Abducted by Janice Cantore



MY REVIEW:

Having enjoyed “Accused”, the first book in the Pacific Coast Justice series, I was happy to have the opportunity to review “Abducted”, the second installment. I was not disappointed.

“Abducted” begins shortly after the ending of “Accused” with police officer Carly Edwards back patrolling the streets on the night shift with her partner Joe. As a new believer, Carly is carefully learning what it means to walk out her faith and soon finds it being put to the test when Joe’s wife is hospitalized and his baby is kidnapped. Added to the stress of encountering multiple dead ends in the search for Joe’s child, Carly’s promising renewed relationship with her ex Nick suddenly seems to be at a standstill.

“Abducted” is a riveting suspense where nothing is quite as it seems and the many twists and turns keeps the reader puzzled. The book is a realistic look into the lives of law enforcement officers complete with accurately described police procedure and the human reactions to their experiences.  “Abducted” is one book I couldn’t put down. Can’t wait to see what Carly and Nick might be up to next.

This book was provided for review by The Tyndale Blog Network.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

After solving the Mayor’s murder and exposing corruption among the top brass in Las Playas, Carly Edwards is happy to be back on patrol with her partner Joe, putting bad guys behind bars. For once everything in life seems to be going just right.

But then everything starts going wrong. Slow to recover from an injury, her ex-husband Nick, begins pulling away just as they were starting to get close again. Meanwhile when Joe’s wife lands in the hospital with a mysterious illness, their baby is kidnapped. As Carly chases down every lead in a desperate search to find the baby, her newfound faith is pushed to its limits.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

A retired Long Beach California police officer of 22 years (16 in uniform and 6 as a non-career officer), Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, patrol, administration, juvenile investigations and training. During the course of her career in uniform Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job and published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called “Cop and Christ”, and another for the monthly magazine “Today’s Christian Woman”.

With retirement Janice began to write longer pieces and several novels were born. She has a two book suspense series in print she calls Brinna’s Heart Series, The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice (Oaktara Publishing). Janice is excited and honored to now be a part of the Tyndale Publishing House family. Accused, the first installment in her new suspense offering, The Pacific Coast Justice Series, is set to be released February 1, 2012 and will kick off a brand new chapter in her writing career. In addition to suspense and action, her books feature strong female leads. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep you engrossed and leave you inspired.

Janice has bachelor’s degrees in Biology (University of California at Irvine) and Physical Education (California State University at Long Beach).  She also completed graduate coursework in Criminal Justice (University of Southern California) and is currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writer’s and Sisters in Crime.  She attends Crescenta Valley Community Church in La Crescenta California and while a few years ago she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, she currently resides in Glendale California in order to help care for her aging parents. Janice is single and has three Labrador Retrievers, Jake, Maggie and Abbie. Janice’s hobbies are reading, cross-stitching, kayaking, hiking, walking the dogs and trying to stay fit.

Learn more about Janice and her books on her website.

Through Rushing Water by Catherine Richmond



MY REVIEW:

After being jilted by the important congressman she assumed she would marry, Sophia made plans to go to the mission field, fully expecting to be sent to China. To her surprise, she found herself on the way to a Ponca Indian reservation in the Dakota Territory. Descended from Russian nobility, Sophia was unaccustomed to the primitive living conditions she found there but determined to make the best of her situation. She soon learned that nothing was as she had been told and she witnessed the appalling treatment of the Indians and repeated broken promises from the government. She grew to care for the Indian children she taught and their families but only Will Dunn, the agency carpenter seemed to share her concerns.

“Through Rushing Water” is a near epic story that depicts a shameful period of our country’s history and the shameful disregard for the Indians. It is also a story of a tiny group of men and women who stood up for what was right despite the overwhelming odds against them.

With its beautifully descriptive prose, a well-paced plot, and strong primary characters who grew in both maturity and their faith, “Through Rushing Water” was a thoroughly satisfying novel. The story has just the right balance of drama, suspense, romance, and humor and is enhanced by a strong spiritual message. “Through Rushing Water” is a must read for historical fiction lovers.

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



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Sophia has her life all planned out—but her plan didn’t include being jilted or ending up in Dakota Territory.

