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Showing posts from April, 2015

Irene Hannon's Latest Suspense filled novel: Buried Secrets

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Title:  Buried Secrets (Men of Valor #1) Author:  Irene Hannon Pages:  378 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell Mac McGregor is an ex-SEAL, who has been in St. Louis for a short time as a detective with the county.  He opted to leave the SEAL team in order to get a more stable job, settle down with a Christian woman and start a family.  He has two younger brothers who are also in the armed forces and exercises his worry gene regarding their safety quite frequently.  An unexpected reunion with his brothers leads to a surprise revelation.  Mac has been assigned to assist on a case with the local city law enforcement and meets the chief, Lisa Grant.  He is bowled over by her looks, dedication to her job and faith.  With the case of the old bones requiring some digging into the past, Mac is able to help Lisa discover who the bones belong to and that the person was in fact murdered. Lisa Grant has been chief of police for about two years after transferring from Chicago.  She realized that her j…

Gathered Waters by Cara Luecht

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Title:  Gathered Waters Author:  Cara Luecht Website:  http://www.caraluecht.com/ Pages:  250 Year:  2015 Publisher:  WhiteFire Publishing My Rating:  5+ stars out of 5 There is another book written by the author titled, Soul Painter, which was my introduction to Cara Luecht’s writings.  Now, just finishing Gathered Waters gives me a sense of what it takes to write in a way to convey a message from history.  When readers start the book, the timeframe is late 1800’s in a town in Sweden.  There a small group of believers is living life that isn’t dictated or controlled by the Bishop of the local church. As I read this compelling novel, I could not help but be struck with the irony that today in America Christians need to be strong in the face of persecution.  The main character’s faith was unwavering and firm and like Christ it came with a cost.  Suffering for being faithful to the Lord and His Word takes courage, fortitude and support in a society bent on removing anybody who won’t co…

Lone Protector Texas K-9 Unit #6

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Title:  Lone Star Protector (Texas K-9 Series #6) Author:  Lenora Worth Website:  http://www.lenoraworth.com/ Pages:  224 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense My Rating:  5 stars This story is the conclusion of the K-9 series that reminds us of the consequences of redemption and retribution played out by two main characters.  Throughout the whole series the overarching mystery has revolved around a man who cannot easily be identified, but is known throughout the crime syndicate as “The Boss.”  He has terrorized the Sagebrush community for years though has recently been ramping up his quests and without hesitation ordering the lives of others to be extinguished. The captain of the K-9 unit is the focus point of this story, and it becomes apparent that all the occurrences over the last couple of years are somehow tied to him.  Now the team of police officers with their K-9 partners must put together the puzzle pieces before someone else is placed in danger. Each book of the s…

Detained by Don Brown

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Title:  Detained (The Navy JAG Series) Author:  Don Brown Website:  http://donbrownbooks.com/ Pages:  416 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Zondervan My rating is 5+ stars out of 5 A couple of months back I began reading novels written by Don Brown with expectations of truly riveting and suspense-filled stories.  The reason for the high expectations was that I knew Don Brown served in the military and as a JAG officer.  While casually perusing an online bookstore, I saw that Detained was coming out in 2015. Now that 2015 has arrived and having read the novel, I am utterly amazed at the contents and depth of the story.  Two characters, Matt Davis and Amy Debenedetto are from the original JAG series though they are older and have new ranks in the Navy.  Now the stakes are higher than ever before as the two JAG officers are assigned to the same case at GITMO, however as opposing players in a high stakes trial of supposed terrorists. While the case at GITMO is being forced to fast track the trial …

Deception on Sable Hill

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Title:  Deception on Sable Hill (A Chicago World’s Fair Mystery Book #2) Author:  Shelley Gray Website:  http://www.shelleyshepardgray.com/ Pages:  336 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Zondervan My Rating:  5+ out of 5 Author Shelley Gray writes a variety of novels and series that readers can check out on her website. When Secrets of Sloane House was released in 2014, it was the launch of the Chicago World’s Fair series which continues with Deception on Sable Hill.  The conclusion of this series will be the third novel titled, Whispers in the Reading Room, which is slated to be released in November of this year. Deception on Sable Hill is a very spell-binding mystery that pulls readers in when young rich women become targets of someone out to scar their faces.  The scarring starts first until it escalates into murder of two women, which defies the authorities’ ability to solve at least temporarily.  The author places her tale in a time where classes are strictly adhered to.  People marry withi…

