Lost in Pages

I enjoy reading and sharing my review of the various material I read. There is also the fun of communicating with authors and publishers

The Escape Artist


Title:  The Escape Artist

Author:  Brad Meltzer

Pages:  434

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Grand Central Publishing

My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.

When a friend told me about the latest novel that was coming soon written by Brad Meltzer, I quickly read a synopsis found online.  Ok, I was totally hooked!  I just couldn’t wait to read the novel that also has factual data inside the story, making the novel mesmerizing to say the least.  So, when I began reading, I couldn’t see where the connection was to the magic of Harry Houdini.  I plunged ahead and the further into the maze of mystery I explored, I occasionally wondered where the author was taking me.  Yet, by the middle of the book or perhaps sooner, I simply couldn’t put the book down until I was so tired I couldn’t see the words clearly.  The next day, when time allowed, again I opened the book to continue the exciting and thrilling story that was being slowly woven together right before my eyes.  As I went along, I forgot about trying to figure out where I was being led and simply became engrossed in the action taking place.

As I read the last chapter and page, I knew that the wait was worth it!  The author delivered one of his absolute best thrillers in a long time!  While magicians may use slight of hand, Brad uses his pen in the same way throughout each page and through each character.  Sometimes I was taken aback that what I thought was happening wasn’t and/or a totally unanticipated turn in the plot took place.

When you get a copy, be prepared to spend time in pure enjoyment, entertainment, and sharing of knowledge by the tale.  Don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting your friends or family reading their own copy of the book as soon as possible, because you won’t want to share yours!

Red Sky over America (Ladies of Oberlin #1)


Title:  Red Sky over America (Ladies of Oberlin #1)

Author:  Tamera Lynn Kraft

Pages:  328

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Desert Breeze Publishing Inc.

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This is a debut novel that readers won’t soon forget by a brand-new author!  The story begins in the year 1857 in Ohio where a young lady named America, called Merry, attends a college started by Albert Finney and considered liberal for its time.  Originally, America came from Kentucky, which had much less liberal leanings and expected people to stay in their station of life.  Yet, America feels called to go to China even if she must go alone.

William is following in his father’s footsteps, preparing to be a preacher and then go to China.  William’s father and mother are gone and being an abolitionist, he plans on preaching against slavery during winter break in Kentucky.  What he wants to preach about, and the various groups he encounters keeps the story extremely interesting.

America’s father is a former officer who makes future plans with or without Merry’s approval.  William and Merry both are attending the same college and will graduate the same year, but what their future holds is one question that continues during the tale.  I found the author’s ability to tell a story very engaging and filled with action, danger, adventure and twists!

I enjoyed how the author brings Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel into the book and how it was already being widely read or not read.  The antagonist is a man who is used to getting his way and running over anybody.  His rage is taken out on people who he sees as less than human, or even those who are undermining his plans.  His name?  Well, let’s see when you read the book if he doesn’t stand out quickly to you or if you think another character is the antagonist.

A good book to curl up and enjoy!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Birth of the Church: Matthew, Mark, Luke & Acts (Christian Living Bible Study Series)


Title:  Birth of the Church: Matthew, Mark, Luke & Acts (Christian Living Bible Study Series)

Author:  Trina Bresser Matous

Pages:  306

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Straight Street Books

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

In this study, before each of the books of the Bible, the author gives some background information along with an overview.  Following these couple of pages, the audience gets to read a short paragraph and then there are listed a couple of questions.  These can be used for personal quiet time, journaling, small groups or even to begin a discussion.

Bible study books like Trina’s are meant to spur us to further study of God’s Word and to be in daily communication with our Father.  Trina has done an excellent job of researching and putting it in concise and easy language people can digest and meditate on.  Studying the Bible should be a source of wisdom, knowledge and more.  Here is a tool to aid seekers in doing just that plus growing in their relationship with Jesus.

The only desire I have is to see more studies include bibliographies, so seekers can go deeper into any topic that God speaks to their heart.  I would use a study like this, especially with those new to the faith so as not overwhelm them in learning to spend daily time with God.  However, the well written study is for people who desire to ignite their walk with God!

Yuletide Defender


Title:  Yuletide Defender

Author:  Sandra Robbins

Pages:  281 (large print)

Year:  2010

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Rachel Long is a reporter for the local newspaper with designs on landing a big story that will propel her up the professional ladder.  She needs this story so she can earn more money.  What most people don’t realize is that the money isn’t for herself, but for her special needs sister.  She has been writing a series of stories on the escalating gang violence between two gangs in the city.  There have been six deaths in the last two months, three from each gang.  However, Rachel has received information from an anonymous inside source that this violence isn’t being perpetrated by the gangs, but rather by a lone vigilante who has his own agenda.

Matt Franklin is a detective with the police force who has been called to the scene of these murders and is working to try to bring justice to the victims.  He is a Christian who volunteers at the city youth center for at-risk teen boys.  Matt comes from a wealthy family, but he downplays that as he wants people to see the man he is not the money or connections his family has.  He meets Rachel at the scene of one of the murders and they strike up a friendship.  Matt asks her on a date, but is wary she is after his money when she mentions she wants to work at a higher paying job than she has now.  As Rachel continues to be fed anonymous information, Matt feels she is putting herself at more and more risk.  He wants her kept safe, but she is determined to follow the story.  Suddenly, Rachel has a target on her back as the vigilante has her in his sights.  What happens next, you’ll have to read about!

I enjoy reading these stories full of suspense, action, love and faith.  Matt has a strong faith that helps him deal with the worst society has to offer sometimes.  He gives of his time to community service to try to improve the lives of young teen boys, which is admirable.  He sets an example of a fine Christian man.  This is a story that can be read in an afternoon, sitting outside enjoying the spring weather!

Security Detail



Title:  Security Detail

Author:  Lisa Phillips

Pages:  282 (large print)

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Kayla Harris and Connor Thorne have known each other for years.  When they first met, he was a rookie Secret Service Agent assigned to protect the President’s rebellious teenage daughter…Kayla.  She had a crush on him and he liked her as well, but there was no way a Secret Service Agent assigned to guard the President’s daughter was going to be allowed to date her!  So, the romance went unrequited and Kayla went off to college to become a lawyer while her father served a second term in office with Connor remaining with the Secret Service.

Now, Kayla has graduated college and law school and set up practice on her own.  She owns a shelter for battered women and children in her spare time, but has someone else manage it.  Everyone believes Connor has left the Secret Service as a disgraced agent, but he is really still working for them only now he is undercover and has infiltrated a group of criminals.  The head honcho of the bad guys is out for revenge against his wife and daughter who left him.  Not knowing who they were, Kayla helped them escape through her shelter.  Kayla now has a target on her back and Connor overhears an attack being planned on Kayla at her office.  He barely makes it there in time to rescue her, and then the action and suspense really take off!

It was interesting that the one who rebelled as a teen had given her life over to God and was now trying to live the quiet life and help others.  Connor is still in protect mode.  The past feelings they had for one another return to the surface and now that Kayla is a woman, can they have a relationship or will Kayla’s enemy take her down before they even have their first date?

Lady Jayne Disappears


Title:  Lady Jayne Disappears

Author:  Joanna Davidson Politano

Pages:  416

Year:  2017

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Aurelie Harcourt is a young woman on a mission to find her missing mother.  Aurelie has grown up with her father in a debtor’s prison cell.  Her father amassed so many debts and with an inability to pay them was sentenced to debtor’s prison.  Her father has a wonderful gift for telling stories.  Aurelie has learned his skill well and can tell fantastic stories in her own right.  Aurelie has acted as a transcriber for her father, writing down stories under the pen name Nathaniel Droll.  The public has gone wild for these stories as well as trying to discover the real identity of Nathaniel Droll.  Aurelie that must now navigate a world in which she is totally unfamiliar…the aristocracy.  Her father has died, leaving Aurelie homeless.  She has no debts, so can’t stay in debtor’s prison.  Her brother was an aristocrat, but cut off from his family.  His older sister is the only relative Aurelie knows about and hopes she will be taken in or else be left on the streets.

Aurelie returns to her father’s home where his sister and her children and grandchildren live.  She is taken in, but told by her aunt not to disclose her background and only to say she is a distant cousin.  Aurelie is not prepared to play society’s games and longs to return to the honesty of the people she cared for in prison.  Silas Rotherham seems to understand Aurelie’s goodness.  Although most seek her out to tell her stories, the family for the most part doesn’t truly accept her.  Aurelie knows she is in the last place her mother was known to be and determines to discover what happened to her.  No one will tell her, but Aurelie longs to know her mother’s fate.  Silas and Aurelie share a budding romance, but will it come to fruition?  Aurelie hears about a proposal from Silas, but it isn’t offered to her.  Will someone from her past expose her deepest secret or can she avoid disaster?

Aurelie is an amazing young woman with a heart of gold!  She cares for the poor, sick and the weak.  She shows God’s love through her shining example of service.  She puts others before herself and relies on God.  Silas has a warm and compassionate heart as well as being a man of God.  He tries his best to look after Aurelie and spare her hurts from her family.  The vivid descriptions of the characters brought them to life for me.  I was emotionally drawn in to the story and felt the character’ feelings as if they were my own.  The writing I found exceptional in the story and I can’t wait for this author’s second novel! 

My Heart Belongs in San Francisco California (Abby’s Prospects)



Title:  My Heart Belongs in San Francisco California (Abby’s Prospects)

Author:  Janice Thompson

Pages:  256

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Barbour Books

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Abby is traveling with her butler to Oregon to bring her mother back home to Philadelphia.  However, there is no current route there due to the road being washed out so Abby and Neville, the butler, end up in a boisterous and rowdy town.  Within moments of their arrival, shots are fired in the air as men gallop down the street celebrating.

With the cost of living being so high, Abby must decide to abandon her quest for her mother, request funds from her father, or learn how to work menial tasks to earn money.  Work like that is new to Abby as she has grown up as a lady of means and with servants at her beck and call.  Within a few days, Abby isn’t sure she will ever move without pain ever again.

Cookie and Sam are workers at a food and inn establishment that Sam’s father owns.  They have a history and have known each other for a very long time.  Sam’s father is mulling over the option of selling the food and inn establishment, thinking Sam no longer wants to run the business.  As one reads the story, watch for changes in the hearts of the characters.  Cookie is one special lady who can recall scripture for situations along with where it can be found in the Bible.

The story is filled with climax, romance, scripture, and slowly builds the tension in the plot.  I cannot wait to see what the next book the author or the publisher of this series brings to the market.  Each book in the series, though written by different authors and stand-alone books, audiences can easily read in a short amount of time and enjoy.  Consider sharing your copy with friends and family as well as asking your local library to purchase the series for any age of adult readers.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Light on The Hill (Cities of Refuge #1)


Title:  A Light on The Hill (Cities of Refuge #1)

Author:  Connilyn Cossette

Pages:  336

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This story is a heart-throbbing, pulse-pounding and faith-intensive tale.  It centers on the book of Joshua when the Israelites were setting up cities of refuge in the land God gave to them.  The main purpose of cities of refuge were for people to flee to if they accidently killed someone.  It is where they would have to live out their lives until the current high priest died or they themselves died.  If they left that city at any time, an avenger was free to take the offender’s life.

There are several reasons I loved this book.  One, the time was kept by the Hebrew calendar, helping keep readers’ minds in that time.  Two, readers will get a flavor for what other nations in the land were doing or how they looked upon the Israelites.  Three, the constant tension of never knowing if the main character fleeing to a refuge city was going to arrive before being killed.

Moriyah had been branded before the walls of Jericho were brought down, so if people saw the brand they jumped to conclusions.  Some of the taunts and ways people treated her, whether real or perceived by her, were so hurtful she placed herself in isolation in her home.  She cared for her father and neighbors through her cooking abilities.  Her father arranged a marriage, but it wasn’t to the man Moriyah thought, which caused the heart of this reader to wonder if her desire to marry would become a reality.

Moriyah built a wall around her heart that even kept her from hearing Yahweh’s voice, so she thought He left her too.  Now, she needs men who are willing to help her flee to a city of refuge before the man bent on taking her life captures her.  The man helping her to arrive safely is closely related to the man seeking revenge, and somewhere along the way a romance that Moriyah knows can never be begins to grow.

What a fantastic story that captures the heart of readers and challenges us all to let the wall of separation between us and Yahweh down and listen for His voice.  Can we trust Him to know what is best for us and help us walk through the time even if it isn’t what we thought life would look like as Moriyah learned?

I can’t wait until the next book is released as this biblical story, while written fictionally, is beyond exceptional!  It helps people to see that He is faithful and truly brings about the best for us and others even when we don’t see the “how”.  Don’t wait another minute to enjoy this novel!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Keturah (The Sugar Baron’s Daughter #1)



Title:  Keturah (The Sugar Baron’s Daughter #1)

Author:  Lisa T. Bergren

Pages:  352

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers

My rating is 4 stars out of 5.

Keturah Banning Tomlinson has received the last letter of their late father from their sugar plantation in the West Indies.  The news is not good.  While still grieving the death of their father, Keturah and her two sisters now face financial ruin.  There has been a drought, the crop has failed and the overseer has died just to name some of the things that have gone wrong in the West Indies.  The sisters decide to pack up, leave London and travel to the sugar plantation to set things back on course.  The idea of three women being heiresses to a fortune and managing it themselves is ludicrous to most men of this time, so most of the men want to marry Keturah to gain control of the plantation, property, etc.  However, Keturah has told herself she will never be under a man’s thumb again.

The problems facing three aristocratic women when they arrive are daunting.  Is there any way they can turn things around for a brighter future?  Gray Covington may be the answer, but can Keturah set aside her stubbornness and her fear of a repetition of the past to trust again?  Gray is a childhood friend who has also arrived on Nevis to manage his brother’s sugar plantation.  He wants to renew his friendship with Keturah as he has kept his distance since her marriage.  However, his reputation as something of a lady’s man might harm this.  He wants to protect Keturah and her sisters, so he won’t give up his pursuit of friendship or maybe something more?

With rich and vivid descriptions of the time and place, I felt like I was in the West Indies with Keturah.  The author does an excellent job of putting readers in the story.  The slavery scenes in the story, while horrible, I thought were realistic and authentic to the time and place.  Her care of her sisters’ future was admirable, thinking of their needs first.  My only negative is that the first third to half of the book was a bit slow; it took a while for me to get to know Keturah’s character and get involved in the story.  However, with the themes of redemption, forgiveness and God’s ability to love us no matter what made the story worth reading for sure.  I also appreciated in the Author’s Note references for victims of abuse.  I am curious to read what happens to Keturah’s sisters in the upcoming novels, so stay tuned for further reviews!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Black OPS American Jihad

Title:  Black OPS American Jihad

Author:  William W. Johnstone

Pages:  254

Year:  2006

Publisher:  Pinnacle

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

I found out about this book via a Facebook post and having never read it, I decided I was going to dive right into the novel.  The novel is written solely by William W. Johnstone and it is a story about legacy, specifically Smoke Jensen’s legacy.  If you have not read about this character, he is a man who doesn’t seek trouble, but won’t back down from it either.  He fights for what is right and seeks out those who are doing wrong when they cross his path or hurt those he loves.  What makes this story fascinating is that Smoke is writing to a grandson not yet born, a couple of generations future of Smoke’s time.  Smoke wanted him named Arthur Kirby Jensen.

Smoke leaves a journal for him that shares some of his trials in life, passing on the wisdom he learned to a great-great grandson he’ll never know.  I loved the idea of passing on the wisdom from Smoke’s life and writing it as if he were alive and speaking directly to his grandson.  I enjoyed the suspense of the novel as Arthur Kirby Jensen is serving in the army, facing a trial in his career and life that is high stakes.

The best piece of advice Smoke passes on is that the character of a man matters, especially under adversity.  Arthur, known as Art, in the book, sure encounters some of that when he faces a court martial with a stacked deck, but he has a calm steady demeanor.  The story really has some surprise twists and turns and makes for a book easy to get lost in.  While there are a few uses of foul language what I really saw no need for was a brief encounter Art had one night with a woman after saving her life.  Nothing graphic just a description of French passionate kissing that really could have been left out and it wouldn’t have hurt the story at all because it added nothing to the plot.

If his niece picks up this character and beings writing about him, I hope she will continue to write strong plots and subplots, action, adventure and the like without any distractions as mentioned above.  Readers, don’t let it keep you from the book.  It’s a quick distraction and now that you know about it you can skip over it and get wrapped up in the drama!

Pelican Point (A Hope Harbor Novel)


Title:  Pelican Point (A Hope Harbor Novel)

Author:  Irene Hannon

Pages:  358

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Revell

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

The other titles in series are Hope Harbor: A Novel, followed by Sea Rose Lane, and Sandpiper Cove.  The moment I started reading Hope Harbor, my heart was immediately engaged with the unique characters.  Each one brings with them a well-crafted background and a heart that longs for love, freedom and faith.

The players we meet at the beginning of the series continue throughout the story.  Pelican Point isn’t the last of the Hope Harbor novels for which I am so glad!  Irene Hannon has crafted plots that have a touch of mystery, suspense, romance, legacy, and so much more.  In the Pelican Point book, we meet Ben Garrison who is the grandson of one of the Hope Harbor residents.  He had visited his grandfather many times and even went out fishing with him, listening to the tales his grandfather wove while they were out on the water. 

Now Ben returns in what he plans as only a short stay, but with the returning comes a flood of memories Ben doesn’t count on.  Plus, he meets the editor of the town paper named Marci and she is a spitfire of a gal!  As the two interact in various scenes, one gets the feeling these two characters won’t get along ever!  Is that really the case?

The series isn’t sappy or simply romance; there is a tale in each book and characters with which any reader will be able to identify.  Plus, these are stories that are fun to read, encouraging and instilling hope into the hearts of readers.  So, please read them before the next one is published.  You will be so glad you did!

The Innkeeper’s Daughter (a novel)


Title:  The Innkeeper’s Daughter (a novel)

Author:  Michelle Griep

Pages:  320

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press

My rating is 5+ out of 5 stars.

What a spectacular story is bound within the covers!  Michelle Griep takes readers back in time to 1808 in London to a place called the Blue Hedge Inn where a mother, daughter and young son keep boarders, serve ale and food.  They work hard in a building that is run down and about to collapse, trying hard to pay off the mortgage before they get sent to the workhouse to pay off their debt.  Johanna does most of the work of the inn, and her Mam works in the kitchen.  The boy name Thomas is quite the character!

Besides some boarders taking off without paying, the banker is an uncaring fellow, which I easily disliked.  Perhaps that was the author’s intent…maybe.  Then add to the mix, Alexander Moore, who is undercover to locate those bent on sedition or other ill gains.  Alexander is not a man of means, but to do his job he must put forth the appearance and behavior of a wealthy man.  While doing his job, Alexander stays at Johanna’s inn and that’s where the story really gets interesting!

The author wrote a novel that entails many mysteries that kept me reading for hours.  When I thought the ending was near and the true culprits would be revealed, it turns out there were more twists and turns to the plot!  The more pages I read, the faster my heart beat in anticipation of how the book was going to end.  Would those who should be brought to justice be revealed?  How was Alexander going to marry one woman while he was in love with another?

Above all, I was wondering if Johanna was going to keep her inn or end up in the workhouse to pay her debts.  Johanna is a brave woman who worked her heart out and underwent some very hard times that impacted her heart, body, emotions and soul.  Alexander was an interesting man who tried to do the right thing, but was it to please God or man?  This is one of the best of Michelle’s stories that just got richer the more I read.  I sincerely hope many read and enjoy the tale as I did, including the ending that is a surprise!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog.  Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255. “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


The Amendment Killer



Title:  The Amendment Killer

Author:  Ronald S. Barak

Pages:  570

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Gander Hope House

My rating 4 out of 5 stars.

