Tag Archives: Irene Hannon

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?

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Best of 2016

27 Dec

2016 was a whirlwind of activity for my family. Several weddings, a couple of bucket list trips, and relocations led to a very busy year. Amid it all I did manage to read some great books — some new releases and some new to me. So, I am supposed to narrow my list to just 10. Hmm . . . can’t do it. 😉 So I have come up with two lists — Contemporary Fiction and Historical Fiction. No matter your preference of genre, there is something for you on these lists. To see what other bloggers consider their best of the best, please visit The Broke And The Bookish.

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Top Contemporary Fiction of 2016

 

Of Stillness and Storm by Michele Phoenix

Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

Seeing Things by Patti Hill

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Since You’ve Been Gone by Christa Allan

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

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Water From My Heart by Charles Martin

When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks

The Witnesses by Robert Whitlow

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Top Historical Fiction of 2016

 

Anchor in The Storm by Sarah Sundin

AD 30 by Ted Dekker

A Day And A Life by Penelope Wilcock

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Forest Child by Heather Day Gilbert

The Inheritance by Michael Phillips

The Lady And The Lionheart by Joanne Bischof

Like A River From Its Course by Kelli Stuart

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The Memoir of Johnny Devine by Camille Eide

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin

Within The Veil by Brandy Valance

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Best of The Best of 2106

There were two books that I gave Very Highly Recommended ratings to in 2016. Both were from author Mike Nappa. These are great books I would recommend to everyone!

unknown2Annabel Lee

Fourteen miles east of Peachtree, Alabama, a secret is hidden. That secret’s name is Annabel Lee Truckson, and even she doesn’t know why her mysterious uncle has stowed her deep underground in a military-style bunker. He’s left her with a few German words, a barely-controlled guard dog, and a single command: “Don’t open that door for anybody, you got it? Not even me.”

Above ground, a former Army sniper called The Mute and an enigmatic “Dr. Smith” know about the girl. As the race begins to find her, the tension builds. Who wants to set her free? Why does the other want to keep her captive forever? Who will reach her first?

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill need to piece together the clues and stay alive long enough to retrieve the girl–before it’s too late.

41jklpz8chl-_sx322_bo1204203200_The Raven 

As part of his regular street performance, a deception specialist who goes by the name The Raven picks his audience’s pockets while they watch. It’s harmless fun — until he decides to keep the spare wallet a city councilman doesn’t seem to miss, hoping for a few extra bucks. When he finds not money but compromising photos of the councilman and his “personal assistants”, The Raven hatches a plan to blackmail the man. However, he quickly finds himself in over his head with the Ukrainian Mafia and mired in a life-threatening plot code-named, “Nevermore”.

Private investigators Trudi Coffey and Samuel Hill must scramble to sort out the clues — and their complicated feelings for each other — to rescue The Raven and save hundreds of lives from a wildcard bent on revenge.

 

Book Review: Tangled Webs

7 Oct

unknownAfter a disastrous Middle East mission ends his six-year Army Ranger career, Finn McGregor needs some downtime. A peaceful month in the woods sounds like the perfect way to decompress. But peace isn’t on the agenda once he crosses paths with publishing executive Dana Lewis, a neighbor who is nursing wounds of her own. Someone seems bent on disrupting her stay in the lakeside cabin she inherited from her grandfather. As Finn and Dana work together to discover who is behind the disquieting pranks, the incidents begin to take on a menacing tone. And when it becomes apparent Dana’s foe may have deadly intent, Finn finds himself back in the thick of the action — ready or not.

 

irenepicbio1(From the author’s website.) Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay…maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!

Since then, she has written more than 45 romance and romantic suspense novels. Her books have been honored with two RITA awards—the “Oscar” of romantic fiction—and she is a six-time finalist. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, a Carol award, two HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a Retailers Choice Award and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full-time. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing. A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific”, “Brigadoon”, “Oklahoma”, “The King and I”, and “Anything Goes”. She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.

 

My Impressions:

In the final book of Irene Hannon’s Men of Valor series, Tangled Webs, the youngest of the McGregor brothers is regrouping following his discharge from the Army. Finn, a former Ranger, is recuperating from severe injuries and the emotional aftermath of battlefield trauma. Dana Lewis is recovering from trauma of her own in her family’s cabin on the edge of the Mark Twain National Forest. The two meet in a very untraditional way, but their connection is almost immediate. But something strange is going on in the lake and woods, and the two join forces to find out just what is going on.

Hannon is a master at romantic suspense. Her timing is impeccable and her characters are well-drawn. I loved the unfolding love story between Finn and Dana. There is sweetness and sizzle between these two engaging characters. Readers find out who the bad guys are early on in the action, although Finn and Dana must wait longer to uncover the mystery. I liked that Hannon let readers in on the motivations behind the bad guys’ actions — that gave this reader a lot of food for thought. Just what how far would you go to care for a loved one? For some, the answer is black and white, but for others the answer may involve gray areas. For this reason, Tangled Webs is an excellent choice for book clubs.

Tangled Webs is a great ending for an excellent series. Too bad there aren’t any more McGregor brothers! I guess I’ll just have to wait for Hannon’s new Code of Honor series coming in the Spring of 2017.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Great for Book Clubs.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell for a copy of Tangled Webs. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR List!

