Tag Archives: Carrie Stuart Parks

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Wishlist

13 Jun

Happy Tuesday! Do you keep a wishlist of books to pass to family and friends for your birthday, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Groundhog Day? Or do you keep one for yourself when you need a little bookish pick-me-up? I really am not a wishlist gal, but with a little prodding I could be. 😉 When it comes to books I buy them whenever, that’s why my shelves overflow. So today I am sharing books that I’d be pleased to receive. It was a little tricky to compile, since in the coming weeks we are asked to share Summer TBR and Most Anticipated Books of The Second Half 2023. These are a bit of a throwback — books that have already released and I want to read, but do not have.

For more bloggers’ wishlists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Wishlist Books

Afraid of The Light by Cynthia Ruchti

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

Fallout by Carrie Stuart Parks

Free Fall by Nancy Mehl

Finders Keepers by Sarah Monzon

Impending Strike by Lynette Eason and Sami A. Abrams

The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

Paint And Nectar by Ashley Clark

The Rose And The Thistle by Laura Frantz

To Win A Prince by Toni Shiloh

Top 10 Tuesday — Reasons For Choosing A Book

23 May

This week bloggers are tasked with listing the reasons why they choose books. Pretty covers tempt, an interesting hook piques interest, and recommendations hold a lot of sway. However, I do have some standards. 😉 So the following are the reasons why I generally acquire a book and books that fit. I have to admit that the authors listed (except Sara Brunvold) are all favorites of mine. And from what I’ve heard about Sara’s book, she will be added to the list as well. 🙂

What about you? What makes you choose a book?

For more reasons to choose a book, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Reasons Why I Choose A Book

Favorite Genre (Suspense) — Fallout Carrie by Stuart Parks

Favorite Author — The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

Interesting Setting or Storyline — The Master Craftsman by Kelli Stuart

Buzz about A New-To-Me Author — The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold

Next Book in A Series — Blind Trust by Natalie Walters

If You Liked . . . A Stranger’s Game

30 Nov

While this month’s book club pick, A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble, was not one of my favorites, others in my book club enjoyed this easy romantic suspense. I did really like the characters, and the Jekyll Island setting was a treat for me. It is definitely one of my favorite places to visit in person or in fiction.

If you liked A Stranger’s Game, here are a few more reading recommendations for you.

Romantic Georgia Island Vibes

For The Love of Joy by Janet W. Ferguson


Is he married or isn’t he?

Years ago, a Dear John letter and then an IED explosion overseas rocked Davis Donnelly’s world and left him unclear about his marital status. He’d signed divorce papers, but broken mentally and physically, he’d never bothered to find out if his marriage actually ended. Now that he’s about to start a new position as an outreach minister, it’s time to settle things once and for all. At the moment he tracks down his wife — or former wife? — she takes a tumble while chasing a little boy. Her son. And that’s when life flips upside down. 

Joy Jennings Donnelly made her share of mistakes. But one thing she never considered a mistake was her child, and she’ll do anything to protect him. Even keep his paternity a secret. 

When she’s suddenly injured with not a soul to help her or her son, Joy is forced to rely on the man who has the most reasons to hate her.

Suspenseful Georgia Island Vibes

Cape Refuge by Terri Blackstock

A gripping tale from New York Times bestselling suspense author Terri Blackstock. When the kindest couple in Cape Refuge is found murdered at their church, their daughter will have to find the killer . . . before her own husband is convicted.

Wade and Thelma Owens run a halfway house on the small island of Cape Refuge that caters to wayward souls just out of prison. So when Wade and Thelma turn up brutally murdered, the town goes into shock, concerned that one of the Hanover House residents is a murderer who could strike again.

Shattered by her parents’ deaths, Morgan Cleary struggles to keep Hanover House running while her husband, Jonathan, has been arrested for the murder.

As the killer runs free, a lethal race against time ensues, with far more than the halfway house at stake.

Family Secrets . . . On A Georgia Island 😉

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

A powerful family with dark secrets.

After personal tragedy, Piper Boone retreats to her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the wealthy Boone family, who are practically American royalty. When catastrophe strikes, her family is put in the spotlight, and the line between victim and suspect gets blurred.

A forensic artist with his own haunting past.

Tucker Landry is drawn to Piper in the midst of the trauma, but the connections being made to her family might prove to be their undoing. With a hurricane beating down on the private island, there isn’t much time to find answers.

The truth will determine whether she lives or dies.

Top 10 Tuesday — Top Reading From The Last 10 Julys

26 Jul

This week’s TTT is too much of a reminder of my past failures. 😉 Bloggers were tasked to list past summer TBR picks that they DID NOT read. I chose to tweak or, really, avoid the topic altogether and went with the books my book club did read over the past 10 Julys — a good mix of genres. Have you read any of these? My book club would recommend them!

