First Line Friday — Stratagem

16 Nov

 

 

My first line comes from the book I will be reading this weekend — Stratagem by Robin Caroll. I am so looking forward to digging into this suspense novel that features game simulations. It should be a twisting, psychological, rollercoaster reading ride! How about you? Leave a comment with the first line of your current read.

Be sure to head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines.

 

A High-Stakes Simulation Adventure Leaves Grayson Thibodeaux the Prime Suspect . . . for Murder

Deep in the gritty underbelly of New Orleans, psychologist Grayson Thibodeaux loses everything when his wife leaves him to climb her company’s corporate ladder. He buries himself in his job of creating mind-bending adventure games for businesses as team-building explorations. When his ex-wife’s company hires Grayson’s to create an elaborate game, he doesn’t see how things can get worse. Until she dies during the course of the game he created . . . making him the prime suspect for murder.

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage–two aspects Robin weaves into each of her 30 published novels.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty+ years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home–in the South, where else?

She serves the writing community as Executive Director/Conference Director for ACFW.

Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

On her faith, Robin says, “I love Jesus and will follow Him wherever He leads me.”

An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals! To learn more about this author of deep South mysteries of suspense to inspire your heart, visit Robin’s website at http://www.robincaroll.com.

 

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Book Review (+ Giveaway): The Light Before Day

15 Nov

The Light Before Day FB Banner_edited-1

About the Book

Book: The Light Before Day

Author: Suzanne Woods Fisher

Genre: Historical Fiction

Release Date: October 2, 2018

The Light Before Day-Book Cover“Henry, this . . . fortune, this sudden wealth . . . I fear it will change our lives. And I don’t want my life to change.”

After three years on a whaling voyage, Henry Macy returns to Nantucket to news that his grandmother has passed, bequeathing her vast fortune to him and his sister, Hitty. And it was truly vast. But Lillian Coffin was no fool. The inheritance comes with a steep cost, including when each should marry and whom — a Quaker in good standing, of course. But if they relinquish the inheritance, it all goes to Tristram Macy, their father’s thieving business partner.

As Hitty and Henry seek a way to satisfy the will’s conditions, they’ll be faced with obstacles on every side—and it may be that Lillian Coffin will have the last word after all.

 


 

The light of day buy 1 get 1

Find out more about this amazing deal at http://www.suzannewoodsfisher.com/thelightbeforeday

About the Author

suzanne woods fisherSuzanne Woods Fisher is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than two dozen novels, including Phoebe’s Light and Minding the Light, as well as the Amish Beginnings, The Bishop’s Family, and The Inn at Eagle Hill series. She has also written several nonfiction books about the Amish, including Amish Peace and The Heart of the Amish. Fisher lives in California. Learn more at www.suzannewoodsfisher.com and follow her on Twitter @suzannewfisher and Facebook @SuzanneWoodsFisherAuthor.

 

Guest Post from Suzanne

The Mortgage Button

In each story of the ‘Nantucket Legacy’ series, there’s a reference to a mortgage button in the newel post of a stairway. Phoebe Starbuck, the main character in Phoebe’s Light, made a point to notice it in the captain’s house on Orange Street, the famous residences of sea captains. In Minding the Light, Daphne Coffin touched the mortgage button on the newel post of her horrible mother’s grand house each and every morning. Hitty and Henry Macy were well aware of the absence of their childhood home’s mortgage button—and all that its absence symbolized—in The Light Before Day.

Mortgage buttons meant something to each of those characters. It made a statement to anyone who walked into a house.

Have you ever seen a mortgage button? It’s a very Nantucket-y tradition. In fact, some say the mortgage button originated on Nantucket Island, thirty miles out to sea.

Supposedly, when a house’s mortgage was fully paid and there were no liens against the property, the homeowner drilled a hole in the newel post of the main staircase, rolled up the mortgage document, put it inside, and capped the hole with a decorative plug of scrimshaw.

Scrimshaw is a term for an American folk art developed during the 18th and 19th centuries. Whaling in New England was an industry that lifted Nantucket Island to become the world’s wealthiest port. After a whale’s oil was rendered, the ship’s captain would give his crew the sperm whale’s teeth or bones to carve during long tedious hours at sea. Whaling had its exciting moments, but they were far and few between. As a pastime, sailors carved all kinds of useful gifts to bring home to their loved ones: needles, combs, games, clothespins, busks…and mortgage buttons.

But let’s jump back to the mortgage button. Some legends say that the actual mortgage papers were ceremoniously burned and the ashes stashed inside the drilled hole before sealed with the button. However, as appealing a thought as that might be, it is most likely a myth. There’s never been any evidence of ashes or even hidden mortgages found in salvaged newel posts. Still, mortgage buttons are common among Nantucket homes, and the tradition has spread to other parts of the country. In southern states, for example, they’re called brag buttons. Whether myth or truth, today it’s more a matter of a charming nostalgic custom than a nod to your healthy (or…not so healthy) net worth.

 

My Impressions:

Change is inevitable, though not always welcome. It’s our attitude that counts. While The Light Before Day may be an historical novel dating hundreds of years in the past, Suzanne Woods Fisher has made this message relevant for modern day. That is one of the strengths of her writing, whether historical or Amish fiction — making the unfamiliar feel real to her audience. In the third book of the Nantucket Legacy series Great Mary’s journal continues to provide insight into the founding of Nantucket Island and wisdom for her descendants (and the reader 🙂 ). In the 1840s, change is coming to Nantucket and the country as a whole. Society’s view on the rights of man are developing as the whaling industry suffers from over-fishing. Against this backdrop comes the stories of Henry and Hitty Macy, twins who have inherited an overwhelming and unwanted inheritance from their domineering grandmother. The two struggle with controlling the terms of the will while maintaining their own conscience and desires. I found both Henry and Hitty to be engaging characters. Secondary characters such as their grandfather Jeremiah, young but wise secretary Marie-Claire, and 5-year old Bitsy added depth and a bit of fun to the novel. As always the journal of Great Mary was a joy to read as she offers her views on her neighbors, family, and her growing faith in God. There’s a bit of lurking danger and two sweet, sweet romances in The Light Before Day that kept this reader turning the pages. There are also beginnings and endings in the two storylines that compliment each other. And the message of relationship with Jesus and being a light for others is inspiring. I don’t agree with all the tenets of the Quaker faith, but The Light Before Day gave me greater understanding of the Society of Friends.

The Light Before Day can be read as a standalone. I had read book 1, but missed book 2 and had no trouble jumping into the lives of the characters. But I do feel like I have missed a treat and am determined to read Minding The Light. So my recommendation is to begin at the beginning of this series for lots of wonderful reading.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Stops

The Avid Reader, November 4

Just the Write Escape, November 4

Texas Book-aholic, November 5

Godly Book Reviews, November 5

Southern Gal Loves to Read, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 6

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 7

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 7

Among the Reads, November 8

Blossoms and Blessings, November 8

Blogging With Carol, November 9

A Baker’s Perspective, November 9

Mary Hake, November 10

Connies history classroom, November 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 11

Carpe Diem, November 11

Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, November 12

Simple Harvest Reads, November 12

Inspiration Clothesline, November 13

Janices book reviews, November 13

Captive Dreams, November 14

Bigreadersite, November 14

Tell Tale Book Reviews, November 15

By The Book, November 15

Pause for Tales, November 16

Book by Book, November 16

Have A Wonderful Day, November 17

Bibliophile Reviews, November 17

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Suzanne is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/d773/the-light-before-day-celebration-tour-giveaway

Mini-Review: Hidden Currents

14 Nov

You can take the detective out of the investigation, but you can’t take the investigator out of the detective. A notorious gang puts a bounty on Detective Cady Matthews’s head after she takes down their leader, leaving her no choice but to hide until she can testify at trial. But her temporary home across the country on a remote North Carolina island isn’t as peaceful as she initially thinks. Living under the new identity of Cassidy Livingston, she struggles to keep her investigative skills tucked away, especially after a body washes ashore. When local police bungle the murder investigation, she can’t resist stepping in. But Cassidy is supposed to be keeping a low profile. One wrong move could lead to both her discovery and her demise. Can she bring justice to the island . . . or will the hidden currents surrounding her pull her under for good?

To purchase, click HERE. It’s available in paperback, audio, or ebook. If you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s FREE!

 

USA Today has called Christy Barritt‘s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”

A Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.

She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious — but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado.

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She has more than fifty books published with over one million copies sold.

For more information, visit her website: http://www.christybarritt.com.

My Impressions:

Because we don’t often read straight mysteries (we do read LOTS of romantic suspense), my book club selected Hidden Currents, the first book in Christy Barritt’s Lantern Beach series. Although we generally liked it, we had some complaints. But after our discussion, I think the positives outweighed the negatives, and some of our members will continue with the series. What we liked: a quick read, likable characters, fun beach setting, interesting backstory of main character Cassidy, subtle faith message. Not so much: convenient and abrupt ending, predictable coincidences, big cliffhanger. Will I continue reading the series? Probably. I like quick and light mysteries when I need a break from heavier subjects or complex stories. Hidden Currents is a good choice for pure entertainment.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday: Gifts for Your Beloved Bookworm

13 Nov

Christmas will be here before you know it. If you’ve been in any store recently, you know it’s true. And with the holidays comes gift-giving. Admit it, some people are hard to buy for and that includes the bookworms on your list. What do you get someone who already has 10 – 20,000 books in their TBR pile? And while more books may be the correct answer, it is often next to impossible to choose the perfect title. I am making it easier for you with my Top 10 Tuesday Buying Guide! Hopefully my list will inspire you and earn you points with your bookish friends and family.

For more books and bookish stuff to buy, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Bookish Buying Guide

Gift Cards

I know this seems like an uninspiring gift, but really it is a book lover’s dream — FREE  money to buy those books that they really want, but haven’t justified buying yet. An Amazon gift card is always appreciated, but don’t forget your local bookstore. Share the love with those brick and mortar, independent booksellers!

Bookish Miscellany 

While you are visiting the local bookstore to purchase that gift card, be sure to peruse the small and relatively inexpensive items to include with your gift. Bookmarks, pens, notepads, etc. are all fun additions and add a personal touch to your gift.

If you want to be a bit more creative in your shopping, here are some bookish gifts that I just LOVE!

Book Mugs from The Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild. One of my favorite mugs to sip from while reading is my Jane Austin mug with all the wonderful quotes from her classic books.

Literary Candles from UncommonGoods. These candles help to create the perfect atmosphere for book reading.

Classic T-Shirts and Tote Bags from Literary Book Gifts. Be sure to use the discount code BTB20 for 20% off!

Book Box from JustRead. A fun book box that doesn’t require a subscription. The boxes include tons of bookish goodness and books! Currently, there are two to choose from.

HopeByTheBook Magazine. The perfect magazine for your bookworm, the magazine is filled with lifestyle articles, author interviews, reviews, and recommendations. You can buy a single issue or subscribe for 4-editions/year.

 

I hope you were inspired by my list. 

Happy shopping!

 

Book Review (+ Giveaway): Chosen People

12 Nov

About the Book

Book: Chosen People

Author: Robert Whitlow

Genre: Legal Drama

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Publisher: HarperCollins

Bestselling author Robert Whitlow dives deep into the legal ramifications of a tragic event half a world away and how it affects two lawyers in Atlanta from vastly different backgrounds.

When Hana Abboud walked into the conference room, she was unprepared for the images of a horrific terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. But after watching a courageous mother sacrifice her life to save her four-year-old daughter, Hana knew she needed to help attorney Jakob Brodsky represent the family’s pursuit of justice against those who perpetrate acts of violent jihad. As an Arab Israeli lawyer trained at Hebrew University, Hana is uniquely qualified to step into the gap.
But they need a third partner, an investigator on the ground to help them unravel the snake pit of connections between the terrorists and an organization or company that can be sued in the American courts. Hana returns home to Israel and meets with investigator Hamid Hasan who quickly becomes more than a crucial part of the litigation team.

As Jakob and Hana investigate the case in the US, he is stalked on the streets of Atlanta by affiliates of a terrorist organization. Their pursuit of truth can only be resolved where it began: the streets of Jerusalem. But who can they trust? How deep does deceit go? Can two lawyers and a shadowy investigator impact the kind of violence and terror that has become common in our broken world?

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

Robert Whitlow is the bestselling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Website: robertwhitlow.com, Twitter: @whitlowwriter, Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks

Guest Post from Robert

Inside the Story

Chosen People — a title that reflects both the Biblical designation for the Jewish nation as well as converted Christians—opens during a terrorist attack near the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A courageous mother sacrifices her life to save her young daughter, leaving behind a grieving husband and a motherless child.

Whitlow’s many trips to Israel and his in-depth research into the culture and laws of the Holy City are evident throughout the story. Furthermore, his experience as a lawyer gives him keen insight into the mind of his main character Hanna Abboud, an Arab Christian Israeli lawyer working in Atlanta.

“This book provides a unique perspective to this region and its peoples through the eyes of an Arab Christian who believes that the faithfulness of God and truths of the Bible are unshakable realities,” says Whitlow. “This viewpoint is rarely expressed, yet it is one that needs and deserves to be heard so that it can become part of our framework for understanding this vital part of the world and the people who live there.”

 

My Impressions:

Robert Whitlow is one of my favorite authors. In fact, he is also one of my husband’s favorites and one of my book club’s favorites. We are all very excited when a new novel is released. So it was with the great anticipation of a good read that I opened the cover of Chosen People. Oh, my goodness! Chosen People moves up to the top of the list for best book by Whitlow. This book has it all! It gets a highly recommended rating from me.

Chosen People is legal drama at its best — an intriguing case, determined attorneys seeking justice, and clients that deserve the best of outcomes. Add to this a timely backdrop of international terrorism, a mix of cultures and beliefs, and the setting of Israel, and you get a book that is sure to please the most discerning of readers. Whitlow has succeeded in bringing to life the vibrant world of modern Israel from the perspectives of Israeli Jew and Arab, and those who visit from other parts of the world. The lawsuit that main characters Hana, Jakob, and Daud pursue is a complex mix of American anti-terrorism laws, financial investigations, and dark underworld connections. It kept this reader engaged throughout. The early parts of the book deal heavily with the case, but it soon becomes apparent that there is danger for all who are connected to the case. And while I loved the intricacies of the law, the characters were the real star. I had several favorites, but it is Hana Abboud, an Israeli Arab Christian working as a lawyer in Atlanta, that captured my imagination. She is obviously skilled in her work, but her faith is real and alive and was inspiring on many levels. She cares for all people regardless of their ethnicity or religion. Hana indeed is a woman who lives out her faith in tangible ways. She describes it to her co-counsel in this way: . . . my relationship with God through Jesus is my core. I know that’s a religious statement, but it’s not just a belief or an idea; it transforms everything about who I am and how I relate to all people, regardless of who they are and where they come from.” (p.354). What a great statement! There are many powerful, faith-filled moments in this book that add a depth to an already excellent legal suspense novel.

My book club will be reading Chosen People in the coming months. I cannot wait to hear where our discussion will take us. Grab this book and some friends — you will want to talk about it when you are finished.

Highly Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Blog Stops

Just the Write Escape, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

Multifarious, November 9

Real World Bible Study, November 9

The Power of Words, November 9

The Becca Files, November 10

Bibliophile Reviews, November 10

C Jane Read, November 11

Caffeinated Christian Raves – N – Reviews, November 11

Book by Book, November 11

Margaret Kazmierczak, November 12

By The Book, November 12

All-of-a-kind Mom, November 13

Painting with Words, November 13

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 13

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)

Robin is Bookish, November 14

Texas Book-aholic, November 15

Moments, November 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 16

Mary Hake, November 16

Janices book reviews, November 17

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, November 17

Little Homeschool on the Prairie, November 18

Christian Bookaholic, November 18

Carpe Diem, November 19

Stephanie’s Life of Perseverance, November 19

A Baker’s Perspective, November 20

Inklings and notions, November 20

Bigreadersite, November 21

For The Love of Books, November 21

Giveaway

To celebrate his tour, HarperCollins is giving away a grand prize of three finished Robert Whitlow books (to be chosen by the publisher)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/d73a/chosen-people-celebration-tour-giveaway

Swimming in The Deep End Blog Blitz!

9 Nov

Swimming the Deep End Blog Blitz

Welcome to the Blog Blitz & Giveaway for Swimming In The Deep End by Christina Suzann Nelson, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

swimming in the deep endTitle: Swimming In The Deep End
Author: Christina Suzann Nelson
Publisher: Kregel Publications
Release Date: September 25, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

A moving novel entwining the many faces of motherly love

Jillian Connors has the perfect daughter: loving and smart, she’s an Olympic hopeful with a bright future. But when Gabby becomes pregnant, Jillian fears that future is lost. Worse, she must confront her own secret past and hope the decisions she’s made don’t drown their whole family.

Gabby can’t believe God let this happen to her. She knew the risks, but who thinks about that when they’re in love? Now she has to face the consequences–and the disappointed stares from everyone who thought she was the perfect Christian girl. At least she has the baby’s father, Travis. Nothing can tear them apart, right?

Margaret Owens had determined dreams for her son. She’s furious that Gabby’s pregnancy jeopardizes his college baseball scholarship and terrified that Travis will be trapped in a life of struggle and poverty–the life she’s tried so hard to save him from. She’ll do anything to protect him–even if it means forcing him to leave Gabby.

Stacey Meyers is aching for a child of her own. But the son she was meant to adopt was taken before she could hold him in her arms. It feels like she’ll never stop mourning; even the move to this new town hasn’t distracted her from the pain. How can she and her husband find peace? Is there any hope of a family in their future?

And in the midst of all this . . . an unborn baby. Whose arms will hold him in the end?

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Christian Book | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

CNELSON-5

Christina Suzann Nelson, inspirational speaker and award-winning author of If We Make It Home, is celebrating the release of Swimming in the Deep End, on September 25, 2018. She writes and speaks about hope after dysfunction. Christina is over the top about her passions, including the stories created somewhere in the twists and turns of her less-than-focused brain. When she’s not writing, she’s working with the Every Child initiative, chasing escaped steers, reading, breathing in the sweet smell of her horse, hiking with her dog, or enjoying her just-as-crazy family.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINA: website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest


swimming in the deep end blitz giveaway

TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive (US only)

  • a print copy of Swimming in the Deep End
  • $10 Amazon gift card
  • Swimming in the Deep End water bottle

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight November 9, 2018 and last through 11:59pm November 16, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

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First Line Friday — In Too Deep

9 Nov

Happy Friday!  I just love suspense novels, and I am excited to dive in (sorry/not sorry 😉 ) to Lynn H. Blackburn‘s next book in her Dive Team Investigations series, In Too Deep. The first book in the series had wonderful characters and non-stop action — I expect the same from this book too.

What’s your favorite genre? Please share a line! Then make sure you head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines.

 

When the dive team is called in to recover a body from a submerged car, they aren’t prepared to find an encrypted laptop–or an unsettling connection between investigator Adam Campbell and the dead accountant.

Adam turns to his friend Dr. Sabrina Fleming — a professor at the local university with unparalleled computer security and forensics skills–to recover the files from the laptop. But the deeper they dig, the deadlier the investigation becomes. When evidence uncovers a human trafficking ring and implicates members of Adam’s own family, he and Sabrina will have to risk everything to solve the case.

The truth could set hundreds free–but someone is willing to do whatever it takes to silence anyone who threatens to reveal their secrets. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn invites readers back to Carrington, North Carolina, where everything is not as it seems and sinister elements lurk behind the idyllic façade.

To purchase, click HERE.

Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children.