Book Review: Murder, Forgotten

1 Dec

I love a good mystery, one I can lose myself in as I puzzle along with the main character. I found exactly this in Murder, Forgotten by Deb Richardson-Moore. I really liked this one — recommended!

Julianna Burke, bestselling mystery novelist, has a secret that those closest to her are hiding from the world. Julianna is losing her memory, and with it her powerful gift for storytelling that propelled her to fame. 

A further devastating blow comes when Connor, Julianna’s beloved husband, is murdered. Even this is not something Julianna’s mind can hold on to, and every day her assistant has to break the heart-wrenching news all over again. 

Julianna is desperate to know what happened to her husband. As she battles her failing mind to investigate, a detail of the murder surfaces that makes Julianna question everything she’s ever known. Somehow she must fight to find the truth, even though her grip on reality is fading . . .

Deb Richardson-Moore was a reporter for The Greenville (SC) News for 27 years before earning a Master of Divinity degree and becoming pastor of the Triune Mercy Center, a non-denominational mission church with outreach to Greenville’s homeless population.

Her first book, The Weight of Mercy, chronicled her first three turbulent years among her homeless congregants.
When her publisher (Lion Hudson LLC in England) asked for a second book, Deb pivoted to fiction and wrote a murder mystery that has a homeless encampment as a backdrop. The Cantaloupe Thief is a puzzling whodunit that explores what happens when an entire group of people is unseen, unheard, unrecognized.

Deb is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Erskine Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Vince, have three grown children, and live in Greenville, SC.

My Impressions:

Murder, Forgotten is a complex murder mystery featuring a best-selling murder mystery author. The premise is great — can or would a mystery author murder someone and get away with it? Or even remember it — Juliana is suffering from some form of dementia. Most of the story is told from the author’s daughter’s POV and has all the second-guessing and mixed feelings you would expect. I had my suspicions from the start, but this book has so many twists and unexpected turns that they often got thrown out the window. The cast of characters are well-developed, you just don’t know whom to trust! 😉 Besides the puzzling mystery, Murder, Forgotten has a wonderful setting — actually two wonderful settings. The rugged coast of Scotland has a short-lived presence, but it made me want to jump on a plane! The warmer beach house setting makes up the bulk of the book and is a powerful presence as it represents the family dynamics.

Murder, Forgotten was all I could hope for in a murder mystery. It’s a great choice for a long weekend read.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to NetGalley for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own.)

Top 10 Tuesday — 2022 Book Club Selections

30 Nov

This week’s TTT is bookish memories. Again, I wasn’t feeling the prompt, so I am looking ahead instead of back with a post listing what my book club will be reading in the new year. 😉 While we read every month, as a group we choose only 9 titles — they let me surprise them with 3 more throughout the year. I hope you like our list. What will you be reading in 2022?

For more TTT fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books on my Book Club’s 2022 List

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

Life Flight by Lynette Eason

Relative Justice by Robert Whitlow

A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble

Sunrise by Susan May Warren

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Book Review: Crosshairs

29 Nov

As someone who married a Mississippi boy, I always love to read books set in his home state. (I lived there for 7 years as well.) Crosshairs, the third book in Patricia Bradley‘s Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, takes the reader back for more murder. 😉 I think this is my favorite so far in the series. Recommended.

Investigative Services Branch (ISB) ranger Ainsley Beaumont arrives in her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, to investigate the murder of a three-month-pregnant teenager. While she wishes the visit was under better circumstances, she never imagined that she would become the killer’s next target–nor that she’d have to work alongside an old flame.

After he almost killed a child, former FBI sniper Lincoln Steele couldn’t bring himself to fire a gun, which had deadly and unforeseen consequences for his best friend. Crushed beneath a load of guilt, Linc is working at Melrose Estate as an interpretive ranger. But as danger closes in on Ainsley during her murder investigation, Linc will have to find the courage to protect her. The only question is, will it be too little, too late?

Winner of an Inspirational Readers Choice Award, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum.

But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series set in Mississippi and two sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, Matthew’s Choice and The Christmas Campaign that are available on Amazon.

