Category Archives: Christian

Book Review: A MARCH BRIDE by RACHEL HAUCK

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: February 25, 2014

Format: ebook (99 pages)      

AISN: B00SL10IHO        

Series: A Year of Weddings Novella 

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

 

My Look:

Susanna Truitt has found her prince in Nathaniel II, but this fairytale is fraught with doubts and peril. 

This royal had found Susanna in her own locale, but the wedding brings her to a new country.  The pomp and circumstance that follows this engagement is heady, scary, and exciting, but as this prince is now to be king, a danger lurks inside this European country.

Brighton is a small country with some large politics, and without much notice, the Parliament makes a declaration.   

Susanna has already given up her Georgia roots and moved countries away from her family.  She’s been trained, molded, and tutored into a princess and then into a queen, but how can she give up her citizenship to her country to marry the man she loves?  Is this situation a mere culmination of all the doubts that she’s been seized by? On the other hand, is this something she needs to retreat from?

When family gets sick and friends cannot come to her, Susanna has to make a choice, but it’s not the one most people would think to make.  She’s willing to let go and let God even if it breaks her or Nathaniel’s heart to do it.

Once in Georgia, Susanna believes she’s done the right thing, but has she?

My Take:

In A MARCH BRIDE by Rachel Hauck, you’ll be swept off your feet!

Susanna Truitt is a heroine that could be one of your best friends who is into some situations that you are ill-equipped to give advice on. However, you’ll want to help in her anyway we can just like the hometown characters in this book. From a distant land, I fell in love with Georgia and its people, but in Georgia, I fell hard for King Nathaniel. 

King Nathaniel II is unpretentious and as confused and scared as his soon-to-be bride is.  The pressures are growing on him just as his country teeters away from being the safety net it had always been for him and his family. Nevertheless, the pressure that comes upon the love of his life are too much for him to speak about.  However, once she leaves the country he’s broken and is willing to do what he needs to bring her back to him.   

Rachel Hauck’s A MARCH BRIDE starts out at the top of a princess and her castle story but develops into a fight or flight kind of love story with some amazing twists you’d never expect.  This novella serves a dual purpose.  It is a novella in the Year of Wedding series, but it is also a standalone continuation of the novel ONCE UPON A PRINCE by Rachel Hauck! 

Book Review: IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Published: January 3, 2007

Format: Paperback (286 pages)      

ISBN: 9781414311654        

Series: The Four Seasons of a Marriage Series

Origin: Publisher through Tyndale Direct

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Steve and Brenda Hansen’s marriage has taken on a perpetual winter chill, with more than just an empty nest going on.  Steve assumes his wife’s moods are expected, but they have been extreme, in his view.  He’s changed jobs and is making great money in real estate and provides for her, his children, and his kids’ college education.  While he realizes, their babies have grown and left on their own life journeys, his wife does have an active hobby that should be able to sustain her through the transition, right? He’s even having the basement refinished to give her plenty of workspace and crafting nooks, but she’s just not happy.

Riding out the bad comes with the good in a marriage, but his wife has strayed from church and limits herself—why this is, he doesn’t know.  Meanwhile, a good reason exists for his drop in attendance, the weekends are prime time for clients, and he always has to show these properties.

Brenda Hansen is not just going through empty nest syndrome, although that is but just a part of her pain.  Her husband’s cold persona and his mistress are hurting her more.  Sure, infidelity can become a trap in a marriage, but the couple’s faith, love, and trust can be restored.  However, this can’t be overcome, when the spouse doesn’t believe he’s doing anything wrong.  And this adulteress is much more seductive than she can ever possibly be.  Steve’s love isn’t even human!

It’s become an addiction, Brenda believes, and it’s one that he puts before anyone. Owning a business can be enchanting and being successful can be exhilarating, but Steve loves his profit margin more than his marriage and more than his kids.

It’s all about to hit home in a perfect storm this spring, with new characters, new friends, and new interests.

While someone is finding Brenda funny and is adding a spring to her step, someone else needs her time and attention.  And as her lowliness begins to change, Brenda finds some friends in all the same places and begins to spend more time with someone for all the wrong reasons.  Even though this person helps her hurting end, she’s changing in ways she never dreamed of.

Is Brenda ready for this marriage to end?  Has she reached the point of no return?

