Monday, June 27, 2022

HOPE BEYOND THE WAVES by Heidi Chiavaroli, Reviewed by Paula #NewRelease

Hope among tears.

This story captured my interest with its tale of a leper colony in 1916. It showed that even when you think hope is gone: “Hope is often birthed in the midst of pain.”

It is told through the eyes of Gertie, who lived through a terrible time with her sister, Atta. She is telling her granddaughter, Emily, in order to minister to her since Emily feels like an outcast. “Jesus sought out the poor, the ostracized and oppressed. The sick and downtrodden. The outcast. And they were always the first to respond to Him. His kingdom truly is an upside-down one, and I quit like that.”

Both time lines kept my interest. I like to see the way history could be made relevant in the modern time line. As always, the author meshes the two stories to bring us spiritual truths such as redemption, forgiveness and hope. She shows how not every secret needs to be hidden away- it just might be able to help someone in their faith journey, if it is revealed. “God using weakness to display His Strength. Absurd.” Yes God uses even the weak.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hope Creek Publishers on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.” 5 stars and a strong faith thread. 

BackCover Blurb:
From award-winning author Heidi Chiavaroli comes a sweeping dual timeline story that explores hope and enduring love in the midst of the impossible.
 
Massachusetts, 1993
After making a grievous mistake that will change her life forever, Emily Robertson is sent away to live with her grandmother on Cape Cod. When Emily finds a timeworn photograph buried in a drawer, she realizes her grandmother has concealed a secret even bigger than her own. Will convincing Gram to reveal their family history help Emily make the most important decision of her life or will it prove her parents right—that family scandal is better off buried and forgotten?
 
Massachusetts, 1916
Atta Schaeffer plans to marry the man of her dreams and whisk her little sister away from their abusive father. But when she is diagnosed with a dreaded malady, Atta is forced into a life of exile, leaving her sister in harm’s way.
On Penikese Island, Atta’s best hope lies with Harry Mayhew, a doctor who seeks a cure for his patients at any cost. But when experiments fail, Atta runs from Harry—and from God. Can she return to her sister before it’s too late? Or will her illness consume both her body and soul?
 
A testament to faith and love, Hope Beyond the Waves is the raw account of the journey of two generations of women running from desperate situations toward irresistible hope.
 
Hope Creek Publishers, June 28, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover:
 

UNDERCOVER ASSIGNMENT by Dana Mentink, Reviewed by Kim, #NewRelease


This story was everything I’ve come to expect from a Dana Mentink story. It was full of suspense, nicely paced action, wonderful characters, and perfectly timed pops of humor, which I love.

Daniella scared me a bit at first because I thought she might be too snarky, but I ended up really liking her. On the other hand, I loved Sam from the get go! He had been through so much and I loved how protective he was of his son, Ollie. As I usually do, I thought everyone was guilty at one point or another in the story. The mystery was different and kept me guessing until the end.


The faith thread was woven seamlessly throughout the story. This was one of my favorite quotes:
“The definition of faith, he thought. To trust, even when you don’t understand. But trusting didn’t mean it didn’t hurt, sometimes more than he could stand.”


*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light.

BackCover Blurb:
From USA TODAY bestselling author Dana Mentink.

This K-9 will stop at nothing to keep a child safe

When a little boy is threatened, Officer Daniella Vargas and K-9 partner, Zara, are assigned to pose as his nanny to uncover the culprit’s identity. Suspecting one of the guests in his inn, widower Sam Kavanaugh’s only option is to begrudgingly trust Daniella and Zara to help. But can they solve the case and its mysterious connection to Sam’s late wife before it’s too late?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.

Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit

Book 1: Detection Detail by Terri Reed
Book 2: Ready to Protect by Valerie Hansen
Book 3: Hiding in Montana by Laura Scott
Book 4: Undercover Assignment by Dana Mentink
Book 5: Defending from Danger by Jodie Bailey
Book 6: Tracking a Killer by Elizabeth Goddard

June, 2022 available in digital ebook, paperback, or audiobook:
Buy UNDERCOVER ASSIGNMENT at Amazon or Christianbook .com

 

FATAL FORENSIC INVESTIGATION by Darlene Turner, Reviewed by Kim #ReleaseDay

Fatal Forensic Investigation by Darlene Turner reads like you are watching an episode of Criminal Minds! I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading and desperately trying to figure out who the serial killer/s was, if it was more than one person, why they were killing women, and who was going to be next. Where was Morgan, Garcia, and the rest of the team when I needed them? Lol.