27 Sep

Here in middle Georgia the calendar may say Fall, but it is still 90+ degrees outside! We are expecting a cold front on Wednesday night, meaning the temps will be in the mid 80s for the rest of the week. Pumpkin everything may be everywhere, but it does not feel like Fall here. I can take comfort in the fact that when Winter hits it won’t feel like Winter either! The folks at The Broke And The Bookish are hosting a Fall TBR Top 10 List this week. So while I wait for crisp, cool temps to arrive, I can enjoy some good reading. Iced pumpkin latte anyone?

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Top 10 Fall TBR List

Always with You by Elaine Stock

The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall

A Day And A Life by Penelope Wilcock

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The Devoted by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Kit Kat And Lucy by Lonnie Hull DuPont

Midnight on The Mississippi by Mary Ellis

The Name I Called Myself by Beth Moran

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The Princes of Albion by Jon and Thomas Hopkins

Tangled Webs by Irene Hannon

The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo

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What are you reading this Fall?

 

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.

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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?

 

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?

This Book Is Making Me Hungry! + Review: Sea Rose Lane

30 Jun

51hxZPHwTQL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up–only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed & breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he’s constantly distracted by noise, chaos–and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who’s invaded the house with her motley crew.

As for BJ, her client’s son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn’t high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?

 

irenepicbio1(From the author’s website.) Irene Hannon is a bestselling, award-winning author who took the publishing world by storm at the tender age of 10 with a sparkling piece of fiction that received national attention.

Okay…maybe that’s a slight exaggeration. But she was one of the honorees in a complete-the-story contest conducted by a national children’s magazine. And she likes to think of that as her “official” fiction-writing debut!

Since then, she has written more than 45 romance and romantic suspense novels. Her books have been honored with two RITA awards—the “Oscar” of romantic fiction—and she is a six-time finalist. Her books have also won a Daphne du Maurier award, a Carol award, two HOLT Medallions, a National Readers’ Choice Award, a Retailers Choice Award and two Reviewers’ Choice awards from RT Book Reviews magazine. One of her novels was also named by Booklist as a top 10 inspirational fiction books of 2011. In addition, she is a Christy award finalist.

Irene, who holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in journalism, juggled two careers for many years until she gave up her executive corporate communications position with a Fortune 500 company to write full-time. She is happy to say she has no regrets!

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening and singing. A trained vocalist, she has sung the leading role in numerous musicals, including “South Pacific,” “Brigadoon,” “Oklahoma” “The King and I” and “Anything Goes.” She is also a soloist at her church.

When not otherwise occupied, Irene and her husband enjoy traveling, Saturday mornings at their favorite coffee shop and spending time with family. They make their home in Missouri.

My Impressions:

Irene Hannon is a go-to author for me. I have always loved her romantic suspense, and now she is my favorite for contemporary romance. Sea Rose Lane is the second book in her Hope Harbor series. A few characters from the first book make appearances, but it is easily read as a standalone novel. But my recommendation is to start at the beginning of the series — you will not want to miss any visit to this picturesque town on the Oregon Coast that is filled with people that quickly become friends (at least fictional friends 🙂 ).

DSC06478 Arch rock OregonSo what’s to like about Sea Rose Lane? Besides the true-to-life and endearing characters, the wonderfully detailed setting and a sweet, sweet romance, Hannon crafts a story a reader quickly sinks into. This book is not just a romance, but a story of hope and community. There are several story lines that, while secondary to the romance thread, bring a depth to the book with complex relationships, issue-oriented plot lines and lots to think about! There are also some unexpected characters — two seagulls and a seal — that add a touch of whimsy. And you will definitely be charmed and intrigued by the taco-making artist who seems to know an awful lot about what is going on in this small town.

I absolutely loved Sea Rose Lane! A perfect choice for a Summer reading.

 

Highly Recommended!

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

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

 

ne0107_chocolatecake.jpg.rend.sni12col.landscapeAs with several of Hannon’s books, this one made me hungry! Besides the fish tacos served up by Charley, Eleanor makes a mean fudge cake! So, of course, I had to look up a recipe to share. The one I chose is from Nigella Lawson, courtesy of the Food Network.

“Eleanor’s” Fudge Cake

Ingredients

For the cake:
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup best-quality cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup corn oil
1 1/3 cups chilled water

For the fudge icing:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, minimum 70 percent cocoa solids
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

For the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and line the bottom of 2 (8-inch) cake pans.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl or wide-necked measuring cup whisk together the eggs, sour cream and vanilla until blended. Using a standing or handheld electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended (you’ll need another large bowl for this is using the hand mixer; the standing mixer comes with its own bowl), then beat in the water. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins. And actually, you could easily do this manually; I just like my toys and find the stand mixer a comforting presence in itself.

Bake the cakes for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out on the rack to cool completely.

For the icing:
Melt the chocolate in the microwave – 2 to 3 minutes on medium should do it – or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.

In another bowl beat the butter until it’s soft and creamy (again, I use the stand mixer here) and then add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until everything’s light and fluffy. I know sifting is a pain, the 1 job in the kitchen I really hate, but you have to do it or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.

Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides, too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.