Tag Archives: thriller

What I’m Reading — Genre Variety

13 Jan

In an effort to stay away from social media, but still engage in bookish conversations, I am kicking off a What I’m Reading post that I hope will become a regular thing here at By The Book. Today I am talking genres.

I am a very eclectic reader, loving a wide variety of genres and subjects. I do seem to read a preponderance of mystery/suspense, but find myself designating other genres as my yearly favorites. (See my best of the best of 2020 HERE.) As per my reading resolutions, I want to expand my reading horizons this year, especially getting back to my TBR and checking out international and classic literature.

This week I stepped out of the box and read a YA mystery/thriller. I have been reluctant to read YA, because, well, I am a woman of a certain age and not sure I can relate. But because a FB group I am in is reading The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens this month, I downloaded the audiobook and dove in. I’m not going to review the book here — you’ll have to come back later for that 😉 — but I am going to say that Stevens’ opened up a new genre for me. Yes, the book has a definite YA vibe, but with a complex plot and format and thought-provoking themes, this book was a 5-star!

 

Do you read outside your comfort zone?

The June Boys really took me away from my regular reading. It is intense and in some places made me cringe and force myself to continue. But I appreciate the stretching this book did to my attitude and thinking. And I need stretching. I never want to quit learning about the world and myself.

 

As I said mystery/suspense is my regular go to, but I do enjoy historical fiction as well. I love learning how people of the past lived, especially how they lived without the conveniences a modern world offers. This week I am also reading Tidewater Bride by Laura Frantz. I discovered Frantz in 2020. The Lacemaker and An Uncommon Woman were two great books I read last year. Set in the 1630s in the Virginia colony, this novel has already given me information and insight into a world I thought I knew pretty well.

When reading historical fiction, I keep an eye out for social and cultural differences. A woman’s place is one of the things that Frantz explored. Main character, Selah, is a very independent woman, as defined by the 17th century. I think that helps the modern reader identify with her story.

 

Do you find new things to love in your favorite genres?

 

 

 

 

Now it’s your turn.

What are you reading?

What’s your go-to genre?

And do you have any plans to stretch your bookish horizons?

Let’s talk!

Top 10 Tuesday — Reading Resolutions

12 Jan

A new year with new hopes, that’s what 2021 represents to me. If I can pick a word to describe 2020, it would be distraction. Anxious about many things described this Martha very well. Distraction over health issues, the lockdowns and other restrictions, civil unrest, the unrelenting political squabbling — you name it and I was everything but focused. Of course, 2020 also brought reasons to celebrate. My daughter got engaged, my son’s family was able to spend weeks at a time visiting due to work at home, and my cancer prognosis is excellent! But my reading life suffered the most. Now to most non-bookworms that would earn a shrug. But I know you know what I mean. 😉

This year I aim to be more intentional and that goes for my reading resolutions as well. I am joining other bloggers for a Top 10 Tuesday list of resolutions. I certainly don’t have 10, but I do have a few that I hope ramp up my reading enjoyment. For more bloggers’ lists, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

 

 

2021 Reading Resolutions

 

Read More

This actually doesn’t mean more books, although I would like to beat the number of books I read last year (103). What I need to do is put down the time wasters — FB, Instagram, and Twitter come to mind — and pick up a book. My time wasted while staying at home more is astronomical. I’m hoping by intentionally getting off social media, I will spend more time in reading pursuits.

 

Read Intentionally

There’s that word again. I have a hard time turning down bright and shiny new books. Hence my towering TBR stack. Part of the problem comes from saying yes to a lot of review requests. I pared that down some last year. This year I resolve to think and think again before accepting reviews.

 

Read from The TBR Pile

All those bright and shiny books get a bit dusty waiting impatiently on the shelf. I recently downloaded Libby and can access lots of audiobooks. I have been reluctant to use Audible credits for books I already own, but with Libby I can check off some worthy reads without feeling guilty. My husband and my budget will be happy! (Below are two notables from my TBR shelf that I want to have read this year.)

