Tag Archives: suspense fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — The End of Summer TBR List

25 Jul

The past week has been crazy. My husband had a routine medical procedure that has proven anything but. A promised one day recuperation has stretched into a week. We are hoping and praying for the best, but the two weeks that are left before a return to the doctor seem more like a year away instead. All this to say that I would appreciate your prayers for my husband’s healing and patience for the both of us. ūüėČ

Because of the stress and worry of the past few days, I am taking the easy way out this week and posting my TBR list for the rest of the Summer. Which books will you be reading?

 

End of Summer TBR List

Ascension of Larks by Rachel Linden

Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble

Cardiac Event by Richard Mabry

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Gathering The Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island by Carrie Fancett Pagels

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson

The Return by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

 

What’s on your TBR List?

Alana Terry’s Kennedy Stern Christian Suspense Series 3-in-1 Bundle Only 99 Cents!

24 Jul

A three-in-one bundle of suspense and page-turning excitement as missionary kid Kennedy Stern faces more danger, mystery, and controversy than she knows how to handle.

 

Buy the 99 cent box set now!

On Sale Until Midnight July 30!

 

Confronted with questions of underage abortion, plagued by a stalker and paralyzing PTSD flashbacks, and eventually caught in the center of a police brutality scandal, Kennedy discovers that her first year at Harvard University involves a lot more than passing a few lab classes and fulfilling her premed requirements.

With her parents serving North Korean refugees overseas, Kennedy befriends a loving and highly opinionated pastor, his hospitable and encouraging wife, an eccentric but respectful roommate whose worldview is drastically different from Kennedy’s, and a foreign lab partner who’s harboring a grave secret he’d do just about anything to keep from being exposed.

 

The Kennedy Stern Christian suspense series tackles controversial issues facing the church today and brings them to light in a way that encourages questions and fosters discussions without ever turning preachy or heavy-handed.

 

 

In addition to lowering her book bundle price down to 99-cents (from a regular $9.99), Alana’s using the sale to raise funds for Liberty in North Korea, an organization that runs an underground railroad for North Korean refugees. A portion of all book sales from the bundle will be donated to LiNK. Alana’s goal is to sell 10,000 copies of this ebook, which would lead to $3,000 for LiNK (the amount it costs to rescue one refugee on their underground railroad).

How can you help a North Korean refugee find freedom and safety?

Buy the 99-cent Christian suspense book bundle to help raise funds for North Korean refugees!

 

Alana Terry is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more.¬†

Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching.¬†

She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second. 

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer Reading Lists

18 Jul

When my children were in High School they had summer reading assignments. I was all — ¬†I wish we had that when I was in school!¬†They were all —¬†meh! LOL! The problem really wasn’t that they were expected to read; I had made forced urged them to do that every summer of their school years. It was more the books that were on the list.

Summer is about to close for kids here in middle Georgia. My home county’s schools start in just 3 short weeks. At this point, my children would just now be cracking open their assigned books. And I would be threatening urging them to get to it. Would it have been different if I could have created the list with books that are entertaining, suspenseful, full of action and passion? ¬†I like to think so.

So here are the books I would put on a summer reading list for High School-aged kids. My list is a mix of Classics and Christian fiction. What do you think?

Top Books for Summer Reading

American History — The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara

‚ÄúMy favorite historical novel . . . a superb re-creation of the Battle of Gettysburg, but its real importance is its insight into what the war was about, and what it meant.‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒJames M. McPherson
 
In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation‚Äôs history, two armies fought for two conflicting dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Far more than rifles and bullets were carried into battle. There were memories. There were promises. There was love. And far more than men fell on those Pennsylvania fields. Bright futures, untested innocence, and pristine beauty were also the casualties of war. Michael Shaara‚Äôs Pulitzer Prize ‚Äď winning masterpiece is unique, sweeping, unforgettable ‚ÄĒ the dramatic story of the battleground for America‚Äôs destiny.

American Literature — A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

The American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century.

