Tag Archives: suspense fiction

Book Review (+Giveaway!): The Linen God

6 Jul

the linen god blog and review tour

Welcome to The Linen God blog & review tour and GIVEAWAY, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

the linen godTitle: The Linen God
Author: Jim O’Shea
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: March 31, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Suspense/Thriller

The Shroud of Turin is the most studied and controversial religious relic in human history.

The ancient linen cloth bears the image of a man, alleged to be that of Jesus of Nazareth. What if it were real? What if it contained a secret powerful enough to alter the course of human history? And what if it fell into the wrong hands?

Manny Lusum is convinced the Shroud is the genuine article and obsessed with proving it scientifically. Grace Barden is not only Manny’s best friend, but also secretly in love with the physics student and soon-to-be Catholic priest. Across the globe, three grisly murders and the theft of a secret manuscript thrust Grace and Manny into a generations-old conspiracy of biblical proportions. From New York to Rome to the inner sanctum of the Vatican, they struggle to untangle a bizarre mystery surrounding the controversial artifact.

In a dramatic confrontation between faith and the ultimate evil on the world stage, Grace and Manny are pushed to the edge of an abyss, balanced on the brink between heaven and hell.

This suspenseful and captivating thriller is perfect for fans of Dan Brown, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, and David Baldacci. Order your copy today and experience a unique blend of history, science, conscience, religion and a battle of good versus evil that will keep you reading into the early morning hours!

“ . . . a wonderfully engaging, page-turning thriller.”
—Doug Peterson, Award Winning Author
of The Vanishing Woman and The Puzzle People

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Ambassador | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

jim o'shea

Jim is a long-time resident of Chesterfield, Missouri…“The City of Sculptures”. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia and now spends his time crafting novels of suspense that tackle the complex relationship between science and religion, stories designed to take the reader places he or she may not have previously considered.

CONNECT: website | Facebook | Ambassador International

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

MY IMPRESSIONS:

The Linen God by Jim O’Shea is a supernatural thriller based on the Shroud of Turin. With action from the busy streets of New York to the hallowed halls of Vatican City, it combines obscure prophesies and modern technology to provide a fast-paced read. Cover-ups, conspiracies, spiritual warfare, and end-times references make this novel perfect for fans of both The DaVinci Code and the Left Behind series. The style is edgier than most CF; something I don’t have a problem with. Twists, turns, and unforeseen surprises keep this one interesting, but I would have liked a bit more character development and backstory. I was unfamiliar with many of the Catholic traditions and rituals, but the author does a good job of keeping the reader up to speed. However, I found some of the theological doctrine a bit off the mark. I can’t elaborate — spoilers — but I felt the novel strayed from scripture in some scenes.

Be sure to visit other blogs on this tour to find out what others think.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to JustRead Blog Tours for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 


The Linen God blog tour giveaway

GIVEAWAY

Ambassador International is giving away:

5 winners will receive an ebook copy of The Linen God (open internationally, except where prohibited by law)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 2, 2018 and last through 11:59pm July 9, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

Click HERE to enter!

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Audiobook Review: Brink of Death

5 Jul

The noises, faint, fleeting, whispered into her consciousness like wraiths passing in the night. Twelve-year-old Erin Willit opened her eyes to darkness lit only by the dim green nightlight near her closet door and the faint glow of a street lamp through her front window. She felt her forehead wrinkle, the fingers of one hand curl as she tried to discern what had awakened her. Something was not right . . . Annie Kingston moves to Grove Landing for safety and quiet—and comes face to face with evil. When neighbor Lisa Willet is killed by an intruder in her home, Sheriff’s detectives are left with little evidence. Lisa’s daughter, Erin, saw the killer, but she’s too traumatized to give a description. The detectives grow desperate. Because of her background in art, Annie is asked to question Erin and draw a composite. But Annie knows little about forensic art or the sensitive interview process. A nonbeliever, she finds herself begging God for help. What if her lack of experience leads Erin astray? The detectives could end up searching for a face that doesn’t exist. Leaving the real killer free to stalk the neighborhood . . . .

 

Brandilyn Collins is an award-winning and best-selling novelist known for her trademarked Seatbelt Suspense® — fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels with rich characters. She is often blamed for keeping her readers up at night, as they “just have to see what happens next.”

In nonfiction, Brandilyn is known for her distinctive book on fiction-writing techniques, Getting Into Character: Seven Secrets a Novelist Can Learn From Actors (John Wiley & Sons). Writers Digest Magazine named Getting Into Character one of the top books on writing of 2002.

You can read excerpts from all Brandilyn’s books at her Web site: http://www.brandilyncollins.com. That’s also a good place to subscribe to her free newsletter, Sneak Pique, so you can be among the first to know about her latest releases.

 

My Impressions:

I chose an oldie, but a goodie, for my morning walks when I downloaded the audiobook of Brink of Death, the first book in Brandilyn Collins’ Hidden Faces series. Published back in 2004, this novel kicks off a four book series featuring Annie Kingston, a recently divorced mother of two. Seeking to protect her children from bad influences back in the San Francisco Bay Area, Annie moves them to her late father’s (a controversial and hated defense attorney) home in an exclusive fly-in neighborhood. But bad things can happen in good neighborhoods too, as Annie soon discovers when her neighbor is murdered.

Told in Annie’s first person voice and the 3rd person POV of the bad guy, the reader gets a good look into Annie’s fears and doubts and the maniacal thinking of the psychopathic murderer. Collins promises Seatbelt Suspense, and she delivers with this book. Annie, a courtroom artist, is recruited to come up with a composite of the murderer from the eyewitness account of the victim’s daughter. Annie’s discovery that she has seen the man before sets her on a investigation of her own. The action comes fast and furious as Annie uncovers the motive behind the murder. I loved that Annie explores the field of forensic art — lots of great info and insight shared. Annie is a non-believer going into the story, but her neighbors’ witness in a time of trauma kindles her interest in a God who promises always to be at her side.

Brink of Death is a great choice when you just need a suspense-filled book. It’s a quick read that keeps you turning the pages and staying up past your bed time. 😉 It is also the first book in a series that promises more of the same. And the good news is all the books are out — binge-reading here you come! Brink of Death is currently $2.99 on Kindle, and the other 3 in the series are discounted as well — all 4 for less than $18!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE. It’s only $2.99 on Kindle!

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

 

2018 Carol Award Nominees

2 Jul

Congratulations to the 2018 Carol Award shortlist authors! The Carol Awards are sponsored by the American Christian Fiction Writers. If you are looking for a good book to read, this list is a great start!

 

Contemporary

Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert
The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser
A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

 

Historical

Catching the Wind by Melanie Dobson
A Plain Leaving by Leslie Gould
Liar’s Winter by Cindy Sproles

 

Historical Romance

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander
The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett
Heart on the Line by Karen Witemeyer

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Four Months in Cuba by Luana Ehrlich
Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry
Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

 

Novella

Puzzle House by Lillian Duncan
An Awakened Heart by Jody Hedlund
One Enchanted Noel from Enchanted: A Christmas Collection by Melissa Tagg

 

Romance

A New Shade of Summer by Nicole Deese
Then There Was You by Kara Isaac
A Matter of Trust by Susan May Warren

 

Romantic Suspense

Justice Buried by Patricia Bradley, Revell
Fatal Mistake by Susan Sleeman
The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

 

Short Novel

Christmas at Carnton by Tamera Alexander
A Sweetwater River Romance by Misty M. Beller
Claiming Her Cowboy by Tina Radcliffe

 

Speculative

Awakened by Morgan L. Busse
Huntress by Julie Hall
King’s Blood by Jill Williamson

 

Young Adult

For Love & Honor by Jody Hedlund
Playing by Heart by Carmela Martino
Betrayal of the Band by Sarah Tipton

 

Debut

Freedom’s Ring by Heidi Chiavaroli
If We Make It Home by Christina Suzann Nelson
Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano

Congratulations 2018 Inspy Award Winners!

2 Jul

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Inspy Awards! This blogger-based award seeks to honor the best in Inspirational fiction, both in the Christian and secular markets. The Inspy Awards are unique in that books are nominated by readers and judged by book bloggers, insuring that not only are these books highly readable, but demonstrate excellence in faith-based writing. If you are looking for a great reading experience, you definitely need to check these out!

2018 Inspy Award Winners 

 

Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

True to You by Becky Wade 

After a devastating heartbreak three years ago, genealogist and historical village owner Nora Bradford has decided that burying her nose in her work and her books is far safer than romance in the here and now.

Unlike Nora, former Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient John Lawson is a modern-day man, usually 100 percent focused on the present. But when he’s diagnosed with an inherited condition, he’s forced to dig into the secrets of his past and his adoption as an infant, enlisting Nora to help him uncover the identity of his birth mother.

The more time they spend together, the more this pair of opposites suspects they just might be a perfect match. However, John’s already dating someone and Nora’s not sure she’s ready to trade her crushes on fictional heroes for the risks of a real relationship. Finding the answers they’re seeking will test the limits of their identity, their faith, and their devotion to one another.

 

Debut Fiction

Lady Jayne Disappears by Joanna Davidson Politano 

When Aurelie Harcourt’s father dies in debtor’s prison, he leaves her just two things: his wealthy family, whom she has never met, and his famous pen name, Nathaniel Droll. Her new family greets her with apathy and even resentment. Only the quiet houseguest, Silas Rotherham, welcomes her company.When Aurelie decides to complete her father’s unfinished serial novel, writing the family into the story as unflattering characters, she must keep her identity as Nathaniel Droll hidden while searching for the truth about her mother’s disappearance – and perhaps even her father’s death.

 

General Fiction

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

“I believed it would have been a sin to stay inside when God had sent us such fine weather. According to Pastor Ezra Anderson, sin was the reason we’d got in the dusty mess we were in. The way I saw it, that day was God’s way of letting us know He wasn’t mad at us anymore. Just maybe He’d seen fit to forgive us.”

Pearl Spence has been through more in her young life than most folks could handle. But through it all, her family has been by her side. They may not be perfect, but they love her and they all love each other, come what may. That’s one thing Pearl no longer questions.

But the end of her beautiful day signals the beginning of the end of her secure life.

Now her family is fleeing their Oklahoma wasteland. Pearl isn’t sure she’ll ever see home or happiness again. Are there any crumbs powerful enough to guide her back to the dependable life she once knew?

 

Historical Romance

Many Sparrows by Lori Benton

In 1774, the Ohio-Kentucky frontier pulses with rising tension and brutal conflicts as Colonists push westward and encroach upon Native American territories. The young Inglesby family is making the perilous journey west when an accident sends Philip back to Redstone Fort for help, forcing him to leave his pregnant wife Clare and their four-year old son Jacob on a remote mountain trail.

When Philip does not return and Jacob disappears from the wagon under the cover of darkness, Clare awakens the next morning to find herself utterly alone, in labor and wondering how she can to recover her son . . . especially when her second child is moments away from being born.

Clare will face the greatest fight of her life, as she struggles to reclaim her son from the Shawnee Indians now holding him captive. But with the battle lines sharply drawn, Jacob’s life might not be the only one at stake. When frontiersman Jeremiah Ring comes to her aid, can the stranger convince Clare that recovering her son will require the very thing her anguished heart is unwilling to do — be still, wait and let God fight this battle for them?

 

Literature for Young Adults

Unraveling by Sara Ella

Eliyana Ember doesn’t believe in true love. Not anymore. After defeating her grandfather and saving the Second Reflection, El only trusts what’s right in front of her. The tangible. The real. Not some unexplained Kiss of Infinity she once shared with the ghost of a boy she’s trying to forget. She has more important things to worry about —l ike becoming queen of the Second Reflection, a role she is so not prepared to fill.

Now that the Verity is intertwined with her soul and Joshua’s finally by her side, El is ready to learn more about her mysterious birth land, the land she now rules. So why does she feel like something — or someone — is missing?

When the thresholds begin to drain and the Callings, those powerful magical gifts, begin to fail, El wonders if her link to Ky Rhyen may have something to do with it. For light and darkness cannot coexist. She needs answers before the Callings disappear altogether. Can El find a way to sever her connection to Ky and save the Reflections — and keep herself from falling for him in the process?

 

Mystery/Thriller

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

Gwen Marcey has done a good job keeping the pain of her past boxed up. But as she investigates the case of a missing child in Lapwai, Idaho, details keep surfacing that are eerily similar to her childhood traumas. She doesn’t believe in coincidences. So what’s going on here?

No one knows more about the impact of the past than the Nez Perce people of Lapwai. Gwen finds herself an unwelcome visitor to some, making her investigation even more difficult. The questions keep piling up, but answers are slow in coming — and the clock is ticking for a missing little girl. Meanwhile, Gwen’s ex-husband is threatening to take sole custody of their daughter.

As Gwen’s past and present collide, she’s in a desperate race for the truth. Because only truth will ensure she still has a future.

 

Speculative Fiction

The Divide by Jolina Petersheim

In this gripping conclusion to The Alliance, nearly six months have passed since Leora Ebersole’s Old Order Mennonite community fled to the mountains for refuge after an attack destroyed the power grid and altered life as they knew it. Since then, Leora has watched and waited for news of Moses Hughes, the young Englischer pilot who held off invading looters long enough for everyone to escape. Unsure Moses even survived, Leora has begun to warm to the affections of Jabil Snyder, who has courted her patiently. But she struggles to see herself as the bishop’s wife, especially when she learns that Moses is alive and has now joined a local militia.

An unexpected encounter in the woods deepens Leora’s crisis, as does a terrifying new threat that brings Moses’ militia into the community’s shaky alliance with the few Englischers left among them. When long-held beliefs are once again put to the test, Leora wrestles with the divide between having faith and taking action. Just how much will her shifting landscape change her?

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer TBR

19 Jun

It is definitely summer here in the sunny South. The humidity and temps are up and the bugs are out. But I can’t complain because I have some great summer reading — history, mystery, romance, and suspense all in varying combinations! What about you? What are you reading this summer?

Make sure to check out other bloggers’ summer reading lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Books on My Summer Reading List

 

Cold, Cold Heart by Christine Poulson

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

The Death Beat by Fiona Veitch Smith

Falling for You by Becky Wade

The Linen God by Jim O’Shea

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Murder at The Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

 

What’s on your Summer TBR?

 

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’s book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the 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.

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, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

The Linen God Blog Blitz!

2 Jun

the linen god blitz

Welcome to The Linen God blog blitz and giveaway, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

the linen godTitle: The Linen God
Author: Jim O’Shea
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date: March 31, 2018
Genre: Inspirational Suspense/Thriller

The Shroud of Turin is the most studied and controversial religious relic in human history.

The ancient linen cloth bears the image of a man, alleged to be that of Jesus of Nazareth. What if it were real? What if it contained a secret powerful enough to alter the course of human history? And what if it fell into the wrong hands?

Manny Lusum is convinced the Shroud is the genuine article and obsessed with proving it scientifically. Grace Barden is not only Manny’s best friend, but also secretly in love with the physics student and soon-to-be Catholic priest. Across the globe, three grisly murders and the theft of a secret manuscript thrust Grace and Manny into a generations-old conspiracy of biblical proportions. From New York to Rome to the inner sanctum of the Vatican, they struggle to untangle a bizarre mystery surrounding the controversial artifact.

In a dramatic confrontation between faith and the ultimate evil on the world stage, Grace and Manny are pushed to the edge of an abyss, balanced on the brink between heaven and hell.

This suspenseful and captivating thriller is perfect for fans of Dan Brown, John Grisham, Robert Ludlum, and David Baldacci. Order your copy today and experience a unique blend of history, science, conscience, religion and a battle of good versus evil that will keep you reading into the early morning hours!

“ . . . a wonderfully engaging, page-turning thriller.”
—Doug Peterson, Award Winning Author
of The Vanishing Woman and The Puzzle People

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

jim o'shea

Jim is a long-time resident of Chesterfield, Missouri…“The City of Sculptures”. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri in Columbia and now spends his time crafting novels of suspense that tackle the complex relationship between science and religion, stories designed to take the reader places he or she may not have previously considered.

CONNECT: website | Facebook

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

EXCERPT

The gaping wound in her side made every movement, every breath, more painful than the last. Crimson stained her bare feet, and the remnants of her screams echoed, but no lights beckoned from the shuttered buildings she passed. Not a single soul responded to her pleas for help. Rain beat a tattoo on rooftops and into puddles, drowning out all other sounds, so that only she and the feral-scented pursuer seemed to exist this night. Someplace behind her, his heavy boots slapped the cobblestones.

From a dark street, she slipped into an even darker alleyway and behind trash bins. The rain intensified, pounding the metal cans and pouring from the downspout by her feet. A red neon sign overhead made the discharge look like a river of blood.

She crouched down, wiped her face with her sleeve, and tried to still a shiver, but it wasn’t the bitter night that iced her bones. It was as if the cold were a living thing, seeping in through her thick, black tunic. “The Lord is my rock and salvation,” she whispered, her shallow breaths hanging in the rancid air. “In whom should I fear?”

Her whole body jerked at the sound of clinking glass and slurred voices rising above the rain’s steady drum. The silhouette of two young men swayed down the alleyway, no more than fifty meters away. Hoping to get their attention and beg for help, she slid out from behind the metal bins, stopped by something both sinister and familiar that passed through the darkness between them. She recoiled and then turned and ran, the wet fabric of her tunic clinging to her burning thighs.

Out of the night, church bells tolled, and the rain stopped. She spun toward the familiar sound. Storm clouds had scattered to reveal an open piazza at the end of the dark and narrow street. She gathered her tunic above swollen ankles and hurried toward it, pausing at the entrance to the open space. Across the piazza, a dim light filtered out through stained glass windows. Grazie, Dio! Thank you, God!

As she cowered in the darkness of the street, trying to control her ragged breathing, she looked left and right. She could sense him out there, lurking, somewhere. The bell tower’s shadow reached across the moonlit space, beckoning. She clenched her teeth, swallowed hard, and forced her body to move. “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” she said, as she ran toward the shadow and church steps. “In whom shall I fear?”

At the top of the stairs, she looked back and saw no movement, heard no sound. Her arthritic hands fumbled with the door’s iron latch. As it gave way, thunder rumbled. Startled, she peered over her shoulder to see plumes of warm breath that wafted from a still black form lurking in the shadows. O Dio, O God. She quickly leaned into the heavy wood door. The rusty hinges gave way, and she stepped through, slid the bolt in place behind her, and slumped against the door, her breath coming in halting gasps.


GIVEAWAY

Ambassador International is giving away:

Grand Prize: (1) print copy of The Linen God (US Only)
PLUS 4 more winners will receive an ebook copy of The Linen God (open internationally, except where prohibited by law)

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below. Giveaway will begin at midnight June 2, 2018 and last through 11:59pm June 9, 2018. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


tour schedule

Follow along with the blitz for more chances to win at JustRead!