Tag Archives: Brandilyn Collins

Top 10 Tuesday — Series I Really Love, but Hate That I Haven’t Finished!

15 May

Because we always want to keep it positive here at By The Book, I chose to tweak the theme of this week’s Top 10 Tuesday (yet again, LOL!). So instead of highlighting books I hated, I am featuring the series I loved, but haven’t finished yet. In most cases I lack only 1 book to check the completed box. How in the world can I NOT finish a series, especially when the last book waits impatiently on my shelf? Here’s my rationalization: books in a series are usually released once a year. There are so many shiny books that come out between the installments that I just can’t resist, hence leaving very deserving books languishing. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Update: This post shamed me into action! I am currently reading A Will, A Way, And A Wedding by Melody Carlson. I’ll be able to check this one off in a few days.

What about you? Have you ever left a series you absolutely love unfinished? What’s your reason?

Be sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl where, hopefully, other bloggers are sharing the love not the hate! 😉

 

Top Series I Have Not Finished

 

The Bowers Files by Steven James

 

Crisis Team by Candace Calvert

 

Dear Daphne by Melody Carlson

 

Elite Guardians by Lynette Eason 

 

Inn At Shining Waters by Melody Carlson

 

Kanner Lake by Brandilyn Collins

 

Secrets of Roux River Bayou by Kathy Herman

 

What series do you need to finish?

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Top 10 Tuesday — We Want Justice!

24 Apr

This week the Top 10 Tuesday prompt is frequently used word in the titles of  ____ genre. Well, I quickly scanned my favorite, mystery/suspense, and found that authors do indeed use a few words over and over in their titles. Fatal, Death (not including variations), Murder, and Justice seemed to be the favorites. On this blog alone I’ve reviewed 6 Fatal books, 12 Death books, 20 Murder books, and 9 Justice books (with 3 waiting in the TBR pile!). In an effort to bring a positive spin to this Deadly (7 books!) topic, I went with Justice because though elusive, it is the ultimate goal of the heroes and heroines that inhabit the novels.

Be sure to visit That Artsy Reader Girl to find out what other words frequent bloggers must-read lists.

 

Top Books with Justice in The Title

Beyond Justice by Cara Putman

The Color of Justice by Ace Collins

Dark Justice by Brandilyn Collins

Eyes of Justice by Lis Wiehl and April Henry

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley

The Justice Game by Randy Singer

Private Justice by Terri Blackstock

Scorned Justice by Margaret Daley

What word frequents your favorite genre?

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors To Read in One Sitting

21 Mar

I love, love, love suspense! And I have a few go-to authors that I must read. Some of their books are so good that I just cannot put them down. It’s a blessing and a curse! A blessing because I know when I buy their books I will be in for a twisting, turning good time. A curse because the ride, like those at amusement parks, are over much too quickly! LOL!

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke And The Bookish, I have 5 authors that have books that are easily read in one sitting. To find out what other bloggers are sharing this week, click HERE.

Top Books I Could Not Put Down!

Terri Blackstock

Brandilyn Collins

Rene Gutteridge

Irene Hannon

Lisa Harris

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Recommendations

11 Oct

This week the Top 10 Tuesday theme is all about books we have read (and loved) because of a recommendation. I have a confession to make — I am so busy with review books that I have a TBR pile of recs teetering to the ceiling! These suggested books come from bloggers that I respect and that share my reading habits — Carol at The Power of Words, Carrie at Reading Is My Superpower, Iola at Iola’s Christian Reads, and Rel at Relz Reviewz. So here are the books they have raved about that I should be reading.

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Top 10 Recommended Books I Should Be Reading

 

41kbq54hikl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Always Watching by Lynette Eason

The bodyguards of Elite Guardians Agency have more than just skill and prowess in common–they’re also all women. When it becomes clear that popular psychiatrist and radio personality Wade Savage has a stalker, his father secretly hires Elite Guardians in order to protect his son.

But when Wade’s bodyguard is attacked and nearly killed, agency owner Olivia Edwards must step in and fill the gap. Olivia’s skills are about to be tested to the limit as Wade’s stalker moves from leaving innocent gifts at his door to threatening those closest to him. Olivia has the feeling that she’s next on the list. And to complicate things even further, she realizes that her heart may be in as much danger as her client.

