadlocks before the 2015 season, and proceeds from the sale of his hair benefited Pirates Charities.” Yeah, we’re Pirates fans around here. And have been for ages, even when we were absolutely terrible. I was glad to see our McCutchen in the book.

The devotions are short and simple. I like that many of the players mention the importance of Bible study groups, attending church, and reading the Bible. Some talk about God always being with them, even when the game is tough, and of being Him being more important than baseball. Some talk about how being a baseball player makes being a good role model even more important. Wilson Ramos (Tampa Bay Rays) talks about the verse that gave him strength when he was kidnapped in Venezuela. Each has his own story, his own background, and each is inspiring.

Definitely a good read for the baseball fan in your life. The devotions are topics that are easy to relate to and written so that everyone can understand. They don’t use obscure terms or phrases that only church-goers would understand. It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s nice to see these people who we usually only see on tv sharing their faith.

About Rob Maaddi

Rob Maaddi has been a Philadelphia sports writer for The Associated Press since 2000. He’s covered the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, and numerous major sporting events throughout his career. Rob has co-authored three children’s sports books and has written a biography on Mike Schmidt. A devoted Christian, Rob strives every day to make a difference and be a blessing. Rob is a missionary athlete with the Deacons Prison Ministry softball team. He visits inmates, shares his testimony, and preaches about Jesus Christ.
Rob, his wife, Remy, and their twin girls, Alexia and Melina, reside in South Jersey.

A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire

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A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire
Series: Mick and Casey McKee
Published by the author on August 26, 2013
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Western, Short Story
Pages: 32
Format: eBook
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Young gunslinger detectives, Mick and Casey McKee, are eager to hear some opera singing. But when somebody takes a shot at some visiting divas, the concert is off. The ladies won't sing until Mick and Casey solve a case of blackmail and murder.

So I love Mick and Casey McKee. I wish there were more stories in the series. They are a gunslingers in the old west, a young married couple. And I do mean young. She’s maybe 17. He’s the talker, she’s the shooter and they make a great pair. This time around, the couple want to see singing at the local opera house. There’s a cute story why, involving Casey’s dad. Anyway, with these two nothing is ever simple. Just as they walk in to see who is warming up, there’s a shot, apparently aimed at one of the women on stage. If the ladies are going to feel safe enough to perform, Mick and Casey need to figure what’s going on and stop it.

The mystery was good, for a short story. The actual shooter’s identity is quickly established, but who hired him and why is the question. There are a couple clues and a nice, small list of suspects.

Like I said, I really enjoy the McKees. You get a good feeling for their relationship here. It’s not quite as good as the only full-length mystery in the series, Have Gun, Will Play, but it’s definitely worth the quick read.

Motion for Murder by Kelly Rey

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Motion for Murder by Kelly Rey Motion for Murder by Kelly Rey
Narrator: Lisa Kelly
Series: Jamie Winters #1
Published by Gemma Halliday Publishing on April 20, 2016
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery
Length: 7 hrs 26 mins
Format: Audiobook
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Jamie Winter loathes her job as a secretary in the sleaziest law firm in New Jersey. Trouble is, someone else loathes the whole firm - enough to kill one of the partners, the two-timing, 11-fingered king of lowbrow television commercial spots, Dougie Digits.

Now, Jamie is being strong-armed into investigating by Dougie's frosty widow, Hilary. The suspect list is long, including the firm's bookish paralegal, embezzling bookkeeper, ambitious associate, and resentful senior partners. Add to that list a mélange of oddball clients with grudges of their own, and Jamie has her work cut out for her. With assists from her studly landlord and husband-hungry sister, Jamie uncovers enough dirt on her coworkers to launch a tabloid in her hunt to find the killer before he or she strikes again!

Motion for Murder is a cute, light mystery. Jamie has a lousy job, but gets even worse when one of the partners in the law firm she works at is killed. One of her co-workers is probably the killer, the question is who?

I like Jamie. She’s funny, but she lets people take advantage of her. The reason for her investigating is a bit weak, though. Hilary, the widow, who she doesn’t like, has insisted that she look into one of her co-workers and her natural curiosity and/or worry that she might be next, keeps her digging around. I will say the killer’s identity caught me totally off-guard. It made sense, just wasn’t someone who was on my radar at all.

The secondary characters are a mixed bag. I like Curtis, Jamie’s landlord and love interest. He’s a good guy, but he rides the line between trying to keep Jamie safe and semi-encouraging her to investigate, which is a little odd. Her sister, Sherri, is TOO desperate for a husband. The other women who work at the firm are an odd bunch, I’m not sure which, if any, I was supposed to like.

I listened to the audio. While the narration was good, kept the story light and fit with Jamie’s character well, the quality was a little off. It was kind of like the narrator was on a speaker phone, if that makes sense. Once I got used to it, it wasn’t a problem.

Oh – and I got tired of hearing how tiny Jamie is and how much she eats.

This was a fun start to a series, but maybe I should pick up #2 as an ebook and not on audio.

About Kelly Rey

From her first discovery of Nancy Drew, Kelly has had a lifelong love for mystery and tales of things that go bump in the night, especially those with a twist of humor. Through many years of working in the court reporting and closed captioning fields, writing has remained a constant. If she’s not in front of a keyboard, she can be found reading, working out or avoiding housework. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and lives in the Northeast with her husband and a menagerie of very spoiled pets.

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