Tag Archives: Steven James

Top 10 Tuesday — Backlist Books

6 Nov

The lure of new shiny books is so, so real. They whisper of wonderful characters, exotic locales, and stories to get lost in. But what about all those books that I have missed? My TBR pile grows ever larger as new books are released and as the ones I have missed by favorite authors demand to be read too. Today, Top Ten Tuesday is all about the backlist — books that we just haven’t gotten to — yet. ūüėČ I’m featuring favorite authors’ books that I need to read! All of the books on my list are from authors I love and include historical and contemporary, romance and suspense genres. They were released a few (or a lot) of years ago and are still hanging out on my shelves or Kindle. Have you read them? Let me know what you thought.

Head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to discover more books and authors. Your TBR will love you!

Top Backlist Books I Need to Read!

 

Dangerous Mercy by Kathy Herman

Five Brides by Eva Marie Everson

Junebug by Chris Fabry

 

Leaving Yesterday by Kathryn Cushman

Luther and Katharina by Jody Hedlund

The Queen by Steven James

Tiffany Girl by Deeanne Gist

 

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

When Mockingbirds Sing by Billy Coffey

When The Smoke Clears by Lynette Eason

 

What backlist book do you need to read?

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Top 10 Tuesday — What to binge-read when others are binge-watching.

4 Sep

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is binge-worthy TV shows/movies. I am so out of the loop when it comes to TV watching. While my friends binge-watched Downton Abbey, I read books. While my kids binge-watched The Office or Portlandia, I read books. While my husband watched Lonesome Dove and its many sequels, I read books. Hmm, I am noticing a trend. So as not to be left out this week, I again changed the topic to Book Series to Binge-Read while Other Binge-Watch. I have included series from a variety of genres — I hope you find some new books to keep you busy!

Check out other bloggers’ recommendations at That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

Top Book Series to Binge-Read

 

The Baxter Series by Kathy Herman (suspense and danger in small town America)

 

The Bowers Files by Steven James (high-octane suspense)

 

The Bright Empires by Stephen Lawhead (mind-bending time travel)

 

The Cape Refuge Series by Terri Blackstock (Southern suspense)

 

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon (romance on the Oregon coast)

 

Lowlands of Scotland by Liz Curtis Higgs (the ultimate love triangle set in 1700s Scotland)

 

The Million Dollar Mysteries by Mindy Starns Clark (charitable mysterious doings)

 

The Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta (mystery/intrigue in Victorian England)

 

What series would you binge-read?

First Line Friday — The Father’s Day Edition

15 Jun

Happy Friday! Today I am killing two reading birds with one book — a book for dads featuring a dad — with¬† The Queen by Steven James. My husband, a great father, is currently devouring James’ Patrick Bowers Files¬†series. He is binge listening to the audiobooks, and it is rare to see him around the house without earbuds. He loves this series! Although I introduced him to these novels, he is way ahead of me now. So, I am featuring the book I need to read next. Besides being great for dads, these books feature a character who is a dedicated FBI agent and¬†father, although his cases often land stepdaughter Tessa in a lot of trouble. LOL!

For more books featuring fathers, be sure to visit Hoarding Books.

 

 

While investigating a double homicide in an isolated northern Wisconsin town, FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers uncovers a high-tech conspiracy that twists through long-buried Cold War secrets and targets present-day tensions in the Middle East.

In his most explosive thriller yet, bestselling author Steven James delivers a multi-layered storytelling tour de force that not only delivers pulse-pounding suspense but also deftly explores the rippling effects of the choices we make.

The Queen¬†is a techno-thriller that will leave you breathless, offered by the author¬†Publishers Weekly¬†calls a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.”

 

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven‚Äôs book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he ‚Äúsets the new standard in suspense writing.‚ÄĚ Publishers Weekly calls him a ‚Äúmaster storyteller at the peak of his game.‚ÄĚ And RT Book Reviews promises, ‚Äúthe nail-biting suspense will rivet you.‚ÄĚ

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

Respected by some of the top thriller writers in the world, Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, ‚ÄúSteven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.‚ÄĚ

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! ūüėČ

 

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?

Mini-Review: The Knight

8 Sep

A unique clue is left for FBI criminologist Patrick Bowers at the scene of a ritual murder: a tape recording predicting Bowers’ own next move. At a subsequent murder, Bowers uncovers something else: an ancient manuscript being used as a template for the crimes. And the more he deciphers the codes of the text, the more he fears how it will end. Because Bowers isn’t closing in on the killer at all. The killer is closing in on him . . . .

 

 

 

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven‚Äôs book The Bishop their Book of the Year, says that he ‚Äúsets the new standard in suspense writing‚ÄĚ. Publishers Weekly calls him a ‚Äúmaster storyteller at the peak of his game‚ÄĚ. And RT Book Reviews promises, ‚Äúthe nail-biting suspense will rivet you‚ÄĚ.

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, Story Trumps Structure, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

My Impressions:

The Knight is the third book in Steven James’ Bowers¬†Files series. James has created another thrilling, chilling, and definitely creepy novel for those who are not faint of heart. I grimaced and cringed at some of the scenes. While it certainly can be read as a standalone, I would suggest reading the series in order. James slowly develops his characters and their relationships as the series progresses. There are also references to past and future cases that won’t spoil things for the reader, but can be used as clues for each subsequent book. The Knight¬†uses a medieval classic as its basis for the crimes, making the perpetrator a very intelligent and sophisticated villain. Patrick is again up to the challenge despite very personal attacks. I never once guessed just who the bad guy was; it caught me completely unaware. This novel is masterful in its plotting and characterization, and one of James’ best.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Audiobook Review: The Bishop

16 Aug

FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers’s cutting-edge 21st-century geospatial investigative techniques and impeccable logic have helped him track some of the country’s most grisly killers. But those skills are pushed to the limit in this new installment of the highly-acclaimed, award-winning The Bowers Files series. This time it’s a congressman’s daughter who is found dead even as her killers launch a spree of perfect murders in the Northeast.¬†
¬†With nothing to link the crimes to each other, Agent Bowers faces his most difficult case yet — even as his personal life begins to crumble around him.Known for his intricately woven, masterfully plotted novels of high-octane action and spine-tingling suspense, Steven James delivers once again.¬†

The Bishop is a gripping, adrenaline-laced story for readers who are tired of timid thrillers. Strap on your seatbelt and get ready for a wild ride. The game is on.
Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven‚Äôs book The Bishop their Book of the Year, says that he ‚Äúsets the new standard in suspense writing”. Publishers Weekly calls him a ‚Äúmaster storyteller at the peak of his game”. And RT Book Reviews promises, ‚Äúthe nail-biting suspense will rivet you”.

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, Story Trumps Structure, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

My Impressions:

I have been binge-listening to audiobooks featuring FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers. In The Bishop, Patrick and Tessa are spending the summer in the D.C. area as Patrick is teaching at Quantico. Of course, Patrick cannot go anywhere without being pulled into an investigation. The horrific murder at a primate research center is just the beginning of an intense killing spree. Familiar characters are on board to get the crimes solved, but the perpetrators are in this for personal reasons, making the stakes life and death for all the characters.

The Bishop is another creepy, creepy story. James adds just enough detail to let the reader’s imagination take flight. The result is especially chilling. Patrick Bowers is a complex character, with many flaws, but also with deep love and loyalty. His personal life is as interesting as the gruesome cases he investigates. Tessa, Patrick’s step-daughter, is the character that contemplates the spiritual aspects within the novel. The Bishop focuses on man’s free will versus instinct. Tessa’s investigation of evolutionary theories and moral arguments is a great counterpoint to the crimes detailed within the book.

While The Bishop may not be for everyone (especially those with queasy stomachs), it is a thrill ride. Great writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking themes make this one a perfect choice for those looking for a suspense-filled thriller. Note: The Bishop is the 4th book in the series, but can be read as a standalone.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Audiobook Review: The Rook

3 Aug

An arsonist has struck a top-secret research facility at a key US naval base. But it’s not just a random terrorist attack. These people were after something specific. When Special Agent Patrick Bowers is called in to investigate, he is drawn into a deadly web of intrigue and deception. With his own criminology research being turned against him and one of the world’s most deadly devices missing, Bowers is caught up in a race against time to stop an international assassin before it’s too late.

Full of fast-paced action and mind-bending plot twists,¬†The Rook¬†is an adrenaline-laced page-turner that will keep readers up all night. Book 2 in the Bowers Files, this riveting look into the criminal mind is the perfect follow-up to James’s well-reviewed¬†The Pawn.

 

 

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven‚Äôs book The Bishop their Book of the Year, says that he ‚Äúsets the new standard in suspense writing”. Publishers Weekly calls him a ‚Äúmaster storyteller at the peak of his game”. And RT Book Reviews promises, ‚Äúthe nail-biting suspense will rivet you”.

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, Story Trumps Structure, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

My Impressions:

Years ago my book club read Steven James’ first novel, The Pawn. We had varied opinions — scary, creepy, nightmare-inducing . . . . Some did not even finish it because it was too intense. I had forgotten all that when I chose the audiobook of The Rook, the second in the Bowers Files series, for my daily walks. While it didn’t produce bad dreams, it was scary, creepy, chilling, and perhaps a bit too real. I really liked it. It made me think. However, if you are the least bit squeamish or have trouble with disturbing images, then this one is definitely not for you. But if you like a thriller with twists and turns and some seriously disturbed bad guys, then I recommend it.

Patrick Bowers is a Special Agent for the FBI. Not a profiler, he is an expert at identifying where serial offenders are apt to strike leading to the discovery of their identities. Called in to help with a serial arsonist case in San Diego, he gets more than he bargins for. A sinister weapon is being developed, and there are lots of people who would like to get their hands on it. Add the life and death implications of the case to a tenuous relationship with his sullen, stubborn, and vegan stepdaughter, and Patrick may just be in over his head.

While The Rook is a masterfully plotted thriller sure to induce gasps and grimaces and keep you up way too late at night, the characters are what I loved. Patrick is at once caring and compassionate and dogged and determined. He has trouble with authority, but is on the side of the good guys. Tessa, Patrick’s 16-year old stepdaughter struggles with her place in Patrick’s life following the death of her mother. Tessa and Agent/profiler Lien-hua Jiang show the personal side of Patrick, giving the reader a balanced view. The Rook is Christian Fiction, but it does not have an overt spiritual message. Tessa and Lien-hua discuss faith and Patrick wrestles with the nature of evil, but that’s pretty much the extent of it. And perhaps that is enough. I did like Patrick’s realization of the nature of evil —¬†“We are all monsters, all of us. But we were made to be so much more.”¬†The narrator does an excellent job, making this audiobook easy to listen to, even with the times I had to cringe.

For edge of your seat thrills, The Rook is a recommended read (or listen).

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)