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An Aussie Summer Christmas Collection 

Melbourne Memories by USA Today bestselling author Marion Ueckermann

Escaping his dangerous past, former British rock star Justin “The Phoenix” Taylor flees to Australia. Intrigued by the bearded stranger visiting her coffee shop, Ella Anderson decides to discover his secrets. But when Justin’s past collides with their future, Ella must decide whether they have a future at all.

Next Door Santa by USA Today bestselling author Lacy Williams

Will Harris is proud of his no-complications life. So why is he drawn to his upstairs neighbor, who seems obsessed with Christmas? Can Bridie soften Will-the-Scrooge’s heart in time for Christmas?

Seaside Christmas by Narelle Atkins

Political advisor and former bad boy Gus Donovan is intrigued by Chelsea Somers, the girl he didn’t call after their one and only date, six years ago. Chelsea is impressed by the new Gus, but can she trust him with her family secrets … and with her heart?

A Christmas Resolution by Rose Dee

Breeah has avoided returning to her Australian coastal hometown of Kiisay Point for ten years—avoided the mistake that changed her life, ruined her friendships, and soured her first love. She’s never returned to Resolution, the island where it all happened. But now she’s back, and having to face up to the childhood she loved, the man she can’t forget, and the future that won’t start until she lets it all go.

All is Bright by Andrea Grigg

Amy’s always been a good Christian girl…except for being in love with her brother-in-law. Josh is looking for love again, surprised to find it with his late wife’s sister. But will a mountain of guilt and an unexpected letter stop them from making it to the altar?

Falling for Maddie Grace by Meredith Resce

Australia’s first professional female football umpire, Maddie Grace, gets knocked out in an on-field accident, crushed beneath the weight of an athletic sports star. What is it about the visual images that has the media making up stories of a secret love affair? Escaping the paparazzi is one thing, but escaping each other is quite another.

511opoppdcl-_sx322_bo1204203200_God Bless Us Everyone by Eva Marie Everson

Charlene Dixon—called Charlie by family and friends—is devastated at the recent loss of her job. For the last five years, the twenty-seven-year-old has blossomed as the activities director of an exclusive all-girls school. But when a misunderstanding with the headmistress leads to a pink slip right before the holidays, Charlie packs up her dreams and returns to her grandmother, Sis, who raised Charlie as her own in the mountains of North Carolina.

When Charlie arrives—broken and confused—Sis immediately puts her granddaughter to work behind the scenes of the local school’s Christmas play, A Christmas Carol. Charlie doesn’t always like working with Dustin Kennedy, the drama teacher, but Sis encourages her to take a deeper look at why the book by Charles Dickens had been written in the first place and what it could teach Charlie about the needs of people in their own community.

51r6iuu7uvl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Jaded by Varina Denman

As a child, Ruthie was shunned by the local congregation. Thirteen years later, Ruthie’s heart begins to stir when an attractive single preacher arrives. But their relationship is bitterly opposed—unearthing a string of secrets which threaten to turn the church, the town, and her world upside-down.

Jaded is the rare novel that is both love story between a woman and man … and God and His church. Plunging deep into the waters of shame, forgiveness and restoration, it will resonate with every woman who’s experienced a loss of heart … and a thirst for hope.

51lptcuk4l-_sx331_bo1204203200_Kept by Sally Bradley

Life has taught Miska Tomlinson that there are no honorable men. Her womanizing brothers, her absentee father, and Mark, the married baseball player who claims to love her—all have proven undependable. But Miska has life under control. She runs her editing business from her luxury condo, stays fit with daily jogs along Chicago’s lakefront, and in her free time blogs anonymously about life as a kept woman. Enter new neighbor Dillan Foster. Between his unexpected friendship and her father’s sudden reappearance, Miska loses control of her orderly life. Her relationship with Mark deteriorates, and Miska can’t help comparing him to Dillan. His religious views are so foreign, yet the way he treats her is something she’s longed for. But Dillan discovers exactly who she is and what she has done. Too late she finds herself longing for a man who is determined to never look her way again. When her blog receives unexpected national press, Miska realizes her anonymity was an illusion. Caught in a scandal about to break across the nation, Miska wonders if the God Dillan talks about would bother with a woman like her—a woman who’s gone too far and done too much.

unknownThe Things We Knew by Catherine West

After her mother’s death twelve years ago, Lynette Carlisle watched her close-knit family unravel. One by one, her four older siblings left their Nantucket home and never returned. All seem to blame their father for their mother’s death, but nobody will talk about that tragic day. And Lynette’s memory only speaks through nightmares.