Thick as Thieves by Susan K. Marlow

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Title:  Thick as Thieves (Circle C Milestones) Author:  Susan K. Marlow Website:  http://www.susankmarlow.com/ Pages:  176 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Kregel My Rating:  5 Thick as Thieves is my introduction to the writings of Susan K. Marlow and I am impressed to say the least!  While the target audience is to reach those 8-12 years old, please don’t feel limited by that age group.  The novel will be well received by adults and even readers younger than 8 if it was read aloud.  There is prior series of six books by the same author that includes the characters in Thick as Thieves and the setting referred to as Circle C Adventures.  Though I haven’t read them as of yet, I sure plan to as I enjoyed Susan’s newest book.  It is quite enjoyable to sit, relax and enjoy an adventure! In Thick as Thieves, young readers will learn that sometimes those with a tough and mean exterior hide a person crying inside to be loved.  As the main character, Andrea Carter, learns when asked to allow Macy to re…

Wilderness Rising

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Title:  Wilderness Rising (Church Builder #2) Author:  A.L. Shields Pages:  329 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Zondervan Wow!  If you like espionage, searching for ancient artifacts and action, this is the book for you.  This is book two of the Church Builder series, and I highly recommend reading book one in the series, The Church Builder, first.  Book two begins where book one leaves off, so if you haven’t read book one, it will be difficult to follow the plot and figure out what is going on. Bethany Barclay now finds herself following her best friend Annabelle Seaver’s clues to find the Pilate Stone left behind before Annabelle’s untimely death.  Bethany is on the run from the FBI as well as other law enforcement agencies in the U.S.  She has traveled to England under duress, following Annabelle’s trail crumbs in order to save her young friend, Janice, from an early death at the hands of the Wilderness in the time frame of two weeks.  She is a fugitive so she is constantly on the move, p…

Scent of Danger Texas K-9 Unit Series #5

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Title:  Scent of Danger (Texas K-9 Book #5) Author:  Terri Reed Website:  http://www.terrireed.com/ Pages:  280 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense My Rating:  5 stars Whew!  The ending of this novel was so exciting and really captivating!  Throughout the whole Texas K-9 series the authors begin to slowly reveal and then unveil the mystery surrounding the activity that continues to lead to The Lost Woods.  Tracking Justice, Detection Mission, Guard Duty, Explosive Secrets and now Scent of Danger introduce a unit of officers and their specially trained dogs.  Each novel highlights a particular member of that unit and their personal thoughts, battles and emotions with the overall attempt to locate a crime syndicate recently brought to light in the small town of Sagebrush. In this installment, we learn about a 2-year-old beagle that is trained to uncover narcotics, and his handler, Officer Parker Adams.  Throughout the adventure a romance is beginning to develop between Parke…

The Lazarus File by Donn Taylor

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Title:  The Lazarus Files Author:  Donn Taylor Website:  http://www.donntaylor.com/ Pages:  304 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas My Rating:  5+ stars Reading a novel such as The Lazarus File was an adventure!  There was nonstop suspense plus it was hard at time to slow down my reading because I was so excited to see what came next!  There is an operative who is working undercover and facing some threatening people and situations.  He has been thought dead for many years, but is he?  Now it appears he may have been resurrected with a new identity.  However, the political scene in Washington has changed and the methods once employed to keep agents protected are now compromised with deadly results. The flip side is a married, rich couple in Columbia who by working hard give the poorest of the poor better avenues to improve their lives.  Yet enemies within the family and without are seeking to destroy that idea and bring about change, including a new governm…

Love Inspired: The Doctor's Second Chance

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Title:  The Doctor’s Second Chance Author:  Missy Tippens Website:  http://www.missytippens.com/ Pages:  224 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Love Inspired My Rating:  5+ out of 5 stars When I began reading the novel, it soon became apparent that I wasn’t going to quit reading until the end!  I was caught up in the heart-rending drama of a single man raised by an aunt and uncle after his parents’ death in the past and now facing fatherhood when his cousin shows up and leaves her newborn with him.  All Jake is aware of is how to do construction and is clueless as to how to care for a newborn baby girl. Jake grew up with his cousin Remy and knows she has a tendency to dump her problems or responsibilities on others before vanishing.  Now Jake has to seek the help of the local pediatrician who purchased his uncle’s practice and as far as Jake is concerned ripped off the couple.  When he seeks Violet’s help in how to care for a newborn, the past issues in both their lives come to the forefront.  …

Love Inspired: A Firefighter's Promise

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Title:  A Firefighter’s Promise Author:  Patricia Johns Website:  http://patriciajohnsromance.com/ Pages:  224 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Love Inspired My Rating:  4 out of 5 stars. Each of the Love Inspired novels is an adventure for readers the moment the book is opened.  Here a young boy named Christopher is recently told by his mother that he was adopted.  Christopher begins to have trouble at school eventually resulting in his being expelled.  His mother Rachael moves back to her hometown in the hopes that Christopher will adjust and adapt to life in a small town along with meeting the firefighter who found him in a box outside the station one rainy night seven years ago. Rachael only has Christopher after being widowed five years prior when her firefighter husband was killed one night while on duty.  Rachael knows all too well what living with a public servant is like so she shies away from any man showing interest in her who works as a firefighter.  After finishing the novel, my …

Explosive Secrets Texas K-9 Unit Series #4

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Title:  Explosive Secrets (Texas K-9 Series Book #4) Author:  Valerie Hanson Website:  http://www.valeriehansen.com/ Pages:  288 Year:  2013 Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense My Rating:  5 stars The series Texas K-9 Unit begins with Tracking Justice, followed by Detection Mission and then Guard DutyExplosive Secrets continues the mystery introduced in book one with romance, faith and facing danger.  Each novel centralizes on one main character in the K-9 unit along with whatever situations the team of handler and trained canines are called in to solve or assist. In the fourth installment, readers meet a police officer and his dog who also served as a team when deployed to Afghanistan.  The dog still suffers from some of the traumatic experiences while serving but as long as this brave canine is able to point where bombs are, he remains a part of the unit. So when Nicki gets targeted by a criminal syndicate operating in Sagebrush, the police suspect she knows her dying cousin’s co…

Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson

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Title:  Every Bride Needs a Groom (Brides with Style) Author:  Janice Thompson Website:  http://janiceathompson.com/blog/ Pages:  368 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Revell My Rating:  5+ out of 5 stars I am pretty familiar with Janice Thompson’s novels, having read The Director’s Cut and the Weddings by Design series.  The series titles are Picture Perfect, The Icing on Cake, The Dream Dress and A Bouquet of Love.  Each book at times caused me to burst out laughing and other times enticed me to see how the adventure would play out with the characters. I hardly started reading when I began cracking up out loud with some of the one liners in the story.  Though I read them to my son and he said they were funny, I could tell he didn’t understand the funny parts just because he isn’t female or a mother!  Now, with brand new characters, storylines and more, Janice Thompson’s Brides with Style starts each chapter titled after a Loretta Lynn song.  There are some tying events together of this new …

Double Cross by DiAnn Mills

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Title:  Doublecross (FBI Houston Book #2) Author:  DiAnn Mills Website:  http://www.diannmills.com/ Pages:  400 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Tyndale My Rating:  5+ stars out of 5 FBI undercover agent Laurel sent a man to prison for serious charges.  Now, he is willing to work with the FBI to help stop a scam.  Wilmington promised revenge against Laurel for her part in bringing him down.  He now claims he is a Christian.  Daniel is on the local police force in Houston as well as taking care of his grandfather who has Alzheimer’s.  Some guests of the high-rated senior care center where his grandfather is a member are now dead and some have been being scammed of thousands of dollars. Laurel is assigned once again to work with Wilmington to uncover the scam and bring those guilty of it to justice.  The problem is she is having a real hard time believing he is truly a Christian and wants nothing to do with his religion or God.  Daniel’s grandparents have lived an adventurous life and now in th…

Melissa Tagg's Novel: From the Start

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Title:  From the Start Author:  Melissa Tagg Website:  http://www.melissatagg.com/ Pages:  352 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Bethany My Rating:  5 out of 5 Kate Walker’s character reveals the loneliness that comes when, after being hurt by someone, we build walls around our heart to keep others from getting close.  I enjoyed following the character’s journey into discovering what is contained deep within the heart when she agrees to write the memoir of a former NFL player.  Colton is the player who suffers a career-ending injury, but also discovers he doesn’t know what life is for him beyond the grid. The themes that are conveyed repeatedly in many ways are where we should ultimately find our truest source of love, meaning and what we work we are to do.  Both of the main characters, Kate and Colton, are reflections of real people who work hard to be the best each day while carrying some baggage from their past.  We can learn from these two that letting the past go into the hands of God isn…

Firewall by DiAnn Mills

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Title:  Firewall (FBI Houston Book #1) Author:  DiAnn Mills Website:  http://www.diannmills.com/ Pages:  416 Year:  2014 Publisher:  Tyndale My Rating:  5 stars out of 5 Sometimes the beauty of rereading a novel after time has passed is the enjoyment of rediscovering the intrigue.  While some authors don’t use intrigue in story lines, DiAnn Mills is a master with not only intrigue but also suspense.  When I finished this novel in preparation for reading her new book in the series, Doublecross, I again was astounded by the thrill of reading her indepth adventures. The character of Taryn is one of woman who has overcome much, falls prey to a master deceiver and comes out the other side a totally new woman.  If you’re looking for a spellbinding tale with good versus evil intent, murder, deceit and a new birth in Christ, this book is for you! Taryn has a high IQ and tends to be shy, but the world of technology in which she excels comes with a high cost, especially when she develops one o…

