Tag Archives: suspense

A Cup of Dust

Title: A Cup of Dust
Author: Susie Finkbeiner
Publisher: Kregel Publications
ISBN: 978-0-8254-4388-6

“We ain’t strangers, are we? You and me’s thick as thieves. Pearl and Eddie. Eddie and Pearl. Gonna take over the world, you and me,” the young girl is told in Susie Finkbeiner’s novel, A Cup of Dust.

~ What ~
This three-hundred-and twenty-page paperback targets those who like suspenseful fiction set in the Dust Bowl of America during the 1930s. With slang words, hell, and a couple of racial slurs from the era, topics of abuse, murder, and death would not be appropriate for young readers.

In this story written in first person, ten-year-old Pearl Spence knows no other life living in the dusty plains of Red River, Oklahoma, with her sheriff father, stay-at-home-mom, Bible-believing grandmom, and mentally-challenged older sister.

When a hobo jumps from a train, she is piqued he immediately recognizes her, calling her by name. Pearl would rather live in a make-believe world of playing an Indian princess than be stalked by the vagrant who frightens her. When she learns the truth about the past, she is more confused on God’s protection and her position in life.

~ Why ~
More of a mystery novel than a historical one of the Dust Bowl days, the book conveys how love conquers all fears when dealing with the truth. I enjoyed the roles of the girl’s grandmother and mother in how children were brought up eighty years ago.

~ Why Not ~
In my opinion, the book has a slow start and does not go deep into the dirt and grime of the pathetic way of living in the Midwest during the relentless dust storms. With only a few storms mentioned, they were the backdrop not the focal point of the story. Some may be offended by the slang and ethnic slurs, but it is apropos and not over-exaggerated.

~ Who ~
Having written two other novels, Finkbeiner is a fiction editor, magazine article writer, conference leader, and avid blogger who is a stay-at-home mom in Michigan.

~ Wish ~
With the book’s locale being Oklahoma during the well-known dust storms, I wish there was more content of the dealings and damage done. Being a mystery that was predictable half-way through, it would be more engaging if the storms impacted the storyline more vividly.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for tale told from a ten-year-old girl’s perspective of how she views life during the Dust Bowl years and learns about herself, this one will keep your attention if you get past the first fifty pages.

Thanks to Kregel Publications for offering this book to read and review for my honest opinion.

This review will be posted on the Kregel Publications, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Pinterest, Godinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Deadly Echoes

Deadly Echoes (Finding Sanctuary Book #2)Title: Deadly Echoes
Author: Nancy Mehl
Publisher: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-1158-4

“You were never second to Hannah. You were framed by me to be my special, unique, and blessed daughter. When will you trust me?” Sarah hears in Nancy Mehl’s novel, Deadly Echoes.

Second in the Finding Sanctuary series, this three hundred and thirty-seven page story targets those who enjoy romantic suspense with a Christian influence. The book includes acknowledgments, the author’s biography, and advertisements for other books by the publisher. This reader wishes there was consistency in capitalizing pronouns of God for reverence.

Author Mehl has written over twenty books, one receiving the 2009 ACFW Mystery Book of the Year Award. With a background in social work, she lives in Missouri with her husband and dog.

In this current-day tale set in the rural, mostly-Mennonite town of Sanctuary, Missouri, twenty-six-year-old Sarah Miller has tried to forget her past having witnessed her parents’ murders two decades ago. Learning her older sibling was recently killed in an eerily similar manner, she questions if she should delve into the past and ask authorities to reopen the closed case.

Now in charge of her ten-year-old niece, Sarah befriends local Deputy Sheriff Paul Gleason, who wants to help her find her parents and sister’s killer, knowing there is a link between the murders. As Paul and Sarah’s attraction toward each other grows, the naïve and oblivious woman wonders if there is room in her heart to be loved. Struggling to play the role of a parent, the Christian school teacher must learn to set rules and boundaries with her new responsibility. With the help of a police captain and a retired detective, Sarah’s gullibility and support system are tested.

Although predictable, this story written in first person shows how an insecure woman who never thought she was pretty or good enough could have the attention of someone who possibly cares for her. With little romantic overtones that never come to fruition, the focus on tracking down her family’s killer shows her where God wants her to be.

Thanks to The Book Club Network for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on The Book Club Network, Bethany House, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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Motherless

MotherlessTitle: Motherless
Author: Erin Healy
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-4016-8959-9

“What I did was unforgivable, but my own pardon is beside the point. My children deserve the truth, and more. They deserve what I could never give them: a mother’s love,” the writer writes in Erin Healy’s novel, Motherless.

This three hundred and sixty-eight page paperback targets those that enjoy Christian suspense regarding being dead and looking back on one’s life. Using slang words such as heck, the topics of death and adult relationships may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reviewer wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. A reading guide with plot spoilers, the author’s biography, and an excerpt from another novel by the writer complete the book.

The lesson focused on in this tale is the yearning for forgiveness while grace washes away past sins. When Garrett and Misty Becker married and had two children, their idyllic lives were not what they appeared. One lie after another was created and nourished to protect their children.

Written in first person from a broken heart on the verge of eternity, one person’s quest to find solace in confession produces twists and turns of how perception and viewpoint are passed down through seventeen years of secrets.

Forcing the Becker children, twenty-year old Marina and Dylan, almost sixteen years old, to deal with a parent’s accident, they believe the lies told of their family’s past and disbelieve the truth, especially when Sara, who looks like their deceased mother, offers attention and comfort. Sara, carefree and careless, remembers the past as if it were yesterday, as she makes her mark in the world without the family ties she so craves.

Through viewing scenes of the past and present, the one precariously holding on to life in an altered state of mind must turn regret to relief as forgiveness and hope surfaces. Believing what one wants to be the truth, unforgiven secrets come full circle to help Marina and Dylan find answers and support.

Although the first hundred pages may be confusing, pages turn quickly toward the end as the truth is unveiled and forgiveness begs to be granted. Having no eternal plan of salvation and vague references to God, Healy’s story drives the point that perception, not reality, often is in the mind of the beholder.

Thanks to Book Look Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Book Look Bloggers, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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Poison Town

Title: Poison Town
Authors: Creston Mapes
Publisher: David C Cook
ISBN: 978-0-7814-1123-3

“I know some residents on the east side who think Demler-Vargus is making people sick over there. We’ve covered bits and pieces of their pollution issues, but have we ever done anything in-depth? An investigative series?” Jack asks his boss in Creston Mapes’s novel, Poison Town.

Second in The Crittendon Files series, this three hundred and seventy page paperback targets those who like Christian suspense in a current day setting that involves the media and corporate corruption. With no profanity but some slang words, the topics of revenge and physical violence may make it inappropriate for immature readers. An excerpt of the next book in the series, the author’s biography, and a few reviews complete the book. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this continuing story based in Trenton City, Ohio, the horrifying experience of Pam Crittendon’s abduction and the recent release from jail of her perpetrator still has her husband, Jack, on edge. Unable to forgive, the father of two ignores God while his wife accepts the past. As a journalist for the Trenton City Dispatch¸ Jack knows he must be the protector of his family as he loves hunting down a good story.

Taking his car to the local automotive repair shop, Jack learns Galen Randall is hospitalized again. The old man’s sons tell him it is due to the same illness that caused their mother’s death of lymphoma years ago.

Delmer-Vargus may be the largest employer in the area, but the fiberglass manufacturing plant on two hundred and twenty-five acres has been emitting hazardous pollutants. Even though the newspaper has run stories about the company and its owner, no one has pinpointed the flagrant abuse of environmental restrictions poisoning the town.

When Jack and his partner start to dig deeper into Galen’s findings regarding the surrounding areas, the pressure is on to find the truth behind so many mysterious illnesses and deaths in their community.

Readers may enjoy Mapes’s descriptive approach to the Randall family, especially Travis who shows his insecurities and personality while the others tend to be written as stereotypical Christians.

Similar to most books on the topic of David fighting Goliath in industries that use cover-up, manipulation, and force, this predictable but interesting read of good versus evil includes how a Christian should approach forgiveness.

Thanks to The Book Club Network for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

 

This review will be posted on TBCN, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

 

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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A Christmas Gift

Title: A Christmas Gift
Author: Kathi Macias
Publisher: New Hope Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-59669-416-3

“And look where I ended up. Is this to be the end of my life, Lord? I’ve ignored You for so long, and I know I don’t have the right to ask, but Father, please …” Julia ardently prays in Kathi Macias’s novel, A Christmas Gift.

This two hundred and twenty-four page paperback targets those that like a Christian suspense with a touch of romance in a foreign location. With no profanity, the topics of cult traditions, gang violence, and physical abuse may not be apropos for immature readers.

In this quick contemporary tale, forty-eight year old Julia Lawson Bennington feels unconnected in life, trying to find direction and contentment. Having lost her husband due to a heart attack two years ago, she finds some solace teaching high school students in Southern Californian since both of her children are away at college.

With God not a priority in their daughter’s life, Julia’s parents pray for her spirituality, especially when she decides to spend almost a year teaching young ones in a locked-down compound outside the small town of San Juan Chamula in Mexico. With guilt and worry, her mother tries to comprehend why her child agreed to go to the remote, dangerous jungle while Julia’s daughter and son approach her decision differently.

Getting used to a slower way of life, Julia enjoys getting to know Christian missionaries, Frank and Carolyn Barnes, and the shy, widowed Padre Ramon living in the compound. While educating the engaging children, the teacher realizes Ramon’s smart daughter is her star pupil while a young Mayan girl named Itzel captivates her attention.

Learning of the dangers of the jungles, shamans, and the curanderos, Julia is tossed into the middle of a drastic and potentially hopeless situation that forces her to call on God for a miracle in time for Christmas while her family and friends pray for safety and redemption.

Although the book’s title and vague jacket cover do not offer the main theme of the story, it is a fast read with an abrupt ending that focuses on learning to accept God’s will no matter what, and how He has specific plans for our lives that we may not fully understand.

Thanks to The Book Club Network Inc. for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

 

This review will be posted on The Book Club Network, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest,  Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Chasing 120

Title: Chasing 120
Author: Monte Wolverton
Publisher: Christianity Without the Religion / Plain Truth Ministries
ISBN: 978-1-889973-15-9

“Health, he said, was a matter of obedience to a set of laws he had discovered in the Bible. Once you understood and obeyed those laws, you could claim the promise found in Genesis 6:3 and live a vigorous, robust life until the age of 120,” Dr. Belknap promotes in Monte Wolverton’s novel, Chasing 120: A Story of Food, Faith, Fraud and the Pursuit of Longevity.

This one hundred and sixty page paperback targets those who like contemporary Christian suspense regarding good versus evil. Its mild profanity may offend some Christians and may not be appropriate for immature readers. This reviewer wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this debut novel, the topic of using religion for monetary gain is the focal point, suggesting if you obey Dr. Tyler Belknap’s “The Eleven Laws of Wellness” found supposedly in the Word of God, you can live to one hundred and twenty years old

Having built a conglomerate of faith-based healthy products to market worldwide, Belknap has hood-winked Christians into buying anything he produces. Dave Whitman, the creative director of the Wellness 120 empire for the past twenty years, is beginning to wonder if enhanced ingredients are in the nutritional supplements.

When Dave’s seventeen year old son, Jason, is selected to be one of a hundred youth to attend the exclusive three week Wellness Summer Program in Washington’s Cascade foothills, Dave and another co-worker uncover potentially harmful additives in the next soon-to-be-marketed product, “Eternal Recall.”

Belknap, more of a salesman than a preacher, jet-sets across America to establish political ties to maintain a non-GMO status for his altered cash-cow products with his loyal sidekicks, who were with him years ago when he started his rise in power and fame. Using the Bible and religious scare-tactics, his cult following is oblivious to the decades of fraud and cover-ups.

Meanwhile, Jason exhibits long-term memory problems at the camp, gets lost, and meets a strange man, who explains the evil workings of Belknap’s corporation. His parents and others race to find out what is going on in the company while dealing with Jason’s brain damage issues.

An entertaining read that has too-quick an ending, Wolverton weaves a believable tale, reminding readers to focus on the True God instead of man and his greed-driven inventions.

Thanks to the Bookpleasures and the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will be posted on Bookpleasures and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Deceived

Title: Deceived
Author: Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2125-1

“Find the boy from the mall. If you identify him, prove to me he’s not my son. I’ll be able to let this go. Otherwise, I have a feeling it will haunt me for the rest of my life,” Kate pleads in Irene Hannon’s novel, Deceived.

Third in the Private Justice series, this four hundred and sixteen page paperback targets those who enjoy a current-day romantic suspense. With no profanity or sexual scenes, topics of prescription addiction, abuse, and murder may not be apropos for immature readers. After the story, an excerpt from another series by the author, acknowledgements, author’s biography, and advertisements follow. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this mystery set mainly in St. Louis, Missouri, Kate Marshall has tried to move on with her life of heartbreak and loss. Having her husband and four year old son die three years ago in a boating accident in Braddock Bay, New York, she has picked up the pieces, devoting her time to New Start, an employment placement agency for displaced women.

When Kate rides a mall escalator one day, she hears a young boy using one word that draws her back to the past when love and laughter had her arms around her four year old son. But how could that be? How could the boy she quickly glanced at resemble so closely the son who drowned years ago?

Unable to locate the boy who caught her utmost attention, Kate enlists the help of Private Investigator Connor Sullivan and his team, all highly trained Secret Service and FBI agents. Although Sullivan is skeptical at first, he wonders why there are so many inconsistencies with the accident involving never finding the boy’s body, only an empty life jacket.

Through surveillance and pretext sleuthing, the PI team seeks to uncover the child’s whereabouts without alerting a supposedly protective father who arduously shelters him. While the investigator wants to keep a professional relationship with the hurting, beautiful woman, he questions what life would be if she was by his side.

With twists and turns of how one’s unchecked love for another can lead to deception and revenge, parental love is the undercurrent of protection and purpose. Will Kate ever see the boy she thinks could be her son again? Or was it an aberration of wishful thinking?

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinion.

 

This review will be posted on Revell, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.
GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors  in this review.

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Nowhere to Turn

Title: Nowhere to Turn
Author: Lynette Eason
Publisher: Revell
ISBN: 978-0-8007-2209-8

“Let me make myself clear, Dani. Only you hold the key to my heart. There’s no one else for me and there’s no one else for you. He will never have you,” Dani reads in Lynette Eason’s novel, Nowhere to Turn.

Second in the Hidden Identity series, this three hundred and twenty-one page paperback targets those who enjoy a Christian mystery with romance involving those who serve and protect in the Unites States. With no profanity, topics of abuse and murder may not be apropos for immature readers. This reader wishes all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence.

In this current-day tale, it has been twelve heart-breaking years for Danielle Harding living in Greenville, South Carolina. Married to a supposedly stellar FBI agent named Kurt, she and their eleven-year-old deaf son, Simon, have had to hide their share of beatings and bruises as well as mental and verbal abuse by the unstable man.

On the same day Dani plans to flee from Kurt’s possessiveness, her brother-in-law, Stuart, arrives at her home, asking to retrieve something out of their home safe. When Stuart finds the safe empty and his sister-in-law gone, he chases her down to get the important item.

As Dani and Simon seek out Operation Refuge where they think they can feel free and safe from the past, they learn that Kurt was killed during a FBI meeting. For some unknown reason, six months later someone is following, stalking, and harassing them.

Part of the specially-trained protection team, Adam Buchanan willingly wants to do all he can to help and shelter the beautiful Dani and her son, knowing they are vulnerable, scared, and alone. Hearing of this family’s constant pain and suffering at the hands of a cruel maniac breaks his heart as he tries to find who is trying to hurt them and why.

With Stuart’s twisted obsession for Dani and other FBI agents’ rogue actions, each safe house Adam sends the two escapees becomes ineffective, making it impossible for them to hide.

While the perpetrators play games trying to get what they want, Adam, Dani, and Simon have to stay one step ahead in a cat-and-mouse game of control where motives and greed play an integral part.

Eason writes with a quick style that is riveting and tense while touching and emotional as the true “gotcha” scenario is revealed. Readers will have to wait patiently for the next book in this suspenseful series.

Thanks to Revell for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s opinions.

This review will be posted on Revell, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

 

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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An Aria for Nick

An Aria for NickTitle: An Aria for Nick
Author: Hallee Bridgeman
Publisher: Olivia Kimbrell Press
ISBN: 978-1-039603111

“You hurt me by rejecting me, then you crushed me by dying. I’ve been in pain for more than ten years. I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest,” Aria confesses in Hallee Bridgeman’s novel, An Aria for Nick.

Part two of the Song of Suspense series, this three hundred and twenty page paperback targets those who enjoy a contemporary romantic thriller. Due to topics of abuse, torture, and killing, it would not be appropriate for immature readers. After the story, acknowledgements, word translations, reader’s guides for menus and discussion questions, and the author’s biography along with advertisements and two book excerpts with contact information are included.

Although part of a series, the tale is a stand-alone current-day suspense about dealing with fear and trusting God. Fourth child and only daughter in the Suarez family, Aria excelled in piano while growing up as an Army brat in Georgia. Given a prestigious musical scholarship, she heads off to college, never able to tell the handsome Nick Williams how she feels about him.

Having an abusive, alcoholic father, Nick does not feel good enough for Aria’s attention and enlists in the military after high school, serving in Iraq. Receiving letters from the friend serving abroad that she gave a Soldier’s Bible, Aria hopes their friendship will grow into something special.

Involved in an aircraft fire-fight while in Ramadi two years later, Nick is pronounced dead, leaving an insurance policy to Aria. During his funeral, the one woman who had deep feelings for him is injured, altering any future dreams of performing professionally.

Ten years trudge onward as Aria tries to forget her first love, working for Northwestern Technologies in Oregon as nuclear engineer. Knowing something is askew with her research involving nuclear weapons, she secretly gleans information that she passes on to the United States government.

When the man she loved so dearly shows up on her doorstep, both are caught up in a nuclear plot that could lead to a major catastrophe as they try to stay one step ahead from those that want them eliminated. Fleeing to California, Nevada, Florida, and Virginia, the couple gathers as much proof as possible that Aria is not the mastermind of the potential threat.

Bridgeman’s fast-moving but sometimes inconceivable storyline blends national security and covert operations with two individuals afraid to face their true feelings toward each other as they rely on God for safety and guidance.

Thanks to The Book Club Network Inc. for furnishing a complimentary book in exchange for the reader’s honest opinion.

This review will be posted on TBCNI, DeeperShopping, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

 

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Seagrass Pier

Author: Colleen Coble
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-59554-784-2

“I wish I could forget what I did. God took me to the woodshed over my betrayal, and I still suffer a thousand deaths from guilt. But all that doesn’t matter now. Laura deserves justice,” Elin admits in Colleen Coble’s novel, Seagrass Pier.

Third of the Hope Beach series, this three hundred and twenty-eight page paperback targets those that like Christian suspense with romance. With no profanity, overtly sexual scenes, or extreme violence, the topics of sex outside of marriage and stalking may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes a note from the author, nine discussion questions, acknowledgements, an excerpt to an upcoming book, biography, and advertisement for another novel.

In this story set in the fictitious seashore town of Hope Island, Virginia, thirty-year old Elin Summerall has survived a recent heart transplant, but has residual “cell-memory” flashbacks of her donor, Laura Watson, being murdered on a cruise ship.

Trying to move on in life the last two years since her husband died, she buys a one hundred year old house on the remote island to live with her four year old daughter and mother with dementia. Finding a dusty 1907 diary owned by widowed Georgina Hurley, Elin cherishes learning about secrets hidden within the residence.

When Erin recalls more vivid details of Laura’s painful death, the police do not believe her feelings of being stalked. Only after several encounters with a home intruder, does off-duty FBI agent, Marc Everton, a one-time fling from her past, pays attention to her accusations. Feeling she is being hunted by the same person that killed her donor, the woman feels vulnerable and confused due to losing her own identity as she succumbs to Laura’s habits and personality.

While Marc has his own emotional setbacks, he is convinced the same person that killed his partner is somehow involved with Laura’s death. He wants to believe Erin’s cell-memory connections to the donor’s murder, but the baggage of the past evades him.

As Erin gets additional care for her demented mother, she tries to protect her young daughter at all costs from the killer. With Marc’s help finding Laura’s murderer, she wonders if she will ever be able to escape the clutches of memories related to her new heart.

A fast read, Coble plugs the romance between two individuals wanting the same goals as she tempts readers to guess who wants Elin dead.

Thanks to BookLook Bloggers for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.

This review will  be posted on BookLook Bloggers, DeeperShopping, Bookpleasures, and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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