Tag Archives: thriller

Book Review: Broker of Lies

26 Oct

My book club chose Broker of Lies by Steven James as our October selection. I always think of mystery/suspense/thriller when I think of October reading, and James’ latest novel delivered that in plenty! I can’t recommend this book enough!

The man who knows all our secrets has a secret of his own.

When Travis Brock, a high-level Pentagon redactor with an eidetic memory, finds a clue to solving the tragic arson that took his wife from him, he risks everything to find the truth—and chances losing himself in the process.

With a terror attack looming on the horizon and a pair of assassins on his tail, Brock drops off the grid and joins forces with a disavowed Homeland Security operative. Together they race to stop the attack before Brock is neutralized by the people he trusts the most.

From critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Steven James comes a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that asks just how far across the line we might go to see justice carried out.

Steven James’s latest thriller, BROKER OF LIES, is a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that launches a new series featuring a world of intrigue and espionage where truth can be a commodity or a weapon. The second in the series, FATAL DOMAIN, releases in 2024 and is available for pre-order now!

As an acclaimed keynote speaker and in-demand storyteller, Steven is equipped with a unique master’s degree in storytelling and has taught writing and storytelling on five continents, speaking more than 2000 times at events spanning the globe.

He is also the critically acclaimed author of eighteen suspense novels. His sci-fi novel, SYNAPSE, a near-future thriller, received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and was a finalist for an International Book Award.

When Steven isn’t writing or speaking, you’ll find him playing basketball or hiking near his home in the Appalachian Highlands of eastern Tennessee.

For more info, check out http://www.stevenjames.net. To listen to his podcast, click to http://www.thestoryblender.com.

My Impressions:

Broker of Lies introduces slightly nerdy, emotionally broken, and physically wounded Travis Brock. A Department of Defense redactor with eidetic memory (the nerdy part), Travis has been dealing with the loss of his wife in an arson (the broken and wounded part). He wants answers and justice. When a mysterious FOIA request comes across his desk he is swept up in a conspiracy that goes farther than the murder of his wife. Travis is a complex character with both weaknesses and strengths, making him sympathetic, interesting, and relatable. Other characters — good and bad and very bad — are equally compelling. And while the book is mostly plot-driven, I loved that James gave attention to what makes them all tick. The action is fast-paced with twists and turns galore. It sure kept me on my reading toes. I never knew what to expect or whom to trust. The ending is a race against time with a very intriguing cliffhanger. Yes, a cliffhanger, the bane of many readers. But this one is so thrilling, and I’m dying to get my hands on the next installment. Justice vs. vengeance vs. revenge is an overriding theme. Just where do we fit in the role that is rightfully God’s? I look forward to a lively discussion of this novel at my book club meeting.

Well-drawn characters, an edge-of-the-seat plot, and spiritual questions make Broker of Lies a good choice for readers of suspense and for a book club discussion. Grab this book and a reading buddy!

Highly recommended.

Good for Book Clubs.

Audience: Adults.

(I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Spotlight on Romantic Thriller — Havoc

16 Oct

Havoc JustRead Blog Tour

Welcome to the Blog Tour for Havoc by Ronie Kendig, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

About The Book

Havoc

Title: Havoc
Series: A Breed Apart: Legacy #1
Author: Ronie Kendig
Publisher: Sunrise Publishing
Release Date: October 17, 2023
Genre: Paramilitary Romantic Thriller

A soldier, a Malinois, and a stuntwoman walk onto a TV set . . .

Former Special Forces operator Sergeant Crew Gatlin takes everything in stride, even the career-ending incident that separated him from the Army, half a leg, and his beloved working dog, Havoc K027. Putting his life back together and lying low, he takes a job with A Breed Apart and is unexpectedly reunited with Havoc. It’s too good to be true—and the proof is in their first assignment: to work as a K-9 team for a television drama in Los Angeles. Miffed at being relegated to TV fodder, he’s willing to pay the price when he sees the stuntwoman.

Being a stunt double allows Vienna Foxcroft to fulfill her acting dream—with a side of MMA—and stay out of the limelight. The same one that plagued her childhood and put her through a nightmare scenario. Now, her tight-knit stunt team are the only ones she trusts. Then in walks Mr. Mountain-of-Muscle and his tough-as-nails dog, and Vienna has a bad feeling her life is about to turn upside down.

Ticked as they head overseas for a location shoot in Turkey, Crew guts it up—after all, he has Havoc again. Okay, and yeah—Vienna is going, too. When an attack sends the cast fleeing into the streets of Turkey, Vienna must face the demons of her past or be devoured by them. And Crew and Havoc are tested like never before.