When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

My Impressions:

I love suspense, and reading a novel with a familiar setting is a big bonus in my book. Crosshairs by Partrica Bradley is set along the Natchez Trace near the city of Natchez. I have visited there, and have traveled the Trace a number of times, so her book vividly brought back the area for me. What I didn’t experience in the past was the murder and mayhem found in this book. LOL! But I liked it too! There are a number of mysteries that face main characters Ainsley Beaumont, an agent with the Investigative Services Branch of the US Parks Service and former FBI sniper turned interpretative park ranger, Lincoln Steele. The two have major history, but decide to be civil as they investigate and dodge bullets! Chemistry is there from the start, so fans of romantic suspense will be pleased. The reader is given a bit more information on the bad guy(s) before the two main characters, but they are up to the challenge of discovering whodunit. There are a lot of twists that they and I did not see coming — Bradley keeps her characters and readers on their toes. 😉 The two main characters have experienced varying degrees of trauma and disappointment that have impacted their present situations. Their faith journeys are depicted in a natural way that readers can identify with.

The third novel in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, Crosshairs is my favorite. I can’t wait for the last book in the series due out next year.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

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

Book Review: Unknown Threat

24 Nov

Unknown Threat is book 1 in Lynn Blackburn‘s romantic suspense series, Defend And Protect. It’s a puzzler, as members of the US Secret Service are targeted by a killer. It’s a great start for the series. Recommended! Find out all the details below.

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He’s an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing romantic suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy, but her grown-up reality is that she’s a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations while she’s sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas! 

Lynn’s titles have won the Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award. Her newest series kicked off in March 2021 with Unknown Threat, Book 1 in the Defend and Protect series. 

She is a frequent conference speaker and has taught writers all over the country. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after by signing up for her newsletter at LynnHBlackburn.com and @LynnHBlackburn on Bookbub, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

My Impressions:

Lynn H. Blackburn’s novel Unknown Threat starts out with a bang! Literally. The reader is immediately grabbed with this twisting romantic suspense that features the Secret Service and the FBI. Not known for working well together — interagency rivalry, you know — the two law enforcement agencies are forced to cooperate as Secret Service agents are murdered. The case is puzzling, because the methods are so different, but FBI agent in charge, Faith Malone, is dogged in her working of the case. And Secret Service agents won’t remain on the sidelines when their fellow agents are targeted. SA Luke Powell and Faith are thrown together to identify who is responsible. The romance between the two main characters is new, no past bad blood, and I liked that. That’s not to say that their relationship didn’t sizzle. LOL! The investigation is a puzzler, and the two are kept on alert as more threats and dangers emerge. I found the case intriguing and was kept guessing as to just whodunit. Blackburn’s novels are faith-filled, but never preachy. The reader gets real and relatable people and their struggles. And for fans of Blackburn’s previous books, a couple of favorite characters make cameo appearances.

If you are looking for a fast-paced suspense with a good dose of romance, then I recommend Unknown Threat.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

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

Top 10 Tuesday — Thankful for Family

23 Nov

Last Thanksgiving I had the pleasure and blessing of having all of my immediate family together. This year, due to law school exams, conferences, and other family obligations we will not be all together on the same day. But . . . we have already had one small gathering and will be headed to another on Turkey Day. And FaceTime is a winner! I’ll be able to see my granddaughter though we are separated by a lot of miles. These thoughts led me to a Thankful for Family TTT post. No, it’s not the theme for today, but I wanted to do it anyway. LOL! So today my list is all about families. Whatever your favorite genre, I have a book(s) for you!

For more TTT fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Series Featuring Families

Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey — Romantic Suspense

Bucklin Family Reunion series by Debby Mayne — Southern/Chick Lit

Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney — Family Drama

Cousins of The Dove series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould — Time Split

Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade — Romance

Book Review: Deadly Target

22 Nov

Deadly Target is book 2 in Elizabeth Goddard’s Rocky Mountain Courage series. If you like romantic suspense, then you are in for a treat with this novel. This action-packed book will have you furiously turning the pages. Find out all the details below.

Criminal psychologist Erin Larson’s dreams of a successful career come to a screeching halt when she nearly loses her own life in a boating accident on Puget Sound and then learns that her mother tried to commit suicide. She leaves her job as a criminal psychologist to care for her mother in Montana. At least she is able to produce her podcast, which focuses on solving missing persons cold cases.  

Nathan Campbell’s father was investigating such a case when he was shot, and now Nathan needs to enlist Erin’s help to solve the case. She’s good at what she does. The only problem? She’s his ex.  

As the two dig deeper, it becomes clear that they, too, are being targeted – and that the answers to their questions are buried deep within the past Erin struggles to explain and longs to forget.  

With over one million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling, award-winning author of over fifty romance novels and counting. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.

To get book news sign up for her newsletter at her website:http://elizabethgoddard.com

Follow her on Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-goddard

You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebookhttp://facebook.com/elizabethgoddardauthor

or Twitterhttp://twitter.com/bethgoddard

My Impressions:

Mystery/suspense is my favorite genre, and Deadly Target checks all the boxes for a page turner: a cold case turned hot, danger around every corner, and a never-saw-it-coming ending. Elizabeth Goddard returns again to Montana in her Rocky Mountain Courage series, although the characters travel far afield to solve the case. I liked the variety of settings, each unique and interesting. Main characters Erin and Nathan have a history that each tries to subdue as they focus on the investigation into the shooting of Nathan’s father, but the sparks reignite regardless. Fans of romance will like the sizzle between the two. There are several mysteries to solve, and I liked how Goddard weaves the threads together. There’s a lot of action right from the start, and this reader was kept on her toes. I was kept guessing until the end. The faith of the two main characters and other supporting characters came off as natural — doubts and trust along the way — a lot like real life.

Although part of a series, Deadly Target can be read as a standalone, but I always like starting at the beginning. 😉 Consider getting both books in the series for great binge-reading.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

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

First Line Friday — Saving Mrs. Roosevelt

19 Nov

Happy Friday! What are your Thanksgiving plans? We will have a small immediate family get together this weekend before we head out for a road trip. We will have some traditional fixings, although in a simple form, and I am having someone else cook the bird! 🙂 So that will leave me some good available reading time. 😉 Today I am sharing a book that I will be reading in the new year, Saving Mrs. Roosevelt by Candice Sue Patterson. Do you have any books you are looking forward to reading in 2022?

Here are the first 2 lines:

Shirley Davenport was a breath away from dying.

Of boredom.

The Safety of the First Lady Rests in Shirley’s Hands

Shirley Davenport is as much a patriot as her four brothers. She, too, wants to aid her country in the war efforts, but opportunities for women are limited. When her best friend Joan informs her that the Coast Guard has opened a new branch for single women, they both enlist in the SPARs, ready to help protect the home front.

Training is rigorous, and Shirley is disappointed that she and Joan are sent to separate training camps. At the end of basic training, Captain Webber commends her efforts and commissions her home to Maine under the ruse of a dishonorable discharge to help uncover a plot against the First Lady.

Shirley soon discovers nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust? Why do the people she loves want to harm the First Lady? With the help of Captain Webber, it’s a race against time to save Mrs. Roosevelt and remain alive.

Candice Sue Patterson studied at The Institute of Children’s Literature and is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives in Indiana with her husband and three sons in a restored farmhouse overtaken by books. When she’s not tending to her chickens, splitting wood or decorating cakes, she’s working on a new story. Candice writes Modern Vintage Romance–where the past and present collide with faith. For more on Candice and her books, visit http://www.candicesuepatterson.com.

Book Spotlight + Giveaway! — Hidden Danger

18 Nov

Hidden Danger JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Hidden Danger by Jerusha Agen, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hidden Danger

Title: Hidden Danger
Series: Guardians Unleashed #1
Author: Jerusha Agen
Publisher: SDG Words
Release Date: November 8, 2021
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

The greatest threat to this K-9 team is the one they don’t see coming.

Cora Isaksson’s guilt has shadowed her life ever since drugs ensnared her brother and he disappeared. When Bradley suddenly returns, Cora and her narcotics detection K-9 are thrust into a battle against the drug cartel that wants him back.

DEA Special Agent Kent Thomson has his own personal reasons for bringing justice to the cartel. Cora and her drug-sniffing K-9 will only get in his way. Or are they assets that will enable him to right the wrongs of the past?

