Tag Archives: suspense fiction

Book Review: Exit Katrina

4 May

Weeks after Hurricane Katrina, Kate Mitchell’s husband, Daniel, is still missing. He had not arrived back in Missouri on his scheduled flight after attending an industry conference in New Orleans the week before the hurricane. Hundreds of miles away, one of the thousands of Katrina refugees settles in a small town in Tennessee. Quiet and unassuming, he slowly gains the trust and acceptance of Maggie, a recent widow who accepts his reserve as reasonable because of the loss of his family. Why then is he furtively accessing Kate’s blog? When New Orleans police and the FBI make little progress, Kate begins her own search. But the devastated city is dangerous and does not give up its secrets easily. Her perplexing discoveries make little sense until she finds herself asking the unthinkable . . . did my husband walk away from his life?



Chris Link lives in the Ozarks with his wife of 33 years and their horses and dogs. They have one grown son. Chris has been a voracious reader for most of his life, enjoying books of many genres, both fiction and nonfiction. His favorite books influence people to live differently, to be aware, perceptive and appreciative, to risk love in all circumstances.

Chris’ debut novel, Exit Katrina, draws from his love of reading, life experiences, his faith in God, and a story that once considered, would not leave him alone.

When not reading and writing, Chris enjoys teaching and consulting with people in their careers, hiking and photography, playing and listening to music, and riding his motorcycle. He is always looking forward to the next adventure and the next idea that refuses to be dismissed.


My Impressions:

Exit Katrina is the debut novel of R. Chris Link inspired by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A mystery unfolds around the disappearance of a man who was attending a conference in the days leading up to the storm. With little to go on, his wife embarks on an investigation to discover what happened. Meanwhile, a mysterious refugee from the hurricane has landed in a small town in Tennessee. A man with little interest in God, Jonas becomes a part of the community while maintaining secrecy about his past life.

Link maintains the mystery throughout the novel, making the the reader speculate as to what the truth really is. Twists and turns abound, and you can never be sure whom to trust. The book had a bit more tell than show than I would have liked and lagged a bit, but the premise of the book is good. There is a strong faith message throughout. I liked many of the characters, especially Maggie and Jimmy Dean. Main character Jonas definitely is a mystery man, but one who shows true heroism.

While I found this just an okay read, Exit Katrina has a number of 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon. Make sure to check those out.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

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


May Book Club Picks!

1 May

April showers bring May . . . books! Join my book clubs in reading two really great books — If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock and The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton. Have you read these books? We would love your input!


Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer — is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.

As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and may result in her capture — and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail cell.



At the wood’s edge cultures collide. Can two families survive the impact?
The 1757 New York frontier is home to the Oneida tribe and to British colonists, yet their feet rarely walk the same paths.
On the day Fort William Henry falls, Major Reginald Aubrey is beside himself with grief. His son, born that day, has died in the arms of his sleeping wife. When Reginald comes across an Oneida mother with newborn twins, one white, one brown, he makes a choice that will haunt the lives of all involved. He steals the white baby and leaves his own child behind. Reginald’s wife and foundling daughter, Anna, never suspect the truth about the boy they call William, but Reginald is wracked by regret that only intensifies with time, as his secret spreads its devastating ripples.
When the long buried truth comes to light, can an unlikely friendship forged at the wood’s edge provide a way forward? For a father tormented by fear of judgment, another by lust for vengeance. For a mother still grieving her lost child. For a brother who feels his twin’s absence, another unaware of his twin’s existence. And for Anna, who loves them both—Two Hawks, the mysterious Oneida boy she meets in secret, and William, her brother. As paths long divided collide, how will God direct the feet of those who follow Him?

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Club Reads

7 Mar

While the folks at The Broke And The Bookish are taking a well-deserved rest, bloggers are sharing Freebie Top 10 Lists. This week I am sharing the books my two book clubs (By The Book and Page Turners) are reading this year. What is your book club reading?


