Sunday, October 26, 2014

Suspense in small-town Mississippi -- A Promise to Protect

A Promise to Protect, Patricia Bradley's second book in her Logan Point series, is another good romantic suspense novel.  Secrets and surprises -- some a decade old -- pop up throughout the story, keeping a nice level of suspense right up to the end.  The theme of forgiveness -- especially how God's forgiveness should help us forgive others and ourselves -- fit very nicely into the lives of the characters as well.

Being a southern girl myself, I enjoyed the little southern touches in some of the description and dialog of the story.  There were a few spots where the plot either seemed bogged down or a little disjointed, but all in all, I found A Promise to Protect to be a very good read.

Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.  I look forward to more Patricia Bradley suspense from Logan Point, Mississippi.

About the book:

In a steamy small town riddled with broken promises, one woman's secret could change everything.

Acting Sheriff Ben Logan hasn't heard from Leigh Somerall in a very long time, but it doesn't mean he can get her--or their whirlwind romance of ten years ago--out of his head. When she calls out of the blue, it is with a strange request to protect her brother, Tony. But all too soon, Ben is charged with a different task--protecting Leigh from the people after her brother. With Leigh doing everything in her power to avoid Ben, it's no easy task. And the secret she is keeping just may change their lives forever.

About the author:

Patricia Bradley's manuscript for Shadows of the Past was a finalist for the 2012 Genesis Award, winner of a 2012 Daphne du Maurier award (1st place, Inspirational), and winner of a 2012 Touched by Love award (1st place, Contemporary). She is a published short story writer and is cofounder of Aiming for Healthy Families, Inc. When she's not writing or speaking, she can be found making beautiful clay pots and jewelry. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America and makes her home in Mississippi. Learn more at

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Christmas fun -- Huckleberry Christmas

I've read hundreds of Amish fiction stories written by dozens of authors, and in several different styles.  Most of them I have enjoyed, some more than others, and the reasons for the enjoyment vary from book to book.

Since the very first book in Jennifer Beckstarnd's The Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series, I know why I will enjoy the next one -- they are just Plain fun!  And that is exactly what I found in Huckleberry Christmas.

Anna and Felty Helmuth are lovable Amish grandparents determined to help their grandchildren and great-grandchildren find their perfect partners, even when the young people aren't particularly interested in looking.  With reluctant subjects of the matchmaking schemes, there are bound to be difficulties along the way, but Mammi Annie will do everything within her power to find a way for love to prevail.

Beth and Tyler both have bad experiences in their past that seem to present insurmountable roadblocks to a long-term relationship.  Beth, in particular, has serious trust issues in men and even with God, that threaten to derail any hopes of a second chance at love.  Finding the strength to stand up to the ghosts of her past is her only real hope of ever realizing what she really wants as the Christmas season comes around.

And by the time this story ends, Annie is already hatching her next matchmaking plan. I will be anxiously awaiting that story to be revealed in a few months in Huckleberry Spring.

Thanks to Jennifer Beckstrand and Kensington Publishing for providing a copy of Huckleberry Christmas in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book:

Now that they've happily married off two of their grandchildren, Anna and Felty Helmuth are ready for their next matchmaking challenge. What better way to celebrate the most heartwarming of seasons--and make Huckleberry Hill, Wisconsin, the place for unexpected love. . .
A difficult marriage has left the Helmuths' widowed great-granddaughter, Beth, finished with wedlock. She's content to live with them and make a life for herself and her toddler son. But once she turns down handsome Tyler Yoder's proposal, it seems only fair to encourage him to find a suitable wife. Trouble is, his gentleness and generous ways are showing her how joyous a real meeting of hearts can be. . .
After a failed courtship, Tyler thought the best he could hope for in a wife was mere companionship. But spirited Beth is the one he longs to protect, and hold close. Earning her trust is the hardest thing he's ever had to do. And soon, both will discover that forgiveness and understanding are gifts that only rekindled faith--along with the happiest of holidays--can bring.

About the Author:

About Jennifer, from Jennifer . . .

I grew up with a steady diet of William Shakespeare and Jane Austen. After all that literary immersion, I naturally decided to get a degree in mathematics, which came in handy when one of my six children needed help with homework. After my fourth daughter was born, I started writing. By juggling diaper changes, soccer games, music lessons, laundry, and two more children, I finished my first manuscript—a Western—in just under fourteen years.

I have always been fascinated by the Amish way of life and now write Inspirational Amish Romance. I am drawn to the strong faith of the Plain people and admire the importance they put on enduring family ties. I have visited and studied Amish communities in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin where I met with a bishop and a minister as well as several Amish mamms, dats, and children. It has always impressed me at what salt-of-the-earth people they are. My interactions with these kind people have been some of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have a dear Amish friend with whom I correspond in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. She helps me keep my facts straight and gives me inspiration for my stories.

My goal is to write uplifting, inspiring stories with happy endings and hopeful messages. If my books make readers want to give themselves a big hug or jump up and down for joy, I’ve done my job. I am a member of Romance Writers of America and American Christian Fiction Writers and am represented by Mary Sue Seymour of The Seymour Agency.

Learn more at her website.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Inspiring Old Testament storytelling -- Keepers of the Covenant

This is only the second book I've read by Lynn Austin, but I am sold on her great storytelling ability.  In Keepers of the Covenant, book two in her Restoration Chronicles  series, she has taken Old Testament historical events and real Bible characters and brought them to life with the addition of fictional characters and events.

It is evident Lynn has studied the Old Testament accounts and done her research on customs of the time period.  Then she has added well-thought-out characters and events as they could have happened to help her readers feel a sense of personal connection with the time and place of the stories.

It was eye opening to me to think of weaving together the stories of Esther and Ezra as Lynn did in this book, but it seems to be a very plausible fit to the Old Testament timeline. 

I look forward to reading more of Lynn Austin's well-done Bible-based fiction.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

See what other readers have to say about Keepers of the Covenant here.

About the book: 

The Old Testament Comes to Thrilling Life in the Latest from Lynn Austin
In one life-changing moment, the lives of the Jewish exiles in Babylon are thrown into confusion and despair when a decree arrives from the king's palace in Susa. It calls for the annihilation of every Jewish man, woman, and child throughout the empire on the thirteenth day of Adar, in less than one year. Ezra, a quiet Jewish scholar and teacher, is suddenly called upon to lead the community as they seek God for a reason for this catastrophe. When a second decree arrives, authorizing them to fight back, Ezra is thrust into the role of military leader as they defend themselves against their enemies.
When the battles come to an end, Ezra's brother Jude is dead and Ezra is required by the Law he so diligently studies to marry Jude's widow, Devorah, and provide an heir. Fatherhood changes Ezra, and he asks God to make a way for him and the other exiles to leave Babylon for good and return to Jerusalem. His prayers are answered and the exiles move to Judea to revitalize worship at the temple---but the fight to keep God's Law is never easy. As more and more of his community are tempted, a new battle emerges . . . this one for the survival of God's covenant and the souls of His chosen faithful.

Purchase a copy:

About the Author

Bestselling author Lynn Austin has sold more than one million copies of her books worldwide. She is an eight-time Christy Award winner for her historical novels, as well as a popular speaker at retreats and conventions. Lynn and her husband have raised three children and live near Chicago.

Find Lynn online: website, Facebook

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Another great suspense-- Deceived

There are a few names whose very presence on a novel leave me feeling confident I will not be disappointed in the book.  One such name in the genre of Christian romantic suspense is Irene Hannon.  So when I picked up Deceived, book 3 in her Private Justice series, I got exactly what I expected -- a fantastic read!

Irene fashions characters who come very much alive from the first pages of the story and draw you deeper into their lives with the emerging plot line.  The ups and downs, joys and struggles that Kate and Connor go through, as well as the twists and turns of the plot, provide a very enjoyable story with the right balance of suspense, romance, and faith.  Information about the characters' lives is provided at just the right time in the story to help the pieces come together.  Irene's extensive background research is evident throughout and provides an element of realism that helps drive the story.

I would highly recommend Deceived to anyone who enjoys a well-written story -- particularly one filled with suspense and a healthy dash of romance.  You may want to start with books 1 and 2 from this series, but the story can be great as a stand-alone.

Thanks to Revell for providing a copy of Deceived in exchange for my honest review.

About the Book

A grieving mother. A mysterious child. And a dedicated PI who's determined to solve the puzzle.

For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on a mall escalator, she's convinced it's her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating "accident" begins to look increasingly suspicious. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.

As Irene Hannon's many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plotline that accelerates to an explosive finish.

 About the Author

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty romantic suspense and contemporary romance novels, including the Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have been honored with two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Daphne du Maurier Award, two Reviewers' Choice Awards from RT Book Reviews magazine, a Retailers' Choice Award, and a National Readers' Choice Award. In addition, she is a Christy Award finalist, and Booklist included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. Irene lives in Missouri. Learn more at