When the cartel targets Cora, she and Kent join forces with her teammates at the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency to end the cartel before it ends her. They’re prepared for danger, but when more lives than their own hang in the balance, can they trust God for the rescue that’s out of their reach?

EXCERPT

Cora’s pulse jerked with her arm when Jana tugged hard to the right. The golden retriever never pulled on her leash unless she caught scent of one of two things—narcotics or a human in need of rescue. 

Jana tugged toward a black suitcase parked upright next to a man in the baggage claim of Minneapolis International Airport.

“Get that dog away from my luggage.” The middle-aged, heavyset man had a smudge of dark hairs on his head and a long, sagging mustache that shaped his mouth into a severe frown.

Cora’s mind raced. She and Jana were off the clock, finished logging in their hours searching for narcotics at Departures. The usual TSA officer who accompanied her had left, and Cora had handed in her radio for the day.

But Jana sat next to the man’s suitcase and aimed her big brown eyes up at Cora. 

She’d found drugs.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jerusha Agen

Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives. Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media. Get a free suspense story from Jerusha and find more of her thrilling, fear-fighting novels at www.JerushaAgen.com.

CONNECT WITH JERUSHA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a prize package including a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card, one signed copy of Hidden Danger, a Hidden Danger mug, Hidden Danger keychain, Phoenix K-9 Agency notepad, and Phoenix K-9 stickers!

Hidden Danger JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight November 16, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on November 23, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Audiobook Mini-Review: Girl Waits with Gun

16 Nov

My book club, the IWBC (interesting women’s book club 😉 ) read Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart this month. This book is based on the Kopp sisters, and in particular Constance Kopp, one of the first female deputy sheriffs in America. Set in the early years of the 20th century, it is a good look into the role of women. The story revolves around a horse and buggy/automobile accident that the Kopp sisters were involved in. Their suit to receive damages from the accident turns violent with threats from the ones who ran into them. The book has a sub-thread that focuses on what women had to endure when they found themselves pregnant outside of marriage. That and other historical elements make this an interesting read. I especially liked the discourse on the media of the time — it seems not much has changed in 100+ years. 😉 The characters are fun and quirky as the book leans toward a cozy mystery vibe. I really liked this book, and as it happens I can get more of the Kopp sisters. There are 7 books available in the series.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I downloaded the audiobook from my local library via Libby. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.

Amy Stewart is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen books, including the new Kopp Sisters series, which began with Girl Waits With Gun. The series is based on the true story of three remarkable sisters who lived in New Jersey a hundred years ago.

Amy has also written six nonfiction books on the perils and pleasures of the natural world, including the New York Times bestsellers The Drunken Botanist, Wicked Bugs, Wicked Plants, and Flower Confidential

She lives in Portland with her husband Scott Brown, a rare book dealer. When she isn’t writing, she’s making art, which you can see on Instagram, or teaching art and writing classes online.

Top 10 Tuesday — If You Liked . . .

16 Nov

Every month I come up with a If You Liked post for the novel my book club read. I try to list at least 3 books that have something in common with our monthly selection — setting, theme, historical elements, etc. I have shared this before on TTT, but I have some new recommendations. My list includes several genres — something for everyone. I hope you find a book to love! 🙂

Top Books to Read if You Liked . . .

If you liked Surviving Savannah by Patti Callahan, a time-slip novel set in the South with an historical mystery, then try . . .

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark

Hope Between The Pages by Pepper Basham

The Lady in Residence by Allison Pittman

***********************

If you liked Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson, a book set during WWII, which features those who heroically saved the Jewish people, then try . . .

Defy The Night by Heather And Lydia Munn

The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke

When The Heart Sings by Liz Tolsma

***********************

If you liked The Cedar Key by Stephenia McGee, a novel with a small town setting that focuses on second chances, then try . . .

The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

Secrets Over Sweet Tea by Denise Hildreth Jones

Star Rising by Janet W. Ferguson

***********************

If you liked Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell, a suspense novel with an unusual main character who is not in law enforcement, then try . . .

Formula for Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

Taken by Dee Henderson