Tag Archives: mystery fiction

Book Review: On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor

14 Jun

I always love a Jaime Jo Wright novel — the interwoven story lines of past and present, the shiver-y elements, and the twisting paths she takes a reader on. On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor have all these elements plus engaging characters and spiritual themes that make you think. I think this book is my favorite! Highly recommended!

1885. 
Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor — a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior — Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life. 

Present day. 
Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.

Jaime Jo Wright loves to read — and write — fiction with elements of mystery, faith, and romance from her home in Wisconsin. She’s a coffee drinker by day and night, lives in dreamland, and exists in reality.

My Impressions:

I know that I will get a page-turning read when I open the pages of a Jaime Jo Wright novel. On The Cliffs of Foxglove Manor was that and more. I was impressed at how she sucked me into both storylines, making me read more furiously with each page. This atmospheric book is what some term a time slip — two interwoven stories with their own protagonists and plot, yet dependent upon each other to tell a whole story. Both in the story set in the 1880s and the one set in present day there figures Foxglove Manor, a place that seems to be its own character. Hiding secrets of pirates and lost treasure, the house sits on the cliffs overlooking Lake Superior, its grounds remote and its facade unwelcoming. Both main characters Adria and Kailey come to the house seeking release. I loved both women and the inner courage they draw from. The two must find the secrets Foxglove Manor hides in order to gain their freedom. Ghostly appearances, threats from unknown assailants, and misdirection abound. I was thoroughly delighted by the surprises Wright includes in the twisting plot. There’s fun history about the lake and its role in the Civil War, not one, but two delicious romances, and plenty of suspense to keep you awake long past your bedtime. 😉 While there are deep spiritual themes that are addressed, I never felt preached at, just prompted to think about the fragility and preciousness of life. And while this novel should be savored, I finished it in record time. So I suggest you slow down and enjoy! I was a little let down when I finally closed the book — I needed more time with Adria and Mr. Crane and Kailey and Axel, and even the mysterious Foxglove Manor!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Genre: mystery/suspense/timeslip

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

Audiobook Mini-Review: Curtain

7 Jun

My husband and I haven’t listened to an audiobook together in some time — our road trips have been seriously curtailed during Covid. But on a recent trip that included multiple stops to see family we chose one of our favorite series — Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie. After listening to many narrated by Hugh Fraser, our choices were limited. Instead of doing a little research into which titles we have left, I chose the easy route and picked Curtain, the last of the Poirot mysteries. It was great, but sad in many ways. I heartily recommend it, but please wait to read or listen to it until you have exhausted the others.

The crime-fighting careers of Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings have come full circle—they are back once again in the rambling country house in which they solved their first murder together.

Both Hercule Poirot and Great Styles have seen better days — but, despite being crippled with arthritis, there is nothing wrong with the great detective and his “little gray cells.” However, when Poirot brands one of the seemingly harmless guests a five-time murderer, some people have their doubts. But Poirot alone knows he must prevent a sixth murder before the curtain falls.

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

My Impressions:

Curtain, the last case for Hercule Poirot takes place at Styles, the manor where Agatha Christie first introduced the funny little Belgian detective who makes use of his little gray cells. With him is a widowed Captain Hastings who has returned to England from Argentina. I loved how Christie brought the series full circle giving Poirot a worthy send-off. This mystery also references other cases that Poirot solved during his career weaving the past and present into the twisting storyline. As always, the interactions between Hastings and Poirot are entertaining and induce a chuckle here and there. The narrative kept my husband and I engaged as we tried to figure out just whodunit. I agree with my husband that with Curtain, no more Poirot is sad. But I found the way Christie tied up the long-running series to be a fitting end for Poirot. As always, Hugh Fraser’s narration is delightful — there can never be another Poirot for us.

For diehard Poirot fans, Curtain is a must read. But if you are new to him or haven’t read many of the books in the series, please save this one for later. Give yourself many Poirot moments before the final curtain.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

Genre: classic mystery.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Happy Release Day! — Deadlocked

25 Jan

Happy release day to Heather Day Gilbert. The third book in her Hemlock Creek Suspense series, Deadlocked, is now available on Kindle. If you are partial to a paperback, you’ll have to wait a little bit longer. But here’s the good news — if you haven’t started this wonderful mystery series, you have plenty of time to read the first two books in anticipation of Deadlocked! 😉 See all the details below.

 

Brandon McClure has just moved back to his hometown of Hemlock Creek, ready to feed his love of adventure and the great outdoors as a whitewater tour guide. But before he can settle into the new job, he’s chosen for jury duty, where he ends up sitting front and center in the headliner trial of local tycoon Harlan Wells, a man accused of murdering his wife. When a key witness takes the stand, Brandon feels certain their paths have crossed before, but for the life of him, he can’t recall when or where.

Nasha Patel’s testimony is crucial to the conviction of the accused murderer. That night in the emergency room, Nasha was the only one who heard the dead woman’s final statement . . . which put a target on her back. Fresh out of witness protection and feeling vulnerable and exposed, she’s acutely aware that all eyes are trained on her — including those of Juror Number 3, a stranger whose kindness once made a lasting impression on her.

When the courtroom erupts into chaos and Nasha turns her terrified gaze on Brandon, it quickly becomes clear that only his unique skills can protect her . . . if only he can get to her before the hired hitmen do.

 

 

Award-winning novelist Heather Day Gilbert enjoys writing mysteries and Viking historicals. She brings authentic family relationships to the page, and she particularly delights in heroines who take a stand to protect those they love. Avid readers say Heather’s realistic characters — no matter what century — feel like best friends. When she’s not plotting stories, this native West Virginia gal can often be found hanging out with her husband and four children, playing video games, or reading Agatha Christie novels.

Find all her books and her newsletter signup at heatherdaygilbert.com.

 

Audiobook Review: The June Boys

18 Jan

I read a lot of different genres, but YA is not one I usually pick up. A FB book club prompted me to read outside the box with The June Boys by Court Stevens. The fresh writing style and puzzling mystery kept me listening. See all the details below.

 

The Gemini Thief is a serial kidnapper who takes three boys and holds them captive from June 1st to June 30th of the following year. The June Boys endure thirteen months of being stolen, hidden, observed, and fed before they are released, unharmed, by their masked captor. The Thief is a pro, having eluded authorities for nearly a decade and taken at least twelve boys.

Now Thea Delacroix has reason to believe the Gemini Thief has taken a thirteenth victim: her cousin, Aulus McClaghen.

But the game changes when one of the kidnapped boys turns up dead. Together with her boyfriend, Nick, and her best friends, Thea is determined to find the Gemini Thief and the remaining boys before it’s too late. Only she’s beginning to wonder something sinister, something repulsive, something unbelievable, and yet, not impossible:

What if her father is the Gemini Thief?

Courtney “Court” Stevens grew up among rivers, cornfields, churches, and gossip in the small town south. She is a former adjunct professor, youth minister, Olympic torchbearer, and bookseller at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN. These days she writes coming-of-truth fiction and is the community outreach manager for Warren County Public Library in Bowling Green, KY. She has a pet whale named Herman, a bandsaw named Rex, and several novels with her name on the spine.

Court is a rare bird online, but you might spot her occasionally

Twitter – @quartland
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Instagram – quartland
Facebook –  https://www.facebook.com/CourtneyCStevens
Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/anabels/courtney-c-stevens-books/

 

 

My Impressions:

I have to admit I was surprised by The June Boys. This novel is multi-layered and complexly-written, something I just wasn’t expecting from a YA mystery/thriller/suspense. Perhaps my view of the genre is too narrow. After reading Stevens novel it isn’t anymore. The June Boys is a highly recommended read.

The story is told through the first person voice of Thea, a high school senior whose life was upended when her cousin was abducted by the Gemini Thief. For 10 years boys of varying ages have been abducted and held for a year and then released unharmed. Thea is on a mission to find Aulus and enlists three friends in the investigation. The second point of view is shared through letters that Aulus is writing from his captivity. Both give the reader a good sense of what is going on, but not the whole picture. The pace of the book is urgent and the reader is kept on tenterhooks hoping that the book will not end in tragedy. I found the writing intense, some of the scenes cringe-inducing, and the whole story kept me listening well past the time I needed to move on to other things in my day. The book does have a YA vibe with its language and characters. I would say this one is for older youths, high school at least, because of its subject matter. There is a wrap-up at the end that helps bring the story closure, but created more to ponder. I think The June Boys would make an excellent choice for families to read or listen to together or for a youth book club. The spiritual questions that arise deserve good conversation. Specific to the audiobook: the multiple narrators make each voice clear.

All in all, I found The June Boys to be a riveting read. If you like thrillers, YA lit, or are looking for a book that will engage your older teenagers, I highly recommend it.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teenagers to adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Christmas Books

8 Dec

Happy Tuesday! The countdown is on until Christmas. Have you gotten all your decorating and shopping done? I still need to do some things around the house, but my shopping list has grown shorter. But one thing I have made sure to do is get some Christmas reading in. Priorities! 😉 So far, I have read The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere (reading her novellas is a yearly tradition) and I should be finished with The Christmas Heirloom novella collection today (really great; review to come). Because Christmas books often fall into the romance genre (who doesn’t like a good romance?), I have decided to split my Top 10 Tuesday list into 7 genres for those who want a bit of mystery, or history, or a good laugh too. I think there’s something for everyone on my list. I hope you find a Christmas book to love — now get reading!  Be sure to visit That Artsy Reader Girl for more Christmas fun!

 

Top Christmas Books

 

An Amish Christmas

Christmas at Rose Hill Farm by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Christmas Remedy by Cindy Woodsmall and Erin Woodsmall 

 

A Classic Christmas

A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham

 

An Historical Christmas

12 Days at Bleakly Manor by Michelle Griep

The Christmas Star by Ace Collins 

 

 

A Laugh-Out-Loud Christmas

The Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson

The Christmas Promise by Donna VanLiere

 

A Mysterious Christmas

All Is Calm, All Is Bright by Colleen Coble

Silent Night, Holy Night by Colleen Coble

 

A Poignant Christmas

The Ornament Keeper by Eva Marie Everson

Remembering Christmas by Dan Walsh

 

 

A Romantic Christmas

An Endless Christmas by Cynthia Ruchti

The Wedding Dress Christmas by Rachel Hauck

 

 

 

Book Review: An Air That Kills

16 Nov

The atmosphere in the lab is toxic.

It is only a matter of time before there is a flu pandemic with the potential to kill billions. Or so wealthy entrepreneur Lyle Lynstrum believes. That is why he is funding research into transgenics – the mechanism by which viruses can jump the species barrier — at a high security lab on a tidal island off the North Devon coast.

A suspiciously rapid turnover of staff has him worried. He sends in scientist Katie Flanagan as an undercover lab technician. Something is clearly very wrong, but before Katie can get to the bottom of what is going on, a colleague is struck down by a mysterious illness.

Has the safety of the facility been compromised, allowing a deadly virus to escape? Katie begins to suspect that the scientists are as deadly as the diseases – and that her cover has been blown.

Then the island is cut off by high seas and a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse begins . .

 

Before Christine Poulson turned to crime, she was an academic with a PhD in History of Art and had published widely on nineteenth century art and literature. Her Cassandra James mysteries are set in Cambridge in the UK. The first in her new series, Deep Water, featuring scientist Katie Flanagan, appeared in 2016. The second, Cold, Cold Heart, set in Antarctica, came out in January 2018 and the third, An Air That Kills, was published in November 2019. Her short stories. published in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, CWA anthologies, and elsewhere, have been short-listed for a Derringer, the Margery Allingham Prize, and the CWA Short Story Dagger.

 

My Impressions:

I love brainy British mysteries — those that make you think while you are trying to figure out whodunit! The third book in Christine Poulson’s series featuring researcher Katie Flanagan, An Air That Kills, does just that. At first I was reluctant to read this book with the blurb promising a threat of pandemic, but you needn’t be worried about that. Yes, there are deadly viruses involved in the book, but it is the murderous humans that the characters really have to worry about. Katie impersonates a lab tech to discover if anything is going on with the research at the Cat 3 infectious lab that studies, among other things, influenza. And plenty is. I have to admit, I trusted no one! The remote island location with its mists sets up a very mysterious atmosphere that made the story even more enjoyable. Katie is an atheist, but is perhaps a bit of a seeker as well, though her journey towards faith is very slow — and realistic. The theme of the novel — public persona vs. hidden self — is explored in more than one character. While this is the third in the series, it is not necessary to read the first two to enjoy the complex twistings. However, I recommend beginning at the beginning 😉 . This book refers to Cold, Cold Heart a lot. I have it on my Kindle, and now I have to read it too!

Please note: An Air That Kills is published by a British imprint that focuses on Christian fiction. However, CF outside of the US may contain some elements not all American CF readers like. There is no adult language in this book, but there is some off-stage sex that is hinted at. If that bothers you, I would skip this book.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

Top 10 Tuesday — Song Titles

10 Nov

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday challenge is a fun one — pick book titles that would make great song titles. Song titles and book titles have so much in common. They both are catchy and easy to remember and capture the essence of the book/song in one phrase. Song titles usually come from a line in the lyrics. Book titles often do the same thing — it’s fun when you come across the reference while reading. This week I went to my shelves for inspiration and found some books residing there that reference real songs for their titles, so I included some of those as well. Hope you find a book to love.

For more Top Ten Tuesday fun, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

Top Book Titles That Should (or are) Song Titles

 

Books with songs as titles:

Cold As Ice by M. K. Gilroy

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

Suspicious Minds by Christy Barritt

You’re The One That I Want by Susan May Warren

 

 

Books that would make great song titles:

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

The Key to Love by Betsy St. Amant

More Than We Remember by Christina Suzann Nelson

 

No Ocean Too Wide by Carrie Turansky

To Be Where You Are by Jan Karon

Until I Found You by Victoria Bylin 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Non-Book Hobbies

3 Nov

This week, Top 10 Tuesday is talking about Non-Book Hobbies. Is there such a thing? 😉 I admit to books being just about everything in my spare time. I do crochet a bit and I enjoy the outdoors at our north Georgia cabin and I play at baking, but I don’t have a green thumb, I am not a gourmet, travel is at a standstill now, and my mom’s hobby — housecleaning — doesn’t appeal. So, there you have it! Makes for a boring blog post.

I decided to feature a few books that would appeal to a range of hobbyists. Hope you find one that fits into your extrabookular activities.

 

Top Non-Book Hobbies Books!

Art

A Fool And His Monet by Sandra Orchard

Serena Jones has a passion for recovering lost and stolen art — one that’s surpassed only by her zeal to uncover the truth about the art thief who murdered her grandfather. She’s joined the FBI Art Crime Team with the secret hope that one of her cases will lead to his killer. Now, despite her mother’s pleas to do something safer –like get married — Serena’s learning how to go undercover to catch thieves and black market traders.

When a local museum discovers an irreplaceable Monet missing, Jones leaps into action. The clues point in different directions, and her boss orders her to cease investigating her most promising suspect. But determined to solve the case and perhaps discover another clue in her grandfather’s murder, she pushes ahead, regardless of the danger.

Baking

All’s Fair in Love And Cupcakes by Betsy St. Amant

Kat Varland has had enough of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry.

At twenty-six years old, Kat is still living in the shadows of her family in Bayou Bend, Louisiana. Still working shifts at her Aunt Maggie’s bakery. Still wondering what to do with her passion for baking and her business degree. And still single.
But when Lucas Brannen, Kat’s best friend, signs her up for a reality TV bake-off on Cupcake Combat, everything Kat ever wanted is suddenly dangled in front of her: creative license as a baker, recognition as a visionary . . . and a job at a famous bakery in New York.

As the competition heats up, Lucas realizes he might have made a huge mistake. As much as he wants the best for Kat, the only thing he wants for himself — her — is suddenly in danger of slipping away.

The bright lights of reality cooking wars and the chance at a successful career dazzle Kat’s senses and Lucas is faced with a difficult choice: help his friend achieve her dreams . . . or sabotage her chances to keep her in Louisiana.

Collecting

Lady of A Thousand Treasures by Sandra Byrd

Miss Eleanor Sheffield is a talented evaluator of antiquities, trained to know the difference between a genuine artifact and a fraud. But with her father’s passing and her uncle’s decline into dementia, the family business is at risk. In the Victorian era, unmarried Eleanor cannot run Sheffield Brothers alone.

The death of a longtime client, Baron Lydney, offers an unexpected complication when Eleanor is appointed the temporary trustee of the baron’s legendary collection. She must choose whether to donate the priceless treasures to a museum or allow them to pass to the baron’s only living son, Harry — the man who broke Eleanor’s heart.

Eleanor distrusts the baron’s motives and her own ability to be unbiased regarding Harry’s future. Harry claims to still love her and Eleanor yearns to believe him, but his mysterious comments and actions fuel her doubts. When she learns an Italian beauty accompanied him on his return to England, her lingering hope for a future with Harry dims.

With the threat of debtor’s prison closing in, Eleanor knows that donating the baron’s collection would win her favor among potential clients, saving Sheffield Brothers. But the more time she spends with Harry, the more her faith in him grows. Might Harry be worthy of his inheritance, and her heart, after all? As pressures mount and time runs out, Eleanor must decide whom she can trust — who in her life is false or true, brass or gold — and what is meant to be treasured.

Gardening

Like A Watered Garden by Patti Hill

“I received a box of flowers from my dead husband.”

Life has stalled for Colorado garden designer Mibby Garrett after losing her husband in a bicycle accident six months ago. Mibby devotes herself to avoiding “whammies o’ grief,” the painful and sudden reminders of her former life. But for her son, she’s willing to face anything. With the support of the indomitable Louise, friend and neighbor, and her faithful gardening clients, Mibby even considers romance with a too-good-to-be-true widower. Then comes the biggest whammy of all, a stranger with a claim to her husband’s heart. Will Mibby retreat or sound the charge on life?

Music

Song of Silence by Cynthia Ruchti

Lucy and Charlie Tuttle agree on one thing: they’re committed to each other for life. Trouble is, neither of them expected life to look like this. While Charlie retired early, Lucy is devoted to a long-term career . . . until the day she has no choice.

Forced to retire from her position as music educator in a small Midwestern K-8 school, Lucy can only watch helplessly as the program her father started years ago disintegrates before her eyes. As the music fades and a chasm separates her from the passion of her heart, Lucy wonders if her faith’s song has gone silent, too. The musical score of her life seems to be missing all the notes.

When a simple misstep threatens to silence Lucy forever, a young boy and his soundless mother change the way she sees — and hears — everything.

Quilting

Rival Hearts by Tara Randel

They both want the promotion. But will they find out that it is worth the cost?

Molly Henderson and Ben Weaver have been rival magazine writers for the same publishing group for years. When both come up for the same promotion, they find themselves in an unexpected competition to win the spot. Molly, editor of Quilter’s Heart, and Ben, editor of Outdoor Adventures, must switch roles, each working for the other for one month, then submit an article at the end of their quests. Can girly-girl Molly survive the outdoor adventures that Ben has planned? Can Ben navigate the perils of the social dynamics of quilting events without destroying a valuable quilt in one short month? More importantly, in this he-said, she-said situation, will Molly and Ben give in to their attraction and fall in love, no matter who wins?

Writing

Ghost Writer by Rene Gutteridge

Jonathan Harper is a fiction editor at a publishing house who devotes all of his time to work, and is slowly drifting away from his family. While proof reading a story about a serial killer written by his best friend and father figure Clyde, he begins to receive a story from an anonymous source that is eerily similar to his own life. It contains details no one else could possibly know, details about his childhood and his marriage. As the suspense builds, Jonathan is forced to confront the demons in his own life as he seeks to understand the mystery behind the story.

 

Top 10 Tuesday Halloween Edition– Outbreaks and Epidemics!

27 Oct

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday is a Halloween Freebie. If it’s not too early for you, I have a list of books that feature outbreaks and epidemics — real life scary! And because they are all Christian or clean fiction, it’s not all doom and gloom. There are a couple of historical novels that feature the Spanish Flu, some mystery and suspense that explore potential viruses/bacteria and other biological agents that get loose, and a YA dystopian that explores the aftermath of an epidemic. A couple of the authors are even doctors. If the subject isn’t too frightening for you, I hope you find a great book.

 

For more Halloween goodness, head over to That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

 

Top 10 Books Featuring Outbreaks and Epidemics

 

An Air That Kills by Christine Poulson

The atmosphere in the lab is toxic.

It is only a matter of time before there is a flu pandemic with the potential to kill billions. Or so wealthy entrepreneur Lyle Lynstrum believes. That is why he is funding research into transgenics – the mechanism by which viruses can jump the species barrier – at a high security lab on a tidal island off the North Devon coast.

A suspiciously rapid turnover of staff has him worried. He sends in scientist Katie Flanagan as an undercover lab technician. Something is clearly very wrong, but before Katie can get to the bottom of what is going on, a colleague is struck down by a mysterious illness.
Has the safety of the facility been compromised, allowing a deadly virus to escape? Katie begins to suspect that the scientists are as deadly as the diseases – and that her cover has been blown.

Then the island is cut off by high seas and a terrifying game of cat-and-mouse begins . . .

Airborne by DiAnn Mills

Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living ― but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.

While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field . . . and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.

As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.

As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner

In 1918, Philadelphia was a city teeming with promise. Even as its young men went off to fight in the Great War, there were opportunities for a fresh start on its cobblestone streets. Into this bustling town, came Pauline Bright and her husband, filled with hope that they could now give their three daughters – Evelyn, Maggie, and Willa – a chance at a better life.

But just months after they arrive, the Spanish Flu reaches the shores of America. As the pandemic claims more than twelve thousand victims in their adopted city, they find their lives left with a world that looks nothing like the one they knew. But even as they lose loved ones, they take in a baby orphaned by the disease who becomes their single source of hope. Amidst the tragedy and challenges, they learn what they cannot live without–and what they are willing to do about it.

As Bright as Heaven is the compelling story of a mother and her daughters who find themselves in a harsh world not of their making, which will either crush their resolve to survive or purify it.

Captives by Jill Williamson

In a dystopian future, eighteen-year-old Levi returns from Denver City with his latest scavenged treasures and finds his village of Glenrock decimated, loved ones killed, and many – including his fiancée, Jem – taken captive. Now alone, Levi is determined to rescue what remains of his people, even if it means entering the Safe Lands, a walled city that seems anything but safe. Omar knows he betrayed his brother by sending him away, but helping the enforcers was necessary. Living off the land and clinging to an outdated religion holds his village back. The Safe Lands has protected people since the plague decimated the world generations ago … and its rulers have promised power and wealth beyond Omar’s dreams. Meanwhile, their brother Mason has been granted a position inside the Safe Lands, and may be able to use his captivity to save not only the people of his village, but also possibly find a cure for the virus that threatens everyone within the Safe Lands’ walls. Will Mason uncover the truth hidden behind the Safe Lands’ façade before it’s too late? 

The Gabon Virus by Paul McCusker and Walt Larimore

An ancient disease, a modern pandemic, and the one person who offers hope for a cure has been dead for 350 years

In 1666, a horrible disease took the lives of almost every person in Eyam (pronounced Eem), England. Helping the sick and the dying was the mysterious and ghostlike Blue Monk, whose strange appearance terrified even those who were comforted by him.

More than three centuries later the disease has returned, more virulent than before. Every day more people are infected; every hour more die.

The lives of millions rest in the hands of a bio-team — the Time Scene Investigators — that studies history to find cures for modern diseases. But the newest member of the team, Dr. Mark Carlson, has suffered a heartbreaking loss.

With every tick of the clock the world approaches a global pandemic. A race against time becomes a race across continents — to find a frightened boy who is carrying and spreading the disease wherever he goes, to thwart the machinations of corporate greed and fanatical sabotage, and to find the connection between a great tragedy of the past and a potential catastrophe of the present. Our present.

The Influenza Bomb by Paul McCusker and Walt Larimore

Masses of people are dying from a mysterious flu. While the TSI team searches for a cure, a notorious eco-terrorist group, Return to Earth, uses an influenza bomb to poison the water. It’s a race against time — with the outcome impacting the entire world.

By the time the team discovers that the terrorists are using the water supply to infect people, the sickness is spreading worldwide and no one has a cure. When Return to Earth makes off with a mysterious device called the influenza bomb with the intent to destroy all of mankind, Dr. Hutchinson must stop the contamination from being spread before it’s too late.

Lethal Remedy by Richard Mabry

An epidemic of a highly resistant bacteria, Staphylococcus luciferus, has ignited, and Dr. Sara Miles’ patient is on the threshold of death. Only an experimental antibiotic developed and administered by Sara’s ex-husband, Dr. Jack Ingersoll can save the girl’s life.

Dr. John Ramsey is seeking to put his life together after the death of his wife by joining the medical school faculty. But his decision could prove to be costly, even fatal.
Potentially lethal late effects from the experimental drug send Sara and her colleague, Dr. Rip Pearson, on a hunt for hidden critical data that will let them reverse the changes before it’s too late. What is the missing puzzle piece? And who is hiding it?

Outbreak by Davis Bunn

The waters off the West African coast are a menacing red, full of algae thick enough to stand on in places. In nearby villages, mysterious deaths start to occur — and the panic mounts. But before an alarm can be sounded, the sea currents shift, the algae vanishes, and the deaths stop. Everyone is relieved when things return to normal, and local government officials are happy to sweep the publicity nightmare under a rug.

An American biological researcher, Avery Madison, is dispatched by his employer to piece together exactly what happened, having long feared an ecological disaster just like this could occur. He’s had little evidence to go on before now, and what he finds in West Africa is rapidly disappearing. But Avery knows the danger hasn’t disappeared — it has just moved on.

Point of Origin by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

When virus-infected pirates hijack a humanitarian medical ship from an African port, they trigger the threat of a global pandemic.

How do you keep hope alive in a sea of darkness?

An African fisherman.

Foreign exploitation of Africa’s natural resources has destroyed the fishing business of Dabir Omar. Hijacking oil tankers brings cash to his family in their remote village, but it doesn’t buy the medical care needed to stop the deadly sickness attacking his people. When Dabir’s son becomes ill, the desperate pirate sets sail for the Liberty, an international humanitarian medical ship ported on the coast. 

An American surgeon.

Against his better judgment, Dr. Josiah Allen agrees to work a two-week surgical stint on the Liberty, moored in Douala, Cameroon. Shortly after he arrives with his precocious six-year-old daughter, Josiah is sent ashore to investigate a mysterious illness at the ship’s post-op clinic. While he’s gone, Ebola-infected pirates hijack the medical ship where Josiah left his daughter.

The woman compelled to save them all.

When pirate negotiations fail, Mackenzie Scott’s privately-owned extraction unit comes in for the rescue. But when the medical ship where Mac had taken a wounded comrade is hijacked by pirates, the former military pararescue jumper becomes the pirate’s key hostage. 

Both fathers go to war to save their children. If Mac can’t convince them to work together, the winner of this conflict will be a deadly virus intent on destroying the world.

The Turning Tide by Melody Carlson

As the Great War rages on, Sunset Cove continues to feel its impact. Running the small town newspaper, Anna McDowell can’t escape the grim reports from the other side of the world, but home-front challenges abound as well. Dr. Daniel is serving the wounded on the front lines. And Katy, expecting her first child, with her husband in the trenches, tries to support the war effort with her Red Cross club. Even as the war winds down the costs are high— and Sunset Cove is not spared.

 

Top Ten Tuesday — Fall TBR

22 Sep

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday challenge is to list the 10 books on your Fall TBR. I have a mix of old(ish) and new, review and book club selections, and some just because. I have a lot of reading to catch up on and not a lot of time in my schedule — my son, DIL, and grand baby have been visiting for 3 weeks and we are building a vacation home and my daughter is getting married! Squee! But books are always a great way to relax and escape. I think my list will provide just the ticket.

For more Fall TBRs, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books on The Fall TBR

 

Airborne by Diann Mills

As Doves Fly in The Wind by Mary Lou Cheatham

Deadly Intentions by Lisa Harris

Egypt’s Sister by Angela Hunt

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

Point of Danger by Irene Hannon

The Red Ribbon by Pepper Basham

The Refrain Within by Liz Tolsma

Solid Ground by Danny and Wanda Pelfrey

Under a Turquoise Sky by Lisa Carter

 

What’s on your Fall TBR?