Law Enforcement

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Vanishing Point by Lisa Harris



MY REVIEW:

After reading a few chapters of “Vanishing Point” I had the thought that the story seemed familiar. Then I realized that this particular book covers the entire span of years from the time Sarah Boyd disappeared until her case and the related cases were solved. Rather than featuring Nikki Boyd as the primary character, this book features other investigators on the case, including Garrett Addison and Jordan Lambert.

As I read this suspense filled story, I felt the frustration of the investigators as they were taunted time and again by the killer who always seemed to be one step ahead of them and their pain as they were unable to prevent the death of another young woman. With a relatively fast-paced plot, the tale is laced with danger and enough twists and surprises to keep most readers on their toes. A bit of romance spiced things up just the right amount without overpowering the mystery/suspense.

I felt that “Vanishing Point” was a satisfying conclusion to the Nikki Boyd series. It could easily be a stand-alone novel but reading the other books in the series adds a broader perspective to the story. I have enjoyed reading several novels by Lisa Harris and would recommend “Vanishing Point” and any of the others to those who enjoy Christian suspense.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Six girls missing . . . and every clue leads to a dead end

During Garrett Addison’s first week on the job as a criminal investigator for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, his team is called out to a murder scene of a young girl. She’s just one in a string of disappearances with one thing in common–a Polaroid photo of each victim left behind at the crime scene.

The FBI is pulled into the case to help, and Garrett finds himself working with Special Agent Jordan Lambert, the woman he once loved. When yet another girl dies, Garrett wonders whether he really has what it takes to be an agent. Maybe he should just walk. But while he may be done with the killer, the killer is not done with him–or Jordan.

Read an excerpt HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Harris is a bestselling author, a Christy Award winner, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 and 2015 from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. The author of more than thirty books, including Vendetta, Missing, Pursued, and the Southern Crimes series, Harris and her family have spent fourteen years living as missionaries in southern Africa. Learn more at www.lisaharriswrites.com.

Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore



MY REVIEW:

The first book in a new series by Janice Cantore, “Crisis Shot” features Tess O’Rourke, a commander in the Long Beach, California police department. Although cleared by a grand jury after the death of an unarmed young man, Tess is harassed by a popular blogger who keeps the citizens stirred up against her. For the sake of the department, Tess is persuaded to accept a job as police chief in the small town of Rogue’s Hollow, Oregon. Used to life in the big city, Tess has difficulty settling into her new position, especially since the town’s residents are not very welcoming. Resigned to serving in a routine, somewhat boring job, Tess makes the best of things and eventually makes a few friends. Everything quickly changes when her new best friend disappears and the town has its first murder.

Although some reviewers have complained that “Crisis Shot” does not have as much action and suspense as some of Cantore’s previous novels, I found that it held my attention quite well. The plot moves along at a steady pace as the reader gets to know what drives Tess and becomes familiar with her background as well as learning a bit about Rogue’s Hollow. The action picks up when the murder is discovered and suspicions about the possible connection with the missing woman. Plenty of mystery and surprises are involved in solving the case.

This novel does not contain much in the way of romance but by its end, there are two possible love interests for Tess. I am eager to read the next installment in order to see where that trail takes her. I would also like to know which of the two men is the one on the book cover. I couldn’t decide.

I liked the fact that the characters and situations were natural and believable. Everything was not resolved with a happy-ever-after but life tends to be that way sometimes. I have always enjoyed books by this author and “Crisis Shot” did not disappoint.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by The Tyndale Blog Network. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Tess O’Rourke dreams of becoming the first female chief of police in Long Beach, California. As commander of the East Division, she is well on her way . . . until the night she responds to an officer-needs-assistance call and fatally shoots an unarmed teenager. Despite being cleared of wrongdoing by a grand jury, Tess is so hounded by the public that she takes a job in Oregon to escape the bad press.

Winning over the residents of Rogue’s Hollow might be more difficult than adjusting to her new role as police chief in the small, backwater town. Especially when her closest friend, the pastor’s wife, goes missing and the woman’s cousin is found shot. Tess finds an ally in sheriff’s deputy Steve Logan, but as they track down Rogue’s Hollow’s first murderer, she worries that she’s breaking one of her rules and getting too close to him.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Janice Cantore is a retired Long Beach police officer who now writes suspense novels to keep readers engrossed and leave them inspired. Her twenty-two years of experience on the force lend authenticity to her stories. She has penned six novels, the Pacific Coast Justice series, Visible Threat, and Critical Pursuit. Drawing Fire is the first book in the Cold Case Justice series.

Visit Janice’s website at www.janicecantore.com and connect with her on Facebook.

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Out of Darkness by Erynn Newman



MY REVIEW:

Erynn Newman is a new-to-me author. I was uncertain of what to expect from her novel but its description sounded like something I might enjoy. I decided to give it a try.

Overall, “Out of Darkness” is a strong suspense with well-developed characters. Plenty of drama, action, and suspense fill its pages to keep most readers happily turning those pages. It is written from more than one point of view so the reader is given information the other characters do not have. I quickly became concerned that the death of one of the characters might be required to wrap things up neatly and I was not at all happy about that.

As it turns out, the author is pretty skilled at developing a flawless plot that kept me guessing until its dramatic ending. Who would have guessed the real mastermind behind everything? Pick up a copy and see for yourself how everything turns out. I think you might enjoy “Out of Darkness” too.

I voluntarily reviewed a digital copy of this book provided by Celebrate Lit. A favorable review was not required. All views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to Purchase

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.

As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.

Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.

Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past, if her heart will get the memo.

When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

To purchase your copy, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has traveled the world and served as a missionary, a counselor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.

20 Facts About Out of Darkness:

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • Elisabeth is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like this model.
    • Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after.
    And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone.
    But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Light, the prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris.
    Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website, but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about.
    The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

BLOG STOPS:

August 17: A Baker’s Perspective

August17: Genesis 5020

August18: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

August 19: Fiction Aficionado

August 19:Inklings and notions

August 20: Reflections from my Bookshelves

August 20: Blossoms and Blessings

August 21: History, Mystery & Faith

August 21: Blogging With Carol

August 22: Faithfully Bookish

August 22: Mommynificent

August 23: Just the Write Escape

August 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 24: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

August 24: 100 pages per hour

August 25: Carpe Diem

August 25: Christian Bookaholic

August 26: J.E. Grace Bog

August 26: Karen Sue Hadley

August 27: God’s Little Bookworm

August 27: Back Porch Reads

August 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 28: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 28: Daysong Reflections

August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection

August 29: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

August 29: Remembrancy

August 30: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 30: Henry Happens

GIVEAWAY:

To celebrate her tour, Erynn is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Out of Darkness, a signed copy of First Light, The Joy Eternal~A Sweet and Bitter Providence CD, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Cookies.!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/beac

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Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills



MY REVIEW:

When I open a new book by DiAnn Mills I know I can expect am extended reading session because I will not want to put it down. “Deep Extraction” totally met those expectations and then some!

With such an unusual murder method that was used, how on earth would the investigating team ever find the killer? As if that was not enough in itself, problems cropping up within the team could very well stop them in their tracks. I knew that the author would manage to wrap up everything before the end in her usual brilliant style and not only would the case be solved but another deserving couple would be looking forward to a future together.

The fast paced plot included the anticipated twists and surprises that make Mills’ books so much fun to read. Escalating suspense kept my on the edge of my seat but the developing romance was a welcome diversion at just the right intervals. Tori and Cole were strong, well-developed characters who were easy to like but her FBI partner Max started out as a real jerk. Fortunately Max redeemed himself before the end and I also gained an understanding of what was behind his actions.

As always, I loved this book by DiAnn Mills and eagerly look forward to her next novel. If you haven’t read her suspense novels, “Deep Extraction” would be an excellent place to begin.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book that was provided by The Tyndale Blog Network. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

Deep Extraction is recommended for fans of the following:

Romantic Suspense
Christian Fiction
FBI Crime Solving Novel

Read an excerpt from “Deep Extraction” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; International Thriller Writers, and the Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of Romance Writers of America. She is co-director of The Author Roadmap with social media specialist Edie Melson where she continues her passion of helping other writers be successful. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at www.diannmills.com.

To celebrate Deep Extraction’s official release, DiAnn Mills is featuring a random drawing for multiple giveaway prizes.  If you subscribe to her blog then you don’t have to do a thing . . . just wait to see if your name is drawn!

To be eligible for the random drawing for the following prizes, be sure to CLICK HERE!

  • 1st Place – Apple iPad Mini 2 (32GB WiFi)
  • 2nd Place – FBI lunch kit filled with yummy Texas shaped chocolates and a personalized copy of Deep Extraction
  • 3rd Place – $50. Amazon Gift Card and a personalized copy of Deep Extraction
  • 4th Place – FBI K9 Dog with an FBI cold beverage container and a personalized copy of Deep Extraction
  • 5th Place – Personalized copy of Deep Extraction, FBI pen, and Crime Scene Band-Aids

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