From the moment she entered the world, Francie needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family‚Äôs erratic and eccentric behavior-such as her father Johnny‚Äôs taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy‚Äôs habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce-no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans‚Äô life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans‚Äô daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from ‚Äújunk day‚ÄĚ on Saturdays, when the children of Francie‚Äôs neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Betty Smith has artfully caught this sense of exciting life in a novel of childhood, replete with incredibly rich moments of universal experiences — a truly remarkable achievement for any writer.

British History — The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

“One of the best mysteries of all time” (The New York Times)‚ÄĒJosephine Tey recreates one of history‚Äôs most famous¬†‚ÄĒ and vicious ‚ÄĒcrimes in her classic bestselling novel, a must read for connoisseurs of fiction, now with a new introduction by Robert Barnard.

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world‚Äôs most heinous villains‚ÄĒa venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother‚Äôs children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England‚Äôs throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

The Daughter of Time is an ingeniously plotted, beautifully written, and suspenseful tale, a supreme achievement from one of mystery writing’s most gifted masters.

British Literature — The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The novel that T. S. Eliot called ‚Äúthe first, the longest, and the best of the modern English detective novels‚ÄĚ

Guarded by three Brahmin priests, the Moonstone is a religious relic, the centerpiece in a sacred statue of the Hindu god of the moon. It is also a giant yellow diamond of enormous value, and its temptation is irresistible to the corrupt John Herncastle, a colonel in the British Army in India. After murdering the three guardian priests and bringing the diamond back to England with him, Herncastle bequeaths it to his niece, Rachel, knowing full well that danger will follow. True to its enigmatic nature, the Moonstone disappears from Rachel’s room on the night of her eighteenth birthday, igniting a mystery so intricate and thrilling it has set the standard for every crime novel of the past one hundred fifty years.

Widely recognized, alongside the stories of Edgar Allan Poe, as establishing many of the most enduring conventions of detective fiction, The Moonstone is Wilkie Collins’s masterwork and one of the greatest novels of the nineteenth century.

Current Events — The Beloved Daughter by Alana Terry

In a small North Korean village, a young girl struggles to survive. Catastrophic floods have ravaged her countryside. But it is her father’s faith, not the famine of North Hamyong Province, that most threatens Chung-Cha’s well-being. Is Chung-Cha’s father right to be such a vocal believer? Or is he a fool to bring danger on the head of his only daughter? Chung-Cha is only a girl of twelve and is too young to answer such questions. Yet, she is not too young to face a life of imprisonment and forced labor. Her crime? Being the daughter of a political dissident.

The Beloved Daughter follows Chung-Cha into one of the most notorious prison camps the contemporary free world has known. Will Chung-Cha survive the horrors of Camp 22? And if she does survive, will her faith remain intact?

The Beloved Daughter is Alana Terry’s debut Christian novel and has won awards from Readers’ Favorite, Grace Awards, Women of Faith, The Book Club Network, and others.

Philosophy — The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a classic Christian allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. An extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment, Lewis’s revolutionary idea in the The Great Divorce is that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis’ The Great Divorce will change the way we think about good and evil.

 

 

 

Physics — The Skin Map by Stephen Lawhead

It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intersecting realities. To unravel the future of the future.

Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.

One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code‚ÄĒa roadmap of symbols‚ÄĒthat he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.

But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.

The Bright Empires series‚ÄĒfrom acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead‚ÄĒis a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, adventure like no other.

Psychology — Strangers on A Train by Patricia Highsmith

“For eliciting the menace that lurks in familiar surroundings, there’s no one like Patricia Highsmith.” ‚ÄēTime

The world of Patricia Highsmith has always been filled with ordinary people, all of whom are capable of very ordinary crimes. This theme was present from the beginning, when her debut, Strangers on a Train, galvanized the reading public. Here we encounter Guy Haines and Charles Anthony Bruno, passengers on the same train. But while Guy is a successful architect in the midst of a divorce, Bruno turns out to be a sadistic psychopath who manipulates Guy into swapping murders with him. “Some people are better off dead,” Bruno remarks, “like your wife and my father, for instance.” As Bruno carries out his twisted plan, Guy is trapped in Highsmith’s perilous world, where, under the right circumstances, anybody is capable of murder.

The inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1951 film, Strangers on a Train launched Highsmith on a prolific career of noir fiction, proving her a master at depicting the unsettling forces that tremble beneath the surface of everyday contemporary life.

World History — Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

A work of searing beauty, Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of Stephen Kumalo, a Zulu pastor, and his son, Absalom. It is also the story of a land and a people riven by racial injustice, reflecting the troubled and changing South Africa of the 1940s. The book is written with such keen compassion and understanding that the listener shares fully in the gravity of the characters situations. Alan Paton said of his book: “It is a song of love for one’s far distant country….” Thus, it is a tale that is passionately African while also being timeless and universal. But ultimately, Cry, the Beloved Country is a work of love and hope, of courage and tragedy, born of the dignity of man.

All School Read — The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Set against the turbulent years of the Napoleonic¬†¬†era, Alexandre Dumas’s thrilling adventure story¬†¬†is one of the most widely read romantic novels of¬†¬†all time. In it the dashing young hero, Edmond¬†¬†Dant√®s, is betrayed by his enemies and thrown¬†¬†into a secret dungeon in the Chateau d’If — doomed¬†¬†to spend his life in a dank prison cell. The story¬†¬†of his long, intolerable years in captivity, his¬†¬†miraculous escape, and his carefully wrought¬†¬†revenge creates a dramatic tale of mystery and intrigue¬†¬†and paints a vision of France — a dazzling,¬†¬†dueling, exuberant France — that has become immortal.¬†¬†

 

 

What books would you include on a Summer Reading List?

Happy Book Birthday! Distorted by Christy Barritt

20 Jun

Happy book birthday to Christy Barritt! Her newest suspense novel, Distorted is out today. Check it out!

 

 

Mallory Baldwin is a survivor. A former victim of human trafficking, she’s been given a second chance, yet not a night goes by that she doesn’t remember being a slave to weapons dealer Dante Torres. Despite being afraid of the dark and wary of strangers, Mallory is trying to rebuild her life by turning her tragedy into redemption.

To former Navy SEAL Tennyson Walker, Mallory seems nothing like the shattered woman he rescued two years ago, and he can’t help but be inspired by her strength and resilience. So when a stalker suddenly makes Mallory vulnerable once again, Tennyson steps up as her bodyguard to keep her safe.

Mallory and Tennyson’s mutual attraction can’t be ignored, but neither can Mallory’s suspicion that Tennyson is keeping a terrible secret about her past. As the nightmare closes in, it’s not only Mallory and Tennyson’s love that comes under fire but their very lives as well. Will their faith sustain them? Or will the darkness win once and for all?

 

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.

Top 10 Tuesday: Series I Need to Finish!

20 Jun

The folks at The Broke And The Bookish want to know what book series bloggers want to start. Well, before I can start a new series, I need to complete some first. Oh, who am I kidding? Having uncompleted series won’t keep me from starting new ones, but they will weigh heavily on my mind. LOL! To find out what book series other bloggers long to begin, click HERE.

 

Because I have many books on my shelves that regularly whisper (or shout) Read Me!, I thought I would share those series I began in earnest, but have been a slacker in completing. I share these partly to find out from you which one I should be reading and partly to shame myself into reading those long neglected books. So here they are.

Top Book Series I Need to Finish

 

The Darkwater Saga by Patrick Carr

 

Drew Farthering Mystery series by Juliana Deering

 

The Martyr’s Song series by Ted Dekker

 

 

Sophie Trace Trilogy by Kathy Herman

 

 

Secrets of The Shetlands series by Michael Phillips

 

Which series would you finish first?