Experience the high-octane thrill ride that is the first book in the A Breed Apart: Legacy series.

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

Excerpt

Boom! Crack-crack!

Havoc’s head swiveled toward the action. He came up onto all fours, wholly focused on the action. So was Crew. A fight sequence with weapons—and just like Ghost warned—was unrealistic.

But the hand-to-hand . . . maneuvers, the rapid-fire strikes of—

A ponytail.

Hold up. Attention wholly snagged at the auburn hair flitting across well-tanned, well-toned shoulders had him negotiating a better position to watch the fight. A woman in a black-leather jacket and tactical pants fought two much larger men. And this wasn’t wholly fake fighting. She had skills. Knew how to throw a punch, take a punch. Her responses were . . . “Flawless.”

Havoc let out a whine of anticipation as he inched forward, tugging at the lead that Crew held in a firm grip. Another whine as if to say, “I want to play.”

“Me, too, boy,” Crew muttered. 

The woman beautifully executed a spinning hook kick to the head of her opponent. Another actor attacked from behind, but she ducked. Fingers touched the ground as she extended her right leg out and swung around, swiping the man’s feet out from under him.

Granted, it was all choreographed. Crew knew that. Told himself that. Yet he couldn’t stop from admiring the beauty, the poetry in motion. It was one thing to rehearse martial arts or act them out. Whole ’nother ballgame to move with the experience and relaxed confidence of an expert. “Smoke my brisket and butter my biscuit . . .”



More in This Series

Chaos


About The Author

Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig is a bestselling, award-winning author of over thirty-five books. She grew up an Army brat, and now she and her Army-veteran husband have returned to their beloved Texas after a nearly ten-year stint in the Northeast. They survive on Sonic runs, barbecue, and peach cobbler that they share—sometimes—with Benning the Stealth Golden and AAndromeda the MWD Washout. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of intense, raw characters.

Connect with Ronie by visiting roniekendig.com to follow her on social media and sign up for email updates.


Tour Giveaway

(1) winner will win a paperback copy of Havoc and a $10 gift card to the Sunrise Shop!

Havoc JustRead Tours giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight October 16, 2023 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on October 23, 2023. 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 JustRead Publicity Tours Giveaway Policies.

Enter Giveaway


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

JustRead Publicity Tours

Top 10 Tuesday — Essential Jobs!

10 Oct

Happy Tuesday! I have posted on this week’s topic, Bookish Jobs, before, so I am tweaking the topic again. 😉 Sometimes a character’s occupation is essential to the story line. If they hadn’t held these jobs, there would have been no story! I hope one of the books on my list piques your interest.

For more bookish jobs, please check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Essential Jobs

Circus Performer — The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy

Department of Defense Redactor — Broker of Lies by Steven James

Museum Curator — Roots of Wood And Stone by Amanda Wen

Musician — Everything is Just Beginning by Erin Bartels

Perfumer — Meet Me in Monaco by Hazel Gaynor

Pharmacist — Within These Walls of Sorrow by Amanda Barratt

Physicist — The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin

Spies! — A Shadow in Moscow by Katherine Reay

October Book Club Pick — Broker of Lies

2 Oct

I always think October is the perfect month to read a thriller. There’s something about cooler temperatures and longer nights that call for a book that will make you hold your breath and cling to the edge of your seat while you frantically turn the pages to discover what in the world is going to happen. Have I got you intrigued yet? Broker of Lies by Steven James fits the bill. I can’t wait to hear what the members of my group think.

How about you? Have you read it yet? We would love to know your thoughts.

The man who knows all our secrets has a secret of his own.

When Travis Brock, a high-level Pentagon redactor with an eidetic memory, finds a clue to solving the tragic arson that took his wife from him, he risks everything to find the truth—and chances losing himself in the process.

With a terror attack looming on the horizon and a pair of assassins on his tail, Brock drops off the grid and joins forces with a disavowed Homeland Security operative. Together they race to stop the attack before Brock is neutralized by the people he trusts the most.

From critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Steven James comes a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that asks just how far across the line we might go to see justice carried out.

Steven James’s latest thriller, BROKER OF LIES, is a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that launches a new series featuring a world of intrigue and espionage where truth can be a commodity or a weapon. The second in the series, FATAL DOMAIN, releases in 2024 and is available for pre-order now!

As an acclaimed keynote speaker and in-demand storyteller, Steven is equipped with a unique master’s degree in storytelling and has taught writing and storytelling on five continents, speaking more than 2000 times at events spanning the globe.

He is also the critically acclaimed author of eighteen suspense novels. His sci-fi novel, SYNAPSE, a near-future thriller, received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and was a finalist for an International Book Award.

