Recent and Upcoming Review Books
Cathy Elliott is a full-time writer who lives in northern California and whose cozy mysteries reflect her personal interests from playing her fiddle with friends to antique collecting and quilting. Besides collecting (too much) cool fabric, she also enjoys hunting for antiques and is several years into recovery from her eBay addiction. UPDATE: She backslid a while back, enticed to bid on a 1945 Singer Featherweight. (She won.) But now she’s back on the wagon. Except for the recent crazy quilt pillow purchase. She also leads music at church and enjoys time with her grandchildren.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Thea James has accepted an assignment as co-chairperson for Larkindale’s first quilt show extravaganza. Juggling the new assignment with running her antique business, she’s already feeling frayed when things start to unravel. Mary-Alice Wentworth, a much-loved town matriarch, respected quilt judge, and Thea’s dear friend, is covertly conked on the head during the kick-off Quilt Show Soiree, throwing suspicion on her guests. It also appears that a valuable diamond brooch has been stolen during the attack. The family is furious. But is it because of their mugged mother or the missing diamonds? When a renowned textile expert goes MIA and the famous Wentworth heritage quilt disappears, Larkindale’s reputation as a tourist haven is at risk. Thea attempts to piece the mystery together and save the town’s investment in the quilt show before Mary-Alice is attacked again . . . with far worse results.
Once again Susan May Warren has proven to me why she remains in the top five of my favorite authors list – and those five authors are actually probably all tied for first place. I just can’t choose one over the others. That being said, “Always On My Mind” may have been one of the most difficult yet inspiring plots I have encountered in quite some time.
Casper Christiansen ran to Honduras after learning the woman he loved had also been involved with his brother. Hoping to unearth buried treasure and make a name for himself, Casper not only failed at that but also failed to forget the lovely Raina. Realizing that he still loved her, Casper returned home to tell Raina how he felt but found her pregnant with another man’s child. When Raina refuses to consider Caspar’s help, he retreats to the family resort where he attempts to help his brother with the upkeep while working at a job in town that bores him. Raina wants to do the right thing but is confused about what is really best for her. As they frequently find themselves in each other’s company, she and Casper begin to rebuild their friendship but can it ever develop into what Casper dreams?
“Always On My Mind” is an emotional and sometimes convoluted story that made me want to talk some sense into Raina more than once. It was so easy to see that the other guy she dated was not a good person and all wrong for her. I loved reading more about Darek and his family as his own struggles also formed an integral part of this story. A central theme of the book was how Casper, Darek, and Raina each felt they had something to prove yet all they really needed was to find their worth from the Lord.
I know my review is probably superficial but I am finding it difficult to fully express my feelings as I read it. It is a story that really delves into the inner conflicts of several characters and encourages the reader to look at herself in the same manner. Contemplating the valuable lessons hidden within a wonderful novel could very well lead to a bit of our own restoration. I highly recommend this novel as well as anything and everything Susan May Warren has written.
This book was provided for review by The Tyndale Blog Network.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
After a failed dig in Honduras, aspiring archaeologist Casper Christiansen heads home to Minnesota to face his unresolved feelings for Raina Beaumont, the woman of his dreams. But when he arrives unannounced on her doorstep, he receives the shock of a lifetime: Raina is pregnant with someone else’s baby.
Heartbroken, especially when he discovers the identity of the baby’s father, Casper tables his dreams and determines to be dependable for once, helping his older brother, Darek, prepare the family resort for its grand reopening. Casper longs to be the hero of at least one family story, but a never-ending Deep Haven winter and costly repairs threaten their efforts-and the future of the resort.
Worse, one of Casper’s new jobs constantly brings him into contact with Raina, whom he can’t seem to forget. A tentative friendship begins to heal fresh wounds, but can they possibly overcome past mistakes and current choices to discover a future together?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susan May Warren is the bestselling, Christy and RITA Award–winning author of more than forty novels whose compelling plots and unforgettable characters have won acclaim with readers and reviewers alike. She served with her husband and four children as a missionary in Russia for eight years before she and her family returned home to the States. She now writes full-time as her husband runs a lodge on Lake Superior in northern Minnesota, where many of her books are set. She and her family enjoy hiking, canoeing, and being involved in their local church.
Susan holds a BA in mass communications from the University of Minnesota. Several of her critically acclaimed novels have been ECPA and CBA bestsellers, were chosen as Top Picks by Romantic Times, and have won the RWA’s Inspirational Reader’s Choice contest and the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year award. Five of her books have been Christy Award finalists. In addition to her writing, Susan loves to teach and speak at women’s events about God’s amazing grace in our lives.
For exciting updates on her new releases, previous books, and more, visit her website at www.susanmaywarren.com.
Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris, the third installment of the Southern Crimes series completes the series with answers to questions posed in the two earlier novels. Readers will quickly discover what really happened to Hunt brother Michael who apparently died in an explosion. If anyone guessed (or hoped) from the subtle hints in Fatal Exchange that the next book would feature Michael, then they have an adventure in store.
Michael’s grieving family believe that they buried him after a deadly explosion several months earlier. An undercover police agent, Michael’s luck has run out and he is just hours from real death at the hands of the leader of the drug cartel he has infiltrated. His hope of escape is nearly gone when he is rescued by none other than the son and daughter of that very man. What ensues is a breath-taking story as the trio flee from both the cartel and Michael’s own police department who seem to believe he has gone rogue. Is it possible that Olivia’s father will stop at nothing, including the deaths of his own children?
Hidden Agenda can easily stand on its own but is a satisfying conclusion to the series. I personally enjoyed renewing my acquaintance with Michael’s family members and other primary characters from the previous books. Characters are strong. Some like Michael and Olivia have strong convictions and unshakeable integrity. Some others are obviously and believably evil. Harris has penned a story that could easily take place in any location in our country. Events described are those that I would rather pretend couldn’t happen in my neighborhood but are nevertheless frighteningly realistic. I liked the strong spiritual theme that wound unobtrusively throughout the story, especially the strong faith of both Olivia and her brother.
This is the perfect book for those who enjoy fast-paced romantic suspense but also prefer novels that are free from explicit violence and intimate scenes. I enjoyed the entire series and look forward to what Lisa has in store for her readers in the future.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
His cover is blown. Now his enemies are on his heels and closing in.
Michael Hunt is alive–and on the run. Presumed dead by friends and family, the undercover assignment he’s been working for the past eight months has just been blown. With a hit out on his life and corruption inside the Atlanta police department, Michael finds himself hunted by both the cartel and the law. His only hope is Olivia Hamilton–the daughter of the man who wants him dead.
This nonstop chase from Christy Award-winning Lisa Harris will leave you breathless.
Praise for Lisa Harris’s Southern Crimes Series
“Readers looking for a strong female protagonist and a unique murder mystery will find much to admire in Harris’s work.”–Publishers Weekly on Dangerous Passage
“Harris takes you on a trail that leads straight to the worst kind of evil–and the lives of those who are determined to stop it.”–bestselling author Lynette Eason on Dangerous Passage
“A thrill ride from start to finish. Full of twists and turns, this exciting story will keep readers enthralled.”–RT Book Reviews on Fatal Exchange
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 from Romantic Times. She has sold over thirty novels and novella collections. Along with her husband, she and her three children have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women’s group, and runs a nonprofit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves . . . the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” (Proverbs 31:8).
When she’s not working, she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa, visit her website at www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com. For more information about The ECHO Project, please visit www.theECHOproject.org.
Sandra Orchard is a multi-award-winning author of mysteries and romantic suspense with Revell Publishing and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense imprint. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Romance Writers of America and The Word Guild (Canada). A mother of three grown children, she lives in Niagara, Canada with her real-life-hero husband and writes full time . . . when not doting on her young grandchildren.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Kate Adams had no idea she was carrying counterfeit money, and she can’t believe that it came from her sweet neighbor. Or that it lands her in the middle of another one of Detective Tom Parker’s investigations. Determined to prove her neighbor’s innocence, Kate stumbles into a pit of intrigue that is far deeper than a two-bit counterfeit operation–and strikes too close to home for comfort. As family secrets come to light, her world–and her budding romance with Tom–begin to crumble. To Kate, it’s clear that she won’t be safe until she uncovers all of Port Aster’s secrets. But is it too late for her and Tom?