 

Read More Widely

I plan to look for books that I would not generally choose either because they are general market or a genre I don’t usually read. I am part of a FB book club that reads mystery/suspense and have been introduced to books I have never heard of, yet enjoyed immensely. This month I am listening to The June Boys by Courtney C. Stevens. It is a YA mystery/thriller. I have found it intriguing even as I have cringed at some of the scenes. This novel is really expanding my horizons.

 

I would also like to add international and classic novels to my reading this year. Libby is a great resource for this extracurricular reading. I also have many physical copies that I need to read.

 

What are some of your reading resolutions?

 

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Reasons to Love Speculative Fiction

19 May

I am a very eclectic reader. I will read just about any genre. I do have some exceptions, but since I read Christian fiction almost exclusively, I don’t have to worry about some of the more explicit scenes/language that can crop up. 😉 While my time is spent mostly in reading real life stuff, whether contemporary or historical, I do like a good speculative novel as well. So what is speculative fiction?

Speculative fiction: a genre of fiction that encompasses works in which the setting is other than the real world, involving supernatural, futuristic, or other imagined elements.

The speculative fiction genre includes allegory, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, time travel, alternate history, dystopian fiction, etc. While the general market has lots of speculative fiction, there is not as much published in the Christian market, so you have to look for it. Enclave Publishing is one imprint that publishes spec fiction exclusively and is a good place to go to get your fix or to get you started on a new adventure in reading. Note: while the definition of spec fic states that the settings of the book are other than real world, I think some of the best examples of the genre take the real world and pull back a curtain that keeps us from seeing the whole picture. Those books use creative elements to help us process and imagine those things we just can’t see.

For my Top 10 Tuesday post, I have included the reasons I like spec fiction, as well as some suggested books for you to check out. Hope you enjoy!

Top Reasons to Love Speculative Fiction

 

Takes you to another world.

Prophet by R. J. Larson 

Ela Roeh of Parne doesn’t understand why her beloved Creator, the Infinite, wants her to become His prophet. She’s undignified and bad-tempered, and at age seventeen she’s much too young. In addition, no prophet of Parne has ever been a girl. Worst of all, as Parne’s elders often warn, if she agrees to become the Infinite’s prophet, Ela knows she will die young.

Yet she can’t imagine living without Him. Determined to hear the Infinite’s voice, Ela accepts the sacred vinewood branch and is sent to bring the Infinite’s word to a nation torn apart by war. There she meets a young ambassador determined to bring his own justice for his oppressed people. As they form an unlikely partnership, Ela battles how to balance the leading of her heart with the leading of the Infinite.

The Story Peddler by Lindsay Franklin

Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.

Allows you to travel in time and space.

The Bright Empires Series (5 books) by Stephen Lawhead

It is the ultimate quest for the ultimate treasure. Chasing a map tattooed on human skin. Across an omniverse of intersecting realities. To unravel the future of the future.

Kit Livingstone’s great-grandfather appears to him in a deserted alley during a tumultuous storm. He reveals an unbelievable story: that the ley lines throughout Britain are not merely the stuff of legend or the weekend hobby of deluded cranks, but pathways to other worlds. To those who know how to use them, they grant the ability to travel the multi-layered universe of which we ordinarily inhabit only a tiny part.

One explorer knew more than most. Braving every danger, he toured both time and space on voyages of heroic discovery. Ever on his guard and fearful of becoming lost in the cosmos, he developed an intricate code — a roadmap of symbols — that he tattooed onto his own body. This Skin Map has since been lost in time. Now the race is on to recover all the pieces and discover its secrets.

But the Skin Map itself is not the ultimate goal. It is merely the beginning of a vast and marvelous quest for a prize beyond imagining.

The Bright Empires series — from acclaimed author Stephen R. Lawhead — is a unique blend of epic treasure hunt, ancient history, alternate realities, cutting-edge physics, philosophy, and mystery. The result is a page-turning, adventure like no other.

Makes you think about the supernatural world.

