Sunday, February 26, 2017

Moving Target

Moving Target
by
Lynette Eason


MY THOUGHTS
Moving Target is the third book in the Elite Guardians series about a group of no-nonsense women who have established a bodyguard service. This book does stand alone, but it is helpful to have read the other books because there are references that make more sense and you'll have a better feel for the secondary characters.

All of Lynette Eason's books are full of riveting suspense and surprising twists. It is easy to forget where you are when you read them! Moving Target starts off with a bang and never slows down. I really enjoyed getting to know these characters more (they are referred to in previous books in the series), and I like the way they worked together to solve the crime.

I had a bit of trouble finding this book to be as realistic as the others in the series. I found myself questioning some of the timelines and actually went back a couple of times to check things out, which is distracting. The serial killers methodology was just a bit too contrived for me.

That said, I will still read every Lynette Eason book I can get my hands on -- I love her fast paced style and the way she artfully tells a tale.

ABOUT THE BOOK
When Maddy McKay and Quinn Holcombe don’t show up for Quinn’s surprise birthday party, his friends know that something is very wrong. Their search turns up little beyond evidence that Quinn and Maddy just decided to take off for a long overdue vacation. But it soon becomes apparent that they did not leave of their own accord.
Maddy awakens in a cement room with no idea where she is. But it’s not long before she realizes she’s in the clutches of a madman exacting revenge by hunting. His prey of choice? Humans. Now Maddy and Quinn must run for their lives, hoping to find their killer before the next game begins. Because if they don’t win this game, they die.
Fast, furious, and flirty, Lynette Eason’s relentless suspense barely gives her readers time to catch their breath in this third thrilling installment of the Elite Guardians series.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a Business Degree she used for a very short time, she moved to Spartanburg, SC to attend Converse College where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. She started her teaching career at the South Carolina School for the deaf and blind. In 1996, she met the man she would marry—the boy next door!
She is married to Jack Eason, who speaks, leads worship, and consults ministries around the country. They have two teenage children.
Lynette’s books have appeared on the ECPA and CBA bestseller lists and have won several awards.

Thanks to Revell Publishers for providing a copy of this book for my honest review.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Rescue Me

Rescue Me
by 
Susan May Warren

MY THOUGHTS
This was a fascinating book that takes the reader behind the scenes of a mountain rescue operation. It is the third book in the Montana Rescue series, and it really stands alone. I have not read the first two books in the series (although now I want to), and while the book hints at backstories I really didn't feel like I'd missed out on critical information required for Rescue Me to make sense.

The book begins with an incident that sends the hero, Sam Brooks, into a head spin and quickly draws the reader in. The interactions between the characters are complex and fascinating, especially between siblings (Sam and his brother, and the two female characters Sierra Rose and Willow).

Warren has a way of creating a setting that takes me out of my couch and into the wilderness in just a couple of sentences! Her stories are intriguing and full of twists that keep me reading late into the night.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Deputy Sam Brooks is deeply committed to keeping the town of Mercy Falls safe. So he takes his role as liaison between the Mercy Falls Sheriff’s department and PEAK Rescue very seriously. However, he is also committed in his personal life. Once his mind is set on something – nothing can sway him.
Despite the opinions of others, Sam is sure that Sierra Rose is the perfect girl for him. She is safe, practical and organized; a far cry from her hippie, impulsive, bleeding heart sister, Willow.
Willow feels torn between her love for Sam and her desire to see her sister have a happy ending. At least for the time being, Willow focuses her attention on getting the job as youth pastor of her small-town church.
But when an arsonist strikes, Willow and Sam are forced to fight for their lives in the forbidding wilderness of Glacier National Park. Stranded and injured with the winter weather closing in, Willow and Sam will have to work together to rescue a crew of terrified teenagers. As they fight to survive, they might just discover a new hope for love.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award-winning novelist of over fifty novels. An eight-time Christy award finalist, a three-time RITA Finalist, she’s also a multi-winner of the Inspirational Readers Choice award, and the ACFW Carol Award.
A seasoned women’s events speaker, she’s a popular writing teacher at conferences around the nation and the author of the beginning writer’s workbook: The Story Equation.
She is also the founder of www.MyBookTherapy.com, and Novel.Academy, a school for aspiring novelists. You can find her online at www.susanmaywarren.com.

Thank you to Revell Press for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Mark of the King - Post 1 of 2


Mark of the King
by
Jocelyn Green


MY THOUGHTS:
Jocelyn Green makes history come alive in ways that cause the reader to rethink what was learned in history class. When I read her books, my eyes are opened to aspects of life that are almost incomprehensible -- the smell of death on a battlefield, the gut-wrenching hunger of a famine, the reality of people who will stop at nothing to get ahead, the cries of those who have gone insane from captivity. But she doesn't stop with the dire realities, her characters demonstrate the American spirit that allows us to overcome even the worst atrocities to live meaningful lives.

The Mark of the King follows the life of Julianne Chevalier, a midwife who is wrongfully imprisoned and is given the 'opportunity' to travel from France to begin populating the new territory of Louisiana, specifically New Orleans. Long before there was a town, she arrives and works to build a life in this new world.

Green creates a story based on historical facts, many not told in our generic history books. She's searched records and journals to find out what really went on in those early days and she's created characters who robustly recreate those humble beginnings.

This book was really hard to put down -- I wasn't interested in taking a break to eat or sleep! It is a fascinating story that left me wanting to find out more about the lives and times of the development of New Orleans. Each of Green's books has had this effect on me -- awakening a renewed love for the early history of our country.

In the next few days I'll post more information about the background of the book and some Q and A's with the author!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined.
After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict. New Orleans is nothing like Julianne expects. The settlement is steeped in mud and mosquitoes, and there is no news of her brother, Benjamin. When tragedy strikes, she turns to military officer Marc-Paul Girard for help, but does he know more about her brother than he will admit? With her dreams shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous land, where only grace--and love--can overcome the stigma of the king's mark upon her shoulder.

Endorsements:

"The Mark of the King grabbed me from the first scene and wouldn't let me go! The setting is vibrant, unique, and full of fascinating true details about the early French settlement in New Orleans. With arranged marriages, forced immigration, and struggles against starvation, the elements, and warring natives, the story is riveting. A must-read!" Jody Hedlund, Christy Award-winning author

"A page-turner of a tale set against France's early struggles to colonize Louisiana, The Mark of the King bears all the marks of the best historical fiction--rich attention to detail, settings historically accurate and lushly depicted, a complex and layered plot, diverse cultures vividly portrayed, and the ever-present sense of the larger forces of time and place shaping the lives and destinies of characters I came to care about. The unjustly exiled Julianne is a woman to admire and cheer, the soldier Marc-Paul a man of strength and devotion. Lovers of historical fiction will be transported by this beautifully written novel of the early 18th-century frontier." Lori Benton, award-winning author of The Wood's Edge and A Flight of Arrows

Review: "Exquisitely penned, this look at colonial Louisiana is enhanced by Green's attention to detail, creating memorable characters and vivid scenes. . . . Rich with history and redemption, Green's latest is ideal for fans of Lynn Austin or Laura Frantz." RT Book ReviewsVideo:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 Jocelyn Green is the award-winning author of a dozen books, including fiction and nonfiction. A former military wife herself, she offers encouragement and hope to military wives worldwide through her Faith Deployed books and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she co-authored with best-selling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her Heroines Behind the Lines Civil War novels, inspired by real heroines on America’s home front, are marked by their historical integrity and gritty inspiration. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob, two children, and two cats in Cedar Falls, Iowa. Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com. Connect with her also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Thanks to the publisher for offering me a chance to read a pre-publication copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Finding Riley

Finding Riley
by
Dan Walsh

MY THOUGHTS
Dan Walsh has a way of bringing a voice to animals that is charming and endearing. Finding Riley is the second book in the Forever Home series (the first is Rescuing Finley), but it definitely can stand alone (however I recommend reading Rescuing Finley -- it's fabulous!).

I really enjoyed the story line of this book -- what a great concept to integrate shelter pets with the homeless! Dan really brings out the difficulties and lifestyle of the homeless who live in tent cities -- a place most of us never see.

The writing in this book was not quite up to what I've seen Dan do in the past. Some of the characters and conversations seemed a bit simplistic and forced, but that did not detract from the story. Dan definitely has great insight into the behavior and perspectives of dogs, as demonstrated both in this book and Rescuing Finley.

If you are interested in a sweet book that provides insight to both the lives of the homeless and the perspectives of dogs, this is a good one!

ABOUT THE BOOK
An unexpected surprise brings the Mitchell family of Savannah a chance to experience the Christmas trip of their dreams. An unexpected disappointment threatens to turn it into the worst Christmas ever. John Finch and his friend Alfred live in the woods. Been doing it for decades. He likes wintering in Florida, but this year’s been particularly harsh. Between the cold, freezing rain and terrifying lightning storms, John’s starting to wonder how much more of this lifestyle he can take. A new friend enters the picture and changes everything. Kim Harper, the dog trainer introduced in Rescuing Finley, is contacted by a billionaire philanthropist seeking her help with a new dog training project that will help the homeless. Is he for real? And is her co-worker right, does this rich handsome man’s interest in Kim go far deeper than her dog-training skills?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dan grew up in Florida and his primary interests through high school were basketball and surfing. In 1985, he was ordained as a pastor and served in the same church for the next 25 years. In August 2010, after three of his novels were published by Revell-Baker Publishing Group, Dan retired to write full time.
Dan's novels have received rave reviews from USA Today and magazines like Publisher's Weekly, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. His first, The Unfinished Gift, won two ACFW Carol Awards. His other books have won numerous awards and appeared on several national bestseller lists.
Dan has published seventeen novels. In addition to writing, Dan enjoys public speaking. He is married to Cindi and they have two children and two grandchildren.

I received a free electronic copy of this book with no expectations for a review.

Finding Margo

Finding Margo
by
Jen Turano


MY THOUGHTS
Ok, I admit I pretty much only read books I love because my life is pretty crazy and I don't have much time for reading. So whenever Jen Turano writes a new book it immediately jumps to the top of my Must Read list!

Up to this point Jen's books have all been historical romances with a hysterical story line. I have learned that I must not drink ANYTHING while I read her books unless I intend to spew my coffee (or whatever) all over my Kindle because they are that funny!

I was curious about Finding Margo because it's her first contemporary romance. Honestly I'm not much for fiction with the primary intent being romance -- I really love a good mystery or suspense book that just happens to have some romantic chemistry best. Finding Margo definitely fit the bill -- within the first couple of chapters I was both intrigued and laughing at the crazy situations Margo encounters. This book also had me in tears -- something that doesn't happen often when I read.

Turano takes us behind the scenes of the pop music icon who just happens to become stranded in an Amish small town that is hauntingly familiar. After a couple of attempts on her life, Margo learns that the quiet community is not all it seems. Add a hunky FBI agent and a slightly injured duck and this book has all the elements of a best seller!

Turano has another winner -- I highly recommend Finding Margo (well, only if you want to laugh).

ABOUT THE BOOK
Off the charts and on the run.

International pop star Margo Hartman could use a night off. A grueling tour and overbearing entourage have sent her over the edge. It's time for this diva to disappear. And who would think to look for the superstar in a small Dutch town in Ohio?
Sheriff's deputy Brock Moore is undercover as well. He knows Margo isn't who she appears to be, but her uncanny resemblance to a local Amish woman is raising all sorts of questions... the kind that make her a target for a killer.
Both are determined to find answers, but their mutual attraction stands in the way of either of them doing it alone.
Is finding Margo the solution to Brock's problems or just the beginning...?
JenTurano


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A USA Today Best-Selling Author, Jen Turano has written the critically acclaimed Ladies of Distinctionseries, and A Class of Their Own series, published through Bethany House Publishers. Her novel, After a Fashion, was chosen as a top pick from Romantic Times, as well as being named a top ten romance of 2015 from Booklist.  It is also a nominee for Romantic Times 2015 Reviewers’ Choice Award. Her book, A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen as a top ten romance by Booklist in 2013. Her seventh book, Playing the Part, released in the spring of 2016, and will be followed by a new four-book series, Apart from the Crowd. When she’s not writing, Jen spends her time outside of Denver with her husband and neurotic Cattle Dog, enjoying herself as an empty-nester since her son recently abandoned her for the college life. She can be found on Facebook or visit her on the web at www.jenturano.com. She is represented by the Natasha Kern Literary Agency. Her books may be found in fine bookstores, or follow the Baker House Publishing link to find additional places to purchase her work.


Friday, September 30, 2016

Tangled Webs

Tangled Webs
by
Irene Hannon

MY THOUGHTS
Have I said before that I love Irene Hannon's books? Every one I read is better than the last. She develops wonderful series based on complex characters who find themselves in difficult but realistic situations. I am holding her personally responsible for my laundry not getting done and dinner not being ready on time -- her books are SO hard to put down!

Tangled Webs takes place in central Missouri in the Mark Twain Forest region, where coincidentally I was travelling the same weekend I read the book. Her descriptions of those who hide in the woods to make meth had me looking carefully around ever turn, adding additional suspense to a book that I was already having a tough time putting down.

It is not necessary to read the first two books in the Men of Valor series, Buried Secrets and Thin Ice, but it helps to give a bit of background on the McGregor hunks. It was extremely satisfying to finally learn Finn's secrets and to meet him 'up close and personal'. If you like suspense, I highly recommend this book and any of Irene Hannon's work.

ABOUT THE BOOK

After a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn't on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana's foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action--ready or not.

Bestselling author Irene Hannon draws readers into a web of psychological suspense where danger lurks in dark corners . . . and keeps them captive until the very last page.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who has written more than 50 romantic suspense and contemporary romance/women’s fiction novels. She is a seven-time finalist for and three-time winner of the RITA award—the “Oscar” of romance fiction—and a member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, two Carol awards, three HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice award, a Retailers Choice award, two Booksellers’ Best awards and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a two-time Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full time. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing.  A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

The Room with the Second-Best View

The Room with the Second-Best View
by
Virginia Smith

MY THOUGHTS:
I am in love with the Goose Creek B&B Series! The characters are (mostly) lovable and well crafted, the town is full of drama and fun, and there are recipes! This third book in the series pulls together the other two in ways that are surprising, laughable, and just pure fun. Virginia Smith has a wonderful way of making every day crises into moments that bring people together and often result in them laughing at themselves as they work through issues. I'd highly recommend reading the first two books and the prequel to get the full story.

The Room With the Second-Best View shows how strong marriages can evolve and survive as people begin second careers and deal with unexpected issues. It addresses how new marriages can overcome unforeseen obstacles and demonstrates how struggles between friends can result in new commitments. And it does it all with a great dose of humor.

Virginia Smith has another winner!

ABOUT THE BOOK:
Excitement is in the air in Goose Creek, Kentucky, as the small town prepares to celebrate its 150th anniversary and the veterinarian's upcoming wedding. But trouble is brewing in this provincial paradise...

Al Richardson agreed to open a B&B with his wife after his retirement in two years, but Millie secretly invites some guests to stay for the wedding. She plans to be the most gracious Southern hostess -- until a tumble down the stairs leaves her unprepared for their quirky and cantankerous first guest.

Meanwhile, the town's anniversary plans are in a state of chaos as the celebration committee scrambles to raise the necessary funds -- an effort spearheaded by a "newcomer," which ruffles the townsfolk's feathers. 

Goose Creek has lasted 150 years. Can it survive the next month?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Virginia Smith is the bestselling author of more than thirty novels. Her books have received numerous awards, including two Holt Medallion Awards of Merit. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching

 suspense. Visit her at www.VirginiaSmith.org.

Monday, July 18, 2016

MISSING
by
Lisa Harris


MY THOUGHTS:
This is the second book in the Nikki Boyd Files about a woman who is expert at finding missing persons. The first book in the series, Vendetta, won the 2015 Romantic Times Best Inspirational Suspense Novel award, so while you will want to read it because it's FABULOUS, it isn't really necessary to read before picking up Missing.

This story is full of incredible twists and turns which kept me from putting this book down - I finished it in just a few hours! I really appreciate the depth of the characters in the story. Nikki is a former teacher who changed careers after her young sister got kidnapped. Tyler is the husband of Nikki's best friend who died, and now the two of them provide each other support and friendship.

Missing kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time -- every time I thought I figured it out there was a new clue thrown in the mix that made me even more intrigued. This is a fast paced story with a well orchestrated plot that will force you to keep reading! I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.


ABOUT THE BOOK:
Nikki Boyd isn't usually called in on homicides, her forte is missing persons. But when a case with two murdered and two missing pops up on a quiet suburban street, she's ready to start he investigation and find missing homeowners Mac and Lucy Hudson. When the first clues lead her to the boat of her friend, Tyler Grant -- and another dead body -- Nikki must untangle what ties Tyler to the Hudsons. The clues pull her into a deadly maze of counterfeit drugs and a killer who will stop at nothing to silence anyone who threatens his business -- including Nikki.





ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Harris is a best selling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Southern Crimes series and Vendetta, winner of the Romantic Times Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2015. Harris and her family have spent twelve years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.