August Review Books
I will be honest here – if I had paid more attention to the subject matter of this book, I probably would not have agreed to review it. Because I try to fulfill all my commitments, I began to read it. First of all I will say that writing flowed so naturally that it was easy to be drawn into the story. On the other hand, I really wanted to put it down after each chapter but I became so involved in Carla’s story that I had to keep reading. I so did not want to know about the atrocities that took place in Bosnia during that era of horrific ethnic genocide. Current news, especially from the Mideast, indicates that similar carnage is once again taking place (if it has ever stopped). My tendency is to want to bury my head in the sand and live in denial of all evil but of course that is impossible.
The main focus of “The Last Witness” is Carla Lane, one of the only survivors of one of the Serbian death camps twenty years earlier. After the death of her husband, Carla’s repressed memories of that time of her life return and she vows to find out what happened to her parents and brother and to make sure that the men responsible for so many deaths are punished. The plot moves along at a steady pace with details from the past filled in by entries from a journal written by her mother that survived with Carla. The story takes a few twists along the way with at least one major surprise in store.
“The Last Witness” is not an easy book to read. It contains some fairly graphic details that demonstrate the utter depths of depravity men can reach. The fact that the story is based on true historic events makes it that much more difficult to stomach. This novel is very well written with a powerful message but it is not for the faint of heart. I am sure the images in my mind will be with me for awhile.
This book was provided for review by Howard Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After a massacre at a Bosnian prison camp, a young girl is found alone, clutching a diary, so traumatized she can’t even speak. Twenty years later, the last witness to the prison guards’ brutal crimes must hunt down those responsible to learn what happened to her family.
Twenty years ago, after the fall of Yugoslavia, the world watched in horror as tens of thousands were killed or imprisioned in work camps during an “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia. Carla Lane has little knowledge of what went on halfway around the world when she was a child. She is living a near perfect life in New York City, married and soon to have a family of her own. But when her husband is murdered by a group of Serbian war criminals, strange memories start coming back, and she discovers that she underwent extensive therapy as a girl to suppress her memories. She is given her mother’s diary, which unlocks her childhood memories and reveals that she was, along with her parents and young brother, imprisoned in a war camp outside Sarajevo.
As her memories come back, it becomes clear that she is the last witness to a brutal massacre in the prison and that her brother may still be alive. She sets out to find her brother, but first she must hunt down the war criminals responsible for destroying her life. But these killers will stop at nothing to protect their anonymity and their deadly pasts…and are determined to silence the last witness to their crimes.
From the talented storyteller who gave us The Second Messiah, The Last Witness serves up another captivating and nail-biting thriller that will keep you holding your breath right to the end.
Read an excerpt from “The Last Witness” HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Glenn Meade was born in 1957 in Finglas, Dublin. Several of his novels have been international bestsellers, translated into more than twenty languages, and have enjoyed both critical and commercial success.
Words from the author:
Hi, I’m Amber, but my friends call me Tiff, short for Tiffany, my first name. I am in my mid-30′s, married to the love of my life since July 2007, have a daughter and a son, and live in Colorado. Here, I am content to do what I love—write, speak, and offer virtual assistance.
Thanks to the gentle nudging of a fellow author — Tracie Peterson — in 2002, I joined the American Christian Fiction Writers and wouldn’t be published today without them. For those of you who are also fiction writers looking for a wonderful support group, check them out! My very first book, Promises, Promises, sold in December 2006 and released in February 2008. I’ve been going steady ever since.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Alyssa Denham, a single career woman, wins a fun getaway for two on Mackinac Island where her grandmother lives, she gives her carefree best friend a call. Together, they tour the old shops and hidden treasures of the quaint island while helping Alyssa’s grandmother piece together an heirloom quilt. Their quest gains them entrance into the homes of many longtime residents of the island, parts of the city that are otherwise off limits to tourists.
As the quilt’s story takes shape, Alyssa gains amazing insight into her grandmother’s life . . . and attracts the attention of the handsome Scott Whitman, an island resident in charge of hotel transportation. Will memories of her past keep Alyssa from letting go? Or will the quest to piece together the heirloom quilt restore Alyssa’s fractured heart—and bring healing to her entire family?
A Grand Design is a quickly read romantic novel set on Mackinac Island. In this story, a return trip to the island after many years away revives old memories and pain for Alyssa Denham. With the help of her best friend, her grandmother, and Scott Whitman, Alyssa begins to break down some of the walls she has so carefully built to protect herself.
The novel length was a bit too short for the author to go into as much depth as I might have preferred but she did manage to cover all the bases adequately. Her descriptions of the island were vivid and made me want to visit it. The characters were well defined but I would have liked to spend more time with them. A Grand Design is short and sweet and the perfect book for when you don’t have the time or notion to dig into something that requires more concentration.
One thing I can count on when I open a novel by Janice Thompson is that I will be entertained. Her trademark sense of humor never fails to make me laugh and I can be sure to expect a sweet romance that will probably have a few hurdles to overcome before the happy ending. “A Bouquet of Love” met all my expectations 100% and I read through it in an afternoon.
In this particular novel, I did find that all the fun, humor, and romance helped to sweeten a strong dose of reality based medicine that made me stop in my tracks and examine myself. I know without a doubt that it was a message I needed to hear and it would probably be relevant to many if not most other Christians. How often do we go merrily through our days without realizing how our unloving attitudes toward others affects our testimony? Janice brought that across quite plainly through one of her characters as she confronted her husband about his behavior. I am thankful for the talent that enabled Janice to convey so much truth in such a palatable way.
As always, I enjoyed meeting up again with so many favorite characters from previous novels from more than one series. Love those gals from Splendora. I am afraid to say more because I don’t want to spoil the story for other readers. I will say that as long as Janice will keep writing her books, I will keep reading them. If you haven’t discovered her funny and romantic novels yet, don’t wait another day to read one. I think you will be a forever fan.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
She didn’t expect to fall in love–but roses aren’t the only thing blooming on Galveston Island
Cassia Pappas has found herself in a nearly impossible situation. She wants to spend her time immersed in her new job at a Galveston Island floral shop, arranging blooms and brightening occasions with her lovely creations. But her boisterous Greek family–especially her father–has other ideas. They’ve all relocated to Galveston to open up a new family restaurant located on the Strand–directly across the street from iconic pizza place Parma John’s–and they want Cassia’s full participation.
To make matters worse, as Cassia is trying to develop a strong professional relationship with Galveston’s premier wedding coordinator, Bella Neeley, her own father is intent on stealing all of the Rossi family’s faithful customers. Not exactly the best way to get into this former Rossi’s good graces!
Still, at least Alex, that hot delivery guy from the nursery, is always hanging around the flower shop . . .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Janice Thompson is a seasoned romance author and screenwriter. An expert at pulling the humor from the situations we get ourselves into, Thompson offers an inside look at the wedding business, drawing on her own experiences as a wedding planner. She is the author of the hugely popular Weddings by Bella series and the Backstage Pass series, as well as Picture Perfect, The Icing on the Cake, and The Dream Dress. She lives in Texas. Learn more at www.janiceathompson.com.
Although it is frowned upon by proper society, Alethea Sutherton loves to play her violin and is actually a quite accomplished musician. Although its appearance is nothing special, someone wants her violin and it appears that nothing will stop him from acquiring it. With the reluctant help of Lord Bay Dommick, Alethea attempts to discover why her instrument is so special and who could want it so badly.
A story filled with mystery, suspense, danger, and of course romance, “Prelude For a Lord” was the perfect read. Alethea and Lord Dommick were an excellent match and supporting characters were also well defined. I loved the camaraderie and loyalty between Bay and his friends. With its theme of renewed faith and trust, this book is perfect for devotees of Christian historical romance.
I have often enjoyed the contemporary novels by Camy Tang, particularly her romantic suspense. “Prelude For a Lord” further proves her talent as a writer and I sincerely hope she will gift her readers with more regency novels.
This book was provided for review by the BookLook Blogger Program of Harper Collins Christian Publishing..
ABOUT THE BOOK:
An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart? Bath, England—1810 At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician. In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal. But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick. Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul. Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Camy writes Christian romantic suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii, where she started reading Regency romances when she was thirteen years old. Now she lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog.
She graduated from Stanford University in psychology with a focus on biology, and for nine years she worked as a biologist researcher. Then God guided her path in a completely different direction and now she’s writing full time, using her original psychology degree as she creates the characters in her novels.
In her free time, she’s a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of her church’s Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is training to (very slowly) run a marathon.