Book Review: Missing

28 Jul

51VlcPIaglL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Nikki Boyd Enters the Deadly World of Counterfeit Drugs to Find a Missing Woman

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 the 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.

 

 

B1vyYNfr9rS._UX250_Lisa Harris is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 and 2015 from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over twelve years living as missionaries in Africa where she leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . .the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice”. (Proverbs 31:8)

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at http://www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com.

 

My Impressions:

Fans of romantic suspense cannot go wrong with author Lisa Harris. In the second book of her Nikki Boyd Files series, Missing, you’ve got the whole package: fast-paced action with twists and turns to keep both the characters and the reader off-balance and a developing romance that is very natural. While you can certainly read this novel as a standalone, I recommend you begin with Vendetta. You don’t want to miss anything from this talented author.

Nikki Boyd works on the Missing Person’s Task Force within the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The last place they are usually called to is a murder scene, but two people are missing and time is running out as the murder count rises and the danger increases. There is also a very personal connection for Nikki. Her long time friend, Tyler is soon drawn into the case. Will Nikki be able to solve the case before it’s too late?

There are several elements that make Missing an excellent choice for those who like their suspense with sparks. Nikki and Tyler are credible and relatable characters with believable emotions and actions. Their relationship changes naturally one the course of the book. Both characters are believers in Christ and turn to Him for guidance and strength. Nikki’s dedication to her job stems from her own missing person experience and that story line and search for closure also continues in Missing. The all too real mystery involving counterfeit drugs and its impact on patient safety and well-being keeps the reader engaged and thinking. The third person account lets the reader in on the what Nikki discovers, but keeps you guessing up until the end. As the case is solved, there are a few loose ends in the unfolding romance between Nikki and Tyler and in Nikki’s sister’s own case — I’m really looking forward to more great writing, wonderful characters and action-packed suspense in book 3, Pursued.

Recommended,

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author and Revell for a review copy of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Children’s Corner: Little Bible Heroes Flip Over Book

27 Jul

51pbu4r3JpL._SX497_BO1,204,203,200_What could be better than a great hero story? TWO great hero stories! And there’s no better place to find them than the Bible. Each Little Bible Heroes™ Flip-Over Book offers two stories of bravery, faithfulness, and kindness—straight from the Bible and perfect for little hero-loving hearts!

In these pages, read how Miriam’s bravery helped save her brother. Then flip the book over and learn about Daniel’s faithfulness in the lions’ den. Two great stories to learn from and enjoy!

Other books in the collection:
Creation/Noah Flip-Over Book
Miriam/Daniel Flip-Over Book
Joshua/Rahab Flip-Over Book
Samuel/The Little Maid Flip-Over Book
David/Esther Flip-Over Book
Joseph/The Good Samaritan Flip-Over Book

To purchase this book, click HERE.

My Impressions:

The Little Bible Heroes Flip Over Book, Miriam/Daniel, is perfect to encourage your child in reading while introducing them to God’s word. With stories written for boys and girls, this book provides complex sentence structure and varied vocabulary to sharpen your child’s comprehension skills. There are discussion questions at the end to further conversation about how God works in people’s lives and scripture to reiterate His promises. I liked that Miriam and Daniel were portrayed as ordinary children who were obedient to God — readers can really relate! Cute and colorful illustrations are a big plus as well. I think this book is a good choice for young elementary aged children to read on their own or for family read-alongs.

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 4-8.

(Thanks to B&H for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday: Books That Made Me Want to Travel!

26 Jul

Thanks so much to the folks at The Broke And The Bookish who week after week host the fun and fabulous Top 10 Tuesday. This week’s challenge is to list the Top 10 Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do. To find out what other bloggers have learned or are inspired to do, click HERE.

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Well above all else, books make me want to travel. Now as my husband will attest, I am not much of a traveler. But the following books have really sparked my interest. Whether it is to real life places or places I can only dream about, here is my list.

Top Books That Make Me Want to Travel

 

Travel in Unique Ways

Route 66 — The Mother Road by Jennifer AlLee

Public Transportation — Harriet Beamer Takes The Bus by Joyce Magnin

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Travel to Unique Locales

Ca d’Zan Ringling Museum — The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron

Oregon Sea Stacks — Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

Shetland Islands — The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

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Travel Back in Time

Viking Days — God’s Daughter by Heather Gilbert

Medieval Period — The Abbess of Whitby by Jill Dalladay

Ashes to Ashes by Mel Starr

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Travel to Fictional Small Towns

Appleton — Lock, Stock And Over A Barrel by Melody Carlson

Bright’s Pond — The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow by Joyce Magnin

Last Chance — Welcome to Last Chance by Cathleen Armstrong

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Travel Across Time/Space/Universe

The Bright Empires Series by Stephen Lawhead

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Where do you want to travel?

Book Spotlight — Within The Veil

25 Jul

If you like historical fiction, you really need to check out Brandy Vallance’s newest book, Within The Veil. Brandy brings a fresh and unique voice to the historical genre. I loved her debut novel, The Covered Deep. I am currently reading Within The Veil and am impressed by Brandy’s research and character development. And don’t you just love the cover?! I’ll post my review in the coming weeks. In the meantime, read the blurb and visit Brandy’s website.

 

51qjZMe3LcL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_They never should have met. But they might be made for each other.

Feya Broon, a Scottish half Gypsy, knows what it is to go hungry. Trapped in the Edinburgh tenements with a father lost to his past and only the faded memory of her mother’s faith, Feya is desperate to provide for her siblings. When an ill-conceived plan leads to thievery, she finds herself in the last place she’d ever want to be–captured by a palace guard. But there’s something about this man that tears at every preconceived notion she’s ever had about the haughty English.

Alasdair Cairncross never dreamed he’d be forced to transport a Gypsy woman halfway across the wilds of Scotland. The timing is disastrous, considering his fiancée’s imminent arrival and his father’s political goals. Not only that, but the fiery young woman threatens to lay bare secrets Alasdair would rather keep hidden. And yet the farther they travel together, the less concerned he finds himself with duty–both to the crown and to the plans his family has for him.

As their walls begin to crumble, Feya and Alasdair must fight to survive a decades-old feud, a Highland kidnapping, and the awakening of their own hearts.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

 

BrandyVallanceHeadshot1A completely incurable romantic, Brandy Vallance adores history and frequently has to be told at museums that it’s closing time. She loves to travel, plays the cello, and thinks all teacups should be bottomless. In 2011, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and went to England, Scotland, and Wales. Being a complete Anglophile, it was difficult to bring her home. Bribes may have been involved.

Brandy fell in love with the Victorian time period at a young age, loving the customs, manners, and especially the intricate rules of love. Since time travel is theoretically impossible, she lives in the nineteenth century vicariously through her novels. Unaccountable amounts of black tea have fueled this ambition. Brandy hopes to avoid a similar fate as the writer, Honoré de Balzac, who met his death via caffeine poisoning. At this point, the balance may not be tipped in her favor. Brandy’s love of tea can only be paralleled by her love of Masterpiece Theater Classics, deep conversations, and a good book.

(Thanks to the author for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Summer Sizzle! Vote for Your Choice to Read While Sipping Something Cool

24 Jul

Summer’s Sizzlin’
Vote for your Fave!

Scroll through these THREE new reads and vote below

for which you’d pick up first to read while sippin’ iced tea.

It’ll be a tough choice! But somebody’s gotta do it. May as well be you!
https://www.amazon.com/Almost-Like-Being-Love-Destination-ebook/dp/B010MHA2OY
Almost Like Being in Love by Beth K. VogtShe’s won an all-expenses-paid, luxurious wedding — all she needs now is
the groom! Winning a destination wedding would be a dream come true …
if Caron Hollister and her boyfriend, Alex were already engaged — and if
her ex-boyfriend, Kade, wasn’t back in her life, causing her to wonder
“what if?” when she thought she was ready to say “I do” to someone else.
~~~~~~
https://www.amazon.com/Rescue-Me-Sandy-Nadeau/dp/1611165342

Rescue Me by Sandy NadeauRisking her life to save him is easy. Risking her heart to give him a second chance is impossible.

~~~~~~
 
https://www.amazon.com/River-Rest-Susan-Page-Davis/dp/0997230835
River Rest by Susan Page DavisUnable to depend on her father to heal the crumbling family, Judith is
afraid to trust the mysterious neighbor, Ben, who lives with his own
grief. When Ben is injured, she is the only one who can help him.
~~~~~~

 

VOTE HERE!

If you have trouble viewing the entire survey, click here to load a dedicated page to the survey.

https://cott.space/msurvey/embed.php?id=12792

Audiobook Review: Taken

22 Jul

51L8ur9medL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_An investigator who knows tragic loss firsthand,
and his new client, missing far too long…

Abducted at the age of sixteen and coerced into assisting the Jacoby crime family, Shannon Bliss has finally found a way out. She desperately wants to resume some semblance of normal life, but she also knows she has some unfinished business to attend to. She might have enough evidence to put her captors behind bars for a very long time.

When Shannon contacts private investigator Matthew Dane, a former cop, to help her navigate her reentry into society, he quickly discovers that gaining her freedom doesn’t mean her troubles are over. If the Jacoby family learns she is still alive, they’ll stop at nothing to silence her.

If justice is to be done, and if Shannon’s life is ever to get on track again, Matthew will need to discover exactly what happened to her–even if it means stirring up a hornet’s nest of secrets.

 

imagesDee Henderson is the author of 14 best-selling novels, including the acclaimed O’Malley series and the Uncommon Heroes series. As a leader in the inspirational romantic suspense category, her books have won or been nominated for several prestigious industry awards, including the RWA’s RITA Award, the Christy Award, the ECPA Gold Medallion, the Holt Medallion, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and the Golden Quill. Dee is a lifelong resident of Illinois and is active online. Visit her at http://www.deehenderson.com.

 

My Impressions:

In my opinion, Dee Henderson’s books have come a long way since her O’Malley series. Still big favorites of her fans, I have found from online reviews and discussions that her later novels have been met with mixed feelings. Taken is billed as romantic suspense, and from the above blurb you would think that it is fast-paced with elements of danger. Well, I really didn’t find that to be the case. All of the action takes place before the book even begins. And while main character Shannon Bliss is in some danger from her former captors, she is well-protected and never comes within reach of them. So, does this mean I didn’t like the book. Absolutely not! I really, really liked it because it showed the rest of the story. Taken explores what happens after the rescue — a time when the trauma finally takes root, a time when normal really isn’t.

Main character Matthew Dane is experienced in the handling of kidnap victims. His own daughter, Becky, was once one. When approached by Shannon Bliss, the victim of 11 years of captivity, he sets up an elaborate network of professionals and friends to ease Shannon’s reentry into normal life. I found the process very intriguing. Henderson does an excellent job of detailing the pain-staking work that needs to be done to ensure the physical and emotional well-being of a victim. Taken is to me a mystery, as the past is uncovered to reveal just what happened to Shannon and why. The suspense comes not from car chases or narrow escapes, but from the unfolding of motives. I listened to the audiobook and the timing and narration were very good.

If you are expecting a novel in the same vein as Henderson’s earliest novels, then you may be disappointed. But if you want to immerse yourself into a detailed and articulate novel of after the crime, then Taken is for you.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(I purchased the audio version from Audible. All opinion expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Review: The Cantaloupe Thief

21 Jul

51-4n7VPU4L._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_A murder mystery set in NE Georgia, USA, and featuring a reporter, Branigan Powers, who is commissioned to investigate a cold case, an unsolved murder of a wealthy widow ten years previously. She enlists the help of Malachi Ezekiel Martin, a homeless man who is both a possible suspect and a possible sleuth: the idea being that homeless people get overlooked, and hence see things that are concealed from the rest of the population. This is the first in an intended series of novels featuring Branigan, Malachi, and Branigan’s friend Liam, who runs a shelter for the homeless.

 

 

611b1ezgmTL._UX250_For 27 years, Deb Richardson-Moore was a reporter for The Greenville (SC) News, winning three national writing awards and routine recognition from the South Carolina Press Association. She was a wife, mother of three, and that suburban cliche, a minivan-driving soccer mom.

She then took over the religion beat at The News and enrolled in a nearby seminary to learn more about it. Her life was never the same. She left the newspaper and earned a master of divinity degree. Because jobs for clergywomen were scarce in her own Baptist denomination, she accepted a job as pastor of the non-denominational Triune Mercy Center, a crumbling, inner-city mission church to the homeless.

Deb is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Erskine Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Vince, have three grown children.

 

My Impressions:

I do love a mystery! And I jump at every chance to review them. Lion Hudson is one of my go-to publishers for British mysteries; they are located in England. When The Cantaloupe Thief came across my email, I was intrigued. Here was a British published novel written by an American and set in the American South. Hmm. I had to check it out. What I found was a well-written page turner with heart and soul. With its setting within a homeless community and its characters real and relatable, not stereotypes, The Cantaloupe Thief is a recommended read.

Forty-something Branigan Powers is finally at home on the family farm in northeast Georgia. Her stint as a reporter in Detroit solidified her desire to live where she grew up.  As a journalist with the local paper, Branigan is assigned the 10 year old murder case of the wealthy Alberta Resnick. The only unsolved murder in Grambling history, the case is a tangle of suspects and motives that leaves Branigan wondering just what was at its heart.

The Cantaloupe Thief is a classic mystery — a puzzling crime, multiple suspects and motives, and a determined and intrepid sleuth. I enjoyed all of that immensely. It also has a unique setting and supporting cast of characters. Unique due to the homeless aspect. Richardson-Moore is intimately familiar with the struggles of homelessness. She knows the inside story and she uses it with great effect in her debut novel. Each character is fleshed out, becoming not just a face, but a person with lost dreams and demons. In a world where we turn our faces from the homeless around us, preferring to believe they don’t exist, Richardson-Moore makes the reader really look into the faces and hearts of that world. While I really liked main character Branigan, the character of Malachi Martin is compelling. Here is an invisible man, a homeless veteran who makes it his business to puzzle out the mystery. The depth of his thoughts and feelings are wonderful to behold. The author also doesn’t shy away from the effects of mental illness and drug abuse in the homeless community. The mystery is finally solved with a big surprise I didn’t see coming (that’s a big plus with me), but I hope the stories continue.

It should be noted that The Cantaloupe Thief, while a christian novel, contains elements that some may find offensive — mild language and alcohol use. I found these things natural within the context of the novel, and they do not keep me from recommending this book.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Kregel and Lion Hudson for a review copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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