Then Nicholas Cooper returns to Nantucket, bringing the past with him. Once Lynette’s adolescent crush, Nick knows more about her mother’s death than he lets on. The truth could tear apart his own family—and destroy his fragile friendship with Lynette, the woman he no longer thinks of as a kid sister.

As their father’s failing health and financial concerns bring the Carlisle siblings home, secrets surface that will either restore their shattered relationships or separate the siblings forever. But pulling up anchor on the past propels them into the perfect storm, powerful enough to make them question their faith, their willingness to forgive, and the very truth of all the things they thought they knew.

unknown-1Vain Empires by Brandilyn Collins

Six people arrive on a remote island — contestants in the “reality show of the century”, Dream Prize. The winner will be the person who learns the most facts about the others and gains the most viewer votes. Sounds simple. But the three men and three women soon discover nothing is as expected. They are alone on the island. Cameras surround them, filming twenty-four hours a day. And their challenge? Discover which of the Seven Deadly Sins each contestant, including themselves, represents.

Turns out each person has a damning secret — one that could ruin his or her life. Those secrets are about to be revealed on live television. And this is only the beginning of the twists in the game.

unknownWalking on Sea Glass by Julie Carobini

Suddenly single, Liddy Buckle flees the desert to work at an up-and-coming seaside resort with her best friend, Meg. The breezy backdrop of an inn by the sea offers Liddy the dream of starting fresh, but soon she is shocked to discover another setback brewing in her life. Despite the battle that lies ahead, she finds herself drawn to Beau Quinn, a captivating widower with a wounded heart of his own.

As Beau and Liddy’s burgeoning relationship attempts to survive, will Liddy have the courage to trust a man again–especially one as emotionally fragile as Beau? Can Beau commit to a woman facing a challenging recovery?

And what is going on behind the scenes at Sea Glass Inn, where late night deliveries and secret meetings are spoken about in whispers? Set in a fictional California seaside town, Walking on Sea Glass weaves a romantic story of courage, faith, and the power of true love.

51gfkzndbvl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin

Geesje de Jonge crossed the ocean at age seventeen with her parents and a small group of immigrants from the Netherlands to settle in the Michigan wilderness. Fifty years later, in 1897, she’s asked to write a memoir of her early experiences as the town celebrates its anniversary. Reluctant at first, she soon uncovers memories and emotions hidden all these years, including the story of her one true love.

At the nearby Hotel Ottawa Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan, twenty-three-year-old Anna Nicholson is trying to ease the pain of a broken engagement to a wealthy Chicago banker. But her time of introspection is disturbed after a violent storm aboard a steamship stirs up memories of a childhood nightmare. As more memories and dreams surface, Anna begins to question who she is and whether she wants to return to her wealthy life in Chicago. When she befriends a young seminary student who is working at the hotel for the summer, she finds herself asking him all the questions that have been troubling her.

Neither Geesje nor Anna, who are different in every possible way, can foresee the life-altering surprises awaiting them before the summer ends.

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The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck

It’s the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman after having inherited her great aunt’s wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her his bride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet.

More than eighty years later, former Air Force Captain Haley Morgan has returned home to Heart’s Bend after finishing her commitment to military service. After the devastating death of her best friend, Tammy, and discovering the truth about the man she loved, Haley is searching for her place in life.

When Haley decides to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop where she and Tammy played and dreamed as children, she begins a journey of courage, mystery, and love.

As Cora’s and Haley’s stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love.

 

 

Which one should I read first?

Top Ten Tuesday — Suspense-Filled Audiobooks

20 Sep

This week the folks at The Broke And Bookish are talking all things Audio! I featured some of my favorite audiobooks in June for a Freebie Week. So today I will concentrate on my favorite genre — suspense. To find out what other bloggers are listening to, click HERE.

toptentuesday

I started listening to audiobooks several years ago as I traveled twice a week to see my daughter’s college soccer games. Even home games were a 3 1/2 hour drive for me. Suspense novels helped to make the miles and hours go by more quickly, not least of all keeping me awake! Now that she’s graduated, I listen to audiobooks on my daily walks. It’s a great way to make me look forward to exercise! Here are 10 of my favorites.