When Steven isn’t writing or speaking, you’ll find him playing basketball or hiking near his home in the Appalachian Highlands of eastern Tennessee.

For more info, check out http://www.stevenjames.net. To listen to his podcast, click to http://www.thestoryblender.com.

First Line Friday — Broker of Lies

29 Sep

Next month’s book club pick is Broker of Lies by Steven James. I started it a couple of nights ago and can attest to the fact it will keep you on the edge of your seat! James is a favorite of mine. He always delivers the thrills, the chills, and all the hold-your-breath action. Have you read it yet? What did you think?

Here’s the opening:

Zoe Hughes eyed the door. “He’s in there?”

The man who knows all our secrets has a secret of his own.

When Travis Brock, a high-level Pentagon redactor with an eidetic memory, finds a clue to solving the tragic arson that took his wife from him, he risks everything to find the truth—and chances losing himself in the process.

With a terror attack looming on the horizon and a pair of assassins on his tail, Brock drops off the grid and joins forces with a disavowed Homeland Security operative. Together they race to stop the attack before Brock is neutralized by the people he trusts the most.

From critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist Steven James comes a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that asks just how far across the line we might go to see justice carried out.

Steven James’s latest thriller, BROKER OF LIES, is a smart, wire-tight, and emotionally resonant thriller that launches a new series featuring a world of intrigue and espionage where truth can be a commodity or a weapon. The second in the series, FATAL DOMAIN, releases in 2024 and is available for pre-order now!

As an acclaimed keynote speaker and in-demand storyteller, Steven is equipped with a unique master’s degree in storytelling and has taught writing and storytelling on five continents, speaking more than 2000 times at events spanning the globe.

He is also the critically acclaimed author of eighteen suspense novels. His sci-fi novel, SYNAPSE, a near-future thriller, received starred reviews from both Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and was a finalist for an International Book Award.

When Steven isn’t writing or speaking, you’ll find him playing basketball or hiking near his home in the Appalachian Highlands of eastern Tennessee.

For more info, check out http://www.stevenjames.net. To listen to his podcast, click to http://www.thestoryblender.com.

Top 10 Tuesday — Fall TBR

19 Sep

Just a couple more days and it’s FALL! Here in the sunny South, the temps are edging down, but the real Fall weather won’t show up for at least a month (sometimes more). But that doesn’t keep me from piling up a bunch of books to read for the season. I have had a ton of “required” reading the past few months, but I am happy that a lot of pleasure reads are in my future. I have more than 10, but I will keep the list to the next 10 books I will be enjoying in the coming weeks. I read across genres, so there should be something for everyone.

For more bloggers’ Fall TBR lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books on My Fall TBR

The All-American by Susie Finkbeiner (historical)

Broker of Lies by Steven James (thriller)

He Should Have Told The Bees by Amanda Cox (dual timeline/general)

Into The Fire by Irene Hannon (romantic suspense)

Jane And The Final Mystery by Stephanie Barron (historical/cozy mystery)

A River Between Us by Jocelyn Green (historical)

A Shadow in Moscow by Katherine Reay (historical)

Shadows at Dusk by Elizabeth Goddard (romantic suspense)

The Warsaw Sisters by Amanda Barratt (historical)

The Wind Blows in Sleeping Grass by Katie Powner (dual timelines)

Top 10 Tuesday — Love Freebie!

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you reading romance this week? When faced with a Love Freebie in the past, I posted about books with the word love or heart in the title. This year I decide to find books with Kiss in the title — while some books are true romances, others may not be what the creators of this holiday were thinking of 😉 , but fun nonetheless. I guess kisses come in all shapes!

For more Love Freebies, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books with Kiss in The Title

Every Deadly Kiss by Steven James

First Kiss at Christmas by Lee Tobin McClain

Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon

Just A Kiss by Denise Hunter

Just One Kiss by Courtney Walsh

Kiss by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy

Kiss Me If You Dare by Nicole Young

Kiss of Night by Debbie Viguie

Kissing Father Christmas by Robin Jones Gunn

One Sweet Kiss by Kelly Irvin

Top 10 Tuesday — New-To-Me Authors in 2022

24 Jan

Happy Tuesday! Today bloggers are sharing new-to-them authors from 2022. I love discovering new authors. Often their books become must-reads. A few of the books may be debuts, but by and large, the authors on my list have other books to their credit. More great books to read! 😉

For more new authors, visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top New-To-Me Authors in 2022

Among The Innocent by Mary Alford

The Blackout Book Club by Amy Green

Driving Force by Kate Angelo

Firefly Diaries by C. C. Warrens

Honor’s Refuge by Hallee Bridgeman

In Search of A Prince by Toni Shiloh

A Light on A Hill by Connilyn Cossette

The Librarian of Saint-Malo by Mario Escobar

Operation Joktan by Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn

Shadows in The Mind’s Eye by Janyre Tromp

When The Day Comes by Gabrielle Meyer

Where The Blue Sky Begins by Katie Powner

Mini-Book Review: Operation Joktan

12 Jan

I read Operation Joktan by Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn a few months ago, but it has remained on my mind. I admit I had my doubts about liking this book. Some military-type books set in the Middle East that my husband loves leave my eyes glazed over. 😉 Not the case with Operation Joktan! While the book centers on Israel’s Mossad and their clandestine operations to circumvent terrorists, the characters and their relationships were not lost in the action. (If you know, you know.) The book takes some time to build with backstory for the two main characters and the terrorists. There is a great balance between the edge-of-the-seat action and the characters’ development. A couple of the story threads seemed superfluous to me, until, in retrospect, I found the authors making me see those who are swept up in a terrorist’s plot. Those incidental characters teach of the real human costs and the necessity for action by elite groups like the Mossad. While the operation is concluded, the relationships are left with some loose threads. Last, but certainly not least, the book explores the faith journeys of the characters in a natural, never preachy way. I look forward to reading book 2, By Way of Deception which released last fall.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

“It was the perfect day—until the gunfire.”

Nir Tavor is an Israeli secret service operative turned talented Mossad agent.

Nicole le Roux is a model with a hidden skill.

A terrorist attack brings them together, and then work forces them apart—until they’re unexpectedly called back into each other’s lives.

But there’s no time for romance. As violent radicals threaten chaos across the Middle East, the two must work together to stop these extremists, pooling Nicole’s knack for technology and Nir’s adeptness with on-the-ground missions. Each heart-racing step of their operation gets them closer to the truth—and closer to danger.

In this thrilling first book in a new series, authors Amir Tsarfati and Steve Yohn draw on true events as well as tactical insights Amir learned from his time in the Israeli Defense Forces. For believers in God’s life-changing promises, Operation Joktan is a suspense-filled page-turner that illuminates the blessing Israel is to the world.

Amir Tsarfati was born in Israel and has lived there most of his life. Since fulfilling his mandatory service in the Israeli Defense Force, he has continued as a major in the IDF Reserve. Amir has been a tour guide in Israel for the last twenty years, and served as chief tour guide of Sar El Tours and CEO of Sar El Tours and Conferences. In 2001, he became founder and president of Behold Israel – a non-profit organization which provides worldwide real-time access to reliable sources of news and information about Israel from within the powerful context of Bible history and prophecy.

Amir is married to Miriam, and together they have four children. His home overlooks the valley of Megiddo (Armageddon) which is a constant reminder of the call that the Lord has placed on him to teach from the Bible what God’s plans are for the end of times.

Steve Yohn grew up as a pastor’s kid in Fresno, California, and both of those facts contributed significantly to his slightly warped perspective on life. Steve graduated from Multnomah Bible College with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies and barely survived a stint as a youth pastor.

While studying at Denver Seminary, Steve worked as a videographer for Youth for Christ International, traveling throughout the world capturing the ministry’s global impact. Later, he spent a decade as pastor of Strasburg Community Church in Strasburg, Colorado. Currently, he is the Senior Writer and Editor at Behold Israel. Steve has co-written five books, and ghost-written five others.

Surprisingly, although his hobbies are reading classic literature, translating the New Testament from the Greek, and maintaining a list of political leaders of every country of the world over the last 25 years, he still occasionally gets invited to parties and has a few friends. His wife, Nancy, and their daughter are the joys of his life.

Top 10 Tuesday — Most Recent Additions To The NetGalley Shelf

27 Dec

Despite my TTT post last week listing all of the books I would love to have Santa pre-order, I have yet to receive them. My immediate family hasn’t had Christmas together yet, but I don’t anticipate any book gifts in my future. Most of them think I have enough books already. 😉 But I have been diligently adding to my NetGalley shelf and those are the books I am spotlighting today. I have quite the range of great books. Hope you find one to love!

For more book shelf additions, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Ten Most Recent Additions to My NetGalley Shelf

Body of Evidence by Irene Hannon

Broker of Lies by Steven James

The Cairo Curse by Pepper Basham

Daughter of Eden by Jill Eileen Smith

The Metropolitan Affair by Jocelyn Green

A Novel Proposal by Denise Hunter

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin

The Weight of Air by Kimberly Duffy

What Happens Next by Christina Suzann Nelson

The Year of Jubilee by Cindy Morgan