Meanwhile, anyone can meet a ray of sunshine named Patsy Pringle inside her business called Just as I Am Salon.

She’s not the gossip queen in town, in fact, she’s a caring person who seems to pick up on the little things about people.  From her clients, she can figure out easily who is happy and who isn’t, but she does her best to get those down in a better place.  However, many things are just out of her control, and all Patsy can do is say a prayer.

Now, she’s had to stop some people from spilling news stories in her shop, but in some cases, it’s not being done mean-spirited nor is it something that many people don’t see.  It’s hard to miss the Hansen’s aren’t faring well, but to help someone is one thing, but getting into meddling is something else.

Patsy just doesn’t spot troubles from a mile away, she understands them, and she just can’t let someone go down a path that will end in disaster.

My Take:

IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman, starts with claps of thunder, troubles blooming in Tranquility Missouri, clashes of businesses, and some unwanted characters.  

Heroines are abound in Deep Water Cove too, but they are not always the law enforcement kind. 

While business is business in Tranquility, the townspeople of Deep Water are not just about the town but are all about the people.  Some things are happening to build the town and other’s things are threatening to break it a part.  The buildings will still be standing, but the family atmosphere could be giving way to the party culture. If this isn’t bad enough, I found myself loving Brenda Hansen and disliking Steven Hansen and wanting to be best friends with Patsy Pringle!

Inside IT HAPPENS EVERY SPRING by Catherine Palmer and Gary Chapman, you’ll learn about love, family, friends, and you will spot the seasons just as Patsy is able to.  Sometimes, wrongs can be so very right, but the right choices can make things all wrong for all the wrong reasons.  This town has much to deal within a short time, but the caring people pull you inside, make you want to be their neighbor, friend, and business associate.

You don’t miss the rest of this series–SUMMER BREEZE: 2 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2007), FALLING FOR YOU AGAIN: 3 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2007), and WINTER TURNS TO SPRING: 4 (Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. 2008)!

 

Book Review: DARK TIDE by Susan Sleeman

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense  

Published: March 1, 2014

Format: Paperback (224 pages)      

ISBN: 9780373445882         

Series: The Justice Agency

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Gina’s brother mourned his wife’s death, worked for the Coast Guard, and raised his newborn daughter, Sophia.  Gina Evans takes care of Jon’s daughter and did what she could for her brother, until the unthinkable happened. Jon died.  She didn’t believe his crash was an accident, but the police wouldn’t even listen to her.    

Now, Gina is trying to raise Sophia. Being a single stand-in mother, she sees the world through different eyes.  These deaths brought her parents closer to her, as their relationship had been strained from her childhood, and it helps that she lives close to Jon’s Coast Guard teammate and best friend and his wife. 

However, once Gina was attacked, she fled to a friend’s home in Portland. 

She wasn’t gone long, but a struggle was evident. The door told that story.  All she could think of was finding Sophia.  Wrapping the child in a blanket, she headed outside to look for her friend, Lilly.  

Everything happened so fast.  She watched her friend die and the murderer was coming for them.

Meanwhile, Derrick Justice didn’t know this number, but working for the family private investigation agency, these calls can happen.  The whispered voice couldn’t be a dream.  It was real.  The woman who left him in college is calling for help.  He’d be the first to admit he wasn’t happy about this, but he wasn’t going to leave anyone in trouble, especially a child. 

He made it to her location to find Gina hiding with a seven-month old girl behind a Dumpster, but nobody else was around, until heavy footfalls sounded from behind.  

 

My Take:

Susan Sleeman’s DARK TIDE is an engaging read where the suspense doesn’t end but a romance does blossom!  

I took a liking to Gina Evans right from the start.  She’s strong, loving, and loyal.  At times,  you’ll wonder if her loyalty is misguided in some directions.  Her life has been filled with rejection, accidents, deaths, and family crisis, but her faith is strong.  No longer the heady school girl, she’s a woman who is trying to do right by this child who has now become hers.  Her attraction to Derrick is still alive, but he’s stayed a person who can’t commit.  Gina won’t let Sophia pay that kind of price.

However, Derrick Justice has moved on since his college days, but on a personal level his inability to commit still rules him. It’s not that he’s always thinking the next best thing is around the corner.  In fact, he knows the best person that ever happened to him is back in his life.  This hero is in need of faith, fixing, and a whole lot of loving care, but he’s too scared to reach for it.  What I liked about Derrick Justice is that the Alpha male he is on the outside, isn’t the person he is on the inside.  He wants more than the empty life he has, but he has fear issues that are too much for him alone. 

DARK TIDE by Susan Sleeman is a standalone title, but also it is the last in a series about a loving family, the Justice family.  These titles have suspense abound but romance will fill this family along the way.  I know the Justice Agency series is one you’ll want to uncover: DOUBLE EXPOSURE  (Love Inspired Suspense June 2012), DEAD WRONG (Love Inspired Suspense November 2012), NO WAY OUT (Love Inspired Suspense May 2013), and THREAD OF SUSPICION (Love Inspired Suspense October 2013!

COVER REVEAL: A LONG AND WINDING ROAD: A CAREGIVER’S TALE OF LIFE, LOVE, AND CHAOS

cover

by: Linda Brendle

Publisher: Anaiah Press

Release Date: July 1, 2014

***Courtesy of Anaiah Press . . . 

Book Blurb:

Sometimes reality really bites. Alzheimer’s has wrapped Mom’s brain into knots, vascular dementia has attacked Dad, and, instead of carefree retirees, we have become caregivers. Regardless, dreams die hard, and we somehow stumbled into the purchase of a forty-foot motor home. That’s when all four of us set out on this seven-week trek across sixteen U.S. states. Now, Dad stopped-up the toilet again, Mom wet her last pair of clean jeans, and David just announced that he was hungry. My head is beginning to pound, and I know this isn’t going to be the easygoing retirement we’d imagined for ourselves.

My Look:

Linda Brendle takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotional and spiritual challenges that many families are facing right now. Co-dependency, mental breakdowns, and finding love after divorce are just a few of the issues weaved into this journey of caregiving. Whether you’re looking for an inspirational story to help teach you how to “let go and let God,” considering becoming the caregiver for one of your own parents, or are just looking for an entertaining travel book, this story is sure to strike a tender nerve.

About the author:

 After 15 years as a family caregiver, Linda began writing to encourage, inspire, and amuse other caregivers. She loves to travel and since retiring has traveled mostly by motorcycle and RV. She and her husband live in a small East Texas town where she gardens, writes, and attends church.

Website: http://www.lifeaftercaregiving.wordpress.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/LindaBrendle/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/linda.brindle

Google+: http://goo.gl/5Ov8qo

Goodreads: http://goo.gl/SeqyBz

Yahoo Voices: http://goo.gl/NT0bdt

Red Letter Christians: http://goo.gl/xYSvRf

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20983741-a-long-and-winding-roadhttp://goo.gl/xYSvRf

http://www.anaiahpress.com/

Book Review: TREACHEROUS SLOPES by Terri Reed

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense  

Published: February 4, 2014

Format: Paperback (224 pages)      

ISBN: 9780373445837         

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Julie Frost gains a chance for promotion, from production assistant to on camera personality, if her interview with her former high school crush goes well.  Dressed in stylish not sensible clothing, Julie was half-frozen talking with a television audience while waiting for the final event that would choose the Olympic team for the Freestyle Aerial Ski Jumping set.  However, the man who was about to take to the air was the local favorite and her school days distraction.  Although she was filled with excitement, she knew this man had never noticed her before and would be off to bigger and better things afterward.  It was key to keep herself guarded, professional, and detached during this promotional interview. 

She watched him take to the air, but something just seemed off.  Soon, his ski was gone, and he was going down.  It was hard to remember to be a reporter as she raced to see if he was alive.  How could his parents lose both children to ski accidents? 

Nick Walsh felt the adrenaline rush many times over, but he also knew someone wanted him dead.  With this hard landing, someone could get his or her wish. The air whooshed out of him, and his head felt almost disconnected, when a rush of people came to him. 

The vision in pink he knew from years gone by.  Why was Jules here?   

Of course, his manager was thrilled he wasn’t dead like Cody, but this close one only heaped more guilt on Nick over his brother’s death.  Had he not made that last jump trying to imitate him, his brother would still be here to go for the gold. Everybody had expected it would be brother verses brother going for the gold.  However, it would be brother going for his brother, now.  And it was somebody’s desire to stop him. 

He didn’t consider the woman in pink his enemy until he found out she was a reporter.  Those people are breeds that watch their ratings go up as their lens focused on bringing someone down.  Even the dead was not protected from their subterfuge.   The rumor mill churned with charges of made-up drug abuse to sully his brother’s reputation.  It didn’t matter how beautiful this woman was; she wasn’t going to use him or his brother to get ratings.  However, his sponsor put together this interview, and he would have to tread slowly. 

He hadn’t planned to tell her about the death threats or the actual attempts on his life, but he didn’t have to.  The person doing this has thrown her into the crosshairs with him.

My Take:

Terri Reed’s TREACHEROUS SLOPES starts off with the Olympic adrenaline rush, keys up the suspense, and creates romance in the process!   

This heroine is not only a reporter but does a great job at amateur sleuthing too.  I could see her staring in her own series with a town of tourists for victims discovered by the roving reporter.  She’s caring, considerate, and is just trying to make it on her own as a reporter with vision and scruples.  Julie Frost lost her mother and understands grief, but she seems to be getting along better with her stepfather who now wants a family more than a career.     

Inside Nick Walsh, you’ll find a hurting man who blames himself for his brother’s death and projects his guilt onto his mother and father.  He’s a believer who has lost his way but being back home has him face the truth about himself, his family, and his faith.  His reason for going for the gold isn’t what it once was, and he is realizing that where he is at isn’t where he should be.  However, he needs to finish this Olympic walk for Cody, and not even a murderer is going to change his path.  However, his walk easily intersects with what he wants his future to become.

TREACHEROUS SLOPES by Terri Reed is a suspense filled standalone title that will have you head to the summer Olympics reading more books by this author such as the COWBOY TARGET (Love Inspired Suspense 2013) and THE DOCTOR’S DEFENDER  (Love Inspired Suspense 2012) just to name a few!

 

Book Review: SAFE BY THE MARSHAL’S SIDE by Shirlee McCoy

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense  

Published: January 7, 2014

Format: Paperback (224 pages)      

ISBN: 9780373445783         

Series: Witness Protection

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free ebook, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Annie Duncan isn’t used to this life, to this name, or to raising her child alone, without any help from family, friends, or a job.   In fact, Annie—who actually isn’t Annie Duncan—knows she’s doing the right thing, but she does not think things will all work out in the end. 

She’s not having a crisis of faith, but she’s having a crisis of the human kind. Can she let go? Can she trust those who have kept her safe, even when safe can’t be safe right now?  

Hunter is right.  There is a leak.  Could it one of these people?  Who is friend? Who is foe? These questions are hammering at Annie who misses life, her child’s independence, and going to Sunday Services. Even through all of this, however, there is one man she doesn’t doubt. 

Hunter has been her steadfast Marshal, friend, cheering crowd, and babysitter, but all of this is just his job. 

Meanwhile, the latest danger surrounding Annie and Sophia has Hunter Davis questioning those around him.  And his attachment to this witness is gnawing at who he is and what he does.  Maybe, Hunter had become jaded, since many in his protection, over the years, had been placed in their situation by their own actions and their own design. Annie was different. 

Angel Delacourte’s only mistake was mistaking the wrong man for a husband and father.  And maybe it still does bother Hunter that despite her husband’s lies and gambling debts that’s he’s dead, not suffering, but she’s living a nightmare.  He’s a by-the-book kind of Marshal who is faced with knowledge that doing exactly those things can cause this innocent woman and child harm.  There is no doubt that someone is a leak, he just doesn’t want it to be one of those within the team.  Hunter has to walk a fine line of trusting those around him with only so much.  He also seems to walk the fine line of being part of this woman’s life but keeping from becoming apart of it, as the rulebook dictates. This, by the book, Marshal is now having some problems with the book, the life, and the job.  However, his problems with these can prove deadly for those he cares about.

My Take:

SAFE BY THE MARSHAL’S SIDE by Shirlee McCoy takes the amazing lead in this continuity series that amps up suspense and lets the romance begin, but she leaves you knowing more can come! 

Annie Duncan is a heroine who is great at being strong, but sometimes her strength is the one weakness that can put her and her daughter in danger. All throughout the nightmare she is living, the love of her daughter is foremost in evidence, and she knows her husband’s love for his daughter is true, despite his lies.  However, she must grieve the loss of a husband she loved but didn’t really know, the life she had that wasn’t what it should have been, and her own loss of innocence and trust. 

However, Marshal Hunter Davis charged into a career but left behind much in doing it. This was exactly what he wanted, but until now, he didn’t feel a loss.  Maybe that was his problem.  He just didn’t feel.  As a Marshal, one stays in the background, does the job, and moves on.  How could he feel and do this job?  Some of these answers become obvious, but some of these answers can cause him to make a mistake and hurt the ones he cares about. While he watches Annie and Sophia, Hunter has come to grips with his own mistakes and a grieving he didn’t even expect.

Shirlee McCoy’s SAFE BY THE MARSHAL’S SIDE is a standalone title, but also is the first in a continuity. I can’t wait to see what other suspense filled discoveries are abound in this series! With me, be on the look out for the rest if the WITNESS PROTECTION continuity: THE BABY RESCUE by Margaret Daley (Love Inspired Suspense February 2014), STOLEN MEMORIES by Liz Johnson (Love Inspired Suspense March 2014), and TOP SECRET IDENTITY by Sharon Dunn (Love Inspired Suspense April 2014)!

 

Book Review: DEFENDING THE DUCHESS by Rachelle McCalla

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense  

Published: March 5, 2013

Format: Paperback (224 pages)      

ISBN: 9780373445301         

Series: Protecting the Crown

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Julia Miller isn’t used to living in a palace, in a foreign land, and she certainly isn’t used to a bodyguard.  

The country of Lydia’s dangerous recent history left their queen not looking all that well in the aftermath.  Leaving her law practice behind to help her sister, now Queen Monica, Julia just needed something to feel normal.  She desired a jog without her handsome bodyguard, Linus Murati.  

However, the last thing this sibling wanted was to bring her sister more trouble, but trouble followed Julia here.

Running to catch up with the future Duchess, Linus wondered what part about an evening in translated into an unsecured jaunt?  A stealthy lawyer from the States, whom could be putting herself in danger, was outrunning this highly trained Royal Guard member. 

Albeit Linus understood her newness to the problems associated with being royalty, he also has seen way too much to believe she’ll be fine on her own.  Their last menace came from inside the palace walls, but there still could be outsiders connected to the dangers that have yet to be discovered.  If it weren’t so worrisome, it would be amusing to watch this woman out pace him and everyone else.  

Finally, he realized, she heard him calling.  

For him, it was just the luck of her running in sand that slowed her enough for him to even get close.  However, he wasn’t close enough to stop a man from kidnapping her.  

She was moved inside a bluff, being carried by masked man who had come from behind her.  

My Take:

In DEFENDING THE DUCHESS, Rachelle McCalla adds suspense and sprinkles it with romance in just the right measure! 

Julia Miller is a heroine who tries hard at being strong.  To her, sometimes strength involves keeping secrets, and those secrets can be costly.  Her coming to Lydia was to help her sister but maybe it also was to keep her troubles at bay.  

In the meantime, the bodyguard of the duchess, Linus Murati, doesn’t need to run outside the palace walls.  The confines of the palace contain his race.  His superior is aware, but the royal family must never know.  He wishes that he can run from is his young, not so clean past, but at every turn it seems to snag him, again.  

Rachelle McCalla’s DEFENDING THE DUCHESS is a standalone title. However, you’ll want to read more of this author’s work in PRINCESS IN PERIL (Love Inspired Suspense 2011), PROTECTING THE PRINCESS (Love Inspired Suspense 2012), PRINCE INCOGNITO (Love Inspired Suspense 2012), THE MISSING MONARCH (Love Inspired Suspense 2012), and A ROYAL MARRIAGE (LOVE INSPIRED HISTORICALS 2012).  ROYAL HEIST and THE SECRET PRINCESS will release later in 2013! 

 

Book Review: FINAL RESORT by Dana Mentink

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense  

Published: February 5, 2013

Format: Paperback (224 pages)      

ISBN: 9780373445264         

Series: Treasure Seekers

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Ava Stanton has suffered too much loss in her life, from losing her mother to suicide—while she was still in her young teen years, and at the same time, losing her healthy father to an accident—leaving him a paraplegic with a host of health issues.  Now, as an adult, Ava faces the soon-to-be loss of her impoverished, winter resort home, Whisper Mountain.  

