Book Reviews: Split Decisions and Archangel

In this Age of Short, where brevity transcends epics, I recently committed to producing two Amazon reviews a week for novels written by indie authors.

Today, I am submitting reviews for Split Decisions by Carmen DeSousa and Archangel by Michael Vorhis. It’s part of our mission at Caleb and Linda Pirtle to connect readers, writers, and books.


WHEN CARMEN DESOUSA writes romantic suspense, she touches your heart, intrigues your mind, and keeps you entangled with enough twists and turns to take your breath away. Split Decisions is Carmen DeSousa at her best. She knows people, especially their vulnerabilities and the temptations they face. And she understands the kinds of obstacles and barriers that life places in front of them. They are forced to make choices. And when they make the wrong ones, they walk right into the middle of a Carmen DeSousa novel.

Jaynee should be happy. She isn’t. She has the perfect marriage and four wonderful children. But she feels her life is empty. Did she take the wrong road years ago? Did she make the wrong choice? She runs away from everything important to her in order to find out. Never would she ever suspect that her journey to discover what’s missing from her life would lead her into the clutches of a deranged stranger.

Jaynee had been searching for the truth. But where does it lie, and is it part of a nostalgic lie, does she really want to discover the truth? The romance will break your heart, then put it back together again. The mystery keeps a taut plot tightly woven together. And, at times, the suspense is unbearable. Choices may be good. Choices may be bad. But they affect our lives forever. It’s the one truth that simmers in the pages of Split Decisions.


THE CONCEPT OF ARCHANGEL grabbed me early. I was intrigued when I read how author Michael Vorhis came up with his idea for one of the most original novels I have read in a long time. He said: “I realized the tale I was writing paralleled an ancient biblical fable, told for centuries, about a Captain of Heaven’s army who had been shouldered with the task of casting Evil out of Paradise. Such a plot is timeless, and of compelling universal appeal.  I saw it could be grounded in contemporary mortal struggles; it needn’t be precisely about angels, per se.  And such a plot can fall out in many different ways, and I saw that a hero could potentially play a triumphant, or ineffective, or even sacrificial role, on many levels.”

For Michael Vorhis, writing such novel must have been a formidable task. But his story is told with grace and power and stunning literary prose. This is the way novels are meant to be written.

His protagonist, Mick Calahan, is a man tormented by his own past, his own demons, his own fears. He is simply a clergyman. He never envisioned himself as a hero. Such a role is far beyond his imagination. He has simply tried to serve. Now he must stand and defend a world slowly being destroyed by darkness and evil.

His faith has deserted him. But fate intervenes. Destiny awaits him as he struggles on, fearful of his own decisions, afraid that his choices may destroy as many as he saves. And he wonders if he is he capable of saving anyone at all?

Michael Vorhis has crafted a mystery, a thriller, a fantasy, a fable that rivals all of the Biblical epics known to mankind. His is a story that will haunt you long after it ends. It’s far outside the realm of possibility. Then again, it may be happening all around you as you read. There is a world within our world that none of us understand.

Please click the book cover images to read more about the novels.

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