The serial killer/s in this story played such a cat and mouse game! I was so spooked and I tried to refrain from reading this story before bed because it was so realistic and so creepy, but it was just too good! I loved Scarlet and Jace and the dynamic of their relationship. The faith thread was seamlessly woven throughout. The following is one of my favorite quotes -

“God knows what he’s doing, so we trust. Completely.”

Such a good reminder when we start to wonder why.

Darlene Turner knows how to write excellent suspense and I can’t wait for her next story!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are own.

BackCover Blurb
Remembering a serial killer’s face…
could be deadly

While interviewing the Coastline Strangler’s only surviving victim, forensic artist Scarlet Wells is attacked and left with amnesia. Now she’s his next mark and has no choice but to work with constable Jace Allen to unlock the criminal’s true identity trapped in her mind. Will they be able to recover the hidden memory and hunt down the killer before he strikes again?

From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.
June 28, 2022
Available in digital ebook or paperback:
Buy FATAL FORENSIC INVESTIGATION at Amazon, or Christianbook .com

 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

MIDNIGHT'S BUDDING MORROW by Carolyn Miller, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Carolyn Miller writes Gothic Regency to a T. The voice of this book evokes an atmosphere right out of the era. She aptly depicts a wallflower of a girl who thinks she is almost invisible but ultimately, her good heart shines through. Add to that an arranged marriage to a sullen bad boy and troubles have just begun. Sarah tries to be a good wife but James still needs to prove himself a changed man. Sarah has a wavering faith and she is up against a lot of obstacles put up by the uncooperative servants and a grieving father-in-law, resulting in mis-communication and lots of doubt. “When we are in the depths of midnight’s pain and darkness, we cannot see that God is still working goodness for tomorrow. But He is, isn’t He?

This book is one of hardships and learning to rely on God through it all. And Ms. Miller shows us hope and perseverance through faith, “What we have endured together has forged us closer.”

I look forward to reading the next in the series.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*4 stars and a solid faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
Can real love grow between a wallflower and an unrepentant rogue?

Sarah Drayton is eager to spend time with her best friend at her crumbling Northumberland castle estate. Matrimony is the last thing on her mind and the last thing she expects to be faced with on a holiday. Yet she finds herself being inveigled into a marriage of convenience with her friend’s rakish brother.

When James Langley returns to his family's estate, he can't be bothered to pay attention to his responsibilities as the heir. War is raging and he wants only distraction, not serious tethers. But his roguish ways have backed him into a corner, and he has little choice but to obey his father's stunning decree: marry before returning to war, or else. Suddenly he finds himself wedded to a clever and capable woman he does not love.

Sarah craves love and a place to belong, neither of which James offered before returning to the battlefront. Now everyone around her thinks she married above her station, and they have no intention of rewarding her for such impertinence. It isn't until her husband returns from war seemingly changed that she begins to hope they may find real happiness. But can she trust that this rake has truly reformed?

When tragedy strikes, this pair must learn to trust God and his plans. Will they be destroyed . . . or will they discover that even in the darkest depths of night, the morning still holds hope?

Kregel Publications, May 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and audiobook:
Buy MIDNIGHT'S BUDDING MORROW at Amazon, Christianbook .com, or Baker Book House

 

TO KISS A WALLFLOWER Anthology, by Jen Geigle Johnson, Heather B. Moore, Anneka R. Walker #BlogTour #AustenProse. Reviewed by Winnie Thomas


Welcome to the 

TO KISS A WALLFLOWER Blog Tour by #AustenProse

WINNIE'S REVIEW:

One of my favorite genres is Regency romance, so I jumped at the chance to read To Kiss a Wallflower by some of my favorite authors. I’m also glad when so-called wallflowers get a chance to shine and have a happy ending, so it was a fun read for me. This Timeless Regency Collection is a charming anthology of delightful stories. They are well-written and feature engaging characters.