The Chair by James Rubart

When an elderly lady shows up in Corin Roscoe’s antiques store and gives him a chair she claims was built by Christ, he scoffs. But when a young boy is miraculously healed after sitting in the chair, he stops laughing and starts to wonder. Could the chair heal the person whose life he destroyed twelve years ago?

As word spreads of the boy’s healing, a mega-church pastor is determined to manipulate Corin into turning over the chair. And that mysterious woman who gave him the piece says it’s Corin’s destiny to guard the chair above everything else. But why?

Desperate, he turns to the one person he can trust, a college history professor who knows more about the legend of the chair than he reveals.

Searching for the truth about the artifact, and the unexplained phenomena surrounding it, Corin soon realizes he isn’t the only one willing to do anything to possess the power that surrounds The Chair.

Gives fresh perspective on everyday life.

The Baggage Handler by David Rawlings

Lost luggage can ruin any trip. But what if it could change your life?

A mother of three hoping to survive the days at her perfect sister’s perfect house before her niece’s wedding.

A hothead businessman coming to the city for a showdown meeting to save his job.

And a young artist pursuing his father’s sports dream so he can keep his own alive.

When Gillian, David, and Michael each take the wrong suitcase from baggage claim, the airline directs them to retrieve their bags at a mysterious facility in a deserted part of the city. There they meet the enigmatic Baggage Handler, who shows them there is more in their baggage than what they have packed, and carrying it with them is slowing them down in ways they can’t imagine. And they must deal with it before they can leave.

 

Gives you a little (or a lot) of thrills and chills!

The Devil Walks in Mattingly by Billy Coffey

For the three people tortured by their secret complicity in a young man’s untimely death, redemption is what they most long for . . . and the last thing they expect to receive.

It has been twenty years since Philip McBride’s body was found along the riverbank in the dark woods known as Happy Hollow. His death was ruled a suicide. But three people have carried the truth ever since—Philip didn’t kill himself that day. He was murdered.

Each of the three have wilted in the shadow of their sins. Jake Barnett is Mattingly’s sheriff, where he spends his days polishing the fragile shell of the man he pretends to be. His wife, Kate, has convinced herself the good she does for the poor will someday wash the blood from her hands. And high in the mountains, Taylor Hathcock lives in seclusion and fear, fueled by madness and hatred.

Yet what cannot be laid to rest is bound to rise again. Philip McBride has haunted Jake’s dreams for weeks, warning that he is coming back for them all. When Taylor finds mysterious footprints leading from the Hollow, he believes his redemption has come. His actions will plunge the quiet town of Mattingly into darkness. These three will be drawn together for a final confrontation between life and death . . . between truth and lies.

House by Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker

Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker—two of the most acclaimed writers of supernatural thrillers—have joined forces for the first time to craft a story unlike any you’ve ever read. Enter House — where you’ll find yourself thrown into a killer’s deadly game in which the only way to win is to lose . . . and the only way out is in. The stakes of the game become clear when a tin can is tossed into the house with rules scrawled on it. Rules that only a madman — or worse — could have written. Rules that make no sense yet must be followed. One game. Seven players. Three rules. Game ends at dawn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Line Friday — Vanished

24 Apr

Happy Friday! Today I pulled another unread book off my shelf that has been there a very long time — Vanished by Kathryn Mackel. After reading the back cover, I am at a loss of why it has been neglected so long. One of the endorsements describes it as intense suspense and white-knuckle reading. Oh yes, I need to move this book up to the top of the TBR. Have you read it? Please let me know your thoughts.

For more fabulous first lines, head over to Hoarding Books.

 

A terrorist bombing. A rogue experiment. A community vanished. Who will save them now? In a series that blends the urgent action of the Left Behind books with the alluring weirdness of the television show Lost, this first book opens with a terrorist bombing that combines with a rogue underground experiment to rip a clovershaped section of the working-class city of Barcester loose from the world. Cut off from any hope of help, police sergeant Jason Logan fights to keep order and track the terrorist mastermind. But after a second bomb explodes, effectively sealing the displacement of the vanished area, he knows the nightmare is just beginning. As the mist from the bomb slowly clears, those inside the vanished community find themselves surrounded by a majestic wilderness that is both primitive and primal as the vanished community battles for survival against enemies they’ve always known and forces they’ve never imagined

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As a screenwriter (writing as Kathy Mackel), Kathryn Mackel has worked for Disney, Fox, and Showtime. She’s famous with the kids for the Disney movie Can of Worms. She was the credited screenwriter for Frank Peretti’s Hangman’s Curse (with Stan Foster) and part of the story team for Left Behind: The Movie.