For more summer reminiscences, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Novels My Book Club Read In The Past 10 Julys

Bridge to Haven by Francine Rivers (2014)

The Curse of Misty Wayfair by Jaime Jo Wright (2019)

Firefly Island by Lisa Wingate (2013)

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton (2018)

Justice Delayed by Patricia Bradley (2017)

Living Lies by Natalie Walters (2020)

My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (2016)

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks (2021)

Surrender Bay by Denise Hunter (2012)

Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer (2015)

Top 10 Tuesday — Anticipated Books

5 Jul

Happy Tuesday! Even though I have shelves and a Kindle full of books, I am always looking forward to new ones. I think most avid readers are, so I am unapologetic. 😉 This week I am highlighting some books that have recently released or will shortly. Many are already on my NetGalley shelf. Now I just need to read them!

For more anticipated books, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Anticipated Books

Anything But Plain by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

Concrete Evidence by DiAnn Mills

Crossfire by Lynette Eason

Dangerous Beauty by Melissa Koslin

Deception by Patricia Bradley

Edge of Dusk by Colleen Coble

The Extraordinary Deaths of Mrs. Kip by Sara Brunsvold

Fallout by Carrie Stuart Parks

Heirlooms by Sandra Byrd

Book Review — Woman in Shadow

2 Jun

I love Carrie Stuart Parks’ books! Woman in Shadow, a 2021 release, has been calling my name since it was available. I am so glad I finally took the time to read it. If you are a fan of romantic suspense this one is a must read!

A woman off the grid.

Darby Graham thinks she’s on a much-needed vacation in remote Idaho to relax. But before she even arrives at the ranch, an earthquake strikes. Then a barn on the edge of town is engulfed in flames and strange problems at the ranch begin to escalate, and Darby finds herself immersed in a chilling mystery.

A town on fire.

More fires erupt around town, and a serial arsonist sends taunting letters to the press after each. As a forensic linguist, this is Darby’s area of expertise . . . but the scars her work has caused her are also the reason she’s trying to escape her life.

A growing darkness.

As the shadows continue moving in, pieces of the town around her come into sharper focus. To make it out alive, Darby must decide if she can trust the one man who sees her clearly.

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award winning artist, writer, speaker, and law enforcement instructor. A Certified Forensic Artist, she met her husband, Rick, in the romantic hallways of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Together they formed a dynamic and successful team in their fine and forensic art, working on major national and international cases and creating exquisite watercolors and stone carvings. They travel internationally, teaching forensic art to a variety of participants: from the Secret Service to the FBI, from large law enforcement agencies to the smallest two-man departments in their one-week classes. They are the largest instructors of forensic art in the world. Carrie has won numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence and is a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society.

My Impressions:

Woman in Shadow kept me guessing! This twisting romantic suspense had it all — a mysterious disappearance, earthquakes, dramatic rescues, and dangers around every turn. But the best thing about the novel is the main character, Darby Graham. Most of the story is told through Darby’s first person voice. I loved her perspective on the goings on, complete with wit to lighten all the bad things happening. Darby is a forensic linguist — a fascinating occupation — who has been trying to overcome her past and past mistakes. Sent to the remote Idaho ranch, she is tasked with determining why odd and dangerous things seem to be occurring. She gets much more than she expects when the danger ratchets up putting her in harms way. I like that Parks created a vulnerable, yet resourceful character in Darby. Her faith has faltered along the way, but she learns to rely on God, as well as her own instincts. There is also a great love interest for Darby that will have you cheering them on. As I stated, I did not solve this whodunit — to my delight I was completely surprised! Although there is a reference to an organization first mentioned in Relative Silence, Woman in Shadow is a standalone. Good news for all those who want to dive into this book right away. And I highly recommend you do!

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I received an ebook version from NetGalley. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — 2021 Releases I Didn’t Read (Who is surprised!)

18 Jan

Every year I vow to read more from my TBR shelves, to be purposeful in the books I acquire. And every year total failure! I really have no self-control when it comes to books. The following are 2021 books still on my NetGalley shelves. I don’t even want to list those that are on my Kindle or my physical shelves.

For more bloggers who are big fat failures too didn’t meet their reading goals last year 😉 , check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 2021 Releases I Didn’t Read

The Chase by Lisa Harris

Dead Fall by Nancy Mehl

A Midnight Dance by Davidson Joanna Politano

The Nature of A Lady by Roseanna M. White

Paint And Nectar by Ashley Clark

The Paris Betrayal by James R. Hannibal

The Way It Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson

Woman in The Shadows by Carrie Stuart Parks

A Woman of Words by Angela Hunt

Mini-Review: Relative Silence

16 Dec

My book club read Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks during the summer, but I am just now writing a review — yes that is how my year is going. Although I love Parks’ novels, this one was not my favorite. However, it was a hit with my group. One member liked it so much she bought a bunch of books on Parks’ backlist. You can read my impressions below.

A powerful family with dark secrets.

After personal tragedy, Piper Boone retreats to her childhood home—a secluded mansion for the wealthy Boone family, who are practically American royalty. When catastrophe strikes, her family is put in the spotlight, and the line between victim and suspect gets blurred.

