Tag Archives: suspense fiction

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

Top 10 Tuesday — Most Recent Additions

11 Jan

2022 is in full swing and I have some new books that have hit my shelves! The following books are the newest to take up residence. Many are review books — NetGalley copies and ARCs, so you’ll see my impressions in the coming weeks. I have also included 2 cookbook/entertaining books that I received for Christmas and am having so much fun with! Yes, I do have interests outside of reading fiction. 😉 Hope you find one that piques your interest.

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

Top Newly Acquired Books

A Heart Adrift by Laura Frantz

Jane And The Year Without Summer by Stephanie Barron

The Lady of Galway Manor by Jennifer Deibel

Life Flight by Lynette Eason

Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn

Medical Mystery by Richard Fabry

Shadows of Swanford Abbey by Julie Klassen

The Siren of Sussex by Mimi Matthews

Sunrise by Susan May Warren

Baker Bettie’s Better Baking Book by Kristen Hoffman

Spectacular Spreads by Maegan Brown

Top 10 Tuesday — Best Books Read in 2021

28 Dec

I read a lot less books in 2021 than I did in previous years. Some of that was by design, and some was because, well, life. But fewer books did not mean less enjoyment — I had a lot of great reading experiences! Limiting my list to 10 is too hard, so I have split the books into categories: historical, time-split, contemporary and suspense. There should be something for everyone!

For more Best of The Best in 2021, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Best Books Read in 2021

Contemporary

Before I Called You Mine by Nicole Deese

Let It Be Me by Becky Wade

When I Close My Eyes by Elizabeth Musser

Historical

The Barrister And The Letter of Marque by Todd M. Johnson

Mountain Laurel by Lori Benton

The Nature of Small Birds by Susie Finkbeiner

A Tapestry of Light by Kimberly Duffy

Under The Bayou Moon by Valerie Fraser Luesse

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Suspense

Burying Daisy Doe by Ramona Richards

Everywhere to Hide by Siri Mitchell

Lights Out by Natalie Walters

Network of Deceit by Tom Threadgill

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

Port of Origin by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Time-Slip

The Dress Shop on King Street by Ashley Clark

The London House by Katherine Reay

Memories of Glass by Melanie Dobson

The Secret Keepers of Old Depot Grocery by Amanda Cox

Mini-Review — Night Fall

23 Dec

Nancy Mehl is always good for a thriller, and Night Fall fits the bill with plenty of creep-factor mixed in! My book club read this book last summer and liked it. Find out all about it below.

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.

Nancy Mehl lives in Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored thirty books and is currently at work on a new FBI suspense series for Bethany House Publishing. 

All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.” 

You can find out more about Nancy by visiting her Web site at: http://www.nancymehl.com. She also is active on the Suspense Sisters: http://www.suspensesisters.blogspot.com and on FaceBook!

My Impressions:

If you aren’t squeamish, then Night Fall, a suspense/thriller by Nancy Mehl could be the book for you. It definitely had the creep-factor going for it with a seriously sick killer. The book centers on main character FBI agent Alex Donovan who is called into the case not only for her profiler expertise, but because she is intimately familiar with many of the elements of the investigation, a fact that gives her both a leg-up and a disadvantage. Alex has ties to the cult that seems to be part of the case. The reader is also given insight into the killer’s mind — I liked this, but it really did send chills up my spine! There is a bit of romance, and though it played a small part in then novel, I expect more in the other books in the series. Alex grows a lot through the course of this book, but she is a somewhat troubled character with a lot to overcome. I look forward to her development in the next two books.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

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

Top 10 Tuesday — Santa Baby, Can You Put Some New Books Under The Tree, For Me? Been An Awfully Good Girl . . .

21 Dec

What self-respecting book nerd enthusiast doesn’t want books for Christmas? I know you are with me on this one. Although the books on my list are not yet released, I think Santa can manage some bookish magic. If that doesn’t work, how about a gift card for pre-order shopping?! 😉

For more bookish wishes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Upcoming Releases I Can’t Wait For

The Catch by Lisa Harris

Critical Alliance by Elizabeth Goddard

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

Elysium Tide by James Hannibal

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters

Malicious Intent by Lynn Blackburn

The Mozart Code by Rachel McMillan

Potiphar’s Wife by Mesu Andrews

Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon

The Souls of Lost Lake by Jaime Jo Wright

The Sweet Life by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Turn to Me by Becky Wade

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.

Book Review: Everywhere to Hide

22 Oct

My book club chose Siri Mitchell’s romantic suspense novel, Everywhere to Hide for this month’s discussion. There were mixed feelings on the book, but I loved it. I found the unique main character and the complex plot fascinating. Some of my group thought that the author stretched reality, but I had no problems with it. I give this one a thumbs up!

How does a woman protect herself from an enemy she can’t see?

Law school graduate Whitney Garrison is a survivor. She admirably deals with her mother’s death, mounting student debt, dwindling job opportunities, an abusive boyfriend, and a rare neurological condition that prevents her from recognizing human faces.

But witnessing a murder might be the crisis she can’t overcome.

The killer has every advantage. Though Whitney saw him, she has no idea what he looks like. He knows where she lives and works. He anticipates her every move. Worst of all, he’s hiding in plain sight and believes she has information he needs. Information worth killing for. Again.

As the hunter drives his prey into a net of terror and international intrigue, Whitney’s only ally, Detective Leo Baroni, is taken off the case. Stripped of all semblance of safety, Whitney must suspect everyone and trust no one—and fight to come out alive.

Siri Mitchell is the author of 18 novels. She published 2 historical novels for the general market with Sourcebooks under the pseudonym Iris Anthony.

Siri graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has worked in government at the local, state, and federal levels. As a military spouse, she lived all over the world, including Paris and Tokyo.

She has become known as a master storyteller, painting pictures of places her readers have never been and lives they’ve never lived. As one reader has said, Siri’s books are, “unexpected, haunting, and powerful,” and they are known for lively dialogue and honest emotion.

Kirkus has noted that Siri writes a well-paced and interwoven story… creates a narrative that subtly educates, poses stimulating questions and entertains.” Publishers Weekly pointed out that she is “adept with flashbacks and withholds certain key bits of information until the right moment, which adds punch to the narrative.” RT Reviews has given her books their Top Picks designation, “Siri Mitchell writes spellbinding novels, with some element of mystery and surprise for readers to discover.”

Siri is a speaker to women’s and writing groups both large and small. She has also taught fiction writing courses at regional and national writing conferences.

My Impressions:

I have long been a Siri Mitchell fan. When she began writing suspense novels, I said yes please! Everywhere to Hide is a complex novel that features a unique character. Whitney Garrison has face blindness. I had never heard of it before and found it challenging to wrap my mind around it. I wasn’t alone. The other characters in the book did too. 😉 Mitchell does a great job at showing the reader the difficulties Whitney faced. I Googled face blindness to get a rudimentary understanding, but Whitney’s own actions gave me true insight. I can’t imagine the vulnerability someone like Whitney must feel all the time! Add to that her role as a witness to a murder and the subsequent threats she faces — well the tension and fear she felt translated to this reader too. Whitney’s other struggles — a looming bar exam, deep student debt, and no close family or friends — just added to her stress. I loved how Detective Leo Baroni stepped in to help Whitney through all she was going through, as well as investigate the murder. Whitney is targeted for something she knows, but of course she has no clue what that something is. I found her persistence in uncovering the mystery admirable in the light of all she faced. Like Whitney, I trusted no one. Elements of Chinese hackers, digital currencies, and block-chain technology made this one a thinking man’s mystery. I loved the challenge! The setting of Arlington, Virginia was a favorite as well. My son’s family lives there, and I enjoyed recognizing landmarks. In fact I read the book while on a visit there. What a treat.

I highly recommend Everywhere to Hide if you like twisting suspense with a touch of romance and intriguing subject matter. You won’t be disappointed.

Highly recommended.

Audience: adults.

( I borrowed the ebook through Amazon Prime. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Blog Tour — Blood from A Stone

6 Oct

Blood from a Stone JustRead Blog + Review Tour
Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Blood From a Stone by David James Warren, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

The continuing adventures of Rembrandt Stone from the creative minds of James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, and newcomer David Curtis Warren, writing collectively as David James Warren.

Blood from a StoneTitle: Blood From a Stone
Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #5
Author: David James Warren
Publisher: TriStone Media
Release Date: October 5, 2021
Genre: Time Travel Detective Series

He fled the future with blood on his hands. Now, he’ll do anything to stop a killer.

Tragedy has yet again taken from Detective Rembrandt Stone everything he loves. Now, he has one last chance to get things right and stop a killer he’s been hunting across four timelines. Instead, he gets tangled in a petty crime that just might cost him his one chance at justice.

With two murders to stop, and thirty-eight lives still in the balance, Rembrandt must play his hand against time just right if he wants to win his future. Play it wrong and his life will stay shattered beyond repair.

What sacrifices will he have to make to come home to his wife and daughter?

The stakes have never been higher in the heart-wrenching, edge-of-your-seat fifth story of the True Lies of Rembrandt Stone.

EXCERPT

This is not my world.

Not my life. 

Not my time. 

Sure, it resembles a life I knew—from the snow piled up along the blackened, salted streets, the icy wind buffeting the frosty diner window, to the sound of Celine Dion singing how her heart will go on, and even the smell of oil in the fryers of the late-night diner. It could be any one of the diners I used to frequent in downtown Minneapolis after a long day of investigations. 

But this is not my life. 

My life is twenty years in the future, and right now, if fate were kind, or even fair, I would be reading Llama, Llama, Red Pajama to my seven-year-old blonde cherub as she clutches a ratty one-eyed bear named Gomer and tells me to slow down, to read it again. 

My gorgeous wife, Eve, would be standing in the doorway of our partially remodeled craftsman located in a suburb of Uptown. Or maybe she’d be across the hall in our king bed, bundled up in her wool socks and thick bathrobe, her reading glasses down on her nose, deep in the latest issue of the Journal for Forensic Scientists. 

 Downstairs, the light in my den would be on, the cursor at my computer blinking, waiting for me to continue my half-finished novel. 

And I would be happy. Until now, I wouldn’t realize how happy, but as I sit here, I know. 

I had a happy ending. 

This is not it. But this time around, if I’m smart, I’ll win. 

I must win.

To a time traveler, until you’ve been someplace for a long time, rewriting the past feels like a game. We jump into the moment, armed with knowledge we shouldn’t possess, the older and wiser versions of ourselves, with the goal of rewriting our lives, this time for the better. 

For us, the game isn’t win or lose, but rather, scored on the what-ifs that we grab, the shouldas we accomplish. And, all the while, in the back of our minds, if we make a wrong move, we’re buoyed by the surety it can be reset. 

It’s taken me four rounds, but this time I know. 

This is not a game. 

Time is playing for keeps and there’s no reset if I fail. 

But don’t worry—this time, I will not be bested. 

I swear it on my life.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookBub

BOOKS IN THIS SERIES

CONNECT WITH REMBRANDT STONE: Website | Instagram


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James L. Rubart, Susan May Warren, David Curtis Warren

James L. Rubart is 28 years old, but lives trapped inside an older man’s body. He’s the best-selling, Christy Hall of Fame author of ten novels and loves to send readers on mind-bending journeys they’ll remember months after they finish one of his stories. He’s dad to the two most outstanding sons on the planet and lives with his amazing wife on a small lake in eastern Washington. More at http://jameslrubart.com/

CONNECT WITH JAMES: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Susan May Warren is the USA Today bestselling, Christy and RITA award–winning author of more than eighty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. The mother of four grown children, and married to her real-life hero for over 30 years, she loves traveling and telling stories about life, adventure, and faith.

For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.

CONNECT WITH SUSAN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

David Curtis Warren is making his literary debut in these novels, and he’s never been more excited. He looks forward to creating more riveting stories with Susie and Jim, as well as on his own. He’s grateful for his co-writers, family, and faith, buoying him during the pandemic of 2020, and this writing and publishing process.

CONNECT WITH DAVID: Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy of Blood from a Stone and a $15 Amazon gift card!

Blood from a Stone JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight October 5, 2021 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 12, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

2021 Christy Award Finalists

5 Oct

Congratulations to the 2021 Christy Award Finalists! So many books to add to your TBR list! 😉

Contemporary Romance

Just Like Home by Courtney Walsh

Some Bright Someday by Melissa Tagg

Stay with Me by Becky Wade

First Novel

A Noble Calling by Rhona Weaver

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

Rain by Dana McNeely

Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

General Fiction

Set The Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

The Way It Should Be by Christina Suzann Nelson

Historical

Like Flames in The Night by Connilyn Cossette

Under The Tulip Tree by Michelle Shocklee

The White Rose Resists by Amanda Barratt

Historical Romance

A Portrait of Loyalty by Roseanna M. White

Prince of Spies by Elizabeth Camden

When Twilight Breaks by Sarah Sundin

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Point of Origin by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Relative Silence by Carrie Stuart Parks

Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn

Short Form

A Match Made at Christmas by Courtney Walsh

Joy to The World: Far As The Curse Is Found by Amanda Barratt

Joy to The World: Wonders of His Love by Erica Vetsch

Speculative

Extinction Island by Janice Boekhoff

Forsaken Island by Sharon Hinck

The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin

Young Adult

Dust by Kara Swanson

Moral Sight by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann