The First Hostage by Joel C. Rosenberg

61sExXpfKPL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_“The president of the United States . . . is missing.”

With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. The leaders of Israel and Palestine are critically injured, Jordan’s king is fighting for his life, and the U.S. president is missing and presumed captured.

As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. And ISIS still has chemical weapons . . .

Struggling to clear his name, Collins and the Secret Service try frantically to locate and rescue the leader of the free world before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

About the Author

Joel C. Rosenberg (www.joelrosenberg.com) is a New York Times best-selling and award-winning author of 10 novels and five non-fiction books, with more than 3 million copies sold.
He is also the Founder and Chairman of The Joshua Fund (www.joshuafund.com), a non-profit educational and charitable organization he and his wife launched in 2006 to mobilize Christians to “bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus, according to Genesis 12:1-3.”
He and his wife have four sons. They made Aliyah in 2014 and now live in Israel and the United States.
Joel’s books, most of which are published in numerous languages, include:
1. The Last Jihad (2002)
2. The Last Days (2003)
3. The Ezekiel Option (2005)
4. The Copper Scroll (2006)
5. Epicenter: Why The Current Rumblings In The Middle East Will Change Your Future (2006, non-fiction; an updated version, Epicenter 2.0, was released in paperback in 2008)
6. Dead Heat (2008)
7. Inside The Revolution: How the Followers of Jihad, Jefferson & Jesus are Battling To Dominate the Middle East and Transform the World (2009, non-fiction)
8. The Twelfth Imam (2010)
9. The Tehran Initiative (2011)
10. Implosion: Can America Recover From Its Economic and Spiritual Challenges In Time? (2012)
11. Israel At War: Inside The Nuclear Showdown With Iran (2012, non-fiction e-book)
12. The Invested Life: Making Disciples of All Nations One Person At A Time, written with Dr. T.E. Koshy (2012)
13. Damascus Countdown (2013)
14. The Auschwitz Escape (2014)
15. The Third Target (January 6, 2015)
He has produced two documentary films, based on two of his non-fiction books, Epicenter and Inside The Revolution.
Several of his books have won national awards.
* The Ezekiel Option was named by the ECPA as a Gold Medallion Award winner as the “Best Novel of 2006.”
* He is a five-time winner of the “Retailers Choice Award” for best books of the year in fiction and non-fiction categories. These awards, presented annually by Christian Retailing magazine, are based on the voting of people working in the Christian publishing and music industries.
* In 2007, Epicenter won in the “Christian Living” category.
* In 2009, Dead Heat won in the “Fiction: Mystery & Suspense” category.
* In 2010, Inside The Revolution won in the “Social Issues” category.
* In 2011, The Twelfth Imam won in the “Fiction: Mystery & Suspense” category.
* In 2012, The Tehran Initiative won in the “Fiction: Mystery & Suspense” category.
* The Auschwitz Escape was a finalist in the 2014 GoodReads “Choice Awards” for “Best Historical Fiction,” finishing in 4th place out of 21 contenders.
Several of his books have reached the top or near the top of national best-seller lists.
* The Last Jihad hit #1 on the Amazon.com best-seller list.
* Dead Heat reached #4 on the New York Times hardcover fiction best-seller list.
* The Third Target hit #4 on the Publishers Weekly hardcover fiction best-seller list, and spent two months as the #1 best-selling work of fiction in the Christian market in North America.
Before becoming an author, Joel previously worked as an aide to several U.S. and Israeli business and political leaders, including Steve Forbes, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky, and then-former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He also worked for The Heritage Foundation, Empower America, Rush Limbaugh, and Americans For Hope, Growth & Opportunity.
He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including ABC’s “Nightline,” CNN, CNN Headline News, C-SPAN, Fox News, MSNBC, The History Channel, the Rush Limbaugh Show, the Sean Hannity Show and the Glenn Beck Show. His articles and columns have been published by National Review, FoxNews.com, World magazine, and the Washington Times, among others. He has been profiled by the New York Times, the Washington Times and the Jerusalem Post.
He has traveled to, done research in, and/or spoken to audiences all across the U.S. and Canada and all over the world, including Israel, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, the UAE, Turkey, Russia, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, India, South Korea, the Philippines, Mexico and Brazil. He has addressed audiences at the White House and the Pentagon, addressed Members of Congress on Capitol Hill, Members of the Canadian Parliament in Ottawa, and addressed a conference held at the European Union Parliament in Brussels.
Joel was born in Syracuse, New York, on April 17, 1967. His father is a first-generation American from a Jewish background whose parents and grandparents emigrated from Russia and settled in Brooklyn, New York. His mother, a Gentile, was raised in Rome, New York. When Joel was two, his parents moved to a community just outside of Rochester, New York. He grew up in the small town of Fairport and graduated from Fairport High School in 1985. He attended Syracuse University (1985-1989) — spending one semester of his junior year studying at Tel Aviv University (August 1987 to January 1988) — and graduated from S.U. with a B.F.A. in Film Drama in May 1989.
Joel married his college sweetheart, Lynn, in June of 1990. Together, they made their home in the Washington, D.C. area for 24 years. They have four sons — Caleb, Jacob, Jonah, and Noah — and moved as a family to Israel in August 2014 after becoming dual U.S.-Israeli citizens.
* For more information on conferences Joel organizes, please visit http://www.epicenterconference.com
* You can find his weblog at https://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/
* You can sign up for his “Flash Traffic” email updates at http://www.joelrosenberg.com/flashtraffic_form.asp
* You can follow him on Twitter @joelcrosenberg

My Thoughts

While visiting my brother and his family in VA, I had the opportunity to stay a few days in the Rosenberg’s beautiful home, which was graciously offered to my brother during his return from his work overseas.  Within the first hour of my visit, I asked to see the office where many of Joel’s fantastic novels had been penned.  It is a simple place with a beautiful view, where the imagination can come to life.

I have read almost all of this author’s novels, works which are often current with the times and the evening news. The plot of The First Hostage kept me turning pages well into the night,  told in the first person by the main character, J.B. Collins.  With extreme detail and insight into ISIS, the battle between time and his government places J.B. in a precarious position as he  searches for the leader of the free world.  You will close this novel anticipating the next riveting story by this authority on the Middle East.

I highly recommend this novel as the next book for you to read.  If you enjoy high paced adventure, suspense fiction, and clean reading, you will enjoy every page of this book by this trusted author and publisher.

Thank you to author Joel C. Rosenberg and Tyndale Fiction for a copy in exchange for this honest review.

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A Thousand Shall Fall by Andrea Boeshaar

51i3gRkt9gL__SX322_BO1,204,203,200_A story of love, hope, and healing set in the midst of the Civil War

Nineteen-year-old Carrie Ann Bell is independent and spirited. The only thing she really fears are the Union soldiers fighting against her Confederate friends. When her youngest sister runs away from home, brave Carrie Ann is determined to find her and bring her back. Disguised as a soldier, she sets off–only to find she’s fallen into the hands of the enemy.

Her childhood friend Confederate Major Joshua Blevins has warned her against these Yankees: they’re all devils, ready to inflict evil on unsuspecting young women. When Colonel Peyton Collier arrests her for her impersonation of an officer, it seems to confirm all her fears.

Soon, though, she finds herself drawn to the handsome, gallant colonel. He rescued her, protected her, and has been every inch the gentleman. Carrie Ann discovers that her foe has become her ally–and more than that, someone she could love. But the arrival of Joshua in the Union camp as a spy will test her loyalties. Will she protect someone who has been like family or be loyal to this stranger to whom she wants to offer her heart? When her world is being torn apart around her, whom should she trust?

Set against the backdrop of the American Civil War, A Thousand Shall Fall is framed around compelling characters and a very romantic setting in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Andrea Boeshaar’s extensive research guarantees historical accuracy and romance genre enthusiasts and Civil War buffs alike will enjoy the Christian perspectives on actual historical events.

About the Author

Andrea Boeshaar has been married for nearly 40 years. She and her husband have 3 wonderful sons, 1 beautiful daughter-in-law, and 5 precious grandchildren.

Andrea’s publishing career began in 1994 when her first novel was released by Heartsong Presents (Barbour Publishing). She went on to write numerous romances for the book club and was voted one of the line’s “Favorite Authors” several times over.

Over the years, Andrea has written books for such publishers as Summerside Press, Guideposts, Charisma House/Realms, and Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Andrea’s latest novel–her 30th book–is titled A Thousand Shall Fall. Set in 1864 during the American Civil War. Through the efforts of the Seymour Agency, it is contracted with Kregel Publications and will be released in late 2015. Most recently Andrea was contracted with the Prism Book Group for a collection of 3 romantic novellas called Seasons of Love.

In 2000, Andrea co-founded ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) with author Lynn Coleman and served on the organization’s advisory board for a number of years. Although no longer in leadership, Andrea maintains her membership in the organization and her local ACFW-WISE chapter.

Andrea worked as a literary agent under the tutelage of Joyce Hart and the Hartline Agency. Andrea saw much success. But in 2007, Andrea realized she was more of a coach than literary agent. She earned her certification in Christian life coaching. Now she is the purveyor of Steeple View Coaching for Writers. Recognizing one of her client’s gifts and potential, Andrea wrote a novella with debut author Christina Miller called “One Way to the Altar” (Convenient Brides Collection). The anthology made its way to #15 on the ECPA’s Bestseller List for August.

For a complete listing of Andrea’s books, and information about her business, log onto: http://www.andreaboeshaar.com

My Thoughts

This was my first opportunity to read this author’s work.  She did not disappoint.  Andrea Boeshaar’s style of writing is descriptive with flowing dialogue which allows the reader to grasp not only the tone, but also the appearance and emotions of her characters.  I look forward to a sequel coming in November of 2016.

The strength and bravery of Carrie Ann Bell stood out above all other themes in this historical novel.  She took the leadership role in the absence of her father, even to hide out, and eventually join what was considered the enemy army. The search for her sister, which drove her to this action, was heart breaking, but the love which grew from this situation was the joyous thread which wove through this plot.

I enjoyed this book for its historical content, setting of which I was familiar, and the vivid description of its characters.  A Thousand Shall Fall will delight the romantic, the historian, and the adventurer in all of us.

Thank you to Andrea Boeshaar and Kregel Publicatons for a copy in exchange for this honest review.