Sophia Makinoff is certain that 1876 is the year that she’ll become the wife of a certain US Congressman, and happily plans her debut into the Capitol city. But when he proposes to her roommate instead, Sophia is stunned. Hoping to flee her heartache and humiliation, she signs up with the Board of Foreign Missions on a whim.

With dreams of a romantic posting to the Far East, Sophia is dismayed to find she’s being sent to the Ponca Indian Agency in the bleak Dakota Territory. She can’t even run away effectively and begins to wonder how on earth she’ll be able to guide others as a missionary. But teaching the Ponca children provides her with a joy she has never known—and never expected—and ignites in her a passion for the people she’s sent to serve.

It’s a passion shared by the Agency carpenter, Willoughby Dunn, a man whose integrity and selflessness are unmatched. The Poncas are barely surviving. When U.S. policy decrees that they be uprooted from their land and marched hundreds of miles away in the middle of winter, Sophia and Will wade into rushing waters to fight for their friends, their love, and their destiny.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Catherine Richmond was focused on her career as an occupational therapist till a special song planted a story idea in her mind. That idea would ultimately become Spring for Susannah, her first novel. She is also a founder and moderator of Nebraska Novelist critique group and lives in Nebraska with her husband.

For more about Catherine, please visit www.catherinerichmond.com.

A Duke’s Promise by Jamie Carie

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
A Duke’s Promise
B&H Books (September 1, 2012)
by
Jamie Carie
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

As Jamie’s relationship with God grew, she discovered her heart was filled with songs and poetry. During high school she wrote lyrics for her brother’s band. (And she sang them too!) After college, Jamie married, had two sons and decided to stay home with them. While she homeschooled she wrote skits, poems, plays and short stories for school and church.

When her eldest son turned five she dove into the world of novels. She’d read romance novels for years, but couldn’t relate to the flawless, saintly heroines in Christian romance novels. So she decided to write her own.

Snow Angel was born on a frosty night in an old farmhouse in Fishers, Indiana, where the cold floor gave plenty of motivation for the snow scene. Jamie loves to write late at night when the house is quiet and the darkness seems alive. Elizabeth and Noah had been playacting in her head for a long time, so the story went fast.

Ten years later Snow Angel was published and won the ForeWord magazine Romance Book of the Year winner, was a National “Best Books 2007” Awards winner, and a 2008 RITA Awards® Best First Book finalist. It was the beginning of her dream career.

Jamie and her husband Tony have been married for twenty-one years and live in Indianapolis with their three sons and a giant of a dog named Leo.

If she could only say one thing to her readers it would be, “Live the dreams God has destined you for!”

ABOUT THE BOOK:

From the Land of Fire and Ice back to England’s shores, Alexandria Featherstone finds herself the new Duchess of St. Easton. Her husband has promised a wedding trip to take them to the place where her imperiled parents were last seen — Italy and the marble caves of Carrara — but a powerful Italian duke plots against Alex and her treasure-hunting parents.

Hoping to save them, Alex and Gabriel travel to Italy by balloon. Fraught with danger on all sides and pressured by Gabriel’s affliction to the breaking point, they must learn to work and fight together. The mysterious key is within their grasp, but they have yet to recognize it. This journey will require steadfast faith in God and each other — a risk that will win them everything they want or lose them everything they have.

If you would like to read the first chapter of A Duke’s Promise, go HERE.

Wildflowers From Winter by Katie Ganshert



MY REVIEW:

“Wildflowers From Winter” was one of those books that I couldn’t put down. Its powerful story grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. It is a story that is difficult to read at times because the characters are so real that it is too easy to sympathize with their tragedies and grief as if they were actually a part of your life.

Bethany has nearly achieved the goals she only dreamed of as a teen when suddenly the rug is pulled out from under her feet. About the same time, Bethany receives tragic news regarding her former best friend. Although she has vowed to never return to her home town, Bethany decides she owes it to her friend to pay her respects then leave quickly. Once there she is compelled to stay despite her reservations. Then another death adds to the burdens already on her heart.

Bethany is a complex character who at first seems cynical and cold. Flashbacks gradually reveal the pain in her past and reasons for her resistance to God and close relationships. Her encounters with Evan Price are at first prickly but evolve into a trusting friendship. Bethany’s journey from a lonely young woman who is angry at God to one who is finally open to love from both Evan and God is a sometimes heart rending tale that is also filled with hope.