 

The Wallflower’s Dance by Jen Geigle Johnson has Lottie and her friend Denny in a friends-to-more trope with Denny attempting to help Lottie be more comfortable in social settings. I enjoyed their camaraderie and the way Denny is protective and caring with Lottie.

 

Heather B. Moore’s story, Letters to a Wallflower, stars Ellen and Aaron each making bets with others which ends up with them intrigued by each other. Both of them would prefer being in the country away from the London social scene. As they pretend to court by writing letters to each other, their feelings begin to develop.

 

The last tale, To Marry a Wallflower by Anneka R. Walker, is an arranged marriage trope which evolves into a concealed/mistaken identity situation. As they concoct a scheme together to find out more about the persons they are about to marry, some amusing scenes occur.  


Because the stories are novellas, they are a perfect length to finish in one sitting. They are all fairly predictable but also charming and satisfying. I would recommend this collection to those who enjoy clean and wholesome Regency tales.

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.


BOOK DESCRIPTION

To Kiss a Wallflower is the nineteenth book in the Timeless Regency Collection, a bestselling anthology series from Mirror Press. The book features three novellas from acclaimed historical romance authors whose stories reveal that eventually, all wallflowers will have their chance at love . . . This is where it begins.

“The Wallflower’s Dance,” by Jen Geigle Johnson


Lottie Hughes likes people, as long as they aren't too close. Does it bother her that no one asks her to dance? Yes, but she's not sure how to drum up dance partners when she has almost no dowry, no title, and freezes up when anyone tries to talk to her. When she suddenly inherits a huge amount and is the new center of attention all over London, her secret dreams might come true but also her worst nightmares. Suddenly everyone wants to talk to her. Men ask her to dance. And she is inundated with interested suitors. She fights to stay close to the few friends she knows are true. One man saw her before her life changed forever. But does she want to accept his help when he, too, might be insincere?

“Letters to a Wallflower,” by Heather B. Moore


Ellen might be beautiful and considered a diamond of the first water by Society, but she is so very tired of the pressure to marry a titled gentleman so that her beauty won’t go to waste. When her cousin Dinah dares Ellen to attend a ball with no frills and to stand with the wallflowers, Ellen takes on the dare. What’s in the wager for her? The prize cuttings of her aunt’s extraordinary roses. But what Ellen isn’t expecting is Lord Ravenshire to engage her in the most interesting conversation. When she confesses to him of her opposition in marrying for a title, he confesses his distaste of the London scene. They strike a bargain together, one which will either push them apart or lead to a future sweeter than either of them could have imagined.

“To Marry a Wallflower,” by Anneka R. Walker


Charlotte Winters is destined to spinsterhood until she turns down an unwanted proposal and everything changes. With gossip rampant, her father attempts to salvage her reputation by betrothing her to another. Soon she is sent off to her aunt’s to meet Lord Templeton, her intended. Anxiety-ridden, Charlotte begs her aunt to let her observe Lord Templeton from afar before their introduction. She never planned to pretend to be her fictional cousin to learn more about him, or to fall in love with Lord Templeton’s friend in the process. Lord Templeton dreads returning to the empty halls of Newcliff Manor. When his father’s old friend, Mr. Winters reaches out for assistance, Lord Templeton finds himself returning home engaged to a woman he has never met. Desperate to learn more about Miss Winters, he befriends her cousin. He wouldn’t have spoken to her, or lied about his identity, if he’d known the quiet woman would sneak into his heart.

ABOUT THE SERIES

Since 2015, Mirror Press has been presenting the Timeless Regency Collection, a curated anthology of novellas and short stories featuring bestselling authors from the contemporary and historical romance genres. The collection has hit the USA TODAY bestselling list and charted at #1 at Amazon.com. Learn more about the series and other anthologies published by Mirror Press at their website.  

