Monday, June 6, 2022

A FIRM PLACE TO STAND and A FAR WAY TO RUN by Lori Altebaumer, Reviewed by Rebecca Maney

"A dead woman, a missing girl, and a family secret. All connected by way of the Pool of Siloam Camp."

Thrust into the midst of tragedy on the first day of her new job, Maribel Montgomery doesn't know what to think or where to turn. Unfortunately, she's seen a dead body before, but that's not entirely the point; Maribel came to the middle of nowhere in a broken down car, to work a leading nowhere job, in order to escape drama, not to find herself in the middle of it . . . again. Dead-center-middle, along with a too good looking for his own good co-worker, who is as mysterious as the rest of the people at Pool of Siloam Camp. If only her investigative skills would be quiet and leave her alone.

"He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand."

What an interesting story. Sure, there were plot bumps and characters whose true intentions stayed hidden for possibly a bit too long, but there were also some sweet, tender moments when Maribel allowed herself room to breathe the air of freedom. . .  forgiveness . . . redemption. She arrived struggling to "feel" anything, really. Yes, there is mystery all through the air, but it was Maribel's spiritual struggles and Connor's patient understanding that stole the spotlight. (and if the truth were known, I never really saw the end coming)
*I purchased a copy and was under no obligation to provide a positive review.

BackCover Blurb:

She blames herself for the suicide of a teenage boy. Now Maribel Montgomery is either being stalked or losing her mind.

A job at a camp in the rustic and often rugged landscape of West Texas offers Maribel Montgomery a chance to escape both, especially if she makes sure no one knows she's there.

But when the body of a woman washes up in the river on her first morning, her hope of a safe place to start over is swept away.

Circumstances force her into the acquaintance of Conner Pierce―a man with secrets of his own. Conner's interest in Maribel is more than just a physical attraction. But his determination to rescue her from herself only pushes her farther away.

A troubled teenage girl needs Maribel's help. The terminally ill woman she works for needs her protection almost as much as she needs her company. And somewhere out there, another girl has gone missing and no one but Maribel seems to care. A growing sense of duty born of a selfless love keeps her from running again when the familiar feeling she's being watched returns.

When the attacks get personal she'll have to decide who she can trust, starting with herself. But before she can trust herself, she'll have to learn how to forgive herself.

It'll take the persistence of a man she'd rather avoid, the sage wisdom of a dying woman, and the desperate needs of a lonely girl to make her realize the power of forgiveness. Lingering self doubt from past mistakes threaten to cripple her until she finds out that love is the remedy for fear.

Does she have the courage to face the danger stirring at the Pool of Siloam Camp?
If she doesn't, another girl might die.
If she tries and fails, it could be her.
Can Maribel risk working with him in order to save the next victim and find a missing girl?
Or is he the killer?

"There is more than one way to bury a person."

Shayne Wright feels that she exists among the living dead; unfortunately, returning to the small Texas town of her childhood has already managed to drive a few more nails into that coffin. The memories of one particular night threaten to suffocate her, the heavy ring on her finger overwhelms her and the fact that someone has just taken a shot at her . . . well, no one wants to end a nightmare of a day in the back of an ambulance. Could it get any worse? Absolutely. There's a man living in her grandparents farmhouse, a very angry man.

After negotiating a temporary truce with Ethan McGregor, (who turns out to have a temporary lease) another conundrum of epic proportion appears . . . Shayne's brother, and what a story he proceeds to tell. Could the horrific accident that Shayne stumbled upon before being shot, have any connection to the nearly unbelievable tale that Levi insists is not a figment of drug-induced imagination. The unlikely trio each bear their own secrets among incredibly broken pieces, would the grave clothes ever come off?

This story is so much more than a good romantic suspense, for it is full of grit and grace, and the kinds of conversations that peel back layers and layers of guilt, failure, sadness, hopelessness, . . . until finally . . . "a hand clamped over her mouth before she could scream".

Hang on. It's a "far way to run". . . "for such a time as this".
*I received a copy of this book from the author . The opinions stated above are entirely my own.

BackCover Blurb:
"A Far Way to Run" is a compelling story about overcoming the past to discover your purpose. This novel chronicles what happens when a woman traumatized by a violent sexual assault must make a life-defining choice to continue hiding, or stand up in the face of evil to save a stranger.

Shayne Wright returns to the Texas town where she grew up for a funeral and accidentally gets caught in a human trafficking scheme gone wrong. When she stops to render aid at an accident, she ends up with a gunshot wound to her shoulder and a target on her back when the trafficker believes she stole his money.

Her plan to stay the night at the old family farm becomes complicated when she finds it has been leased to a man working through some past demons of his own. Former military sniper Ethan McGregor is here on a reconnaissance mission for an organization that fights human trafficking. The complications keep coming when her prodigal brother shows up. When he tells Shayne and Ethan he saw a woman being held against her will, Ethan's interest intensifies, thinking this might be the human trafficking he's here to uncover. Shayne, on the other hand, wrestles with trusting her brother.

Her conscience propels her to search for a way to help, but knowing the woman is being held at the place where she'd been assaulted makes her wary. It doesn't help that she's kept the attack a secret. The one person who knows her secret is also obsessed with her. When he abducts her, she finds out her strength to face evil is stronger than the shame she fears

Buy A FIRM PLACE TO STAND in digital ebook or paperback at Amazon 

Buy A FAR WAY TO RUN in digital ebook or paperback at Amazon



1 comment:

  1. These sound like really good stories. I need to add these to my wish list to get later on when the money isn't so scarce or maybe try the library.


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