Tag Archives: Carrie Stuart Parks

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

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

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.

Top 10 Tuesday — Book World Problems

5 Oct

My husband and I often joke that many of our frustrations, annoyances, and irritations are First World Problems. In that spirit, I have decided to twist the TTT prompt of Bookish Pet Peeves to Book World Problems. In a world with so many book options and the reality of not enough time to read All The Books, I cringe at the number of books I have to leave on the shelf. But I am determined to whittle down the TBR, and with this list, increase yours! LOL!

For more bookish pet peeves be sure to check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Book World Problems

Finding a debut author I love and acknowledging I have to read all her subsequent books!

Kimberly Duffy

Finding a new-to-me author, and discovering he has a backlist.

Tom Threadgill

Having just one more book in a series to read, yet can’t find time to read it!

Maybe It’s You by Candace Calvert

The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano

Portrait of Vengeance by Carrie Stuart Parks

Waiting on an author to finish a series. Yes, I am looking at you, Heather Day Gilbert! 😉

Heather Day Gilbert

What are some of your Book World Problems?

First Line Friday — Woman in Shadow

27 Aug

Happy Friday! One of my favorite authors, Carrie Stuart Parks, released a new novel this summer — Woman in Shadow. I downloaded it from NetGalley, and I really need to find time to read it. If you have read it, please let me know why I should move it to the top of the old TBR stack. It won’t take much convincing 😉 .

Here are the first two lines:

Why are those dogs barking? I pointed across the wooden picnic table toward two obviously upset canines yelping nearby.

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.

Carrie’s Gwen Marcey series chronicles a forensic artist from Montana and is loosely based on Carrie’s forensic cases. She 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. 

If You Liked . . . Relative Silence

30 Jul

My book club all liked Carrie Stuart Parks‘ suspense novel, Relative Silence. In fact, many are headed back to this new-to-us author’s previous novels for more reading pleasure. 🙂 If you were a fan as well, I have a few more recommendations.

Suspense Set on An Island

Tidewater Inn by Colleen Coble

Welcome to Hope Beach. A place of intoxicating beauty . . . where trouble hits with the force of a hurricane.

Inheriting a beautiful old hotel on the Outer Banks could be a dream come true for Libby. The inn cries out for her restorer’s talent and love of history. She’s delighted to learn of the family she never knew she had. And the handsome Coast Guard lieutenant she’s met there on the island could definitely be the man of her dreams.

But Libby soon realizes that the only way she can afford the upkeep on the inn is to sell it to developers who are stalking the island. The father who willed her the inn has died before she could meet him, and her newfound brother and sister are convinced she’s there to steal their birthright. Worst of all, her best friend and business partner has been kidnapped before her eyes, and Libby’s under suspicion for the crime.

Libby’s dream come true is becoming a nightmare. Her only option is to find her friend and prove her innocence, or lose everything on the shores of Hope Island.

Forensic Artist

Formula of Deception by Carrie Stuart Parks

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?

Family Secrets

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard

Former FBI Special Agent Jack Tanner is working as a detective in Montana when he comes across a body in the national forest during a search and rescue mission. He’s committed to finding the killer, even if it means working alongside his old flame, US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors.

When Terra discovers that the murder victim had ties to a powerful and dangerous trafficker of archaeological artifacts, the investigation takes a deadly turn — one that hits too close to home. As Terra fears she lacks the courage to face what comes next, Jack is more determined than ever to protect her. But he’s failed her before. And if he fails this time, it will cost them far more than just their hearts.

Join bestselling and award-winning author Elizabeth Goddard as she plunges you into a web of deceit made of hidden crimes, open threats, and long-buried family secrets in this gripping first book of an explosive new series.

Top 10 Tuesday — Page-Turners

20 Jul

Happy Tuesday! This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is books read in one sitting. It’s funny that now that I am retired and have no children at home it takes me longer to read a book than it used to. Maybe in my *ahem* younger and busier years I knew that my available reading time was limited. Who knows? While I no longer read books in one sitting, I do read some faster than others. These are usually in my favorite genre — mystery/suspense — and just naturally keep me turning the pages. My list today includes recent reads as well as those from years ago that I really did read in one sitting, many of which are part of a series (more good reads!). I hope you find one that will keep you turning those pages too. 🙂

For more page-turning books, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Page-Turners

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

Collision of Lies by Tom Threadgill

A Cry from The Dust by Carrie Stuart Parks

Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

Indivisible by Kristen Heitzmann

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

Proof by Jordyn Redwood

Storm Gathering by Rene Gutteridge

Vanished by Irene Hannon

July Book Club Selection — Relative Silence

1 Jul

How is it July already!? My teacher friends go back to school the last week of this month, so they only have a few short weeks to enjoy summer. So what should they read? Suspense is always a good choice, so if you haven’t already, join us in reading Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks this month. The book is on sale for Kindle ($1.99) and FREE with an Audible membership trial!

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.

2021 Carol Award Finalists

29 Jun

Congratulations to all the wonderful authors who are finalists in the 2021 Carol Awards presented by the ACFW. Now you know what to read this summer! 😉

Contemporary

The Promised Land by Elizabeth Musser

If For Any Reason by Courtney Walsh

On a Coastal Breeze by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Historical

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

In High Cotton by Ane Mulligan

The Right Kind of Fool by Sarah Loudin Thomas


Historical Romance

Daughter of Rome by Tessa Afshar

Like Flames in the Night by Connilyn Cossette

The Runaway Bride by Jody Hedlund


Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Dead End by Nancy Mehl

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

A Baby’s Right to Choose by David L. Winters


Novella

Far as the Curse is Found, from the collection Joy to the World: A Regency Christmas Collection
by Amanda Barratt

Christmas in Galway, in the collection Christmas Lights and Romance by Elizabeth Ludwig

A New Hope for Christmas by Erin Stevenson


Romance

Love and a Little White Lie by Tammy L. Gray

Starfish Pier by Irene Hannon

Carolina Breeze by Denise Hunter


Romantic Suspense

Lost Down Deep by Sara Davison

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

Airborne by DiAnn Mills


Short Novel

The Christmas Bargain by Lisa Carter

Killer Insight by Virginia Vaughan

Texas Holiday Hideout by Virginia Vaughan


Speculative

Cry of the Raven (Book 3, The Ravenwood Saga) by Morgan L. Busse

Stealing Embers by Julie Hall

The Vault Between Spaces by Chawna Schroeder

Young Adult

Victoria Grace the Jerkface by S.E. Clancy

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads


Debut

Things We Didn’t Say by Amy Lynn Green

The Edge of Everywhen by A.S. Mackey

Mortal Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads