Catching Heat by Janice Cantore

catching-heat



MY REVIEW:

“Catching Heat” is the explosive conclusion to Janice Cantore’s Cold Case Justice series. It is a page-turner with unexpected twists and surprises almost to the very end. I was impressed with how the author handled the fact that the investigating team was pretty sure about the guilty party in more than one case and how they went about collecting the evidence to prove it. It didn’t hurt that a bit of romance developed along with the evidence.

“Catching Heat” features Detective Abby Hart and PI Luke Murphy who are working together on a task force created to solve cold cases. In their spare time, Abby is determined to prove once and for all the person responsible for the murder of her parents and Luke’s uncle. Luke helps as much as he can but he worries that Abby has become obsessed with finding the killer.

Cantore’s books always seem so realistic – partially because she is a retired police officer and because of the way she interjects unexpected events into the plot in just the way they might turn up in real life. One example in “Catching Heat” is the extra case added to their duty as a “favor” that blew up in their face without warning. That almost made the other cases tame by comparison. Eventually cases were wrapped up satisfactorily and so was the romantic thread.

I am definitely a Janice Cantore fan and look forward to her next series.

A copy of this book was provided for review by The Tyndale Blog Network.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Twenty-seven years after the deaths of Detective Abby Hart’s parents, she’s desperate to find the proof that will put the mastermind-the governor’s wife-behind bars. When she joins a newly formed task force and teams up with PI Luke Murphy, Abby is sent to San Luis Obispo to work the cold case of a murdered college student. Realizing their investigation will bring them near the town where Alyssa Rollins grew up, Abby decides to do a little digging of her own into the Triple Seven fire.

Luke is eager to help Abby close the books on a case they both have personal stakes in. But as she uncovers long-held secrets, Abby stumbles into an explosive situation, and Luke fears that her obsession may prove deadly.

Read an excerpt from Catching Heat.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Janice CantoreJanice 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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The Cautious Maiden by Dawn Crandall

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MY REVIEW:

Each volume of Dawn Crandall’s Everstone Chronicles has been my favorite – that is until I read her latest. I believe each book has been a little better than the previous one and that is saying a lot because I’ve loved them all.

“The Cautious Maiden” may be best because black sheep Vance Everstone is back in the picture as its hero. And what a hero he is! With a questionable reputation that was earned through his poor choices and past mistakes, Vance is a changed man who has found the Lord. Determined to live up to his new-found beliefs, Vance suddenly finds himself in the very center of a scheme devised by Violet Hawthorne’s brother Ezra to save her from the man he lost her to in a poker game. As Vance grows to know Violet better, he finds himself falling in love with her.

This was one book I definitely did not want to put down. Between the romantic tension between Vance and Violet that was made all the better due to his vow to keep the relationship pure and the danger that seemed to stalk them at every turn, I found myself turning each page in anticipation of what might happen next. “The Cautious Maiden” is just the kind of book I love – a romantic historical woven with suspense and mystery plus a good dose of faith.

Violet was a strong and likeable character but Vance was the real star of this book. He was such a shining example of how finding the Lord can help turn a scoundrel into a saint. You really did good on this one Dawn. Now I’m ready to see how you will surpass it with your next novel.

Anyone who has not discovered Dawn Crandall’s Everstone Chronicles needs to pick up the entire series soon. “The Cautious Maiden” can certainly stand alone but is so much better if you have the background from the previous novels.

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for my honest review by the author.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Violet Hawthorne is beyond mortified when her brother Ezra turns their deceased parents’ New England country inn into a brothel to accommodate the nearby lumberjacks—but when Violet’s own reputation is compromised, the inn becomes the least of her worries. In an effort to salvage her good name, Violet is forced into an engagement with a taciturn acquaintance—Vance Everstone.

As she prepares for a society wedding, Violet learns that her brother had staked her hand in marriage in a heated poker game with the unsavory Rowen Steele, and Ezra had lost. Now Rowen is determined to cash in on his IOU.

With danger stalking her and a new fiancé who hides both his emotion and his past, Violet must decide who to trust—and who to leave behind.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dawn CrandallDawn Crandall is the author of The Hesitant Heiress (released August 1, 2014).A graduate of Taylor University with a degree in Christian Education, and a former bookseller at Barnes & Noble, Dawn Crandall didn’t begin writing until 2010 when her husband found out about her long-buried dream of writing a book. Without a doubt about someday becoming published, he encouraged her to quit her job in 2010 in order to focus on writing The Hesitant Heiress. It didn’t take her long to realize that writing books was what she was made to do. Dawn is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary.

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The Wedding Shop by Rachel Hauck

the-wedding-shop



MY REVIEW:

Rachel Hauck’s books are always on my must read list and I NEED to read her books as soon as they are released. I love it when I am fortunate enough to receive a review copy but if I don’t I will always preorder so I can get a copy ASAP. “The Wedding Shop” is her latest offering and I can truthfully say that I loved it. Of course that was no surprise to me.

Often our idea of success is different from what God intends for us. I believe that “The Wedding Shop” is a beautiful illustration of the Lord’s definition of success, especially the story of Cora and how she used her shop to minister to young women in her community. It was so fitting that some of those same women were used years later to help Haley reopen the shop.

Two stories of two women from different generations yet somehow connected, “The Wedding Shop” is so infused with Holy Spirit moments that some might describe it as magical. It is a story filled with unexpected romance yet it is so much more. It is a story of faith and forgiveness and moving on with life past disappointments and mistakes.

I have enjoyed each of the books in this series and I also loved the way Rachel tied this story together with the first two books. To me that made it even more special. Do yourself a favor and read “The Wedding Shop” and don’t forget “The Wedding Chapel” and “The Wedding Dress“. I guarantee you will be in for a special treat.

A copy of this book was provided for review by Celebrate Lit.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Click to purchase.

Click to purchase.

Two women separated by decades. Both set out to help others find their dreams when their own have crumbled.

It’s the early 1930s, but Cora Scott is walking in stride as a career woman after having inherited her great aunt’s wedding shop in Heart’s Bend, Tennessee, where brides come from as far away as Birmingham to experience her famed bridal treatment. Meanwhile, Cora is counting down the days until her own true love returns from the river to make her his bride. But days turn into months and months to years. All the while, Birch Good continues to woo Cora and try to show her that while he is solid and dependable, he can sweep her off her feet.

More than eighty years later, former Air Force Captain Haley Morgan has returned home to Heart’s Bend after finishing her commitment to military service. After the devastating death of her best friend, Tammy, and discovering the truth about the man she loved, Haley is searching for her place in life.

When Haley decides to reopen the romantic but abandoned wedding shop where she and Tammy played and dreamed as children, she begins a journey of courage, mystery, and love.

As Cora’s and Haley’s stories intertwine through time in the shadow of the beloved wedding shop, they both discover the power of their own dreams and the magic of everyday love.

To purchase your copy, click here.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Rachel HauckRachel Hauck is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her book, The Wedding Dress, was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Her book Once Upon A Prince was a Christy Award finalist.

Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and two pets and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at rachelhauck.com, Facebook: rachelhauck, and Twitter: @RachelHauck

Guest Post from Rachel Hauck

Hey everyone! I’m so excited to share The Wedding Shop with you. This book is one of my favorites.

While all books are my “babies,” this one found a special place in my heart.

This standalone novel is part of the Wedding Collection – The Wedding Dress and The Wedding Chapel – and it came to life when I discovered the story of Cora Scott, a 1930s wedding shop owner.

At 30, she’s an old maid, but the best “bride’s maid” in fictional Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. But she’s in love with a charismatic, charming river boat captain.

The contemporary heroine, Haley Morgan, is a retired Air Force captain returning to Heart’s Bend to restart her life. She’s recovering from a broken heart. The handsome, dynamic, charming man she loved was nothing but trouble.

Returning home, Haley is set on keeping a childhood promise she made with her best friend—to open the old wedding shop.

The shop is legend in Heart’s Bend. Haley grew up with stories of Miss Cora and the shop, hearing the town’s mothers, grandmothers, and great grandmothers reminiscing about their “day in the shop,” walking down the grand staircase in their wedding gown.

But in 2016, the shop is dilapidated, neglected and in need of more money than Haley possesses.

While writing this story, I had to ask a lot of questions. Why reopen the old shop? Why not just open a new one?

Haley was a combat veteran, deployed to Afghanistan twice, why would she want to open a wedding shop?

I also investigate the meaning of the shop to the town? To Cora? To Haley?

As I developed the backstory for the characters, the shop and the town, Cora’s came to life. She fascinated me. I admired this fictional woman. She exuded ingenuity, courage, and deep, deep devotion.

On the other hand, Haley was a bit of a mystery but from the start, she saw value in something no one else did.

What if we all saw value in people or places others wanted to reject?

Isn’t that what Jesus does for us?

The heroes of the book, Birch and Cole, are just stellar guys. Princes among men. I love writing about slightly wounded but strong and tender men.

The theme of family and community populates the story. Also, how misconceptions and preconceived ideas often ruin relationships.

Booklist gave The Wedding Shop a Starred Review and called it, “Spellbinding.”

There’s a lot of fun drama in this book! I hope you enjoy spending time with Cora and Haley, the men they love and the shop they bring to life.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Connect with me at www.rachelhauck.com.

BLOG STOPS:

September 13: History, Mystery & Faith

September 13: A Holland Reads

September 14: Giveaway Lady

September 14: Daysong Reflections

September 15: Book Bites, Bee Stings, and Butterfly Kisses

September 15: Bibliophile Reviews

September 16: Bigreadersite

September 16: The Scribbler

September 17: Books,Dreams,Life

September 17: ASC Book Reviews

September 18: Book Babble

September 18: D’S QUILTS & BOOKS

September 19: Pause for Tales

September 19: Book by Book

September 20: The Power of Words

September 20: Lighthouse Academy

September 21: Proverbial Reads

September 21: Splashes of Joy

September 22: Faithfully Bookish

September 22: Singing Librarian Books

September 23: Tell Tale Book Reviews

September 23: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

September 24: Quiet Quilter

September 24: Reading Is My SuperPower

September 25: For The Love of Books

September 26: His Grace Is Sufficient

September 26: Chas Ray’s Book Nerd Corner

GIVEAWAY:

wedding-shop-giveawayTo celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away her Wedding Collection Series! Click here to enter: https://promosimple.com/ps/a366

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The Steeplechase by Carrie Fawcett Pagels

The Steeplechase



MY REVIEW:

“The Steeplechase” is a novella that is quickly read – possibly in one sitting if you are a speedy reader like myself. The historical story takes place in Virginia in the days preceding the War of 1812 and features Martha Osborne, a young woman who only wants to find a way to bring her young brother home from boarding school. What she finds is possible danger and also love.

As is the case of most novellas, I found myself wanting more details about the characters that are necessarily missing due to the shorter length of the book. Nevertheless, I found “The Steeplechase” to be well written and a satisfying read. I look forward to reading more by this author in the future.

A copy of this book was provided for review by the Book Club Network.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

Martha Osborne fears for her six-year-old brother, who was shuffled off to boarding school when his British mother departed to England.

Set in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in the build-up to the War of 1812, expert rider Martha plans to substitute for her older brother in a “race to the steeple” to win the prize—and a bet with Phillip Paulson, equestrian trainer at Yorkview Academy, to help have her little brother returned home. When Phillip stumbles upon the real reasons behind the secret race he finds he may not be able to keep his end of the bargain. Can he save Martha and her brother? And will his heart be lost in the process?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Carrie Fancett PagelsCarrie Fancett Pagels is a multi-published award-winning author of Christian historical romance. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! She resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia, which is perfect for her love of history. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time!

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The Rector by Michael Hicks Thompson

The Rector



MY REVIEW:

I reluctantly agreed to review “The Rector” because it seemed that others were not requesting it. Afterwards I even questioned my sanity for taking on a novel I was not that interested in reading. I really did not need any more commitments – I have plenty of other books I want to read languishing on my shelves waiting for me to find time to read them. Well, as usually happens, I ended up being glad that I read the book!

“The Rector” is a somewhat lengthy but quite clever mystery that takes place in Mississippi during the 1950s which is not that far from where I have spent my entire life. Being somewhat familiar with the area and the Southern customs, I found the story of particular interest. “The Rector” actually includes three different rectors within its pages although the reader actually meets the first rector after his death.

A lot goes on within the pages of “The Rector” and Martha is right in the middle of all of it. At times I thought Martha was a real busybody and at other times I thought she had a strong gift of discernment and a quest for truth and justice. Whatever it was, Martha was largely responsible for solving the mystery of “The Rector”. I enjoyed reading the story from Martha’s point of view and was constantly entertained by the unique and quirky residents of Solo, Mississippi.

I am happy that I took the time to read “The Rector” and would recommend it to any who love a good mystery or a story with a Southern setting.

A copy of this book was provided for review by The Book Club Network.



ABOUT THE BOOK:

If Solo, Mississippi, had any claim to fame in the 1950s, it was due to the small town’s proximity to notorious Parchman Farm Penitentiary. The Rector is a thrilling mix of mystery, suspense, and Christian allegory. Solo may be a speck on the map, but a story as large as the heavens is playing out in its boundaries.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michael Hicks ThompsonAfter earning a master’s degree in mass communication from the University of South Carolina, Michael started a one-man ad agency. It grew to 87 employees in two cities, winning numerous national and international creative awards. Michael sold his firm in 2011 and turned his attention to full-time Christian fiction writing. His latest novel, The Rector, is available on Amazon in print, on Audio Book, and Kindle.

Michael was born in his mother’s own bed on a farm in Yazoo County, Mississippi. He grew up in a town of 310 souls. He knows a thing or two about strong Christian women, alcoholic men, and Jesus. He’s a member of Kairos (prison ministry), been to Cuba twice on door-to-door evangelism mission trips, been a Sunday School teacher, and a member of Independent Presbyterian Church for 35 years. He and his wife of 44 years live in Memphis, TN, have three sons and four grandchildren. The little ones call him “Big Mike.”

He’s a member of the ACFW, Mystery Writers of America, The International Crime Writers Association, and the Southern Writers Association. His books have won BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL and BEST INTERIOR DESIGN from the International Book Awards; the Silver and a Bronze IPPY (for Christian | Fiction) from the Independent Publisher Book Awards; BEST RELIGION | FICTION novel from the National Inde Excellence Awards; a Finalist in the Beverly Hills Book Awards, and Mystery & Mayhem Awards.

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