Top 10 Book Club Selections for 2017


Gathering The Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

If I Run by Terri Blackstock

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley


The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser

Luther And Katharina by Jody Hedlund

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

Still Life by Dani Pettrey


Why The Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

A Yankee in Atlanta by Jocelyn Green


What is your book club reading this year?

Top 10 Tuesday — What’s Up Next in The TBR Pile

28 Feb

The folks at the Broke And The Bookish are taking a short and well-deserved break this week. Six years of hosting this great meme! Our hats are off to you! So that means bloggers are coming up with their own topics. I’m taking the easy way out and sharing what I will be reading in the coming weeks. Have you read any of these books? Let me know what you think.


Top 10 Books in The TBR Pile

By Cat or By Crook by Patricia Fry

Doctor’s Dilemma by Richard Mabry

The Elusive Miss Ellison by Carolyn Miller


Exit Katrina by Chris Link

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

Home at Last by Deborah Raney

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd


Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

When Tides Turn by Sarah Sundin


What book is next up for you?


Mini-Review: The Newsmakers

22 Feb

TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. Is it due to her hard work and talent, or is she at the center of a spiraling conspiracy?

518cdz9c6zl-_sx331_bo1204203200_Erica Sparks is a beautiful and ambitious reporter who has just landed her dream job at Global News Network in New York. And while it was hard to leave Jenny, her cherished eight-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband, Erica is determined to succeed in the cutthroat world of big-time broadcasting. She can only hope her troubled past won’t come back to sabotage her dreams.

Although the wounds from her divorce are still fresh, Erica can’t deny the chemistry between her and her new producer, the handsome and empathetic Greg Underwood. But a relationship is the last thing she wants right now.

On her very first assignment, Erica inadvertently witnesses — and films — a horrific tragedy, scooping all the other networks. Mere weeks later, another tragedy strikes—again, right in front of Erica and her cameras.

Her career skyrockets overnight, but Erica is troubled. Deeply. This can’t just be coincidence. But what is it?

Erica will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. But she has to make sure disaster — and her troubled past — don’t catch up with her first.

copy_of_wiehl__lis_blueLis Wiehl is an American author and legal analyst for Fox News.

She is an adjunct professor of law at New York Law School, and used to be an associate professor at University of Washington Law School. She has offered legal commentary for National Public Radio program and on Bill O’Reilly’s radio program, The Radio Factor. She appears weekly on The O’Reilly Factor, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly, Lou Dobbs Tonight, the Imus morning shows, and hosts the Legal Lis radio show and the Wiehl of Justice podcast.

238836Sebastian Stuart is a native New Yorker who now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.





My Impressions:

I have been a big fan of Lis Wiehl’s novels since reading her Triple Threat series. I have read almost all of her books and have really enjoyed them. But The Newsmakers? Not so much. The premise sounded very interesting — an up-and-coming investigative reporter who not only witnesses first hand huge news stories, but becomes part of the stories themselves. Is there something sinister going on that is fueling her rise to fame? Great stuff for a story. But this one just fell flat for me. The characters were one-dimensional, and the mystery was easy to spot. Thomas Nelson is the publisher of The Newsmakers, but there wasn’t much in the book that would let you know they are Christian publishers. Besides the language, there is a big creepiness that seemed a bit gratuitous and frankly titillating. I was disappointed in that from a publisher that I have really liked. Thomas Nelson has ventured into an edginess that I have liked, but this one just went too far. The Newsmakers is book 1 in the series, but I don’t think I will be reading any of the subsequent books.

Audience: adults.

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

Book Review: Always with You

31 Oct

61lg0uffslCan she move forward without knowing her past?
Will he enjoy his present if he can’t free himself from what he left behind?

In the heart of the Adirondacks, Isabelle lives in the shadow of a dark family secret whose silent burden strips her family of emotional warmth and faith in God. Tyler belongs to the religious sect called The Faithful, which Isabelle’s father dislikes immensely. Yet, because Tyler belongs to this group, Isabelle sees only a man devoted to his family and faith.

She wants it; she gets it; they marry.

And when the truth comes out, Isabelle faces two choices:
Staying could endanger her child.
Leaving could cost her life.


