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Mini-Book Review: Port of Origin

15 Dec

Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry have combined to create some great African-based medical suspense with their Agents of Mercy series. The first book in the series, Ghost Heart, explored organ harvesting. Port of Origin focuses on the threat of a global pandemic. It may be too soon for some readers, but I found the novel not only intriguing, but unputdownable. A 2021 Christy finalist, this book is highly recommended!

Hijacking oil tankers brings cash to Dabir Omar’s family, but it doesn’t buy the medical care needed to stop a deadly sickness attacking his people. When Dabir’s son becomes ill, the desperate pirate sets sail for the Liberty, an international humanitarian medial ship ported on the Cameroon coast.

Shortly after Dr. Josiah Allen arrives on the Liberty with his precocious six-year-old daughter, he is sent ashore to investigate a mysterious illness at the ship’s post-op clinic. While he’s gone, pirates hijack the medical ship where Josiah left his daughter.

When pirate negotiations fail, ex-military Mackenzie Scott’s extraction team comes in for the rescue. But when the pirates refuse to surrender, both fathers are forced to go to war to save their children.

How far would you go to save your child?


USA Today and CBA bestselling author Lisa Harris is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom, Port of Origin, and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 (Blood Covenant) and 2015 (Vendetta) from Romantic Times. She has sold over half a million books. She and her family have spent two decades working as missionaries in Africa where she runs a small non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project promotes Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at http://www.lisaharriswrites.com.

Lynne Gentry loves small towns and people watching. Observing body language. Catching the twitch of an eyebrow, the flicker of discomfort in a gaze, or the shifting of nervous feet. 

As a professional acting coach-theater director turned fiction author, Lynne loves using her crazy imagination to entertain with her books. Her works range from the highly-rated science fiction time travel series (Carthage Chronicles), medical thrillers (Ghost Heart), to small town southern romantic comedy series (the Mt. Hope Southern Adventures and the Women of Fossil Ridge). Readers are cheering this return to her small town roots. You’ll laugh and cry as these heartwarming adventures drop you in the middle of small-town Texas life. 

Lynne loves spending time with family or working the hospital oncology wards with her medical therapy dog.

Contact Lynne via her website: http://www.lynnegentry.com. Be sure and sign up for free content at https://www.lynnegentry.com/landing-1/.

My Impressions:

I loved Ghost Heart by Lynne Gentry and Lisa Harris. The first book in their African-based Agents of Mercy series opened my eyes and my heart to so many things. The second book, Port of Origin, amped up the suspense with its focus on the threat of a global pandemic. While some might find it too early to read such a book, I was immediately swept up in the story which includes not only the deadly outbreak, but the desperation of people caught up in poverty because of large global enterprises destroying their chance to make a living and the ecological sins of large corporations putting not only locals at risk, but the whole world. This book was intense! The characters are well-drawn, and I found myself pulled into each of their stories (even the bad guys 😉 ). It’s a race against time for the researchers and doctors, as well as those seeking to shut down the pirates. I could not turn the pages fast enough!

An excellent novel with non-stop suspense and a lot to think about, Port of Origin is a highly recommended read!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased the Kindle version of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: The Debutante’s Code

13 Dec

Regency-era novel, The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch is all about mystery and intrigue — think spies! There are two great main characters from different classes who feel the tug of attraction. Will they solve the crime(s) and discover love? You’ll just have to read the book!

Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series
 
Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn’t spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love.But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They’ve been living double lives as government spies–and they’re only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family’s legacy.
 
Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spies. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors–not to mention the nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner, who suspects her of a daring theft.
 
Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents’ last mission?
 
Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.
 
Click here to read an excerpt.

Erica Vetsch is a New York Times best-selling and ACFW Carol Award–winning author. She is a transplanted Kansan now living in Minnesota with her husband, who she claims is both her total opposite and soul mate.
 
Vetsch is the author of many novellas and novels, including the popular Serendipity & Secrets Regency series and the new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mystery series
 
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
 
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor)Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).

My Impressions:

I love a good mystery, and the Regency-era novel, The Debutante’s Code was a great reading choice. The book takes the reader from the ballrooms of the gentry to the seedy back alleys of the rookery, all while leading the characters on a merry chase to find out who the bad guys really are. The reader soon discovers there really are two avenues of investigation: the official police inquiry of stolen art work and murder led by Daniel Swann, and the shadowy world of international espionage which has reeled in Lady Juliette Thorndyke. The two cases are parallel and overlapping and include disguises, midnight break-ins, and more. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery and the historical details that brought the era to life. Lady Juliette struggles with lies and truth, while Mr. Swann seeks to overcome feelings of abandonment on the eve of losing the patronage of his mysterious benefactor. The book is full of danger and adventure, and I suspected just about everyone. The case is solved, but the fates of the two main characters are left unfinished — more books to come. Yay!