 

ADVANCE PRAISE

·      “5 STARS - I loved the unique twists that each author used in their stories and how they tied them into the theme.”— Julie Carpenter, Goodreads

·      “What a great set of stories! If you have read any of these three authors you know you are in for a treat. If you aren’t familiar with them, prepare to add their names to your list of favorites.”— Shauna Jones, Goodreads

·      “I thoroughly enjoyed all three of these novellas. They were lighthearted, fun, and took me away from my worries for a while.”— A Bookish Romantic, Goodreads

 

PURCHASE LINKS

AMAZON | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS

 

AUTHOR BIOS

 

Jen Geigle Johnson


An award-winning author, including the GOLD in Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards and LDSPMA Praiseworthy's top award for Romance, Jen Geigle Johnson has more stories circulating in her brain than can possibly be told. She discovered her passion for England while kayaking on the Thames near London as a young teenager. History is her main jam. Her literary heroes include the greats: Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. But she has modern sensibilities as well.

 

She loves to share bits of history that might otherwise be forgotten. Whether in Regency England, the French Revolution, or Colonial America, her romance novels are much like life is supposed to be: full of adventure.

 

WEBSITE |  TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

 

Heather B. Moore

Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestseller and award-winning author of more than seventy publications. She's lived on both the east and west coasts of the United States, including Hawaii, and attended school abroad including the Cairo American College in Egypt, and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. She loves to learn about anything in history and, as an author, is passionate about historical research.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | GOODREADS

 

 
 

Anneka R. Walker


Anneka Walker is an award-winning author raised by a librarian and an English teacher turned judge. After being fed a steady diet of books, she decided to learn about writing. The result was a bachelor's degree in English and history. When she isn't dreaming up a happy ending for a story, she is busy living her own with her husband and adorable children.

 

 

 



Saturday, June 25, 2022

THE SONGS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN by Amanda Wen, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #Tour #Giveaway

Welcome to the I READ WITH AUDRA Blog tour with #Giveaway of 
THE SONGS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN by Amanda Wen!
 

Paula's Review:
Having loved the debut, Roots of Wood and Stone by Amanda Wen, I could not wait to see what she tackled in her second book, and tackled was right. Some hard subjects were handled well: views on race in the 50s, alcoholism, eating disorders and letting Christ control your life. The characters jump off the page and into your heart as they deal with life situations.

This dual time story was heartbreaking at times: “They had made the right choice. The mature choice. The loving choice. But that didn’t mean it wouldn’t shatter her heart.” But also uplifting and filled with hope: “God had a plan, even man’s stupidity could not thwart that plan... it is never too late for God. Nothing is too far gone for Him to redeem it.”

Ms. Wen handled the race conflict of the 50s in a sensitive way, showing the conflicting emotions of two teens, Rosie and Ephriam. I liked the way she voiced Rosie’s thoughts as she struggled with alzheimers in later life.

The book was not at all depressing. It was rounded out nicely throughout. Because Lauren is a food blogger, I liked that she named her cats Alton and Nigella! I also caught the weather related references since Carter was a weatherman.

This book was every bit as good as the first and gave me more of a glimpse into the lives of the characters I connected with in the first book.

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel as part if the I Read with Audra book tour. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About the book:

Two couples in love. Two sets of impossible circumstances. One powerful God of grace.

 

After a devastating tailspin in her late teens, Lauren Anderson’s life is finally back on track. Then a chance meeting with Carter Douglas, her first love and the man who broke her heart, threatens to throw her well-balanced world out of control.

 

Now a TV meteorologist, Carter is determined to make amends with Lauren. After all, she still owns his heart. But his old demons are forcing him toward the same decision he faced in the past. Is he courageous enough to make a different choice this time around?

 

When Lauren’s elderly grandmother, Rosie, begins having nightmares about a man named Ephraim--a name her family has never heard before—a fascinating and forbidden past love comes to light. As Lauren and Carter work to uncover the untold stories of Rosie’s past in 1950s Wichita, they embark on a journey of forgiveness and second chances that will change their lives—and Rosie’s—forever. Along the way they’ll learn that God wastes nothing, his timing is perfect, and nothing is beyond his grace and redemption.

 

Click here to read an excerpt.

 

What Others Are Saying

“A reading experience both heartfelt and heart-tugging, a timeless exploration of young and enduring love and the grace found in second chances. Amanda Wen is a rare and remarkable storyteller, and this is a novel I will not soon forget.” –Amanda Barratt, Christy Award-winning author of The White Rose Resists

 

“A stunning journey of loss, love, and yearning. . . . Past and present are deftly woven together in this dual-timeline narrative that will leave readers flying through the pages.” – Amanda Cox, author of the 2021 Christy Award Book of the Year, The Edge of Belonging

 

About the author:

 


Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. She has placed first in multiple writing contests, including the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity, the 2017 Phoenix Rattler, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions contests. She was also a 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest finalist. Her debut novel was a 2021 Christy Award First Novel finalist.
 
Wen is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She also frequently interviews authors for
her blog and is a contributor to the God Is Love blog. She is the author of Roots of Wood and Stone and The Songs That Could Have Been.
 
In addition to her writing, Wen is an accomplished professional cellist and pianist who frequently performs with orchestras, chamber groups, and her church’s worship team. She serves as a choral accompanist as well. A lifelong denizen of the flatlands, Wen lives in Kansas with her patient, loving, and hilarious husband, their three adorable Wenlets, and a snuggly Siamese cat.
 
To find Amanda Wen’s blog and short stories, visit
www.amandawen.com. Readers can also follower her on Facebook (@AuthorAmandaWen), Twitter (@AuthorAmandaWen), and Instagram (@authoramandawen).

 

Don't forget to Enter the Giveaway - link above! 


 

 

ROOTS OF WOOD AND STONE by Amanda Wen, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney


"We are daughters of the most high God. He alone can satisfy."

Could He? Two women, over a century apart, grappling with their identity and the means for satisfaction. In the middle of both struggles . . . a beautiful farmhouse, made of wood and stone, fashioned by hands that dared to dream of the future, a happy future, a fruitful future . . . a dream that was on the cusp of being snuffed out with the flick of a pen in the wrong direction.

Would the words inscribed between the pages of a diary not only provide a glimpse into the lives of the home's original owners, but serve as a much needed beacon of wisdom and advice for its current owners, who were so desperately conflicted about its future. And theirs.

"Let's make this house what it was always meant to be. Let's make it a home."
This debut novel began simply and ended splendidly.
*I received this book from a friend and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.
3.5 stars

See Paula's and Winnie's Reviews!

See Kim's Review!


Sedgewick County Chronicles, Book One
BackCover Blurb:
This historic home holds the keys to their destiny . . . and their hearts

Abandoned at birth, her family roots a mystery, historical museum curator Sloane Kelley has dedicated her life to making sure others know theirs. When a donor drops off a dusty old satchel, she doesn't expect much from the common artifact . . .until she finds real treasure inside: a nineteenth-century diary.Now she's on the hunt to find out more.

Garrett Anderson just wanted to clean out his grandmother's historic but tumbledown farmhouse before selling it to fund her medical care. With her advancing Alzheimer's, he can't afford to be sentimental about the family home. But his carefully ordered plan runs up against two formidable obstacles: Sloane, who's fallen in love with both the diaries and the house, and his own heart, which is irresistibly drawn to Sloane.

A century and a half earlier, motherless Annabelle Collins embarks with her aunt and uncle on the adventure of a lifetime: settling the prairies of Sedgwick County, Kansas. The diaries she left behind paint a portrait of life, loss, and love--and a God who faithfully carries her through it all. Paging through the diaries together takes Sloane and Garrett on a journey they never could have planned, which will change them in ways they never imagined.

This warm, beautifully written split-time novel will resonate with readers looking for stories that reveal the beauty of God's plan for our lives, and how our actions ripple for generations.
 
Kregel Publishing, April 2021
Available in digital ebook, and paperback:

Friday, June 24, 2022

ALMOST EVERYTHING by Mandi Blake, Reviewed by Kim

Almost Everything is everything I’ve come to expect in a Mandi Blake story! There is a sweet friends to more romance, a bit of danger to keep you on your toes, and a great faith thread woven throughout the story.

I loved how much Blake loved Everly! He was totally devoted to her and wanted the best for her even if it wasn’t him. I also enjoyed how Everly went from thinking of Blake as just a good friend to more. It was seamless and believable. I really liked the teaser at the end of this story about Ridge, Everly’s brother. The premise is interesting and I’m wondering just how Mandi Blake is going to write his romance.

While this is the second book in the series, you can easily read Almost Everything as a standalone.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. All opinions are my own. The faith thread is light. 

BackCover Blurb:
Her fairytale ending turns into a disaster. Can her brother’s best friend convince her that she was chasing the wrong happily ever after?

Everly Cooper had it all. A successful fiancé, a dream home being built, and the life she always wanted away from the spotlight.

And then it all crashed and burned… publicly, and her brother’s best friend, Blake, was all too eager to race to her rescue.

Blake Lawson left the world of professional football for the small town life five years ago. His friend, Ridge, needed help, and being closer to Everly was more than just a bonus. He’d been silently in love with his best friend’s sister for years. He had everything he could possibly want, except her.

Blake refuses to watch her cry over a man who didn’t deserve her. He’s ready to fess up to Everly and show her how a real man treats the woman he loves.

When Blake's plan to win her heart backfires, he’ll have to figure out what loving someone really means before he loses Everly forever.

Almost Everything is the second book in the Christian romance Wolf Creek Ranch series.

Buy ALMOST EVERYTHING in digital ebook or paperback at Amazon

FREE FALL (Quantico Files #3) by Nancy Mehl, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

I devoured this book in just over a day!

“Hope in God is a powerful thing. It is the bridge to faith.”

This third book of the series is much more of a mental puzzle. The same team is together again, with Alex and Logan still trying to deny feelings for each other and both are progressing in their Christian walk. “God will give you beauty for ashes, Alex. But we have to give Him the ashes.”

They start to unravel the case of a missing woman who resembles Alex, resulting in her capture. Ms. Mehl puts a twist on things when the setting is an abandoned amusement park and a villain who seems kind and keeps his victims alive. As the clues mount up, it is questionable if the team can get to the victims in time. We also see Logan with some health issues that make him unable to be fully involved, but he relies on God and prayer.

I like the way the team works together, considering themselves a family.

Ms. Mehl gives us suspense, danger and the convoluted mind of a criminal. As always, she gives hope in her stories. “The Bible was so clear. Evil comes to kill, steal and destroy, God gives life.”

Do not miss this unusual and insightful tale from a highly capable author.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
5 stars and a strong faith thread

BackCover Blurb:
The closer she comes to the truth, the deadlier her chase gets.

FBI behavioral analyst Alex Donovan and her colleague Logan Hart have been called upon to write a profile for a missing woman, but a little digging quickly turns up more disappearances in Virginia with the same physical description.

Alex is in a race against the clock to rescue the missing victims, so when the UNSUB makes demands of her in exchange for information, Alex takes the bait. But when her life is put in jeopardy, Logan must do whatever it takes to track them down before time runs out.

Alex works to think one step ahead of the suspect, but the more Logan and the BAU learn about the serial kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive.

Bethany House Publishing, June 14, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:

Thursday, June 23, 2022

ELYSIUM TIDE by James R. Hannibal, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise

Superb procedural.

What a fantastically plotted suspense. This is my first novel by this author and I was drawn in from the first page. The setting was the Elysium Grand, a resort on Maui and I felt as if I were there. In fact the whole book played out in my head as a well-scripted movie.

Overworked, neurosurgeon, Dr. Peter Chesterfield has landed on Maui for a medical conference that is more of a punishment than for information. He finds himself teaming with Maui detective Lisa Kealoha on a murder case. He is befriended by the resort doctor, Tu Iona, Tuna for short, who in my mind looked and acted a lot like Lieutenant Tanaka from the original Magnum PI.

There was a lot of action and also thinking skills were put to use. The story showed the close ties of family. Some of the characters are Christians and that aspect was portrayed naturally. Peter is not yet a Christian but through the story he starts to question his mortality and sees Tuna and Lisa live out their faith. The villains were crafty and the real motives were not revealed until near the end. I did not figure out some things and was surprised.

Peter and Lisa made a great team trying to stay one step ahead of the game. I hope this is not the last we see of these characters.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a solid faith thread. 
 

BackCover Blurb:
Dr. Peter Chesterfield is one of the Royal London Hospital's top neurosurgeons. He is also a workaholic, ordered by his boss to take a week off to attend a medical symposium at the luxurious Elysium Grand on the island of Maui. While there, Peter pulls a woman with a skull fracture from the water. Though he is able to revive her in the ambulance, she eventually dies in his arms, leaving him with only one clue to what happened to her: the word "honu."

Increasingly obsessed with discovering the cause of his patient's death, Peter becomes entangled in an ongoing investigation of a brazen luxury auto theft. He also becomes a source of deep irritation to detective Lisa Kealoha, who has jurisdiction over the case.
But when the two join forces, they begin to uncover a destructive plot that runs far deeper than either of them could have imagined. And if they're not careful, they're both going to end up dead.

Award-winning author James R. Hannibal whisks you away to the deadly beauty of Hawaii for a story of greed, violence, and justice that will leave you breathless.

Revell Publishing, June 7, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, hardcover, and audiobook:
Buy Elysium Tide at Amazon, Christianbook .net, or Baker Book House

 

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

LONG WAY HOME by Lynn Austin, Reviewed by Paula Shreckhise #ReleaseDay

Overwhelming story but not without hope.

“Death never has the last word- life would always triumph.”

I am so glad Ms. Austin wrote this heart-wrenching story. She wanted to honor the soldiers who fought for our freedom and the many victims who suffered under Hitler during WWII. She did a superb job of portraying the struggles of Jimmy, who came home with severe battle fatigue. His journey back to health was long and was told through the actions of his childhood friend, Peggy. As a neighbor, Jimmy encouraged her and showed God’s love and she returned the favor when he came back home by enlisting his friends to visit him and write letters.

Entwined in the story is the plight of a Jewish refugee, Gisela, and her family. Helping her find her relatives after the liberation of Europe is what gave Jimmy purpose after witnessing many horrors. “Compassion speaks all languages.”

This is not an easy book to read, but it is an important one. We must never forget and not take our freedom for granted. It was painful to watch the characters go through their trials, but it was wonderful to see them come out better in the end.

“The only light we will ever have in this dark world comes from God. If we turn away from Him, we are left with darkness and despair.”

I was overwhelmed, for in the last few pages were my favorite verses in Romans 8: "Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale on behalf of the author. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*5 stars and a strong faith thread 

BackCover Blurb:
In this gripping portrait of war and its aftermath from bestselling author Lynn Austin, a young woman searches for the truth her childhood friend won’t discuss after returning from World War II, revealing a story of courage, friendship, and faith.

Peggy Serrano couldn’t wait for her best friend to come home from the war. But the Jimmy Barnett who returns is much different from the Jimmy who left, changed so drastically by his experience as a medic in Europe that he can barely function. When he attempts the unthinkable, his parents check him into the VA hospital. Peggy determines to help the Barnetts unravel what might have happened to send their son over the edge. She starts by contacting Jimmy’s war buddies, trying to identify the mysterious woman in the photo they find in Jimmy’s belongings.

Seven years earlier, sensing the rising tide against her people, Gisela Wolff and her family flee Germany aboard the passenger ship St. Louis, bound for Havana, Cuba. Gisela meets Sam Shapiro on board and the two fall quickly in love. But the ship is denied safe harbor and sent back to Europe. Thus begins Gisela’s perilous journey of exile and survival, made possible only by the kindness and courage of a series of strangers she meets along the way, including one man who will change the course of her life.


Tyndale Fiction, June 21, 2022
Available in digital ebook, paperback, and hardcover
Buy LONG WAY HOME at Amazon, Christianbook .net, or Baker Book House

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