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Authors Dad Will Love

13 Jun

Father’s Day is only a few days away. Have you picked out a tie or socks for your favorite dad yet? Don’t do it! Get them something they will really love! The authors I am featuring today have already been dad-approved. My husband and many of the husbands of the gals in my book club have read the books below — and loved them! You won’t have a problem with things that don’t fit or having to return that nose-hair trimmer that doesn’t work. (EWW!) Seriously, these guys know how to write a book that will keep dad turning the pages and thanking you for the great gift you gave him this year. Not convinced, then head over to The Broke And The Bookish for other bloggers’ recommendations based on dads.

 

 

Top Authors For Dad!

 

J. Mark Bertrand

J. Mark Bertrand is the author of the crime novels Back on Murder, Pattern of Wounds,¬†and Nothing to Hide, featuring Houston homicide detective Roland March. The Weekly Standard dubbed him “a major crime-fiction talent.” He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Houston and lives with his wife Laurie in South Dakota.

Find out more online at http://www.jmarkbertrand.com.

 

 

Mark Mynheir

Mark Mynheir is a former Marine who’s worked in law enforcement over twenty-eight-years. In his career, Mark has served as a patrol officer, an undercover narcotics agent, a S.W.A.T. Team member, and a homicide detective.

Mark has parlayed his police experiences into a successful speaking and writing career. He has written articles for Focus on the Family’s Breakaway magazine, Lookout magazine, and Christian Fictiononline and is also the author of five novels: Rolling Thunder, From the Belly of the Dragon, The Void, The Corruptible, and the Christy nominated The Night Watchman. Mark has also co-written two books with Max Lucado ‚ÄĒ¬†Pocket Prayers for Dads and Pocket Prayers for Military Life.

He and his family currently live in central Florida. You can visit Mark’s website at http://www.copwriter.com or on his Facebook page.

 

Randy Singer

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned nine legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel Directed Verdict. In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his “Jekyll and Hyde thing¬†— part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school’s Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at http://www.randysinger.net.

 

Robert Whitlow

Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and three grandchildren.

Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenerios.

You can find Robert Whitlow at his website, robertwhitlow.com.

Book Review: Driver Confessional

1 Jun

Ride share driver Antonio cruises the streets of Washington, D.C. looking for his next fare.

He has an unusual gift for relaxing his customers and stimulating their desire to reveal more than they planned. By the completion of their ride, many feel so comfortable that they confess their sins great and small. Antonio’s faith guides his discussions and points him in new directions. Suddenly, his peaceful world is turned upside down by a mysterious business woman. As she heads to a midnight rendezvous, she confesses more than Antonio can handle. Her story sends him into a world of espionage, international terrorism and danger.

 

David L Winters is an award-winning author, humorist and speaker, originally from Ohio, who lives in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. His first book, Sabbatical of the Mind: The Journey from Anxiety to Peace, won several awards including a Silver Illumination Award from the Jenkins Group and two Finalist Medals from the Next Generation Indies Book Awards.

Find out more about David at http://www.sabbaticalofthemind.net.

 

My Impressions:

Driver Confessional by David L. Winters sounded like my kind of book — a fast-paced suspense novel pitting an inexperienced law student against the movers and shakers of D.C. I even have some connection with the book’s setting and main character. You see, my youngest is a law student at the same university as the main character, Antonio. The streets Antonio drives are the same as my son’s. Unfortunately, this novel just didn’t click with me. It has a just the facts kind of vibe that left me wanting more — more character development and more plot details. I never quite got what was really going on with the nefarious company men and their ties to the Russian mob. Oh, I figured out some things and assumed the rest, but I would have liked the author to flesh things out. Driver Confessional comes in at 190 pages, so there is definitely room to add to the story. I was also taken out of the story by the typos and grammatical errors that I came across. I think a bit of editing is in order. There are a few positives that I must mention. Antonio and his wife, Sylvia, are believers and share their faith in simple ways, without fear and without offending. I really liked that. Antonio, especially, sees his job as a means to share God’s love and care for his riders. He was a great example of living a life devoted to God first and foremost.

There are plenty of reviewers that would disagree with my assessment, so be sure to head over to Amazon and Goodreads to get differing opinions.

Audience: adults.

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