 

Cover Reveal — Guarded by Sara Davison

4 Jan

Guarded by Sara Davison JustRead Cover Reveal

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for Guarded, the second book of The Night Guardians series by Sara Davison, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT GUARDED

Series: The Night Guardians, Book 2
Author: Sara Davison
Release Date: February 1, 2020
Genre: Suspense / Thriller

The tip the stranger left sent Nicole a painfully clear message. The past is no longer in the past.

Nicole is fighting to bury the memories. Someone else is fighting to keep them exposed.

Detective Daniel Grey is back in town, and diner owner Nicole Hunter isn’t sure how she feels about that. It’s been almost seven years, and now she doesn’t just have herself to think about but her six-year-old son as well. If she does find the courage to take a chance on love, her heart could be smashed into pieces. Again.

And it’s not only her heart that is in danger. Someone is working hard to disrupt her present with reminders of the past she has worked hard to forget, especially her darkest memory — of the night her husband was gunned down in the street in front of her. As much as she might want to push Daniel away, Nicole needs him closer now than ever before.

But the one she trusts to keep her and her son safe has a secret that may prove to be the biggest threat of all.

 

Here’s the Cover:

Guarded by Sara Davison

PURCHASE LINK*: Amazon


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sara Davison - headshot 1

Sara Davison is the author of the romantic suspense novels The Watcher and The Seven Trilogy. She has been a finalist for eight national writing awards, including the Word Award for Best New Canadian Christian author, a Carol, and two Daphne du Maurier Awards, and is a Word and Cascade Award winner. Sara has a degree in English Literature and currently resides in Ontario, Canada with her husband Michael and their three children, all of whom she (literally) looks up to.

CONNECT WITH SARA: Website | Facebook Twitter


 

TOUR GIVEAWAY

Sara Davison is offering a $25 Amazon card to the winner – US and Canadian residents

Guarded JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight January 4, 2020 and last through 11:59 PM EST on January 11, 2020. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Due to shipping cost, only US/CAN mailing addresses valid. For our giveaway rules and policy, click HERE.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE

 


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

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

Book Review: Synapse

21 Oct

About The Book

Book: Synapse

Author: Steven James

Genre: Thriller, Sci-Fi

Release Date: October 8, 2019

Thirty years in the future, when AI is so advanced that humans live side by side with cognizant robots called Artificials, Kestrel Hathaway must come to terms not just with what machines know, but what they believe. Is hope real for them, or merely an illusion?

Soon after experiencing a personal tragedy, Kestrel witnesses a terrorist attack and is drawn into a world of conspiracies and lies that she and Jordan, her Artificial, have to untangle. With a second, more brutal attack looming on the horizon, their best chance of stopping it is teaming up with federal counterterrorism agent Nick Vernon.

But the clock is ticking — and all the while, Jordan is asking questions that Artificials were never meant to ask.

Deftly weaving suspense and intrigue into a rich, resonant tale that explores faith and what it really means to be human, Steven James offers us a glimpse into the future and into our own hearts.

Synapse is an unforgettable, gripping story of dreams shattered, truth revealed, and hope reborn.

Click here to get your copy!

My Impressions:

A futuristic techno-thriller that explores questions as old as time, Synapse will keep you on the edge of your seat. I found Steven James’ latest novel a mind-bender as I sought to process the interactions between Artificials (cognizant robots), Naturals (humans), and Plussers (specially-augmented humans) and the search for terrorists with varied agendas and motives. The basic premise is simple — Purists (those who oppose the spread of technology) are out to prevent a leading tech company from unleashing new advancements — yet this book has so many twists and turns along with thought-provoking questions on God, that its complexity requires a careful reading. Readers will find themselves questioning the technology that makes our lives easier, and in turn, as a couple of characters state, reflecting on the distractions that keep us from thoughts of eternity. I especially found main character Jordan, a cognizant robot with free will, intriguing. In Jordan, James has created a machine that feels, thinks, and aspires to what humans should. See, I said mind-bending. The novel is action-packed, and will appeal to those with a preference for the thriller and dystopian genres. And the faith messages shared will certainly make any reader re-think any conceptions they have on the goodness of God in a fallen world.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Celebrate Lit and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

About The Author

Steven James is the critically acclaimed, national bestselling author of sixteen novels. His work has been optioned by ABC Studios and praised by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, the New York Journal of Books, and many others. His pulse-pounding, award-winning thrillers are known for their intricate storylines and insightful explorations of good and evil. When he’s not working on his next book, he’s either teaching master classes on writing throughout the country, trail running, or sneaking off to catch a matinee.

 

 

More from Steven

“James is a pro at creating suspense.”

Criminal Element

 

“stimulating tale…thrilling story of greed and corruption”

Publishers Weekly STARRED review

Read my op-ed on robots and faith in the New York Times

 

I grew up reading and loving science fiction stories. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of artificial intelligence, but as I’ve thought about it over the years, I’ve realized that our lives are not based just on what we know, but also what we believe. So, I started asking myself, “What would the world look like if machines developed artificial belief?” Within a few decades, advanced AIs might very well have consciousness and self-awareness. At that point, what will they choose to believe about the meaning of live, God, and the afterlife?

All of these questions were in my mind as I wrote Synapse, a story that takes place 30 years from now in a world very much like our own. This is a cautionary tale with implications that are both chilling and revealing and I think that if you like suspense, you’ll love this near-future thriller.

Steven

Learn more at stevenjames.net

Facebook and Twitter: @readstevenjames

Buy the book: https://www.tnzfiction.com/synapse-a-novel/

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, October 8

Just Your Average reviews, October 9

Emily Yager, October 9

amandainpa , October 10

Wishful Endings, October 10

Just the Write Escape, October 11

Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections, October 11

Pause for Tales, October 12

Mary Hake, October 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, October 13

For The Love of Books, October 13

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, October 14

Hallie Reads, October 15

Blogging With Carol, October 15

Remembrancy, October 16

Through the Fire Blogs, October 16

Simple Harvest Reads, October 17

Texas Book-aholic, October 18

Rebekah Jones, Author, October 18

janicesbookreviews, October 19

Bigreadersite, October 19

A Reader’s Brain, October 20

Inklings and notions , October 21

By The Book, October 21

Audiobook Mini-Review: The King

12 Aug

FBI Special Agent Patrick Bowers has matched wits with some of the most violent serial killers in history — and one of them has never forgiven him….
 
Patrick Bowers has pursued the nation’s fiercest serial killers — and now one elusive foe is back for revenge.

Settling into a new post at the FBI academy, Patrick and his fiancée, Lien-hua Jiang, are planning their future together with his stepdaughter, Tessa.

But just when his life seems normal, a demon from the past returns to draw him down a dark road he hoped had closed forever. Forced into a desperate hunt to save the two women he loves most, Patrick is in a race against time to stop an international conspiracy from becoming the most widespread act of terrorism in U.S. history.

Steven James is a national bestselling novelist whose award-winning, pulse-pounding thrillers continue to gain wide critical acclaim and a growing fan base.

Suspense Magazine, who named Steven’s book THE BISHOP their Book of the Year, says that he “sets the new standard in suspense writing.” Publishers Weekly calls him a “master storyteller at the peak of his game.” And RT Book Reviews promises, “the nail-biting suspense will rivet you.”

Equipped with a unique Master’s Degree in Storytelling, Steven has taught writing and storytelling on four continents over the past two decades, speaking more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe.

Steven’s groundbreaking book on the art of fiction writing, STORY TRUMPS STRUCTURE, won a Storytelling World award. Widely-recognized for his story crafting expertise, he has twice served as a Master CraftFest instructor at ThrillerFest, North America’s premier training event for suspense writers.

Respected by some of the top thriller writers in the world, Steven deftly weaves intense stories of psychological suspense with deep philosophical insights. As critically-acclaimed novelist Ann Tatlock put it, “Steven James gives us a captivating look at the fine line between good and evil in the human heart.”

My Impressions:

The King is the fifth installment in The Bowers Files series, and while some series lose a reader’s interest the longer they go, Steven James manages to keep his readers thrilled, shocked, and on the edge of their seats book after book. This edgy Christian thriller is full of action, suspense, and a deep look into the criminal mind. Another winner by James.

The King has everything that long time fans of James have come to expect — complex characters, suspense-filled drama, and thoughtful insights into the human psyche. In this novel, the author really puts his characters through their paces, emotionally and physically. There are some cringe-worthy scenes that are not for the faint of heart. My husband, also a big fan of the series, said “poor Lien-hua!”.  LOL! If you are loved by Patrick Bowers, you have a target on your back. While the twists and turns of the cases Bowers is investigating keep the pages turning, I especially liked the philosophical conundrum that is explored — just what makes man a beast? Patrick also gets hit by Tessa as she confronts him about his lack of spiritual guidance in her life. That is an especially great argument that will make you think.

As always, one main storyline is completed, while another continues — more shiver-y reading to come.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

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

Book Spotlight + Giveaway! — Clear Confusion

24 Jul


Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour (and Giveaway!) for Clear Confusion by Kathy M. Howard, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Title: Clear Confusion
Author:
Kathy M. Howard
Publisher: Ambassador International
Release Date:
July 1, 2019
Genre: Inspirational Suspense/Thriller

What am I going to do, God? Who am I?

Charlotte Hallaway needs to come to terms with her father’s death. He had been her only family, and she wasn’t handling her grief well. It was just supposed to be a few weeks of peace and quiet to process it all, but then she saw them-a drug deal and a murder within seconds of each other.

And they saw her.

Now running for her life, Charlotte boards a bus to escape her pursuers and wakes up the next morning in the woods of Jennings, Georgia, without a memory of how she got there or of who she is. All she knows is an underlying fear she can’t seem to shake.

When two hunters find her battered and scared, can she put aside the clear confusion she’s experiencing to trust them? She wants to trust them, especially Nicholas, but fear is holding her back. Trust is incredibly hard when one is so clearly confused. Could it be he and his friend are not who they claim to be?

Who are they really . . . and who is she?

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Christianbook

 

EXCERPT

1:40 p.m. 

“Did you find the girl yet?” he asked, fearful of the answer. 

“No! Last time I saw her was when she disappeared into that crowd at the bus terminal. Man! I almost had her, too. Ya think it’s poss’ble she got on a bus instead of drivin’ off in a car?” 

“I doubt it. She didn’t look like the type to take a bus.” He shifted the phone to the other ear. 

“Well, keep your ears low to the ground. No one’s lookin’ for us at the moment. She’ll pro’bly talk, if she ain’t already. Don’t know what she’d say, though, other than what she saw us do. You’re convinced she didn’t see our faces; and if that’s true, she won’t be able to identify us. Kinda hard to pin something on us without an ID.” 

“It was an accident. Maybe she’ll just forget about it and let it go.” He tried sounding hopeful. 

“Accident or no accident, Roland don’t like it when we get sloppy. And he definitely don’t like it when there are witnesses.” 

“Did you tell him about her yet?” 

“Nope. Was hoping to take care of her on our own without lettin’ him know we messed it up. Just keep an eye out, will ya? Let’s don’t worry about Roland right now,” he nervously suggested. “I’ll fill him in soon enough.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathy M. Howard resides in south Georgia with her husband and two children. She has been involved in some form of education since 1998 as an elementary school teacher, a private school principal, and presently as a homeschooling mom. As a child, she despised reading, dreading every assignment the subject gave. As an adult, Kathy finally learned to appreciate the written word, so much so that she is rarely seen without her nose in a book.

She loves the Lord and wants to share Jesus where she can, using words written and spoken. By God’s goodness and with the support and love of her family, she has written two novels, From Dishes to Snow (October, 2014), and its sequel, From Driftwood to Sapphire (August, 2015).

CONNECT WITH KATHY: Website | Facebook | Twitter


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a print copy (US only)
plus (1) additional winner will receive an ebook

Full tour schedule shown below. Giveaway will begin at midnight July 23, 2019 and last through 11:59 PM EST on July 30, 2019. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. Print US only. Ebook available internationally.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


 

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

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*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

2019 Carol Award Finalists!

29 Jun

Congratulations to the talented authors who are finalists for the 2019 Carol Awards. Sponsored by ACFW, the winners will be announced at the annual conference in San Antonio. Your summer TBR stack just got taller!

Contemporary

The Hidden Side by Heidi Chiavaroli

Miles From Where We Started by Cynthia Ruchti

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

Historical 

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Melody of The Soul by Liz Tolsma

The Solace of Water by Elizabeth Byler Younts

 

Historical Romance

Where The Fire Falls by Karen Barnett

A Light on The Hill by Connilyn Cossette

Across The Blue by Carrie Turansky

 

Mystery/Suspense/Thriller

Cascade by Janice Boekhoff

Mind Games by Nancy Mehl

The Reckoning of Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

 

Novella

In Sheep’s Clothing from A Bouquet of Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas

Her Redcoat from The Backcountry Brides Collection by Pegg Thomas

MissTaken Identity from The MissAdventure Brides Collection by Kimberley Woodhouse

 

Romance

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

Freedom’s Kiss by Sarah Monzon

Just Let Go by Courtney Walsh

 

Romantic Suspense

Lethal Target by Janice Cantore

Called to Protect by Lynette Eason

Hidden Peril by Irene Hannon

 

Short Novel

A Widow’s Hope by Vanetta Chapman

The Rancher’s Surprise Daughter by Jill Lynn

Falling for the Cowgirl by Tina Radcliffe

 

Speculative

Mark of the Raven by Morgan L. Busse

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

The Man He Never Was by James L. Rubart

 

Young Adult

Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

A Worthy Rebel by Jody Hedlund

Common by Laurie Lucking

 

Debut

The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

Engraved on the Heart by Tara Johnson

The Plum Blooms in Winter by Linda Thompson

First Line Friday! — The String

28 Jun

I’m a little late to First Line Friday today. But hey, it’s still Friday at my house. 😉 A lot going on around my home and work, has kept me busy and off the blog. I can’t wait for things to settle down so that I can do all things books! Today Tonight I am featuring a new-to-me author, Caleb Breakey, and his novel The String. I received a copy in the mail this week courtesy of Library Thing Early Readers and Revell. It looks very intriguing. I actually had to include the first two lines — you’ll understand when you read them!

 

Welcome to the string, a game of impossible decisions and deadly consequences. Let’s go over the ground rules.

Rule #1: Participation is mandatory.
Rule #2: If anyone refuses to play, all threats will come to pass.
Game on.

Get ready for a deadly social experiment as a sociopath known as The Conductor delivers disturbing threats and twisted moral dilemmas to unsuspecting students and staff.

As a powerful instinct for self-preservation sweeps through the campus, one man has a grave decision to make. Will university cop Markus Haas play the game to protect those he loves? Or will he break the string and incite massive chaos–and even death?

In the great suspense tradition of Ted Dekker and Steven James, Caleb Breakey’s explosive debut novel will have you turning pages into the night.

Caleb Breakey is a former journalist and the author of Called to Stay and Dating Like Airplanes. He’s passionate about leading, challenging, and inspiring others to follow Jesus in super intentional ways-especially in how we do church, relationships, and careers.

 

If you are still hanging around the First Line Friday sites, leave me a comment with the first sentence of the nearest book, and then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!