Tag Archives: suspense fiction

July Book Club Pick — Sunrise

1 Jul

This month’s book club pick is perfect for the hot days of summer. Whether you need a book to take along to the beach or a cool treat for a hot staycation, Sunrise, book 1 in the Sky King Ranch series by Susan May Warren, is the book for you. It’s filled with romance, suspense, action, adventure, and plenty of snow for a vicarious shiver. 😉 If you haven’t read it yet, please join us. If you have, I’d love for you to share your thoughts. Visit the book club’s FB page HERE.

Pilot Dodge Kingston has always been the heir to Sky King Ranch. But after a terrible family fight, he left to become a pararescue jumper. A decade later, he’s headed home to the destiny that awaits him. 

That’s not all that’s waiting for Dodge. His childhood best friend and former flame, Echo Yazzie, is a true Alaskan–a homesteader, dogsledder, and research guide for the DNR. Most of all, she’s living a life Dodge knows could get her killed. One of these days she’s going to get lost in the woods again, and his worst fear is that he won’t be there to find her.
 
When one of Echo’s fellow researchers goes missing, Echo sets out to find her, despite a blizzard, a rogue grizzly haunting the woods, and the biting cold. Plus, there’s more than just the regular dangers of the Alaskan forests stalking her . . .

Will Dodge be able to find her in time? And if he does, is there still room for him in her heart?

Sunrise is the first explosive volume in a new nail-biting series from USA Today bestselling author Susan May Warren.

If You Liked . . . Breach of Honor

30 Jun

Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore has a lot going for it. Topics like domestic abuse, a woman wrongfully imprisoned, a corrupt police force — a lot to talk about. My book club read it this month and all really liked it. If you liked it too, here are some more reading recommendations.

Domestic Abuse

Center of Gravity by Laura McNeill

The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town, Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?

Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen

In the steamy city of New Orleans in 1974, Amalise Catoir sees Phillip Sharp as a charming, magnetic artist, unlike any man she has known. A young lawyer herself, raised in a small town and on the brink of a career with a large firm, she is strong and successful, yet sometimes too trusting and whimsical. Ama’s rash decision to marry Phillip proves to be a mistake as he becomes overly possessive, drawing his wife away from family, friends, and her faith. His insidious, dangerous behavior becomes her dark, inescapable secret.

In this lawyer’s unraveling world, can grace survive Ama’s fatal choice? What would you do when prayers seem to go unanswered, faith has slipped away, evil stalks, and you feel yourself forever dancing on shattered glass?

Wrongfully Imprisoned

Justice Betrayed by Patricia Bradley

It’s been eighteen years since TV crime reporter Andi Hollister’s sister was murdered. The confessed killer is behind bars, and the execution date is looming. But when a letter surfaces stating that the condemned killer didn’t actually do it, Detective Will Kincaide of the Memphis Cold Case Unit will stop at nothing to help Andi get to the bottom of it. After all, this case is personal: the person who confessed to the crime is Will’s cousin. They have less than a week to find the real killer before the wrong person is executed. But much can be accomplished in that week–including uncovering police corruption, running for your life, and falling in love.

With the perfect mixture of intrigue and nail-biting suspense, award-winning author Patricia Bradley invites her readers to crack the case — if they can — alongside the best Memphis has to offer.

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.

As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

Book Spotlight — Fury in The Shadows

29 Jun

I am pleased to spotlight Fury in The Shadows, the latest suspense novel by Rebecca Hemlock. It looks great! It’s available on Kindle Unlimited too! Check out all the details below.

Social Worker Jessica Everett spends her days saving women from abusive relationships and is good at what she does. At least, she thought so until she became the only witness to the murder of a young woman she was supposed to protect. Becoming the killer’s next target forces her to take them on with her bare hands. Barely escaping with her life, she’s running through the woods trying to escape the murderer when her ex-boyfriend, Michael Redman, shows up just in the nick of time.