I find it incredible to believe that this is Katie Ganshert’s first novel. If “Wildflowers From Winter” is an example, I can’t wait for her next novel.

This book was provided for review by
WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group Blogging for Books.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Like the winter, grief has a season. Life returns with the spring.

A young architect at a prestigious Chicago firm, Bethany Quinn has built the life she dreamed of during her teen years in a trailer park. An unexpected interruption from her estranged mother reveals that tragedy has struck in her hometown and a reluctant Bethany is called back to rural Iowa.

Determined to pay her respects to her past while avoiding any emotional entanglements, she vows not to stay long. But the unexpected inheritance of five hundred acres of farmland and a startling turn of events in Chicago forces Bethany to come up with a new plan.

Handsome farmhand Evan Price has taken care of the Quinn farm for years. When Bethany is left the land, Evan must fight her decisions to realize his dreams. But even as he disagrees with Bethany’s vision, Evan feels drawn to her and the pain she keeps so carefully locked away.

For Bethany, making peace with her past and the God of her childhood doesn’t seem like the path to freedom. Is letting go the only way to new life, love and a peace that she’s not even sure exists?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Katie Ganshert was born and raised in the Midwest, where she writes stories about finding faith and falling in love. When she’s not busy plotting her next novel, she enjoys watching romantic movies with her husband, playing make-believe with her wild-child of a son, and chatting with her girlfriends over bagels and coffee. She could talk books all day and is often spotted around town pushing a stroller, walking a dog, and reading—all at the same time. Visit her website: KatieGanshert.com.

Katie and her husband discuss Wildflowers From Winter:

Living in Harmony by Mary Ellis

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Living in Harmony
Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2012)
by
Mary Ellis
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Ellis is the author of many books, including A Widow’s Hope, Sarah’s Christmas Miracle, and A Marriage for Meghan. She and her  husband live in central Ohio, where they try to live a simpler style of life.

She was a finalist in the ACFW Carol Awards for A Widow’s Hope in 2010, and the 3inner of the Award of Merit in the Holt Medallion Awards for A Widow’s Hope in 2010.

Learn more about Mary and her books on her Website.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Living in Harmony is the first book in bestselling author Mary Ellis’s New Beginnings series. It’s about fresh starts and love…and how faith in God and His perfect plan for our lives provides us with the peace and joy we desire.

Amy King–young, engaged, and Amish–faces difficult challenges in her life when she suddenly loses both of her parents in a house fire. Her fiancé, John Detweiler, persuades her and her sister Nora to leave Lancaster County and make a new beginning with him in Harmony, Maine, where he has relatives who can help the women in their time of need.

John’s brother Thomas and sister-in-law Sally readily open their home to the three newcomers. Wise beyond his years, Thomas, a minister in the district, refuses to marry Amy and John upon their arrival, suggesting instead a period of adjustment and counseling.

During this time Amy discovers an aunt who was shunned. She wishes to reconnect with her, but this puts a strain on her relationship with John.

Can John and Amy find a way to live in happily in Harmony before making a lifetime commitment to one another?

Watch the book trailer for Living in Harmony:

If you would like to read the first chapter of Living in Harmony, go HERE.

MY REVIEW:

Living in Harmony is one of those Amish novels that leaves me frustrated. On the one hand, it is very well written and enjoyable. I am sure that the narrative gives a realistic look into the lives of some Old Order Amish communities and is informative in that way.

On the other hand, I found that my sympathies were more with Elam and Nora who were portrayed as rebellious. I do agree that Elam’s behavior was less than appropriate most of the time and Nora’s actions were not always rational. However, although I have always tended to be a mostly compliant person, I am afraid that my rebellious nature would rise up quickly if subjected to the kind of legalism practiced in Harmony. I did not care for John very much at all and was secretly rooting for Amy to break her engagement and leave Harmony.

All that being said, there were still some lessons to be learned through Living in Harmony and John’s brother Thomas and Amy’s Aunt were usually the source. Regardless of how I felt about the Harmony lifestyle, the King sisters and the Detweiler family had a profoundly positive overall effect on each other and their community.

Living in Harmony was not exactly my cup of tea but true fans of Amish fiction should love it.