Book Review: Maximus by Richard L. Black

securedownloadTITLE: Maximus

AUTHOR: Richard L. Black

Page Count: 464 pages
Genre: Fiction / Christian / Historical
Format: Hardcover

RELEASE DATE: March 3, 2015


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?

 My Review

I received an Advance Reading Copy of this book for an honest review.

Maximus is about two Roman centurions who go undercover as Jews so that they can get close enough to Jesus to find out if he’s a threat to the Roman Empire. They’re not sure what to expect, but they find a culture that they could be happy to stay in and they realize that Jesus is not a threat to the Roman Empire and that he could be so much more.

When I read the description of Maximus, I was excited to read it. I like to read novels based on the Bible. It was obvious that Richard L. Black did a lot of research for this book and it was full of history. I was disappointed that there wasn’t more about Jesus in the person. Most of the time it just mentioned that he’d preached somewhere or was staying in someone’s house.

I had difficulty connecting with the characters. The potential was there, but for some reason I just didn’t connect. I couldn’t even get excited about the romances, which were sweet, but there wasn’t enough interaction between the people to really get to know what was going on between them.

I think anyone interested in historical Christian fiction would like this book because there is a lot of historical information within the pages.

About the Author

1213706Richard L. Black is a writer with a background in the software industry who has worked closely with Department of Defense and intelligence community, an experience which informs his writing style which shows a flair for undercover mystery and intrigue. A native of San Diego, he now lives with his family in the Southwest and is an avid car enthusiast and guitar player. This is his debut novel.


Book Review: The Shift by M. Ann Ricks

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3-11-2014 6-37-58 PMTitle: The Shift

Author: M. Ann Ricks

Publication Date: December 9, 2013


There is a sense of urgency in the atmosphere as God is transitioning what the world has deemed impossible and unbelievable into the possible and the believable. Don’t be alarmed by the “sudden” moves of God.

Pastor Douglass and his family have been positioned for such a move but because of the dense fog of deception that seems to surround them, some in the Douglass family have created their own beliefs, fabricating their own sense of self; negating the truth, God’s truth, even when truth is staring them in the face.  They, like many, are living lives devoid of the knowledge of who they really are and robbing themselves and those they love of their true identity and freedom. Deeply embedded lies from enemy have blinded eyes, impaired hearing and hardened hearts, and Angels from the army of God have been deployed. The assignment: the execution of God’s divine design.  Dreams, supernatural revelation and actual attacks from man’s ultimate foe will expose all and confirm God’s plan for Xion, Veronica, Zeborah, Bo and Pastor Douglas. Can they handle the truth and surrender? Will the infrastructure of unbelief crumble?  The lives of the Douglass family will never be the same and neither will you, because of THE SHIFT !


I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

The Shift is a well written novel that would appeal to the specific audience of conservative Christians. Some readers might take offense to some of the content. For example, a woman who is a lesbian accepts Jesus as her Savior and now she won’t live that sinful way any more. As her mother put it, “…Your belief that you can do all things; like really love a man the way a woman should love a man, mind, body and soul after being a lesbian for most of your adult life is implausible but simply put, daughter, you relinquished that sin nature when he bid you to come and you repented and accepted him…”

M. Ann Ricks’ style of writing is easy to read for the most part. There was a lot of jumping around at times between demons, angels, and people, which was a little confusing at the beginning, but as the book progressed I got used to it.

The characters were well developed. By the end of the story it was easy to see why they turned out the way they did but, after all they’d been through, it still had a “feel good” ending.

If you enjoy conservative Christian fiction and you like a lot of quotes from the Bible in the fiction you read, then you will like The Shift.

Purchase on Amazon.

About the Author:

3-11-2014 6-38-23 PMM. Ann Ricks, (Melissa Ann), is a Christian Fiction novelist residing in Bear, Delaware with her excellent husband and two awesome sons. She is a graduate of Rider University and formerly a national accounts insurance executive. Using Jesus Christ as her example,  as He shared many parables, she creates stories with fictional characters that contend with real life issues and inserts the Word of God to communicate the genuine and unfailing love of God while making it abundantly clear that Jesus is the ONLY answer.  M. Ann is determined to tell the world how wonderfully awesome Jesus Christ is and can be in our lives if we just allow Him to be.   She is honored to be used by God to spread His message with the stories she creates with the leading of the Holy Spirit, knowing that He will provide her with stories and the insight that will lift up the name of Jesus as He promised that if He is lifted up, He will draw all men to Him. She is the author Awesome Wonder: The Gift of Remembrance, The Son and THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME.

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