Jessica has worked hard to forget their painful history and doesn’t want anything to do with him. However, Michael happens to be a Deputy Sheriff and the only one capable of protecting her.
She’s been told since childhood that God had a plan for her life. How was she supposed to believe that while on the run from a killer? Jessica doesn’t have the strength to free herself from the guilt she carries, so how is she supposed to have the strength to guard her heart against the man she never stopped loving?

Rebecca Hemlock is an Award-winning author and has written articles, books, and short stories for many years. She has worked as a freelance journalist for 4 years. She is currently a member of Sisters in Crime and American Christian Fiction Writers. Her books have also made it to the Amazon.com #1 bestseller list several times. Aside from writing Romance and suspense, Rebecca enjoys writing children’s fiction. Her first children’s book, The Lost Soldier, was published in 2016 by Westbow Press. She has a total of 3 children’s books, all published under the name R.C. Burch from 2016 to 2017. Rebecca has earned a degree in English and an Appalachian Studies certificate in Creative Writing. Her favorite times to write are early in the morning when the sun is coming up and at sunset. Rebecca lives in Eastern Kentucky with her husband and children.

Book Review: Breach of Honor

28 Jun

My book club read Breach of Honor, a suspense novel by Janice Cantore. An ex-police officer herself, Cantore provides a unique perspective to her law enforcement characters. The result is a very believable scenario. I anticipate a good discussion tonight.

As a police officer in Table Rock, Oregon, Leah Radcliff puts her life on the line to help others every day. But at home, Leah’s battling her own personal nightmare: Brad, her abusive husband, a fellow officer, celebrated hero, and beloved son of a powerful prominent family. Brad’s violent outbursts and suspicious activities have left Leah physically and emotionally scarred, until one desperate action to put a stop to his abuse results in deadly consequences.

Though public opinion seems ready to convict Leah, Officer Clint Tanner is one of the few to believe she acted in self-defense. As he works with Leah’s attorney to produce the evidence they need, new truths about Brad’s dark side come to light—and reveal a deep-rooted problem in Table Rock. There are some who have breached their sworn duty to serve and protect . . . and they’ll do anything to keep their secret safe.

A former Long Beach, California, police officer of twenty-two years, Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. She’s always enjoyed writing and published two short articles on faith at work for Cop and Christ and Today’s Christian Woman before tackling novels. She now lives in a small town in southern Oregon, where she enjoys exploring the forests, rivers, and lakes with her Labrador retrievers, Abbie and Tilly.

Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. 

Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecantore.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JaniceCantore.

My Impressions:

Breach of Honor was a good reading choice for a number of reasons. It is a credible look at how a woman who kills in self-defense is then convicted and sent to prison. There are a lot of things going on in the novel besides that — criminal activity, corruption at various levels of government — but Leah’s journey from good cop to inmate was what intrigued me the most. Cantore does a great job of exploring domestic abuse. It’s easy to say the victim should walk away from her abuser, but this novel shows how just how complex the issue is. Leah’s spiritual journey is interesting as well. The novel’s timeline is years, not days or months — that really made me think. Leah spent years in prison waiting for her day in court. While most don’t hit bottom in prison, her rejection and then acceptance of God rang true. For those who like twists and turns in their suspense, there are plenty. No one in this book is above suspicion! A romantic thread plays a small part of the novel.

I anticipate a lot of discussion at my book club. There really is a lot to talk about in this recommended read.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(I purchased Breach of Honor from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top Ten Tuesday — I Want More!

14 Jun

This week’s TTT prompt is books that need an epilogue. I tweaked this a bit, of course. I don’t need more of one story, I need more books by my favorite authors. My list consists of authors who haven’t published anything new in a while. For some it has only been a couple of years (I am impatient like that), but for others I’ve been waiting a long time. The authors write in a variety of genres, so if you haven’t yet discovered them, I promise you will find a new favorite too.