A forensic artist with his own haunting past.

Tucker Landry is drawn to Piper in the midst of the trauma, but the connections being made to her family might prove to be their undoing. With a hurricane beating down on the private island, there isn’t much time to find answers.

The truth will determine whether she lives or dies.

Carrie Stuart Parks is an award winning artist, writer, speaker, and law enforcement instructor. A Certified Forensic Artist, she met her husband, Rick, in the romantic hallways of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Together they formed a dynamic and successful team in their fine and forensic art, working on major national and international cases and creating exquisite watercolors and stone carvings. They travel internationally, teaching forensic art to a variety of participants: from the Secret Service to the FBI, from large law enforcement agencies to the smallest two-man departments in their one-week classes. They are the largest instructors of forensic art in the world. Carrie has won numerous awards for her innovative teaching methods and general career excellence and is a signature member of the Idaho Watercolor Society.

Parks began her fiction writing career while battling breast cancer. Mentored by NY Times bestselling author, Frank Peretti, Carrie’s debut novel, along with her subsequent novels, have been met with critical acclaim.

My Impressions:

While Carrie Stuart Parks is a favorite author of mine, I was not a big fan of her novel Relative Silence. It really should have checked all the boxes for me — fast-paced suspense set on the Georgia coast (Georgia is my home state), with a twisting plot. Instead it fell a bit flat. I never really clicked with the characters and I found the plot somewhat predictable, even with its many twists and turns. It was almost like I could see them coming. I am definitely in the minority — members of my book club loved it and it won the 2021 Christy Award for Mystery/Suspense/Thriller. This only goes to show that the reading experience is very subjective and can be influenced by mood and circumstances. I urge you to check out other reviewers’ thoughts on this book. Parks is a great author and my experience with this book in no way will influence my reading other books by her.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased a copy of this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

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

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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

If You Liked . . . Everywhere to Hide

1 Nov

While my book club had mixed feelings on Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell, I loved it! The familiar northern Virginia setting and the unique main character piqued my interest and the twisting plot kept the pages turning. If you liked it too, here are a few more reading recommendations.

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

An artist hiding from an escaped killer uncovers one of World War II’s most dangerous secrets—a secret that desperate men will do anything to keep hidden.

After the murder of her twin sister, Murphy Anderson changed her name and appearance and moved to Kodiak, Alaska, to avoid the press and publicity. But when local authorities discover she’s an artist and request her help in drawing a dying man’s memories, she unintentionally ends up in the limelight again—and back in the killer’s crosshairs.

The deathbed confessions of an Alaskan hunter have Murphy drawing the five bodies he discovered on remote Ruuwaq Island ten years ago. But what investigators find has them mystified. Evidence suggests that the bodies were deliberately destroyed, and what they uncover in an abandoned Quonset hut from World War II only brings more questions.

As one by one the investigators who were at the hut die, Murphy knows there is something much darker at stake. What happened on this island during the war? And who is willing to kill to keep its secrets buried?

Lethal Intent by Cara Putman

If they expected silence, they hired the wrong woman. 

Caroline Bragg’s life has never been better. She and Brandon Lancaster are taking their relationship to the next level, and she has a new dream job as legal counsel for Praecursoria—a research lab that is making waves with its cutting-edge genetic therapies. The company’s leukemia treatments even promise to save desperately sick kids—kids like eleven-year-old Bethany, a critically ill foster child at Brandon’s foster home. 

When Caroline’s enthusiastic boss wants to enroll Bethany in experimental trials prematurely, Caroline objects, putting her at odds with her colleagues. They claim the only goal at Praecursoria is to save lives. But does someone have another agenda? 

Brandon faces his own crisis. As laws governing foster homes shift, he’s on the brink of losing the group home he’s worked so hard to build. When Caroline learns he’s a Praecursoria investor, it becomes legally impossible to confide in him. Will the secrets she keeps become a wedge that separates them forever? And can she save Bethany from the very treatments designed to heal her? 

This latest romantic legal thriller by bestseller Cara Putman shines a light on the shadowy world of scientific secrets and corporate vendettas—and the ethical dilemmas that plague the place where science and commerce meet.

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

Former CIA sniper Kadance Tolle possesses a special set of skills and a rare pedigree. She comes from a family of assassins, and by saving Lyndon Vaile’s life she risks being found by them. Despite the danger, Kadance feels compelled to help Lyndon discover who is after him–and his research that seems to prove that the Ebola virus was manmade and is about to be weaponized.

With shadowy figures pursuing them and a Mastermind watching their every move, Kadance and Lyndon must scramble to stop an impending bioattack at the State of the Union address. But their warnings fall on deaf ears, and it becomes increasingly clear that there’s no one they can trust–except perhaps each other.

Strap in for a breakneck story that will have you up all night, hurtling toward the last page as the clock ticks and time runs out.