Through all of this turmoil, Ava has known only one constant in her life, her mother’s brother, Uncle Paul.  

She can remember her parent’s arguing over Uncle Paul, and Ava’s dad still carries a firm dislike for this man.  It wasn’t that Ava was ignorant to Uncle Paul’s wayward nature of get rich quick schemes, owing and borrowing money from everyone and anyone, and the not-so-honest way he will manipulate things toward his favor; she knew his exploits quite well.  However, his optimism and infectious smile was something Ava could always count on and that meant the world to her. 

So, why was she on a deserted mountain road of the winter wonderland that she once called home, despite the winter storm warnings?   Ava was here at Uncle Paul’s request, of course. His message about his “purl”, although he used that term about everything he ever chased.

Finally, Uncle Paul arrived, but he wasn’t himself.  

Ava’s selling the resort really saddened him, but she tried to get him to understand.  She can’t afford to keep it.  However, yet again, he’s coming into money.  It’s big this time.  Not wanting to hurt him, she simple restated that she had to sell.  Maybe since it was worth more in painful memories than cash, she figured he’d understand.  

Suddenly, a snowmobile arrives on scene.  His face was hidden, but his intention was clear. Someone was about to run them down! Uncle Paul pushed Ava out of its path, but Uncle Paul didn’t get away.  

Meanwhile, Luca Gage left his sister and was skiing toward old memories of a high school crush, when he saw a snowmobile driving at increasing speed toward a couple.  The woman landed with a thud and the man was abducted.  There was only one he could save, and his gut knew exactly who it was.  

Once skiing these slopes with pure abandon, she became different and weighted with loss and pain.  It doesn’t seem her pain ever stopped.  Luca knew her former home was on the market, and he was charged with checking into a possible purchase for his father.  Since the Gage property, Gold Summit, was next to Whisper Mountain to acquire it would make sense. However, from what he knew, it would take a whole lot of money just for modernization.   

He was not going to let her die up here on this mountain.  

Both of them were on thin ice, now, and as it breaks, his emotions reheat, cracking his heart’s protective barrier.    

 

My Take:

FINAL RESORT is a thrilling ride of suspense and romance! 

Luca Gage is a hero whose heart hunts for the treasure that he’s never found, as he finds worldly treasures he doesn’t need.  His strong faith brings him through, and he believes enough for two.

Ava Stanton is a strong woman, but to her, prayers aren’t answered and bad things still happen.    Faith doesn’t mean much to her, and to find someone who actually still believes is disorienting.  

In fact, she sometimes sees the world in have and have not, and the Stantons were always on the have not list.

Dana Mentink’s hero and heroine are opposites in life, faith and socioeconomic factors, but their personalities complement.  His family brought him stability while her unstable family brought challenges to bear. Abandonment left her brokenhearted, and she’s not prepared for love. However, she must learn to ask for and accept help, but he must accept her need to do things herself.  Can they make it work?     

FINAL RESORT by Dana Mentink is a standalone title.  However,  you’ll want to read more of this author’s titles including  DANGEROUS MELODY (Love Inspired Suspense 2012), LOST LEGACY (Love Inspired Suspense 2012), ESCAPE FROM THE BADLANDS (Love Inspired Suspense (2012), BURIED TRUTH (Love Inspired Suspense 2011), TURBULENCE (Steeple Hill 2011), and BETRAYAL IN THE BADLANDS (Steeple Hill 2010). Or check out other books by this author!

 

Book Review: TRACKING JUSTICE by Shirlee McCoy

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense  

Published: January 2, 2013        

Format: Paperback (224 pages)      

ISBN: 9780373445202            

Origin: Publisher through NetGalley (egalley)

***Though the publisher provides the free book, I offer the opinion.***

My Look:

Police detective Austin Black and his tracker dog, K-9 partner—Justice— arrive on scene. In fact, they were the first responders.

For Austin, it’s never about just routine.

A missing child call doesn’t become easier and the fact that some of those missing never go home never gets old either. These worried mothers and hurting families’ bruise his heart every time and leave more than a few sleepless nights ahead. However, this worried mother was just as determined to be there for her missing son, Brady, as Austin was on finding him. She’s even brought out a coat for when he is found. The more time spent on trying to deter her brings a higher possibility that Brady’s trail will grow cold. Caving in to those beautiful, pained eyes, Austin couldn’t turn her down and couldn’t let Brady down either.

She accompanies him but with an understanding that his first priority is to find Brady, and if she can’t keep up, he’ll radio for her escort back and keep on going forward. She’s more than happy with this deal.

Meanwhile, to Eva Billows, nobody was moving fast enough!

She last saw her son at her midnight check and everything was fine. Brady was asleep. At two, Eva heard Brady’s call, and she found his window open and Brady gone. This detective and his bloodhound are the only hope she has of finding her son and knowing how he’s been taught to stay away from strangers, Eva knows Brady might not respond to the detective. Brady is cold, scared, and in trouble, and if he is out in those woods, she needs to be out there too.

Guilt overtook Eva. Tonight, Brady had been quiet, but he didn’t say much with her prompting either. Figuring he was getting sick, she left him alone and didn’t insist he talk to her about what was bothering him. His sitter hadn’t mentioned anything, but she did say he seemed subdued.

However, Detective Austin Black gave her start, when he started asking her about the dog. Eva had heard about Slade’s dog, but at the mention of that crime and her son’s kidnapping in the same breath dread roiled within her. 

What did a police trained dog and Brady have in common? Why would anyone take her son?

 

My Take:

TRACKING JUSTICE pumps up the adrenaline and tightens the romance! 

Shirlee McCoy’s hero, Austin Black, has a past that pulls him into his job. Tracking is his life, and he’s already found out the hard way that many women couldn’t share in that. They want him for birthdays and events, but his work didn’t always allow that. Sure, he has a casual date, now and then, but he keeps his distance. His job choice excludes him from the life and family that he wants, although he wished he knew that before he restored his old Victorian house.

In the meantime, single mother, Eva Billows, tries hard to keep Brady’s life stable, something she never had growing up. Brady’s father is the one major mistake in her life, but Brady was not a mistake. Her son is her world. Early on Eva decided she’d rather parent alone then allow Brady to suffer from any relationship mistakes she would make.

TRACKING JUSTICE puts together a hero and heroine with rocky pasts that keep them alone, reminding each that love and family is just a dream. However, they must learn to trust themselves and each other when the stakes are high.

Standalone title, TRACKING JUSTICE, is book one of the continuity series Texas K-9 Unit. You’ll want to read the upcoming books in this mini-series: DETECTION MISSION by Margaret Daley (Feb 2013), GUARD DUTY Sharon Dunn (Mar 2013), EXPLOSIVE SECRETS by Valerie Hansen (Apr 2013), SCENT OF by Terri Reed DANGER (May 2013), LONE STAR PROTECTOR by Lenora Worth (June 2013)!

Also, you’ll want to read Shirlee McCoy’s other Love Inspired reads including NAVY SEAL RESCUER, UNDERCOVER BODYGUARD (Love Inspired Suspense April 2012), THE LAWMAN’S LEGACY (Love Inspired Suspense January 2012), and PRIVATE EYE PROTECTOR (Love Inspired Suspense November 2011).

 

INTERVIEW: PAT BERTRAM, AUTHOR OF DAUGHTER AM I

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INTERVIEW: PAT BERTRAM, Author of DAUGHTER AM I

Q: What is your novel Daughter Am I about?

 
Daughter Am I is the story of Mary Stuart, a young woman who inherits a farm from her murdered grandparents—grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born. She becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead.
 
  

Q: How did Daughter Am I come to be?

 
Daughter Am I was the combination of two different books I wanted to write. I’d read The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, and the mythic journey so captured my imagination that I knew I had to write my own quest story. I also wanted to write a book telling little-known truths about the mob, so I settled on the story of a young woman going in search of her past. As Mary listens to the tales told by old-time gangsters and bootleggers—her mentors and allies—she gradually discovers the truth of her heritage.
 
 

Q: Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?

 
That is a hard question! All the octogenarian gangsters in Daughter Am I are unusual and likeable in their own way. There’s Teach, a conman who sells bullets he claims his grandpappy scavenged from the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. There’s Kid Rags, who still works as a forger. There’s Happy, a trigger-happy ex-wheelman for the mob, whose hands shake so much he can barely aim let alone shoot. That’s only three of the octogenarians — there are seven feisty old gangsters all together. Well, six gangsters and one ex-showgirl.
 
