This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Missing
Avon Inspire; Original edition (March 20, 2012)
by
Shelley Shepard Gray
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Since 2000, Shelley Sabga has sold over thirty novels to numerous publishers, including HarperCollins, Harlequin, Abingdon Press, and Avon Inspire. She has been interviewed by NPR, and her books have been highlighted in numerous publications, including USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.

Under the name Shelley Shepard Gray, Shelley writes Amish romances for HarperCollins’ inspirational line, Avon Inspire. Her recent novel, The Protector, the final book in her “Families of Honor” series, hit the New York Times List, and her previous novel in the same series, The Survivor, appeared on the USA Today bestseller list. Shelley has won the prestigious Holt Medallion for her books, Forgiven and Grace, and her novels have been chosen as Alternate Selections for the Doubleday/Literary Guild Book Club. Her first novel with Avon Inspire, Hidden, was an Inspirational Reader’s Choice finalist.

Before writing romances, Shelley lived in Texas and Colorado, where she taught school and earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. She now lives in southern Ohio and writes full time. Shelley is married, the mother of two children in college, and is an active member of her church. She serves on committees, volunteers in the church office, and currently leads a Bible study group, and she looks forward to the opportunity to continue to write novels that showcase her Christian ideals.

When she’s not writing, Shelley often attends conferences and reader retreats in order to give workshops and publicize her work. She’s attended RWA’s national conference six times, the ACFW conference and Romantic Times Magazine’s annual conference as well as traveled to New Jersey, Birmingham, and Tennessee to attend local conferences.

Check out Shelley’s Facebook Fan page

ABOUT THE BOOK:

In the first book in her new Secrets of Crittenden County series, Shelley Shepard Gray delivers another page-turning romance set in Amish country

Perry Borntrager had been missing from the quiet Amish community of Crittenden, Kentucky, for months when his body was discovered at the bottom of an abandoned well. Everyone had assumed Perry left Crittenden on his own, seduced by the wider world he discovered during his rumspringa, but now the truth has thrown this once-peaceful town into chaos. The first death from mysterious circumstances in Crittenden in more than two decades has invited the scrutiny of the outside world: a police detective arrives to help their local sheriff with the investigation. His questioning begins with Lydia Plank, Perry’s former girlfriend, and Perry’s best friend, the Englisher Walker Anderson.

Lydia and Walker know they didn’t have anything to do with Perry’s death, but they both hold secrets about his final days. Do they dare to open up about the kind of man Perry had become? In the oppressive shadow of these dark times, they discover strength in a most unlikely companionship that offers solace, understanding, and the promise of something more.

If you would like to read the first chapter of Missing, go HERE.

Learn more about Shelley and her books on her Website.

MY REVIEW:

One thing I have come to expect from Shelley Shepard Gray’s Amish novels is that I can expect the unexpected. In Missing the small community of Crittenden, Kentucky is shaken by the discovery of a body of a young Amish man who everyone thought had left town. Perry’s death has affected the lives of everyone from his family and his friends to the young teen who found his body. With very little evidence in sight, the local sheriff brought in his friend Luke, a detective from Cincinnati to help solve the case.

Within the pages of this fairly short book, the reader will find a young Amish woman whose life has been turned upside down by the death of her near fiance and family secrets that have recently been revealed, a young Englisch woman who desires to become Amish, a young Englisch man who finds himself very attracted to a young Amish woman, and a city-boy detective who gradually learns to love the slower small town lifestyle. The lives of all these characters are connected through the investigation of Perry’s death. Secrets abound and hard decisions have to be made.

Missing is not only a murder mystery but also a romance that takes place in an Amish community. Several subplots promise to be fleshed out in the upcoming sequels. As so often happens, I was left hanging at the end and eager for the next installment to be released. Obviously this mystery will be spread out over the entire series which is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just hard to wait when the author has pulled you so thoroughly into the lives of her characters. I will definitely have my eyes peeled for “The Search” that is to be released in June, then “Found” to be released in September. I’m thankful I won’t have to wait longer than that.