For fans of the Regency time period and mystery fiction, The Debutante’s Code is perfect. Recommended!

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

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

GIVEAWAY!

The winner will receive a Pride and Prejudice throw blanket from Litographs and a copy of The Debutante’s Code.  To enter the giveaway, click HERE.

Audiobook Mini-Review: Last Christmas in Paris

9 Dec

My book club chose a book with a little meat this month. We usually choose a light and often romantic Christmas novella for our December selection. This year our group wanted a little more. Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb was the perfect choice. This WWI-era epistolary novel tug at the heartstrings, taught us things about the era, and gave us a lot to think about — highly recommended!

An unforgettably romantic novel that spans four Christmases (1914-1918), Last Christmas in Paris explores the ruins of war, the strength of love, and the enduring hope of the Christmas season.

New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… 

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning New York Times, USA Today, Irish Times, and international bestselling author. Her 2014 debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award, A MEMORY OF VIOLETS was a 2015 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was shortlisted for the 2016 Irish Book Awards, and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA Gold Crown Award. LAST CHRISTMAS IN PARIS (co-written with Heather Webb) won the 2018 Women’s Fiction Writers Association Star Award, and their latest collaboration, MEET ME IN MONACO, was shortlisted for the 2020 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Hazel’s most recent novel, THE BIRD IN THE BAMBOO CAGE, set in China during WW2, is out now.

Hazel was selected by Library Journal as one of Ten Big Breakout Authors for 2015 and her work has been translated into fourteen languages and published in twenty countries to date. She is co-founder of creative writing events The Inspiration Project, and lives in Ireland with her husband and two children.

Heather Webb is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of historical fiction. In 2015, Rodin’s Lover was a Goodread’s Top Pick, and in 2018, Last Christmas in Paris won the Women’s Fiction Writers Association STAR Award. In 2019, Meet Me in Monaco was selected as a finalist for the 2020 Goldsboro RNA award in the UK, as well as the Digital Book World’s Fiction prize. To date, Heather’s books have been translated to fifteen languages. Up and coming, her next solo novel, THE NEXT SHIP HOME, is inspired by true events and reveals the dark secrets of Ellis Island as two unlikely friends challenge a corrupt system, altering their fate and the lives of the immigrants that come after them, out in Feb 2022. 

My Impressions:

I chose the audiobook version of Last Christmas in Paris, as I often do for my book club selections. An epistolary novel, the audiobook had the advantage of numerous narrators to give voice to the characters. While my book club really liked the format of the novel, some of them struggled at first with keeping straight in their minds just who the letters were from. They admitted, though, it did not take long to become swept up in the story. The book focuses on the years of WWI and is set on the homefront of England and in the trenches and hospitals of France and Belgium. As can be expected the letters begin with all the optimism and enthusiasm of their youthful writers. It soon becomes apparent that the war will not be over quickly, and the letters take on a more sombre and serious tone — the characters are growing up. Evie and Thomas are the main letter writers, and their relationship grew in wonderful ways. My book club members remarked on the lost art of letter writing in today’s texting world. I loved how the authors combined the mundane life back in England ( the lost Christmas goose) and the realties of war in Europe (a Christmas Day truce with both British and German soldiers meeting in no-man’s land). The novel is at turns sweet and romantic and heartbreaking. One member stated she had a hard time reading the book because she cried so much! I didn’t cry, but found the book very moving and one that will last with me a long time.

Last Christmas in Paris was a different sort of book for my book club this December, but one we really enjoyed. It created a great discussion along numerous lines. I highly recommend it.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased both the paperback from Amazon and the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review — Lights Out

9 Dec

I recently completed Natalie Walter‘s first romantic suspense series, Harbored Secrets. The 3-book series was great, so I was looking forward to reading her newest novel, Lights Out, book 1 in The Snap Agency series. That one hit it out of the park! You’ve got to read it — highly recommended!

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn’t at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It’s hard to trust a woman who’s already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning–the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn’t trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world–and their hearts–hangs in the balance.

Natalie Walters is the military wife of a soldier husband and mother of their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past.

My Impressions:

Natalie Walters is now one of my must-read romantic suspense authors! I really liked her first 3 books, but Lights Out, the first book in The Snap Agency, hit it out of the park! With the perfect balance of romance and suspense, this novel grabbed my attention from the first page and never let go. Furiously turning the pages best describes my reading experience. The book has international intrigue with high-stakes consequences. And it combines the workings of the CIA with a government contractor group with state-of-the art tech. Working outside of the government, the SNAP Agency (Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency) can do a lot to help with national security. The two main characters are CIA analyst Brynn Taylor and Jack Hudson. They have history to say the least. The implications of their backstories were crucial to the success of the assignment, and I loved how Walters wove their personal and professional roles together. Besides being a very satisfying romance, the suspense is what really kept me reading. The plot is intriguing and the twists just kept on coming. Let’s just say danger dogged Brynn’s every step. There is a definite faith thread that runs through the book. Brynne’s personal struggles may not be the norm, but her dependence on her own abilities instead of God resonated with me. Lights Out also has an ensemble cast that was integral to the storyline and is sure to show up in future books — can’t wait! I have to give a shout-out to Kekoa, a character who had a small role in Walter’s novel, Silent Shadows. He is larger than life in this book, and I am hoping his role is expanded in book 2.

Fans of romantic suspense will not want to miss Lights Out. I loved it!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

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.)

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.)

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.)

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.

Book Review: The Inn on Hanging Hill

15 Nov

Ever since I discovered Nancy Drew, I have loved a good mystery. Author Christy Barritt ranks right up there in my favorites — her mysteries are varied and plentiful. I recently read The Inn on Hanging Hill, book 2 in the Beach House Mystery series and thoroughly enjoyed it. Find out all the details below.

Lindsey Waters never wanted to return to the seaside inn where she grew up. Too many traumatic memories haunt the place, both from her childhood and from days gone by. But with guilt relentlessly chasing her after a tragic choice, she’s desperate for a fresh start.

Mysterious incidents begin plaguing the inn—dangerous incidents—that make it clear someone wants to scare Lindsey away. But why? Does it have anything to do with the two weeks missing from her memory when she was abducted at age twelve?

Childhood friend Benjamin Newsom seems like an answer to prayer when he shows up to work as a handyman. But something is different about him, something Lindsey can’t put her finger on. She’s certain Benjamin harbors secrets.

As peril continues to close in, Lindsey must decide if she wants to face her past or run. She doesn’t know whom she can trust, and whatever choices she makes will determine if she lives or if she becomes part of the inn’s tragic legacy.

Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

USA Today has called Christy Barritt‘s books “scary, funny, passionate, and quirky.”

A USA Today and Publishers Weekly best-seller, Christy writes both mystery and romantic suspense novels that are clean with underlying messages of faith. Her books have sold more than three million copies, one has been made into a TV movie, and another is being developed for a TV series. 

Christy’s books have won the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Suspense and Mystery, have been twice nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and have finaled for both a Carol Award and Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year.

She’s married to her prince charming, a man who thinks she’s hilarious–but only when she’s not trying to be. Christy’s a self-proclaimed klutz, an avid music lover who’s known for spontaneously bursting into song, and a road trip aficionado. 

Christy currently splits her time between the Virginia suburbs and Hatteras Island, North Carolina. She loves spending time with her husband, her two sons, and her four dogs. 

For more information, visit her website: http://www.christybarritt.com.

My Impressions:

When I need a mystery fix, I know I can rely on Christy Barritt to deliver. Her books can be funny or deadly serious, but are always page turners. Her latest in the Beach House Mystery series is definitely one I would recommend. She has the creepy house vibe down with The Inn on Hanging Hill. (Even the title promises a shivery reading experience.) The story takes place on the Eastern Shore of Virginia at a long neglected inn with history. It’s been 15 years since Lindsey has been there — after her abduction and mysterious return, her parents and she left, never to return. Now Lindsey has taken on the task of rehabbing the building and finding answers to just who was responsible for her kidnapping. Joining her is her long lost friend from those years at the inn, Benjamin. But as threats surface, things are not what they seem. I loved the two main characters. Each were very likable. They faced each danger with determination to get to the bottom of all that was happening. There is no shortage of suspects, but Barritt surprised me. Everyone, it seems, has a motive for the unsolved abduction and the present-day threats. The creepy/beach-y setting was fun and the romance between Lindsey and Benjamin was sweet, but it was the puzzle that kept me engaged. I did not see the ending coming!

I gather from the description of book one in the series, The Cottage on Ghost Lane, that The Inn on Hanging Hill is a standalone novel. But I had so much fun reading it, that the previous book is now on my TBR list. 🙂

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased the Kindle version from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)