 

Q: Where did you get the names for your characters?

 
Most of the characters in Daughter Am I are aged gangsters, and they kept the monikers they used when they were young. I patterned my gangsters after those in the 1930s movies, though in my book they didn’t actually reach their prime until the 1950s or even 60s.
 
I enjoyed coming up with the names. Some names I stole, like Kid Rags, which was the name of a 1900s gangster in Hell’s Kitchen, and others were inevitable, like the morbid wheelman named Happy, or Crunchy the ex mob enforcer who threatens to crunch anyone who bothers Mary.
 
 

Q: How much of your personal psyche, your struggle and your insecurities are hidden within the characters of your stories?

 
All my stories reflect my two particular struggles: my journey as a writer and my quest for identity, which perhaps come down to the same thing. As we grow up and then grow older, we need to discover who we are in relation to our new growth or new limitations. I think the quest for identity is one of the strongest themes in any book because it reflects two stages of life we all go through—adolescence and obsolescence.
 
 

Q: What was your journey as a writer?

 
When I was in my mid twenties, I set out to be a writer. I quit my job, gathered up paper and pens, and sat down at the kitchen table to write. I thought writing was a type of automatic writing, that I just needed to put pen to paper and words would come. Didn’t happen. When I tried to force words on the page, I discovered I had no talent for writing, so when real life got in the way, I let go of my desire to write and turned my mind to other things. About a decade ago, I had some predicaments I wanted to work through, so I decided, talent or no, I would write a book, which I did. And it was terrible! During the subsequent years, I have learned how to write, to pace a story, to write sparse but picturesque prose, but most of all, I have learned how to rewrite and edit.
 
 

Q: Do you think this book changed your life?

 
I wish I could say Daughter Am I changed my life — it would make a good story — but the fact is, it made little difference. It was the third novel I wrote. I’d already experienced the joy and sense of accomplishment completing a novel gives one, I’d already experienced the disappointment that comes from having a novel rejected, and I’d already experienced the satisfaction of being accepted by a publisher. Now, if Daughter Am I would go viral, that would change my life.
 
 

Q: Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?

 
I’m the reader I am writing for. There were stories I wanted to read and couldn’t find, so I wrote them. The irony of this is that I always wanted to reach a large readership, so it would have been more practical to write books that vast numbers of people would like.
 
 

Q: What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

 
I’ll be leaving the world my books, which are words enough, but besides that, this is how I’d like the world to see me:  “Pat Bertram has a marvelous ability to write the longest parables in all of literature. She unglues the world as it is perceived and rebuilds it in a wiser and more beautiful way.” — Lazarus Barnhill, author of The Medicine People and Lacey Took a Holiday
 
 

Q: What are you working on now?

 
Rubicon Ranch http://rubiconranch.wordpress.com/ is a collaborative and innovative crime series set in the desert community of Rubicon Ranch and is being written online by me and a few other authors of Second Wind Publishing.
 
Residents of Rubicon Ranch are finding body parts scattered all over the desert. Who was the victim and why did someone want him so very dead? Everyone in this upscale housing development is hiding something. Everyone has an agenda. Everyone’s life will be different after they have encountered the Rubicon. Rubicon Ranch, that is.
 
Who dunnit? No one knows, and we won’t know until the last chapter has been written. You can download the first book in the series free in any ebook format at Smashwords. 
 
 

Q: Where can people learn more about your books?

 
I have a website — http://patbertram.com — where I post important information, including the first chapters of each of my books, but the best way to keep up with me, my writing, and my life on a daily basis is by way of Bertram’s Blog. http://ptbertram.wordpress.com All my books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Smashwords is great! The books are available in all ebook formats, including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!
 

by: Pat Bertram

Publisher: Second Wind Publishing LLC

Format: Paperback (304 pages)

ISBN: 9781935171195

My Take:

My deepest thanks to Pat Bertram for visiting my blog, graciously answering my questions, and introducing us to herself, DAUGHTER AM I, and her character, Mary Stuart.   Like many readers, I am always on the quest for another great read, and I found one here!  

Don’t forget to come back and check this blog for my book review of DAUGHTER AM I by Pat Bertram, coming soon.