71jcufdehgl-_ux250_Elaine Stock writes contemporary fiction. If you enjoy family drama blended with psychological suspense, are curious to know how people can get themselves out of a mess that seems otherwise impossible, she hopes you will cozy up with one of her stories. Always with You is her debut novel. Elaine’s short stories were published in the best-selling Amazon anthology Christmas Treasures: A Collection of Christmas Short Stories and FamilyFiction’s The Story: 2014 Anthology. She is also a regular contributor to the HappySis Magazine. On her blog, Everyone’s Story, she joins guests weekly to help encourage hope to “readers, writers, and all those in-between”. You can visit her on her website: http://www.elainestock.com.


My Impressions:

Elaine Stock’s debut novel, Always with You is a chilling look into how one can be deceived when not prepared with the proper foundation of truth. In the story, eighteen year old Isabelle has lots of questions about her family’s secretive past. Both her father and grandmother are cold and seemingly unresponsive to Isabelle’s desires and needs. So when she finds a knight in shining armor, she is quickly swept up into a new world that promises family and love. But evil is often masked and her dream of a new life and love soon spirals into a nightmare.

Always with You has a definite YA vibe — two young people, deeply in love, with many obstacles from family and friends. Their story is told from the first person perspective of both. Isabelle and Tyler seem like two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet with some neo and not-so-neo-Nazi influence thrown in. I really didn’t like either of the characters (or many others, for that matter). I couldn’t trust Tyler, and Isabelle was very, very naive. Often their love came across as being fueled more by hormones than deep emotion. There is a great deal of sexual tension between these two that, while not graphic, is a bit on the steamy side. The cult that Isabelle finds herself thrust into is scary-bad and a good warning to young adults and parents to keep their discernment honed. The story becomes a bit far-fetched at the end, and characters seem to change without any lead-in or development. A so-so read for me, it has many highly rated reviews, including this REVIEW by my friend and fellow blogger, Carrie. Make sure you read it to get another perspective.

Audience: YA to adults.

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




October Book Club Picks

1 Oct

I cannot believe it is already October! Wish the weather would cooperate here in middle Georgia — it is still hot! I’m looking forward to cool, crisp mornings, hot chocolate and apple cider and snuggling under an afghan with a good book. I may have to settle for a ceiling fan and shorts for my October reading, but my two book clubs’ October selections will help with my when-is-Autumn-ever-going-to-arrive mood.

Here’s what we are reading this month. Have you read either of these books? We’d love to know what you thought.

By The Book — Midnight on The Mississippi by Mary Ellis 

unknownNew Orleans — Hunter Galen, a stock and securities broker, suspects his business partner, James Nowak, may be involved in embezzling their clients’ money, but he’s reluctant to jeopardize their friendship based on suspicion alone. After James turns up dead, Hunter realizes his unwillingness to confront a problem may have cost James his life.

Nicki Price, a newly minted PI, intends to solve the stockbroker’s murder, recover the missing millions from the client accounts, and establish herself in the career she adores. As she ferrets out fraud and deception at Galen Investments, Hunter’s fiancée, Ashley Menard, rubs Nicki the wrong way. Nicki doesn’t trust the ostentatious woman with an agenda longer than the Mississippi River. Ashley seems to be hiding something, but is Nicki’s growing attraction to Hunter—a suspected murderer—her true reason for disliking Ashley?

As they encounter sophisticated shell games, blackmail, and murder, Nicki and Hunter’s only option is to turn to God as they search for answers, elude lethal danger, and perhaps discover love along the way.



Page Turners — Book of Ages: The Life And Letters of Jane Franklin by Jill Lepore

unknownFrom one of our most accomplished and widely admired historians — a revelatory portrait of Benjamin Franklin’s youngest sister, Jane, whose obscurity and poverty were matched only by her brother’s fame and wealth but who, like him, was a passionate reader, a gifted writer, and an astonishingly shrewd political commentator.

Making use of an astonishing cache of little-studied material, including documents, objects, and portraits only just discovered, Jill Lepore brings Jane Franklin to life in a way that illuminates not only this one extraordinary woman but an entire world.