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Blog Tour - Maximus

About the book: Maximus has never known peace. In command of one of Rome's finest legions, he and his closest friend, Androcles, have fought side by side to uphold the glory of the empire.

But at the end of a long and bloody campaign, Maximus begins to question his purpose, his past, and the gods he has been taught to believe in.

When word reaches Rome of a man named Jesus who is causing a stir in faraway Judaea, Maximus and Androcles are sent, disguised as Jews, to ascertain the truth of the situation: Is this Jesus merely a radical preacher, or is he instigating a revolution against Rome?

As Maximus immerses himself in Jewish culture, he must confront questions that could change his life: Is it possible this carpenter from Nazareth is the Son of God? Is it possible for a man of war to live a life of peace?

"This is a powerful novel on a grand scale with some of the great Biblical epics of the past. Sweeping motivations and grueling battles, both emotional and physical, fill its pages. It brings into focus the political background surrounding the life of Jesus Christ and introduces the moral dilemma facing those who choose to follow Him."

"Though nothing in this story identifies it as specifically LDS, it follows in well-researched detail the significant events of the last few months before the crucifixion as viewed by humble peasants and powerful leaders. Those studying the New Testament as the Sunday School course of study this year will benefit greatly from reading Maximus. Not only is it a marvelous glimpse of history’s most significant event, but it is a rich and satisfying adventure filled with intrigue and a touch of romance." -Jennie Hansen, Meridian Magazine

My review: I had a bit of a hard time getting into this story at the very beginning, but once I was able to I really loved it. Maximus is a truly complex character. He's a Roman soldier, but he's having a hard time believing all of the traditions and especially the Gods of the Romans. He and his best friend/adopted brother Androcles are asked to go to Jerusalem and discover whether this man that is stirring up the Jewish Sanhedrin is a cause for concern for Rome. They are asked to go as spies, making themselves to look and act as the Jews do. They had planned for this part to be a bit uncomfortable, as Jewish and Roman customs were completely different. They didn't plan for both men to fall in love with Jewish life and most especially not to have their whole lives to change.

This book is full of great characters, and the plot is great as well. It kept my interest and left me wondering about the rest of Maximus' life after he has finished his task for Rome. I didn't feel that the ending really ended a whole lot, for me it left a lot of unanswered question about the lives of the fictional characters. It left me hoping for another volume explaining what happened to them. I enjoyed "seeing" the last week of Jesus' life through Maximus' eyes, it really helped me to visualize the things that the scriptures talk about. This is one book that you won't want to miss!

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: Richard L. Black is a family man and a devout follower of Jesus Christ. He attended California State University, Long Beach, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in finance and discovered his passion for writing. His professional background ranges from his work as an institutional stock trader to his work with a major software corporation closely associated with the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. Richard grew up in San Diego, California. He and his wife of thirty-nine years, Marian Anne Johnsen Black, are the parents of eight children and grandparents of three. Richard enjoys traveling, swimming in the ocean, playing the guitar, and working on cars with his four sons.

Purchase Link: Amazon

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Track List
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Deseret Bookshelf Plus Review

I'm super excited to be able to tell you about Deseret Bookshelf's newest feature, Plus. I actually first heard about plus coming six months ago at Deseret Book's ladies night. I thought it sounded pretty great and now that I've tried it, I think it's even better than it sounded. It's basically a subscription that you add on top of the Deseret Bookshelf App. If you have Deseret Book's Platinum membership, you pay only $6.99 a month or $69 a year. If you don't it's $9.99 a month or $99 a year. Either way that's a really good deal for what you are going to be getting.

Here's the deal. With plus, you get to listen to all of their audiobooks...for FREE! Something I noticed on this is that you get to listen to even the newest books that are just barely in the store for FREE. I love this! Who has the time to run to the store to grab the book the very day it comes out? Not me, I'm too busy chasing kids around to do that!

Not to mention - have you…

Kayaks and Kisses

About the book: Brynn Caley is about to start her dream career running an outdoor sporting goods store when an out-of-town business guru makes his own offer on the property. Coerced into forming a temporary partnership, Brynn, with her ski experience, finds she has to work with fishing expert Gage to run the year-round shop. 

Through a series of innocent misconceptions and a few blatant lies, Brynn doesn’t realize that the handsome single guy on the construction crew is her new partner, and he doesn’t want to set her straight until he can gain her favor. She, on the other hand, would do anything not to work with the stuffy businessman she’s only met through email. 

Inspired by the movies You’ve Got Mail and The Shop around the Corner, Kayaks & Kisses is a heart-warming tale of finding love in autumn leaves, outdoor activities, and new friendships.

My review: This book was so fun! I loved that it's loosely based on one of my very favorite movies, You've Got Mail. There was at …