Book Review: Rough Way to the High Way by Kelly Mack McCoy

Pastor turned long-haul trucker, Mack, struggles with grief and perceived failures as a minister while he is confronted with a mysterious hitchhiker, smugglers, and a determined killer. After an unbearable tragedy strikes his life, he sells everything he owns and buys a new Peterbilt truck, returning to the trade he learned decades earlier.

Hoping for some windshield therapy and peace of mind behind the wheel of his new rig, Mack gets neither after God nudges him to pick up a hitchhiker near the Jordan State Prison outside Mack’s childhood home of Pampa, Texas.

When his world is ripped apart, he seeks to run away from it all, going as far as to cut off communication with all but a handful of people. But he is pursued by God, who will not let him go. Unbeknownst to Mack, God is equipping His servant with tools to handle events his past education and experience could never have prepared him for.

The story unfolds as the hitchhiker enters Mack’s Peterbilt. The man reminds Mack of his father, a hard living, hard drinking oilfield roughneck who died in prison. God begins to do a work in Mack’s heart while Mack seeks to minister to his new passenger. But Mack soon rues the day he let the hitchhiker into his truck.

His old life in ruins now, Mack learns he has angered a new enemy who threatens to destroy his life on the road as well. Mack suspects he is being followed and is in the sights of a killer who plots a revenge no one could have seen coming.

God works His mysterious way in Mack’s life steamroller-style all the way to an ending that will leave the reader thinking about it long after reading The End at the bottom of the last page.

Rough Way to the High Way is the first of a series of novels about Mack’s adventures on the road as lives are transformed through his new ministry. The first life to be transformed as Rough Way to the High Way develops appears to be that of the hitchhiker. But God is working in Mack’s life all along, preparing him for a new ministry that will transform lives across the country.


My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy from the author through Book Sirens. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Mack has decided he needs some “windshield time” after he loses his wife. He’s told it was suicide, but he’s convinced it was murder. The former pastor still lets God guide him through life, which is more than evident throughout his story. No matter what curve ball is thrown at him, Mack is able to handle it through faith and determination. He’s able to analyze events and is often one stop ahead of the authorities. It’s a good thing he’s working with them.

I enjoyed the names that Mack gives various people he comes across: Officer Pipe Cleaner, G-man, Officer Smiley, Mr. Tire Man, etc. I also liked the author’s writing style. It was fast reading with constant action. The one thing that irritated me was that everyone called him “driver.”

If you’re looking for a book that is good for your soul, look no further. This is a good first novel by the author, and I look forward to reading more of his work.

About the Author

Kelly Mack McCoy is a semi (pun intended) retired truck driver turned author. He spent most of his career behind the wheel of an eighteen-wheeler traveling extensively through forty-eight states gathering a lifetime of material for his books. Rough Way to the High Way is his first novel and the first in a series of novels about the adventures of trucker turned pastor turned trucker Mack McClain.

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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