“Mind of Her Own” has a unique twist that I don’t think I’ve run across in a novel before. After a knock on the head that leaves her unconscious, Louisa Copeland wakes with amnesia and believes she is someone else – Jazz Sweet. Unconvinced otherwise by her husband, she agrees to return to her home because she doesn’t remember where Jazz lives. As time goes by, Louisa/Jazz comes to the conclusion that she must really be Louisa but is not sure she wants to be.
The most interesting thing to me about Louisa’s situation is that she was forced to rediscover herself from a stranger’s viewpoint and she did not like very much about her real life. Even her children and husband seemed to like Jazz better – she was more fun. Although for the most part, “Mind of Her Own” is fun and entertaining, it has depth and even a bit of darkness as Louisa finally comes to terms with the deeply buried secrets that have kept her afraid to get too close to others.
I very much enjoyed “Mind of Her Own”. It is the first book I’ve read by this author but I would definitely be interested in reading more.
This book was provided for review by the Book Club Network.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Who knew making dinner could change your life? Louisa Copeland certainly didn’t. But when the George Foreman grill falls out of the pantry onto her head, resulting in a bump and a mighty case of amnesia, Louisa’s life takes a turn for the unexpected. Who is this Collin fellow, claiming she is his wife? And whose kids are those? Her name can’t be Louisa. Why, she is the renowned romance writer Jazz Sweet, not a Midwestern mom of three. Struggling to put the pieces together of the life she’s told she had, Louisa/Jazz may realize that some memories are better left alone.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Christian author, Diana Lesire Brandmeyer, writes historical and contemporary romances. She’s also written We’re Not Blended-We’re Pureed, A Survivor’s Guide to Blended Families. Once widowed and now remarried she writes with humor and experience on the difficulty of joining two families be it fictional or real life.
I always enjoy one of DiAnn Mills’ romantic suspense novels and “Deadlock” was no exception. I can be fairly certain that the author has done her research and any law enforcement details have been checked out and are as authentic as possible.
In “Deadlock” the new partnership of FBI Special Agents Bethany Sanchez and Thatcher Graves is put to the test time and again as they seem to work around the clock to solve the case of the Scorpion murders. Harassed by both her brother and the killer and distressed over her estrangement from her family, Bethany is stressed and not sure she can depend on Thatcher. Each of them is determined to fight against their mutual attraction and focus on solving their case before it is too late.
Bethany and Thatcher are both strong characters who carry the story. Several possibilities for the murderer are hinted at during the course of the tale but final revelations are somewhat surprising. I admired Thatcher’s determination to change his life based on his recent decision to follow Christ even though circumstances might justify falling back to his old patterns. The plot moves swiftly from one action-filled scene to the next and the suspense builds to a dramatic conclusion.
A gritty story that focuses on faith, family, and reconciliation, “Deadlock” kept me involved until the very end.
This book was provided for review by The Tyndale Blog Network.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Two murders have rocked the city of Houston. Are they the work of a serial killer, or is a copycat trying to get away with murder?
That is the question facing Special Agent Bethany Sanchez, who is eager for her new assignment in violent crimes but anxious about meeting her new partner. Special Agent Thatcher Graves once arrested her brother, and he has a reputation for being a maverick. Plus, their investigative styles couldn’t be more opposite: he operates on instinct, while she goes by the book.
When hot leads soon fizzle out, their differences threaten to leave them deadlocked. But an attempt on their lives turns up the heat and brings them closer together, and a third victim might yield the clue that will help them zero in on a killer. This could be the case of their careers . . . if they can survive long enough to solve it.
Preview an excerpt from “Deadlock” 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 Reader’s 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; the 2015 president of the Romance Writers of America’s Faith, Hope & Love chapter; and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and International Thriller Writers. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. 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.
I thoroughly enjoyed “On a Ring and a Prayer”, the first book of the Jessie Stanton series so I was excited for the chance to review “Be My Valentino” to continue her story. I was not disappointed!
Just as Jessie seems to be getting her life back on a somewhat even keel financially and emotionally after her husband Jack left her with nothing, guess who shows back up? Yeah, Jack makes his reappearance and who knows what he’s after this time. He sure didn’t leave Jessie with anything much more than her clothes and her engagement ring when he left. Fortunately, Jessie has been blessed with some wonderful new friends who have her back, especially Danny, her private investigator. Their relationship appears to be developing into more than just a PI and his client.
Now I don’t know much about fashion and designers but I did find Jessie’s story interesting and a fine example of how with a little imagination and a few resources, a person can take what she knows and loves and turn it into a successful business. I also liked watching Jessie’s slow progression toward a faith of her own through the patient influence of her friends and grandfather.
Sandra’s trademark humor was not as prevalent in this series but the story was so good that I did not miss it. I am looking forward to reading “From Bags to Riches” so I can find out the rest of Jessie and Danny’s story.
This book was provided for review by Amazon Vine.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Jessie’s back, and she’s caught between a rock and a new place.
Now that the whole truth has come out about her husband’s double life—including the fact that she and Jack were never legally married—Jessie is standing on her own for the first time in her life. As she struggles to put Adornments, her rental store for designer labels, on the map in Tinsel Town, her relationship with private investigator Danny Callahan gains momentum.
When she dresses a reluctant Danny in Valentino for undercover work at a formal affair, it’s him rather than her store that captures Hollywood’s notice. Danny, snapped by photogs, lands as the unlikely cover model on the front of L.A. Magazine. So much for inconspicuous. Will his popularity thwart her efforts to grow her business? Or worse, can Jessie afford to put her faith—and heart—into another relationship when she’s so obviously handicapped in the good judgment department?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sandra D. Bricker was an entertainment publicist in Los Angeles for more than 15 years, where she attended school to learn screenwriting and eventually taught the craft for several semesters. She is now a best-selling, award-winning author of Live-Out-Loud Fiction for the inspirational market, best known for her Emma Rae Creation series. As an ovarian cancer survivor, she gears time and effort toward raising awareness and funds for research, diagnostics, and a cure. Sandra resides in Toledo, Ohio, and online at SandraDBricker.com.
Okay, maybe “Last Chance Hero” wasn’t the most exciting book ever but sometimes it is good to just relax with a feel-good book without too much suspense or drama. I personally enjoyed my trip back to Last Chance, New Mexico where I renewed my acquaintance with several old friends and made a few new ones as well. I think I might enjoy living in a small town where high school football and green chilies are an important part of life.
As the new doctor in town, Jessica MacLeod has a few adjustments to make including the unaccustomed menu items at the Dip ’n’ Dine and the town’s obsession with football. Once the high school football hero, Andy Ryan has returned to coach his former team and discovers that he is expected to take the team to a repeat of their “glory days”. With very little in common, Jessica and Andy are an unlikely couple but I’ve heard that opposites attract. Could that be the case with Jessica and Andy?
“Last Chance Hero” was populated with true-to-life characters with very real issues. The story was relieved with humorous incidents that were just the right touch. No one was perfect and even at least one obnoxious character had some good moments. I liked the way the author handled the faith element by having Jessica initially resistant but gradually warming to it as the story progressed. I could envision it happening just that way.
All-in-all, “Last Chance Hero” was a satisfying read and I hope to have the chance to return to Last Chance again in the near future. I can see this series going on for awhile. I just hope the author and publisher agree.
This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
What happens when your heart is intercepted before you even know it’s in play?
The folks in Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica MacLeod has opened an office right on Main Street and Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has come home from the NFL to coach the high school football team. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot with this football-obsessed town when she admits that she’s never seen a football game, isn’t really interested in doing so, and in fact doesn’t know a first down from a goalpost.
Despite having little in common, Jess and Andy find themselves drawn to each other. But when a disagreement over the future of an injured player puts them both on the defensive, it begins to look like this game is over . . .
Read an excerpt from Last Chance Hero HERE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cathleen Armstrong lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband, Ed, and their corgi. Though she has been in California for many years now, her roots remain deep in New Mexico where she grew up and where much of her family still lives. After she and Ed raised three children, she returned to college and earned a BA in English. Her debut novel Welcome to Last Chance won the 2009 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for Women’s Fiction. Learn more at www.cathleenarmstrong.com.
This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingThe Bones Will SpeakThomas Nelson (August 11, 2015)byCarrie Stuart ParksABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Carrie Stuart Parks is an award-winning fine artist and internationally known forensic artist. Along with her husband, Rick, she travels across the US and Canada teaching courses in forensic art to law enforcement as well as civilian participants. She has won numerous awards for career excellence. Carrie is a popular platform speaker, presenting a variety of topics from crime to creativity.
Animals have always been a large part of her life. Her parents, Ned and Evelyn Stuart, started Skeel Kennel Great Pyrenees in 1960. Carrie inherited the kennel and continues with her beloved dogs as both an AKC judge and former president of the Great Pyrenees Club of America. She lives on the same ranch she grew up on in Northern Idaho.
ABOUT THE BOOK
A killer with a penchant for torture has taken notice of forensic expert Gwen Marcey . . . and her daughter.
When Gwen Marcey’s dog comes home with a human skull and then leads her to a cabin in the woods near her Montana home, she realizes there’s a serial killer in her community. And when she finds a tortured young girl clinging to life on the cabin floor, she knows this killer is a lunatic.
Yet what unsettles Gwen most is that the victim looks uncannily like her daughter.
The search for the torturer leads back in time to a neo-Nazi bombing in Washington state—a bombing with only one connection to Montana: Gwen. The group has a race-not-grace model of salvation . . . and they’ve marked Gwen as a race traitor.
When it becomes clear that the killer has a score to settle, Gwen finds herself in a battle against time. She will have to use all of her forensic skills to find the killer before he can carry out his threat to destroy her—and the only family she has left.
If you would like to read the first chapter of The Bones Will Speak, go HERE.
Now that I have read both “A Cry From the Dust” and “The Bones Will Speak” I am certain that I will have a place on my bookshelves for any forthcoming novel by Carrie Stuart Parks. I have always enjoyed suspense novels but in the past few years have begun to shy away from those that have too much gore. Carrie’s books have just enough details to ramp up the suspense as well as give the crimes credibility but she does not include anything that makes me cringe or keeps me awake at night. I also like the fact that she draws from her own career and personal experiences for her plot and character development.
In “The Bones Will Speak” forensic artist Gwen Marcey is trying to pick up the pieces after a bout with cancer, an unwanted divorce, and financial pressures due to the loss of her job. A discontented teen daughter adds to her stress. When her dog brings home a human skull, Gwen’s life becomes even more complicated as more bodies are discovered and there is even a possibility that she and her daughter are being targeted by a serial killer.
This book had me turning the pages as fast as I could read. I didn’t want to put it down until I found out who the killer could be. Plenty of twists and surprises kept the story moving and the tension built throughout the book until its climatic last pages. I can’t wait to read about Gwen’s next adventure.