Downfall by Terri Blackstock



MY REVIEW:

“Downfall” is the breathtaking conclusion to Terri Blackstock’s Intervention series. It grabs the reader at page one and doesn’t let go until the satisfying conclusion. Those who have read the entire series have probably formed an attachment to the Covington family as I have and are ready to see them get a break from their trials and misfortunes. Well, they will have to make it through another high octane thriller and hope that will happen before the story ends. I’m not promising anything – you’ll have to read it yourself!

From an attempted bombing of Emily’s car to several brutal murders, seemingly unconnected crimes produce enough evidence to place Emily right in the center of the investigation. When she begins to have some suspicions as to who might be behind the murders, Emily takes it upon herself to investigate and winds up under suspicion herself. Her brother Lance has his own share of problems in a new school and only one friend who he is desperately trying to protect from a classmate who seems dangerous.

Once again Blackstock has penned a novel that almost demands to be read in one sitting. She realistically illustrates the dangers and consequences of drug addiction and the very real challenges faced by those who attempt to overcome their addictions. Blackstock also effectively details the devastating toll addiction takes on the families of addicts.

As one who has seen the effects of addiction up close, I strongly recommend the entire Intervention series for all teens. I also suggest a visit to Terri’s website to view the excellent resources she provides to help families identify the signs of addiction and to find help for their addicted loved ones.

This book was provided for review by Daniel Cohen with Shelton Interactive.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

The final book in Terri’s Intervention series, DOWNFALL follows Emily Covington, who has turned her life around after a drug addiction, but her family still has trouble trusting her. Though Emily has committed herself to a year-long treatment program and has been sober for almost a year beyond that, even her mother walks on eggshells around her, fearing she’ll relapse. After her behavior during her drug years, Emily realizes she has a lot to prove.

When police discover a homemade bomb under Emily’s car, and she then learns the wife of one of her friends was murdered that same morning, she knows things are deadly serious.

But who wants Emily dead? And why?

A conversation she had with two men, an Alfred Hitchcock movie, and a plan for a double murder all conspire for one explosive ride … and Emily is the only one who can identify the killer and save the life of the next potential victim.

As she frantically works to solve this ever more complicated puzzle, Emily finds herself playing right into the killer’s hands.

Read an excerpt from Downfall HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Terri Blackstock (www.terriblackstock.com) has sold six million books worldwide and is a ”New York Times” bestseller. She is the award-winning author of ”Intervention” and ”Double Minds,” as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.

A Sweethaven Summer by Courtney Walsh

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Sweethaven Summer
Guidepost Books (February 7, 2012)
by
Courtney Walsh
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Courtney Walsh is a published author, scrapbooker, theater director, and playwright. Her debut novel, A Sweethaven Summer, will be followed by two additional novels in the series. She’s also written two papercrafting books, Scrapbooking Your Faith and The Busy Scrapper. Courtney has been a contributing editor for Memory Makers Magazine and Children’s Ministry Magazine and is a frequent contributor to Group Publishing curriculum. She works as the PR Manager for Webster’s Pages from her home in Colorado, where she lives with her husband and three kids, who range in age from 4 to 10. Courtney drinks entirely too much coffee.

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Suzanne’s daughter, Campbell, has come to Sweethaven in search of answers to her questions about her mother’s history. Suzanne’s three friends-Lila, Jane, and Meghan-were torn apart by long-buried secrets and heartbreak. Though they haven’t spoken in years, each has pieces of a scrapbook they made together in Sweethaven. Suzanne’s letters have lured them all back to the idyllic lakeside town, where they meet Campbell and begin to remember what was so special about their long Sweethaven summers. As the scrapbook reveals secrets one by one, old wounds are mended, lives are changed, and friendships are restored-just as Suzanne intended.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Sweethaven Summer, go HERE.

Learn about Courtney and her books on her Website.

MY REVIEW:

One thing I love about getting to review books is that I am blessed with frequent opportunities to discover new authors. Many of them have earned a place on my keeper shelves and Courtney Walsh is the most recent addition to my list of favorites.

A Sweethaven Summer has most of the elements I enjoy in a contemporary novel – a small friendly town with diverse characters and a plot that moves along without bogging down in unnecessary trivialities. Excellent character interaction and dialogue, especially between the hero and heroine plus a touch of mystery and drama added just the right touch. It was also nice to have a message of faith woven in that did not overpower the story.

I liked the way that Campbell allowed herself to be real in her admission of her fear of rejection and her unwillingness to forgive, yet continued to choose to face the truth regardless of the consequences. And  all the supporting characters were just right in the way they accepted Campbell and encouraged her and each other through difficult situations.  A Sweethaven Summer is an excellent example of friendship and the power of forgiveness. I am looking forward to Courtney’s next book. I hope she will allow her readers to visit Sweethaven many more times.

Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher



MY REVIEW:

When pastor Adair felt called by God to leave his Virginia home to minister to the western town of Grand Couer in the Idaho territory, his loving and obedient daughter accompanied him. Unhappy with leaving the comfortable and refined life she was accustomed to in her lifelong home, Shannon had some difficulty adjusting to the rough and rowdy customs of her new home and also had difficulty hiding her negative attitude about it. Matthew Dubois, a Wells Fargo stagecoach driver, thrives on the adrenaline from driving at top speed. He cannot imagine any other profession and realizes that there is no place for a wife or children in the life he has chosen. When his widowed sister and her young son move in with him so that she can recover from an illness, he gradually becomes attached to them and to Shannon who has stepped in to help care for his sister who is more seriously ill than he believed.

As usual, Robin Lee Hatcher has penned a story that kept me turning the pages until I reached the end. I enjoyed reading about Shannon’s  personal growth and her spiritual journey and watching as Matthew transformed from an independent and solitary soul to a loving family man. Alice’s faith in the midst of her suffering was inspiring and her son Todd was adorable. With a well paced plot and a storyline that included interesting historical facts pertinent to the location and era, “Heart of Gold” also included plenty of action, suspense, humor, a satisfying romance, and at least one moving scene that called for a box of tissues close at hand. A mystery involving stagecoach robberies and their connection to the war added an extra dimension to the story. I also want to say that the cover art for this book is just gorgeous. I felt like it expressed the them of the book perfectly.

I thoroughly enjoyed “Heart of Gold” and would recommend it to all who enjoy historical romance novels. I sincerely hope that it will be the first of a series because I hated for it to end.

This book was provided for review by Thomas Nelson Publisher’s BookSneeze program.



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Against Shannon’s wishes, love stakes its claim in her heart. Will she discover treasure or treachery?

When Shannon Adair accompanies her minister father to the western gold rush town of Grand Coeur, she’s certain she’ll never be happy away from her beloved Virginia, even though the South is still gripped in civil war.

Wells Fargo driver Matthew Dubois isn’t sure the lovely Shannon belongs in Idaho Territory either, but he is a desperate man. His widowed sister is dying and leaving her young son, Todd, in his care. Matthew wants to return to driving coach for the express company soon—so he’ll have to find a wife to look after the boy when he’s away.

Shannon is determined not to lose her heart to a man who is neither a Southerner nor a gentleman. But love stakes its claim. Now, will her heart survive learning the truth behind the courtship?

Read an excerpt from “Heart of Gold” HERE.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Best-selling novelist Robin Lee Hatcher is known for her heartwarming and emotionally charged stories of faith, courage, and love. She discovered her vocation after many years of reading everything she could put her hands on, including the backs of cereal boxes and ketchup bottles. The winner of the Christy Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction, the RITA Award for Best Inspirational Romance, two RT Career Achievement Awards, and the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, Robin is the author of over 60 novels.

Robin enjoys being with her family, spending time in the beautiful Idaho outdoors, reading books that make her cry, and watching romantic movies. Several nights every summer, she can be found at the outdoor amphitheater of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, enjoying plays under the stars. She makes her home on the outskirts of Boise, sharing it with Poppet, the high-maintenance Papillon, and Princess Pinky, the kitten who currently terrorizes the household.

Learn more about Robin and her books on her WEBSITE.

Words Spoken True by Ann H. Gabhart



MY REVIEW:

At first glance, “Words Spoken True” appears to be the usual historical romance novel. It is true that the book is set in historical mid-1800’s Louisville, Kentucky during an era of political unrest and adequate coverage is given to that aspect of the story. Another focus is the competition between two major newspapers in the city which includes many interesting details about the publishing business during that time period.  And of course there is a special romance where Adriane Darcy, daughter of the Tribune’s owner finds herself attracted  to Blake Garrett, editor of the competing Herald despite her engagement to another man. Every one of these factors should be enough to make “Words Spoken True” an excellent choice but the author has chosen to rev it up another notch by including a serial killer called the “river slasher” into the mix.

I pretty much liked everything about “Words Spoken True”. Characterization was excellent. Adriane was a great blend of spunky and feminine and didn’t back down from a challenge. Blake Garrett was the perfect hero, both strong and sensitive. I could easily visualize Louisville during that period because of the excellent descriptions. Although the plot had a somewhat slow start, it soon picked up speed and pulled me right along so that I didn’t want to put the book down. With plenty of action, suspense, and romance as well as multiple twists and surprises, the story also included a subtle spiritual theme. My only complaint is that I read too fast and it was over way too soon.

Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Adriane Darcy was practically raised in her father’s newspaper offices. She can’t imagine life without the clatter of the press and the push to be first to write the news that matters. Their Tribune is the leading paper in Louisville in 1855. Then Blake Garrett, a brash young editor from the North with a controversial new style of reporting, takes over failing competitor the Herald, and the battle for readers gets fierce.

When Adriane and Blake meet at a benefit tea, their surprising mutual attraction is hard to ignore. Still, Blake is the enemy, and Adriane is engaged to the son of a powerful businessman who holds the keys to the Tribune’s future. Blake will stop at almost nothing to get the story- -and the girl. Can he do both before it’s too late?

Set against the volatile backdrop of political and civil unrest in 1850s Louisville, this exciting story of love and loyalty will hold readers in its grip until the very last page. Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart once again delivers an enthralling and enduring tale for her loyal and ever-expanding fan base.

Read the first chapter of Words Spoken True HERE.

 

Endorsements:

“I’ve come to expect wonderful books from Ann Gabhart, and her latest historical romance, Words Spoken True, doesn’t disappoint. In this novel, Gabhart gives readers a peek into the lives of two news reporters–one a man and one a woman–both intent upon creating the best newspaper in Louisville, Kentucky. Amid unsolved murders, riots, and adversity, the ability to trust each other and trust God is put to the test. Gabhart weaves a story that is a page turner from beginning to end. This is one you’ll highly recommend to friends.”–
Judith Miller, author, Daughters of Amana series

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of several novels, including Angel Sister, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, and The Blessed. She lives with her husband a mile from where she was born in Kentucky.

Sweeter Than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott



MY REVIEW:

Beautiful but extremely shy, Kate’s driving motivation is to graduate from college and escape an unhappy family life to make a new home elsewhere for herself and her younger sister. Although unassuming, she soon draws the attention of two young men at the college, both of whom are determined to make her his wife. Unfortunately, the one who speaks to her heart does not meet the approval of her ambitious mother. Kate’s friendship with Ben, Cornelia, and the Hanby family exposes her to some grim realities that make her realize that her problems are insignificant compared to the suffering of others.

“Sweeter Than Birdsong” is a powerful and moving story that clearly illustrates the conflict between the pro-slavery faction and the abolitionists and underground railroad workers – through  descriptions of their thought processes as well as through riveting action scenes that reveal the very real danger experienced by those who chose to risk their lives to save others. Elliott’s narrative truly brings this unsettled era of America’s history to life.

The characters were so very real that it was easy to immerse myself into the story. I could easily identify with Kate’s shyness and fear of public speaking as well as her efforts to overcome her fears. As a child of the South, I was also given some food for thought and wondered which side I would have been on had I been born during that time of our history. I’m thankful that is no longer an issue in our society. I thoroughly enjoyed “Sweeter Than Birdsong’ and hope to see another installment of the Saddler’s Legacy in the near future.

This book was provided for review by LitFuse Publicity.



ABOUT THE BOOK:
Music offers Kate sweet refuge from her troubles . . . but real freedom is sweeter.

In Westerville, Ohio, 1855, Kate Winter’s dreams are almost within reach. As the first woman to graduate from Otterbein College, she’ll be guaranteed her deepest wish: escape from the dark secret haunting her family. But with her mother determined to marry her off to a wealthy man, Kate must face reality. She has to run. Now. And she has the perfect plan. Join the upcoming musical performance—and use it to mask her flight.

Ben Hanby, Otterbein College’s musical genius, sees Kate Winter as an enigmatic creature, notable for her beauty, yet painfully shy. Then he hears her sing—and the glory of her voice moves him as never before. He determines to cast her in his musical and uncover the mystery that is Kate. Still, he must keep his own secret to himself. Not even this intriguing woman can know that his passionate faith is driving him to aid fugitives on the Underground Railroad.

A terrifying accident brings Kate and Ben together, but threatens to shatter both their secrets and their dreams. Kate can no longer deny the need to find her courage—and her voice—if she is to sing a new song for their future.

The first book in the series, Fairer than Morning, gained Rosslyn much acclaim and this release is shaping up to be even better!

Author Elliott (Fairer than Morning) creates a pleasing blend of fact and fiction in this second installment in the Saddler’s Legacy series. Hanby is best known for his song “Up on the Housetop,” and slave rescuer John Parker is a real figure large enough to seem legend. Readers will appreciate the well-told tale as well as its historical basis. — Publishers Weekly

Elliott’s second Saddler’s Legacy book contains remarkable storytelling about the abolitionist movement. The author graces the pages with imaginative accounts of people living during these precarious times. She delves deeply and intimately into the lives of the brave people who risk all for the Underground Railroad. — Romantic Times Book Reviews

Read what other bloggers are saying about “Sweeter Than Birdsong” HERE.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Rosslyn Elliott is the award-winning author of Fairer than Morning, the first in the Saddler’s Legacy series. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in English from Emory University. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue writing fiction. Elliott lives in Albuquerque, where she homeschools her daughter and works in children’s ministry.

Visit www.rosslynelliott.com for more information.

GIVEAWAY:

In this second in the award-winning Saddler’s Legacy series, Rosslyn Elliott has written a stirring novel of hope and faith inspired by real historical people and events. With Ben Hanby, a genius composer, Kate Winter, one of the first female college graduates in America, and John Parker, an ex-slave who risked his life time and again to help fugitive slaves, Sweeter than Birdsong is full of real heroes to inspire us. “I hope readers will find a renewed sense of strength in their own lives,” says Elliott, “knowing that change is possible, and our efforts matter. I want them to remember these unique, brave people in history who left us a shining example of what it means to live out one’s beliefs with passion and commitment.”

So to celebrate the music in all of us, Rosslyn and Thomas Nelson are hosting this “sweet giveaway”.

One fortunate winner will receive:

  • A Brand new iPod Nano (Winner’s choice of color!)
  • Fairer than Morning by Rosslyn Elliott
  • Sweeter than Birdsong by Rosslyn Elliott

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends at noon on February 28th. Winner will be announced at Sweeter than Birdsong Author Chat Facebook Party on 2/28. Rosslyn will be chatting with guests, sharing a sneak peek of the next book in the series, hosting a trivia contest, and more! She’ll also be giving away some GREAT prizes: gift certificates, books, Seasons 1 and 2 of Downtown Abbey and a soundtrack DVD, and a book club prize pack! (Ten copies of the book for your small group or book club AND a LIVE Author Chat for your group with Rosslyn.)

So grab your copy of Sweeter than Birdsong and join Rosslyn and friends on the evening of the 28th for an evening of fun.

Don’t miss a moment of the fun. RSVP today and tell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!