DON BROWN, a former U.S. Navy JAG Officer, is the author of Zondervan’s riveting NAVY JUSTICE SERIES, a dynamic storyline chronicling the life and adventures of JAG officer ZACK BREWER. After TREASON, his first novel in the NAVY JUSTICE SERIES, was published to rave reviews in 2005, drawing comparisons to the writing style of John Grisham, Don Brown was named as co-chairman of national I LOVE TO WRITE DAY, an event recognized by the governors of nine states to promote writing throughout the nation, and especially among the nation’s schools.
Paying no homage to political correctness, Don’s writing style is described as “gripping,” casting an entertaining and educational spin on a wide-range of current issues, from radical Islamic infiltration of the military, to the explosive issue of gays in the military, to the modern day issues of presidential politics in the early 21st Century.
Don graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1982, and after finishing law school, continued his post-graduate studies through the Naval War College, earning the Navy’s nonresident certificate in International Law.
During his five years on active duty in the Navy, Don served in the Pentagon, was published in the Naval Law Review, and was also a recipient of the Navy Achievement Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal, and the National Defense Service Medal.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Lieutenant Commander ‘Gunner’ McCormick is assigned as an intelligence officer to Carrier Strike Force 10, being deployed to the Yellow Sea at the invitation of South Korea for joint exercises with the US Navy. During his pre-deployment briefing, he discovers a TOP-SECRET MEMO revealing rumors that the North Koreans may still be holding a handful of elderly Americans from the Korean War in secret prison camps.
As it happens, Gunner’s grandfather, who was a young marine officer in the Korean War, disappeared at Chosin Reservoir over 60 years ago and is still listed as MIA in North Korea. Sworn to silence about what he has read, the top-secret memo eats at him. Gunner decides to spend all his inheritance and break every military regulation in the book to finance his own three-man commando squad on a suicide mission north of the DMZ to search for clues about the fate of his grandfather.
Risking his career, his fortune, and his life, Gunner will get his answers, or he will die trying.
Don Brown is building a loyal fan base by writing what he knows best: thrillers with heart. A former Navy JAG officer and action officer in the Pentagon, Brown pens action-packed plots and finely-drawn characters that are credible and compelling. Thunder in the Morning Calm is a novel of bravery, duty, and family love that will keep readers of all ages reading straight through to the last page.
Thunder in the Morning Calm is probably not a book I’d usually pick up in the bookstore since it has a very manly appearance and military books (with the exception of those by Ronie Kendig) are not my favorites. I persisted in reading it since I had committed to review it and found to my surprise that I enjoyed it.
One area sadly lacking in my historical knowledge is the Korean war. We never seemed to get to that part of the textbook before the end of the school year. For that reason, I found all the historical details included in Thunder in the Morning Calm to be very informative and it greatly increased my understanding of that era of our history.
In addition to being informative, this book is a page turner about three men who attempt a nearly impossible and unauthorized rescue mission deep across enemy lines in North Korea. I won’t go into details about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away but believe me when I say that there is sufficient action and suspense to keep your attention all the way to the end. Sorry ladies but there is no romance in this one.
I have to say that one of my favorite parts of the book is the impassioned speech by the president after learning that a U.S. ship had been hit by a North Korean missile. I only regret that this man is fictional. We NEED a president like him.
It’s always nice to find that I was wrong about a book I thought I wouldn’t like. I recommend Thunder in the Morning Calm , especially to the men readers among us.
Sarah Sundin’s captivating novel Blue Skies Tomorrow is a fitting conclusion for her Wings of Glory series. Taking place on American soil, an English Air Force base and in the war torn fields and skies of Germany, this story plumbs the depths of human emotions. It reveals the masks people wear as they endeavor to keep hidden the secrets of their lives.
Helen Carlisle, a young war widow with a small son, has managed to hide the truth about her troubled marriage in order to protect her son. When forced to move in with her in-laws, she soon realizes just how deep the secrets have been buried.
Ray Novak, an Air Force trainer finds himself reassigned to a position in “supply” because the trainer jobs should be for the heroes who have actually flown in combat. Although all he really wants to do is be a pastor, he soon feels that he is less than a man because he is not actively involved in fighting the enemy.
Helen and Ray renew their acquaintance after many years. Although Ray’s memories of Sarah are from when she was little more than a child, he soon realizes that he cares deeply for her. Unfortunately, their past intrudes and the two end up oceans apart.
Blue Skies Tomorrow is a page turner that is filled with action, suspense, and romance. It had characters I loved, characters I despised, and a couple I wanted to shake some sense in. It was fun to renew acquaintances with characters from the first two books of the series. Although dead, Helen’s husband managed to control her life for much of the book. Although there were many crooks and turns, the finale was satisfying. I won’t say more because I fear spoiling the story for other readers.
If you enjoy historical fiction, especially that set during World War II, be sure to pick up Blue Skies Tomorrow and the first two books of the Wings of Glory series. They are all excellent.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
War Widow Fights The Past, American Pilot Fights For The Future
Award-Winning Author Delivers an Emotion-Packed,
Gripping Tale of War, Intrigue and Love
The country is still at war in Blue Skies Tomorrow (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3423-7, $14.99, 448 pages, August 2011) by award-winning author Sarah Sundin. It is 1944 and America longs for the war to be over so their boys can come home. This war has taken too many lives and made too many widows, orphans, and broken hearts. However, the homeland continues to pull together and buy bonds to support the troops, and Helen Carlisle has become the town’s war widow heroine. Doing her part with her son, she faithfully appears at community events asking people to support the troops. But deep down she is troubled. How much longer can she do this? Is she living a lie? Was her dead husband a hero? How can she live with the past?
Lt. Ray Novak prefers to follow his calling into ministry rather than the cockpit. But his current position offers him the luxury of a personal life since he is stateside training B-17 pilots. His interest in Helen, the young war widow, grows, but he knows she is hiding a painful past under a frenzy of volunteer work. Ray is called to fly a European combat mission at the peak of the air war. Their romance is tense because Helen is afraid, but Ray cannot help because he is in Europe. As Helen tries to make ends meet and confronts the past, Ray encounters a deadly enemy of his own. Will they find the courage to face their challenges? Will the truth come out? Will hope and redemption ring true for Helen?
The great era of World War II in Blue Skies Tomorrow is brought to life by Sundin in this emotion-packed novel.
Sarah Sundin received the 2011 Writer of the Year Award from the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference, and her second novel, A Memory Between Us, is a finalist for an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award. She is the author of A Distant Melody and A Memory Between Us. Her great-uncle flew with the US Eighth Air Force in England during WWII. Sarah lives in California with her husband and three children. For more interesting information about Sarah visit: sarahsundin.com
Although I enjoyed A Sound Among the Trees, I find it a bit difficult to review. It is not really a love story because the story begins with the wedding of Carson and Marielle. Once the wedding is over, Carson is not a prominent character. At first the story seems to be about a haunted house and/or a ghost but there are no supernatural events that particularly point in that direction either.
Marielle has agreed to live with Carson in the antebellum home of his dead wife’s grandmother Mimi for the sake of his children. She soon learns that Mimi has suffered tremendous loss during her lifetime, much like earlier women who lived at Holly Oak. Marielle also begins to hear rumors about the curse on the women of Holly Oak that is blamed on actions during the Civil War of former resident Susannah Page. Although skeptical at first, she finds herself beginning to believe the rumors after awhile. It is only when she has the opportunity to read long lost letters from Susannah herself that she learns the true story.
The reader is treated to a story within as story for approximately one hundred pages of Susannah’s letters. The details of life during the Civil War are interesting and seem to be well researched. The book itself is filled with a few surprises and at least one scenario was treated in a manner other than some authors would have written it. Personally, I preferred Meissner’s version – every novel doesn’t have to have a villain. I will restrain from other details in order to avoid spoilers.
This story is not filled with action, suspense, or romance but examines relationships and how a person’s life can be controlled by the lies they believe. I liked that it ended with the revelation of the lies and the restoration that took place as a result.
This book was provided for review by the Amazon Vine Program.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A house shrouded in time. A line of women with a heritage of loss.
As a young bride, Susannah Page was rumored to be a Civil War spy for the North, a traitor to her Virginian roots. Her great-granddaughter Adelaide, the current matriarch of Holly Oak, doesn’t believe that Susannah’s ghost haunts the antebellum mansion looking for a pardon, but rather the house itself bears a grudge toward its tragic past.
When Marielle Bishop marries into the family and is transplanted from the arid west to her husband’s home, it isn’t long before she is led to believe that the house she just settled into brings misfortune to the women who live there.
With Adelaide’s richly peppered superstitions and deep family roots at stake, Marielle must sort out the truth about Susannah Page and Holly Oak— and make peace with the sacrifices she has made for love.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Award-winning writer Susan Meissner is a multi-published author, speaker and workshop leader with a background in community journalism. Her novels include The Shape of Mercy, named by Publishers Weekly as one of the Best Books of 2008. She is a pastor’s wife and a mother of four. When she’s not writing, Susan directs the Small Groups and Connection Ministries program at her San Diego church.
Humor, Hope, and Happily Ever Afters! Kaye Dacus is the author of humorous, hope-filled contemporary and historical romances with Barbour Publishing and Harvest House Publishers. She holds a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, is a former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, and currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and even though she writes romance novels, she is not afraid to admit that she’s never been kissed.
Kaye Dacus (KAY DAY-cuss) is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. A former Vice President of American Christian Fiction Writers, Kaye enjoys being an active ACFW member and the fellowship and community of hundreds of other writers from across the country and around the world that she finds there. She currently serves as President of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers, which she co-founded in 2003 with three other writers. Each month, she teaches a two-hour workshop on an aspect of the craft of writing at the MTCW monthly meeting. But her greatest joy comes from mentoring new writers through her blog and seeing them experience those “aha” moments when a tricky concept becomes clear. ABOUT THE BOOK:
The pirate El Salvador has haunted the waters of the Caribbean for almost ten years. When he snatched Charlotte Ransome, it was a case of mistaken identity. Now Charlotte’s brother, whose reputation in battle is the stuff of legend, is searching for him with a dogged determination. But another rumor has reached El Salvador’s ears: Julia Ransome has been kidnapped by the man feared by all other pirates–the pirate known only as Shaw. The violent and blood-thirsty savage from whom El Salvador was trying to protect her.
When word reaches William of Julia’s disappearance, his heart is torn–he cannot abandon the search for his sister, yet he must also rescue Julia. Ned Cochrane offers a solution: Ned will continue the search for Charlotte while William goes after Julia. William’s quest will lead him to a greater understanding of faith and love as he must accept help from sworn enemy and have faith that Julia’s life is in God’s hands.
If you would like to read the first chapter of Ransome’s Quest, go HERE.
You can learn more about Kaye and her novels on her Website.
For those who enjoy a good swashbuckling tale complete with pirates, nautical battles, bigger than life heroes and spunky heroines, mixed with a bit of romance, Ransome’s Quest would fit their requirements nicely. This story actually involves two separate pirates – one who is about as evil as they come and one who is noble in the tradition of Robin Hood.
A story filled with revenge, rescues, misunderstandings, mysteries, and reconciliation, Ransome’s Quest has enough action and plot twists to keep the reader engaged. Although the plot revolved primarily around Charlotte Ransome and Ned Cochrane as well as William and Julia Ransome, the pirate El Salvador de los Esclavos and his first mate Declan nearly stole the show. I would love to see another novel featuring El Salvador.
I have not read the first two books of this series but you can be assured that I will be adding them to my “to read” list. Although Ransome’s Quest can stand alone, I believe it would have been even better with the background knowledge from the first two books. I recommend that you pick up the entire series if possible.
The Colonel’s Lady is the kind of novel that keeps me loving historical fiction. Not only do I get the opportunity to learn something about our nation’s history but I can see it through the eyes of characters similar to those who really lived it. With strong historical facts and characters so real they could almost walk off the page, Laura Frantz has once again penned a story that will take its place on my keeper shelf.
After a long and arduous journey filled with danger, Roxanna was overjoyed to finally reach Kentucke Fort Endeavor where she could join her father. All too soon her world crashed when she learned of his death and that she would have to remain at the fort because of increasing danger from the British and Indians in the area. Colonel Cass McLinn’s promise to the dying man and his own sense of guilt over the death prompt him to offer Roxanna a job at the fort. He soon finds that she has stolen his heart.
Not only is the fort threatened by the British forces who are closing in but their couriers have never arrived and their supplies have been intercepted and made unusable. Evidence soon points to a spy in their midst but his identity is unknown. Drama builds as circumstances grow increasingly worse and survival seems hopeless.
This story is filled with action, mystery, suspense, and romance. Emotional responses seem appropriate to the situations. The plot contains numerous twists and surprises with secrets revealed at just the right moment. A strong message of faith is interwoven in a manner that enhances the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Colonel’s Lady and would recommend it as well as Laura Frantz’s other novels.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Imminent Danger Surrounds Fort Endeavor; Spy Leaks Secrets To Enemy
Bestselling Author Laura Frantz Delivers Emotion-Packed Historical Romance
To the trail-weary and frightened women, Fort Endeavor seemed unwelcoming at first, but Roxanna Rowan knew they needed to get to safety as quickly as possible in The Colonel’s Lady (ISBN: 978-0-8007-3341-4, $14.99, 416 pages, August 2011) by bestselling author Laura Frantz. Deep within the Kentucky Territory, Fort Endeavor could provide a new life for genteel spinster Roxanna as long as she was with her father. She had to find him in the mass of all these soldiers. But where was he?
Shortly after arriving at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, the Colonel tells Roxanna that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna accepts the Scrivener position once held by her father. Before long, Roxanna discovers secrets that her father uncovered shortly before his death. Who could she trust with this discovery that she found in her father’s Scrivener desk? Could she trust the Colonel? Was his attraction to her real or was he hiding his own secrets including her father’s death? Roxanna needed answers that only the Colonel could provide.
Set in 1779 The Colonel’s Lady is a powerful and emotion-packed story full of love, suspense, intrigue, faith, and forgiveness from reader favorite Laura Frantz. Her solid research and skillful writing immerse readers in the world of the early frontier while her realistic characters become intimate friends.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Laura Frantz credits her grandmother as being the catalyst for her fascination with Kentucky history. Frantz’s family followed Daniel Boone into Kentucky in the late eighteenth century and settled in Madison County, where her family still resides. Frantz is the author of The Frontiersman’s Daughter and Courting Morrow Little and currently lives in the misty woods of Washington with her husband and two sons. More information about Laura at: www.laurafrantz.net