From the Start

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Title:  From the Start Author:  Melissa Tagg Website:  http://www.melissatagg.com/ Pages:  352 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Bethany My Rating:  5 out of 5 Kate Walker’s character reveals the loneliness that comes when, after being hurt by someone, we build walls around our heart to keep others from getting close.  I enjoyed following the character’s journey into discovering what is contained deep within the heart when she agrees to write the memoir of a former NFL player.  Colton is the player who suffers a career-ending injury, but also discovers he doesn’t know what life is for him beyond the grid. The themes that are conveyed repeatedly in many ways are where we should ultimately find our truest source of love, meaning and what we work we are to do.  Both of the main characters, Kate and Colton, are reflections of real people who work hard to be the best each day while carrying some baggage from their past.  We can learn from these two that letting the past go into the hands of God isn…

Against the Flow by John C. Lenox.....a must for personal libraries!

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Title:  Against the Flow (The Inspiration of Daniel in an Age of Relativism) Author:  John C. Lenox Website:  http://www.johnlennox.org/ Pages:  440 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Monarch Books My Rating:  5+ stars out of 5 What grabs your attention when looking for a book to read?  Is it the title, subtitle, picture, author or content?  When I first was offered the opportunity to read, review and post about this book, I was super excited!  Why?  Well, for one a friend and I have been studying the book of Daniel in depth for awhile now.  Another reason is that I believe the title is a call to do just that, go against the flow.  Finally, it is a well-developed apologetic or commentary on the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Now, am I still as excited as I was at first?  Absolutely, if not more so!  The Body of Christ needs to return to preaching the Old Testament and not solely the New.  There are many examples we can learn from those who have gone before us as to how to stand firm and …

A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary ( The Monastery Murder #4 series)

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Title:  A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary (The Monastery Murders #4) Author:  Donna Fletcher Crow Pages:  254 Year:  2015 Publisher:  Greenbrier Book Company The fourth book in The Monastery Murders series begins approximately three months before the wedding of Antony and Felicity.  Felicity is asked to translate an old Latin document for an Oxford convent.  Felicity will be separated from Antony for two weeks while she completes her task.  While taking a break from her translation, she makes a grisly discovery.  She tells Antony she will not investigate this, but leave that to the police.  Antony arrives in Oxford with a small group of students he is providing on-site lectures for. As Felicity continues her translation, more and more things begin to happen.  She tries her best to stay out of the investigation, but when she is a victim of some of these events she is drawn in.  Antony is facing family troubles when the uncle who raised him has a heart attack, then one of his students is fou…

A Sense of Place Part 2 by Author Donna Fletcher Crow

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Since the ringing of muffled bells is an important through-line in this story I arranged to have a bell-ringing lesson from the Oxford University Society of Change Ringers— amazingly accomplished without anyone getting murdered, unlike Felicity’s experience.






















I visited all the sites of Oxford’s saints and martyrs which provide the historical background of this book, although I had to dig out my own facts without having Father Antony there to give me one of his vivid lectures.




A Martyr's Monument



















27 Street Frideswide Well















All-in-all, even though I had a somewhat less exciting time than Felicity and Antony have in Oxford, it was a wonderful experience which I have loved reliving as I developed the plot and my characters at my computer and am thrilled to share with my readers:
Translating an ancient document in an Oxford convent should be a harmless venture, but Felicity just can’t seem to avoid danger. It’s hardly Felicity’s fault, though, that severed body parts start showing up in ancie…

A Sense of Place by Author Donna Fletcher Crow Part 1

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A Sense of Place in A Newly Crimsoned Reliquary
Donna Fletcher Crow 







Writers are often asked, “What’s most important to you— character or plot?”
I always feel that I need to duck my head a bit when I reply, “Well, actually, background is most important to me.” But that’s the truth. Setting is the factor I look at first in choosing a book to read and the first decision I make in planning a new book to write. After all, I’ll be mentally living in that setting for more than a year, so it had better be a place I want to be.
One of my major goals as a writer is to give my readers a “you are there” experience when reading my books. That has to start with my being there— physically when I research and mentally when I write. That way the setting almost becomes a character in the story because I try to develop my settings as carefully as I develop my people. And it certainly drives the plot because I like to let the setting suggest possible events to me.
That’s how the lovely city of Oxford functio…