Top 10 Favorite Suspense-Filled Audiobooks

 

Dubiosity by Christy Barritt

Double Blind by Brandilyn Collins

Trapped by Irene Hannon

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Vanished by Irene Hannon

The Real Enemy by Kathy Herman

Fear Has A Name by Creston Mapes

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Double Cross by DiAnn Mills

The Survivor by DiAnn Mills

A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks

A Matter of Trust by Lis Wiehl

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What have you been listening to?

 

Book Review: Dark Justice

12 Nov

UnknownIf I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

000007026Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling author of nearly 30 books. She is best known for her Seatbelt Suspense®–fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels, often laced with humor.

 

My Impressions:

Brandilyn Collins markets her novels as Seatbelt Suspense, promising fast-paced and adrenaline-laced plotting with enough twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. Dark Justice is By The Book’s November selection. It has been a while since we have read one of Collins’ books, but she is a favorite of our group. The premise of this book is certainly relevant today and is the subject of evening news programs — is our electrical grid vulnerable to attack? Collins presents a plausible scenario in which homegrown terrorists are in a race to bring the United States economy and government to its knees. All that is standing in the way of achieving their goals is a 50-something woman, her elderly mother suffering from dementia and her computer whiz daughter. It’s difficult for Hannah, Carol and Emily to identify the bad guys as they evade capture from law enforcement and gun-wielding terrorists.

There is a lot to like about Dark Justice. Strong characters make this novel. Collins takes us inside a family coping with the effects of Alzheimer’s. The frustrations and struggles are handled realistically and with sensitivity. The terror plot could be taken out of today’s headlines. And I loved the combination of first person, third person and Congressional testimony that she uses to tell the story. This novel is all about perceptions and the errors we make when relying heavily on what we feel or think we know. Hannah’s suspicions seem natural at first, but become a bit implausible as the story progresses. I’ll chalk that up to the extreme fatigue she endures trying to keep her mother calm while evading attacks from all sides.

I’m looking forward to discussing Dark Justice with my book club. Have you read it? We’d love to know what you thought.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

November Book Club Selections

2 Nov

This month my book clubs, By The Book and Page Turners, have picked two very different books. By The Book is reading Dark Justice a Christian suspense novel by Brandilyn Collins. And Page Turners is reading a secular novel, The Last Anniversary by Liane Moriarty. Have you read either one of these novels? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

UnknownIf I’d had any idea what those words would mean to me, to my mother and daughter, I’d have fled California without looking back.

While driving a rural road, Hannah Shire and her aging mother, who suffers from dementia, stop to help a man at the scene of a car accident. The man whispers mysterious words in Hannah’s ear. Soon people want to kill Hannah and her mother for what they “know.” Even law enforcement may be involved.

The two women must flee for their lives. But how does Hannah hide her confused mother? Carol just wants to listen to her pop music, wear her favorite purple hat, and go home. And if they turn to Hannah’s twentyseven- year-old daughter, Emily, for help, will she fall into danger as well?

000007026Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling author of nearly 30 books. She is best known for her Seatbelt Suspense®–fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels, often laced with humor.

UnknownSophie Honeywell always wondered if Thomas Gordon was the one who got away. He was the perfect boyfriend, but on the day he was going to propose, she broke his heart. A year later he married his travel agent, while Sophie has been mortifyingly single ever since. Now Thomas is back in her life because Sophie has unexpectedly inherited his aunt Connie’s house on Scribbly Gum Island—home of the famously unsolved Munro Baby mystery.

Sophie moves onto the island and begins a new life as part of an unconventional family, where it seems everyone has a secret. Grace, a beautiful young mother, is feverishly planning a shocking escape from her perfect life. Margie, a frumpy housewife, has made a pact with a stranger, while dreamy Aunt Rose wonders if maybe it’s about time she started making her own decisions.

As Sophie’s life becomes increasingly complicated, she discovers that sometimes you have to stop waiting around—and come up with your own fairy-tale ending.

LianeLiane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, including Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers, The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies.