Top 10 Tuesday — Love and Suspense!

14 Feb

Valentine’s Day is all about romance, and this week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish are featuring what bloggers love about romance fiction. Well, I love my romance with a big dose of suspense! I love fast-paced action, twisting and turning plots, and characters that connect because of (or in spite of) the danger they encounter. Today I am featuring the authors who I believe do romantic suspense very well. To check out what other bloggers like in their romance, click HERE.

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Top Romantic Suspense Authors

Patricia Bradley — Logan Point Series

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Lynette Eason — Hidden Identity Series

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Irene Hannon — Men of Valor Series

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Lisa Harris — Southern Crimes Series

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What do you like in romance reading?

 

Children’s Corner — Two Board Books for Black History Month

9 Feb

February is Black History Month, and Worthy Publishing has two great board books, The Story of Rosa Parks and The Story of Martin Luther King Jr., to share with the littlest of readers. Here’s the scoop:

unknownThis little book of only about 200 words introduces Rosa Parks, called the mother of the civil rights movement. Here is the story of her courageous decision to remain on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, an action that resulted in her arrest and, ultimately, a victory for civil rights. The rich oil paintings by artist Steven Walker contribute to the tension of the moment and the understanding of Rosa Parks.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

 

 

unknown-1This little book tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. in a way that even very young children will understand. This simple but accurate account of his life begins with King’s childhood, making it easy for little ones to relate to his story. Children will learn that he excelled in school, became a minister, and worked to end segregation in America. This book, with only about 200 words accompanied by delicate watercolors, is a great way for parents to begin to teach their children about this inspirational historical figure.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

My Impressions:

It is never too early to introduce your children to historical events and people that have made a huge impact on our current society. The board books, The Story of Rosa Parks and The Story of Martin Luther King Jr., are easily understood looks into what the world was like before the Civil Rights movement. The simple phrases of the stories are accompanied by illustrations that bring the struggles of African Americans to life. The books also emphasize the great strides we have made in the equality of all Americans. Children will easily see themselves in the stories as well and feel empathy for what others in history went through. Standing for truth and justice, living lives of integrity and peace, both of these heroes of the Civil Rights movement will come alive to your kids. So if you are looking for a way to share our nation’s history with your kids, consider choosing these two books.

Recommended.

Audience: children ages 2-5.

(Thanks to Worthy Publishing for complimentary copies of these books. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Sins of The Past

8 Feb

51qur6wq4yl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Three Novellas from Bestselling Authors

In Dee Henderson‘s Missing, a Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.

Dani Pettrey returns to Alaska with Shadowed, introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of an open-water swimming competitor who may actually be a possible Russian defector.

Lynette Eason‘s Blackout delivers the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found — but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?

 

Dee 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.

dani-press-page-photoDani Pettrey is a wife, mom, grandma, and the author of Cold Shot, the first book in the Chesapeake Valor series, and the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award nomination, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others.

She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves — the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson.

71ml9pouful-_ux250_Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason has written/contracted thirty-six books since 2007. She writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. Lynette has been teaching for more than ten years and is very happy to make the transition from teaching school to teaching writing whenever the opportunity presents. She is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

 

 

 

My Impressions:

February is the month for love and romance, and when a story is paired with action-packed suspense, well, you really cannot go wrong. The 3-novella collection, Sins of The Past has all that and more — the wonderful writing of not 1, not 2, but 3!! of the best romantic suspense authors in Christian fiction. When you dive into this book you are in for a sweet treat! You get tough and determined heroines, hunky heroes with a soft side, and twists and turns that make the pages fly. The only down side? You’ll be done with this book in no time and be yearning for more!

I loved that each novella was classic Henderson, Pettrey and Eason. In Missing, the reader returns to Chicago to solve the case of a missing mom. In Shadowed, the reader gets the low-down on the McKenna’s parents romantic beginning, as well as adrenaline-fueled suspense. And in Blackout, the reader will be on the edge of her seat trying to figure out just what the main characters are missing. Characters are easy to like, and the plots will keep you guessing. The common thread of a sin from the past that plagues the main characters is a clever way of linking the stories.

So if you are looking for the perfect Valentine’s read, I highly recommend you pick up Sins of The Past. I loved it and I am betting you will too!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

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

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Christian Worldview

7 Feb

The folks at The Broke And The Bookish always have challenging prompts for their Top 10 Tuesday posts. This week they are challenging bloggers to explore what they would like to see more of in books. For what other bloggers are discussing, click HERE.

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So, what do I want more of in books? My book clubs have challenged and stretched my reading habits, and for this I am thankful. I think everyone should venture out of their comfort zones to read different genres or to discover new authors. Because of this I have read some books I never would have chosen on my own. And while I really enjoyed the books I am about to discuss, they seemed to lack something. As I pondered just what was missing, I came up with one common thing — lack of a Christian worldview.

Christian Worldview (also called Biblical worldview) refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which a Christian individual, group or culture interprets the world and interacts with it. — from Wikipedia.

Now, I am not judging the authors, but I don’t think I am going out on a limb saying that they did not begin writing saying WWJD! The books are well-written and award-winning — truly exceptional books, but left me feeling unsatisfied. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t need a book to be blatant or preachy, but I do appreciate when there is a subtly woven message of hope or redemption or forgiveness.

So today, I am presenting 4 books that I liked a lot, but would have loved if they had been based on Biblical concepts, and 4 books that I think are great examples of Christian Worldview. As always, these are my own opinions and not a judgment of the authors personally.

4 Books I Liked, But Would Have Loved If They Had Included A Christian Worldview

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald

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3 Books I Loved That Include A Christian Worldview

Secrets of A Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Unwritten by Charles Martin

Water from My Heart by Charles Martin

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What do you want more of in books?

 

Book Review: Fatal Accusation

3 Feb

51ys3rhhiplAttorney Olivia Murray hopes her life will get back to normal after a hard fought trial. But she soon finds out that the forces of evil have not given up their pursuit to win the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge.

An embezzling scandal breaks that rocks the community church to its core. The New Age groups are ready to declare victory when a high profile prosecutor files criminal charges against the local pastor. However, Olivia is not willing to give up on the community she’s come to love. She takes on the defense pro bono knowing it could destroy her career, but it’s a case that she is called to defend.

The battle will be fierce, but she’s not fighting it alone. Her friend and fellow attorney Grant Baxter is by her side. Olivia must use all the tools in her arsenal to combat those who seek to destroy the believers in the community. If Olivia can’t prove the pastor’s innocence, more than her career is on the line. The entire community of Windy Ridge could fall to the forces of darkness.

71l2nnpxbsl-_ux250_-pngRachel Dylan writes Christian fiction including inspirational romantic suspense for Love Inspired Suspense. She also writes the Danger in the Deep South series and the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series. Trial & Tribulations is a 2016 Selah Awards Finalist. Rachel has practiced law for a decade and enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. She lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

 

My Impressions:

The faith community of Windy Ridge is rocked by a seeming betrayal by Pastor Dan Light in Rachel Dylan’s latest legal thriller, Fatal Accusation. In this supernaturally-charged suspense novel, the reader is treated to twists and turns galore and fast-paced action. If you haven’t read book 1 in this series, Trial & Tribulation, make sure to do so first. The plot lines are continuous, so you’ll miss some really good stuff!

While the action in Fatal Accusation is front and center, characterization does not take a back seat. Olivia Murray is a great lead character — complex, with a strong faith foundation. Dylan uses her to show the power that God can exhibit through His people. Spiritual warfare is chillingly illustrated in this novel, but in a very realistic way. Perhaps that is why it makes such an impact on the reader. The battles between good and evil make this a thought-provoking page turner. I liked that Dylan resolved the legal fight Pastor Dan is involved in, but she leaves some plot lines dangling. There’s more than enough for another much anticipated book.

One theme I especially liked was the idea of God using our circumstances, both good and bad, to shape our lives and purpose. Pastor Dan finds himself in a difficult place, but realizes he is just where God wants him. That was a good reminder to me.

A quick read, Fatal Accusation is a good choice for fans of legal thrillers, and gets a recommended rating from me.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE. The Kindle version is just $3.99!

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

 

Children’s Corner — The Berenstain Bears Hugs And Kisses Sticker And Activity Book

2 Feb

616tcsmvl2l-_sx407_bo1204203200_Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Berenstain Bears with puzzles, activity pages, and more than 50 reusable stickers in The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses Sticker and Activity Book.

Featuring Papa, Mama, Brother, Sister, and Honey and the rest of the Bear Country gang, kids are sure to have loads of fun as they help Sister Bear through a maze to find her Valentine, solve word puzzles with Brother, color with Honey Bear, and a whole lot more!

 

My Impressions:

Better than candy! That’s what I think about The Berenstain Bears Hugs And Kisses Activity Book. This book gives your kids hours of fun with reusable stickers, puzzles and games, stories and more — all revolving around love. Love is certainly the theme as each activity reinforces love for family, friends and God. This book is great for kids in early elementary school grades and is recommended by me!

Recommended.

Audience: ages 4-8.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

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

February 2017 Book Club Selections

1 Feb

February is the shortest month of the year, but we are never short of good books to read! Here are the two novels my book clubs are reading this month. Have you read them? We’d love to know what you thought.

 

By The Book — My Sister’s Prayer by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould.

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Celeste Talbot is usually such a sensible young woman—until she falls for an English soldier reassigned to the Colonies. Leaving her Huguenot family behind, she sets sail for America, only to realize that her younger sister Berta has been kidnapped and forced on board the very same ship. Whom can Celeste trust? The dashing soldier? Or the vigilant carpenter who remains by their side in the perilous New World?

Virginia, present day

Madeline “Maddee” Talbot has her hands full when she agrees to take in her younger sister Nicole following a serious car accident. The young women grew apart when Nicole fell into drug addiction, and Maddee prays this will be the start of a better life for her sister. But as they investigate a trauma from their childhood, Maddee must keep a diligent eye on Nicole—and the shadowy figure watching them from afar.

From the Christy Award-winning team of Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould, My Sister’s Prayer tells an epic tale of two women compelled to protect their sisters, confront their fears, and navigate the muddy waters of betrayal to find true love.

Page Turners — Doc by Mary Doria Russell (currently $1.99 for Kindle!)

511ffqgk9plBorn to the life of a Southern gentleman, Dr. John Henry Holliday arrives on the Texas frontier hoping that the dry air and sunshine of the West will restore him to health. Soon, with few job prospects, Doc Holliday is gambling professionally with his partner, Mária Katarina Harony, a high-strung, classically educated Hungarian. In search of high-stakes poker, the couple hits the saloons of Dodge City. And that is where the unlikely friendship of Doc Holliday and a fearless lawman named Wyatt Earp begins — before the gunfight at the O.K. Corral links their names forever in American frontier mythology — when neither man wanted fame or deserved notoriety.