For more more lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Authors I Want More Books From

Cathleen Armstrong, author of the A Place to Call Home series

J. Mark Bertrand, author of the Roland March Mystery series

Candace Calvert, author of Crisis Team series

Brandilyn Collins, author of Plummet

Jessica Dotta, author of Price of Privilege series

Rachel Dylan, author of Capital Intrigue series

Tracy Groot, author of Maggie Bright

Rene Gutteridge, author of Misery Loves Company

Kathy Herman, author of Ozark Mountain Trilogy

Mark Mynheir, author of the Ray Quinn Mystery series

June Book Club Selection — Breach of Honor

1 Jun

It is no secret that my book club loves romantic suspense. There are many authors to choose from, but a recently added favorite of ours is Janice Cantore. Her background in law enforcement shows through in her novels. This month we are reading Breach of Honor. Have you read it? We would love to know your thoughts.

As a police officer in Table Rock, Oregon, Leah Radcliff puts her life on the line to help others every day. But at home, Leah’s battling her own personal nightmare: Brad, her abusive husband, a fellow officer, celebrated hero, and beloved son of a powerful prominent family. Brad’s violent outbursts and suspicious activities have left Leah physically and emotionally scarred, until one desperate action to put a stop to his abuse results in deadly consequences.

Though public opinion seems ready to convict Leah, Officer Clint Tanner is one of the few to believe she acted in self-defense. As he works with Leah’s attorney to produce the evidence they need, new truths about Brad’s dark side come to light—and reveal a deep-rooted problem in Table Rock. There are some who have breached their sworn duty to serve and protect . . . and they’ll do anything to keep their secret safe.

A former Long Beach, California, police officer of twenty-two years, Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, administration, juvenile investigations, and training. She’s always enjoyed writing and published two short articles on faith at work for Cop and Christ and Today’s Christian Woman before tackling novels. She now lives in a small town in southern Oregon, where she enjoys exploring the forests, rivers, and lakes with her Labrador retrievers, Abbie and Tilly.

Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired.

Visit Janice’s website at http://www.janicecantore.com and connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/JaniceCantore.

Mini-Book Review: Chasing The White Lion

26 May

I read The Gryphon Heist by James R. Hannibal and loved it. I immediately obtained a copy of the sequel, Chasing The White Lion, then left it languishing on the shelf. Shame on me! In an attempt to whittle down my TBR pile, I picked it up and devoured it! Why did I wait so long?! Chasing The White Lion has all the same great elements as the first book — ensemble cast of grifters, thieves, hackers, etc., non-stop/breath holding action, an intrepid heroine, and a faith message that fits right into the danger and chaos that seeks to swallow her up. I loved the spy craft, the look at underworld and dark web doings, and the fun romp the author takes his reader and his characters on. There is a very serious thread about human trafficking that I felt grounded the rest the book. It gave weight to the daring dos of the main characters. The bad guys are very, very bad, the good guys are flawed and a bit bad themselves, but Hannibal never blurs the lines of what God commands. I highly recommend you get book 1 first, then move right into book 2. Don’t wait like I did. You won’t be disappointed.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

Young CIA officer Talia Inger has reconciled with the man who assassinated her father, but that doesn’t mean she wants him hovering over her every move and unearthing the painful past she’s trying to put behind her. Still, she’ll need him–and the help of his star grifter, Valkyrie–if she hopes to infiltrate the Jungle, the first ever crowdsourced crime syndicate, to rescue a group of kidnapped refugee children.

But as Talia and her elite team of thieves con their way into the heart of the Jungle, inching ever closer to syndicate boss the White Lion, she’ll run right up against the ragged edge of her family’s dark past. In this game of cat and mouse, it’s win . . . or die. And in times like that, it’s always good to have someone watching your back.

Former tactical deception officer and stealth pilot James Hannibal takes you deep undercover into the criminal underworld where everyone has an angle and no one escapes unscathed.

Former stealth pilot James R. Hannibal is no stranger to secrets and adventure. He has been shot at, locked up with surface to air missiles, and chased down a winding German road by an armed terrorist. He is a two-time Silver Falchion award-winner for his Section 13 mysteries, a Thriller Award nominee for his Nick Baron covert ops series, and a Selah Award finalist for his Clandestine Service series. James is a rare multi-sense synesthete, meaning all of his senses intersect. He sees and feels sounds and smells and hears flashes of light. If he tells you the chocolate cake you offered smells blue and sticky, take it as a compliment.

Top 10 Tuesday — Professional Book Pushers

10 May

Happy Tuesday! This week’s prompt is a joy. It’s all about bookish characters. I chose to focus on books in which the main character(s) is a professional book pusher — one who gets paid to get someone to read. (As opposed to those of us who just do it for fun. 🙂 ) Basically booksellers and librarians. I am currently listening to The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar. It is riveting, and naturally it is on my list. With the variety of genres represented, I hope you find a book to pique your interest.

For more lists of bookish characters, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Professional Book Pushers

Bloomsbury Girls by Natalie Jenner

Camino Island by John Grisham

Crime And Poetry by Amanda Flower

Hidden Among The Stars by Melanie Dobson

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Miss Zukas And The Library Murders by Jo Dereske

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

The Secrets of Paper And Ink by Lindsey Harrel

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Wonderland Creek by Lynn Austin

Book Review: Shadows in A Mind’s Eye

21 Apr

I have been anticipating Janyre Tromp‘s debut novel for a long time — it was well worth my wait! Tromp has created a masterful story in Shadows in The Mind’s Eye. Find out all the details below, along with my impressions. There’s a link to a fabulous giveaway at the end of the post — don’t miss it!

Charlotte Anne Mattas longs to turn back the clock. Before her husband, Sam, went to serve his country in the war, he was the man everyone could rely on—responsible, intelligent, and loving. But the person who’s come back to their family farm is very different from the protector Annie remembers. Sam’s experience in the Pacific theater has left him broken in ways no one can understand—but that everyone is learning to fear.

Tongues start wagging after Sam nearly kills his own brother. Now when he claims to have seen men on the mountain when no one else has seen them, Annie isn’t the only one questioning his sanity and her safety. If there were criminals haunting the hills, there should be evidence beyond his claims. Is he really seeing what he says, or is his war-tortured mind conjuring ghosts?

Annie desperately wants to believe her husband. But between his irrational choices and his nightmares leaking into the daytime, she’s terrified he’s going mad. Can she trust God to heal Sam’s mental wounds—or will sticking by him mean keeping her marriage at the cost of her own life?

Debut novelist Janyre Tromp delivers a deliciously eerie, Hitchcockian story filled with love and suspense. Readers of psychological thrillers and historical fiction by Jaime Jo Wright and Sarah Sundin will add Tromp to their favorite authors list.

To read an excerpt of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye, click here

Janyre Tromp (pronounced Jan-ear) is a historical suspense novelist who loves spinning tales that, at their core, hunt for beauty, even when it isn’t pretty. She’s the author of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye and coauthor of It’s a Wonderful Christmas

A firm believer in the power of an entertaining story, Tromp is also a book editor and published children’s book author. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan with her husband, two kids, two crazy cats, and a slightly eccentric Shetland Sheepdog. 

You can find her on Facebook (@JanyreTromp), Instagram (@JaynreTromp), Twitter (@JanyreTromp), and her website, www.JanyreTromp.com where you can download a free copy of her novella, Wide Open

My Impressions:

Shadows in The Mind’s Eye is a complexly composed post-WWII novel that kept me turning the pages. There is so much to unpack about this book, and I am afraid I will not do it justice. Let me just say it kept me turning the pages while making me stop and ponder. Sounds contradictory? Perhaps. 😉 But I wanted so much to find out what was up and to understand what the characters were going through. The two main characters — Sam and Annie — are finding their way back to each other following Sam’s return from war. Sam returns with lots of demons and Annie has not shed all that she brought into their marriage years before. The relationship aspect of the novel gave it a wonderful intimacy, especially since the novel is told in Sam and Annie’s first person POV. As if that wasn’t enough, Tromp delivered an intensely vivid story with lots of tension and suspense and twists and turns. I never knew who to believe or trust. While Annie and Sam struggled with their relationship and their faith, they had a great example of reliance on the goodness of God in Dovie May, Sam’s mother. Although a secondary character, Dovie May provided a spiritual structure for the rest of the characters. There were also great historical details of Hot Springs, Arkansas in the mid-to-late 1940s that gave the novel a grounded sense of place and time.

Not your ordinary historical novel, Shadows in The Mind’s Eye is a personal glimpse into the struggles of returning WWII servicemen and the impact on family and community. It also is a riveting, suspense-filled story that will keep you up way past your bedtime! 😉

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

Giveaway!

The prize pack includes:

– A copy of Shadows in the Mind’s Eye,

– A custom made silver peach tree necklace inspired by the book,

– A “Light speaks through the broken places” t-shirt also inspired by the book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If You Liked . . . Life Flight

31 Mar

My book club really liked Life Flight by Lynette Eason. It surely generated more discussion that other romantic suspense novels we have read. The serial killer angle had us talking about the hows and whys. Hope that doesn’t make us weird! 😉 If you liked it too, I have a few more reading recommendations.

Coming of Winter by Tom Threadgill

Catherine Mae Blackston is missing. She is not the first.

While investigating Blackston’s recent activities, FBI Agent Jeremy Winter stumbles upon a string of missing persons within state parks. Unable to convince his boss that Blackston’s disappearance is anything other than a lost hiker, Winter joins forces with a local police officer to continue the search. 

As the clues mount, a dark figure from Jeremy’s past emerges with an ultimatum — one that could force him out of the Bureau. Afraid that his girlfriend, fellow agent Maggie Keeley, will be dragged into a high-stakes political game, he delays his decision. But as the tally of missing persons increases, Winter closes in on the unlikeliest of suspects. 

The bodies are out there. 

He just has to find them before his past catches up with him.

Legacy of Lies by Christy Barritt

The justice system failed her family—and so did her hometown.

Madison Colson knows deep down that her father—a convicted serial killer—is innocent. But believing it and proving it are two entirely different things. Unable to help her father, Madison has spent most of her adult life overcompensating by helping others. When her aunt dies unexpectedly, duty calls her back to Fog Lake, Tennessee, a beautiful but painful place she’d rather forget.

Terrifying events begin to unfold once she arrives, unleashing her worst nightmares. The Good Samaritan Killer—or a copycat—is back, and now Madison Colson is his target.

FBI Special Agent Shane Townsend is determined to stop the deadly rampage that has sent the tightknit community into a frenzy. But he needs to earn Madison’s trust first. The task feels impossible, especially considering his father is the one who put her dad in prison.

With the whole town on edge and pointing fingers, tension escalates out of control. Madison and Shane must sort the facts from the lies—and fight for a legacy of truth—before The Good Samaritan Killer has the final say.

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

Now that Alexandra “Alex” Donovan is finally free of her troubled upbringing, she’s able to live out her childhood dream of working for the FBI. But soon after she becomes a member of the FBI’s elite Behavioral Analysis Unit, authorities in Kansas and Missouri contact them about bodies found on freight trains traveling across the country–all killed in the same way.

Alex never expected to be forced to confront her past in this new job, but she immediately recognizes the graffiti messages the killer is leaving on the train cars. When the BAU sends her to gather information about the messages from her aunt in Wichita, Kansas, Alex is haunted by the struggles she thought she’d left behind forever.

In a race against time to solve the case while battling her own weaknesses, Alex must face how far she’ll go–and what she’s willing to risk–to put a stop to the Train Killer.