When I took time to look around for a legal thriller to read, after I read the synopsis of this book, I was hooked.  There are many pluses to the way this author writes.  For example, he keeps the focus on the courtroom theatrics as well as the interpersonal relationships, both inside the court and in the various characters’ homes.  The thought that Supreme Court Justices can be blackmailed to vote a certain way for the betterment of one messed up individual was very unique.

The way the justices walked a fine line to save the diabetic daughter of a justice was very engaging.  There are family dynamics that bring tension to the story as well as some lawyers’ spouses’ employment might factor into the kidnapping and hopefully locating the young girl.  Another interesting feature to the novel was the reading of the internal struggles the protagonists had throughout the book.  Then, when you add a political thread in the plot, that really heightened the interest of this reader.

What was fascinating to me was how the antagonist used one cuss word to express his various feelings of anger and frustration and watching him change in the use of his verbiage by the end of the book.  No, this is not a Christian or a clean book; however, it is a well-crafted story.  I have written the author on his website to suggest changing the language in his upcoming books and I hope he will.  I am very thankful that he was able to share his craft without the use of a sexual material at all in the novel.  I believe this author can tell a riveting tale without the use of bad language.

In the spring of this year, another novel of his will be released titled, The Puppet Master.  I may read it, but it depends what is in my TBR pile and life.  Other authors who write legal novels that are clean can be found like Cara Putman and Rachel Dylan, both of whom are excellent story tellers.  For a non-Christian author and publisher, this wasn’t a book to ignore.  I just wanted to see what the new author offered and how he offered his tale for audiences.  I am an eclectic reader and did enjoy this novel plus being able to encourage the author to change just a minute detail to make it even more appealing to people for all walks of life.


Out of the Ashes


Title:  Out of the Ashes (The Heart of Alaska #2)

Author:  Tracie Peterson & Kimberley Woodhouse

Pages:  336

Year:  2018

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The authors continue to tell us a story set in Alaska in a hotel that existed long ago, named the Curry.  At the end of the novel, there are websites listed for interested readers to visit if they so choose to see unique photos.  This second book is a sequel following book one titled, In the Shadow of Denali, which many of us have known as Mount McKinley in Alaska.

We continue to follow the adventures of characters we met in the first book and see how new characters come to the hotel with interesting backgrounds.  One of the visitors is a young man and his younger sister from France.  Jean-Michel was wounded not just in body but in soul.  How can he follow through with his father’s last wishes to turn to God when he doesn’t know how or take of a younger sister he loves yet hardly knows because of the 10-year difference in age?

Katherine is broken from an abusive marriage.  Her aging grandmother believes the best thing for her is going on an adventure to Alaska.  What Katherine doesn’t know is that her grandmother has secretly set up something in the hope of her granddaughter finding healing, joy and the Lord.  Collette is Jean-Michel’s younger sister and is maturing from teen to woman and is lost, having neither parent to guide her into adulthood.

Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Woodhouse share about their own personal experiences while co-writing this book of times when they themselves have had God bring beauty from ashes.  I was touched by their transparency with readers as well as what happens in the work of fiction they share with us.  Read and enjoy the first two books before the third book in the series titled, Under the Midnight Sun, is released!

Try Fear



Title:  Try Fear

Author:  James Scott Bell

Pages:  292

Year:  2009

Publisher:  Center Street

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

Ty Buchanan makes his return appearance in this third and final book of the series.  He takes the case representing a man charged with DUI.  The case looks unwinnable, but from out of nowhere Ty wins the case and gets his client freed.  Then, his client is found dead and the brother is arrested for the murder.  There is no way Ty can let this go.  He is going to find the killer no matter what or who he has to chase down.  He is also sticking his toe in the pond of faith…maybe.  His relationship with Sister Mary is going in a more than friendly direction on his part, but what about her?

During the course of his legwork, he encounters interesting and dangerous characters such as a street preacher, dirty politicians and the people who are out at night in Hollywood.  Ty still has his run-ins with Sister Hildegarde, who would rather see Ty live somewhere besides their quiet community.  Sister Mary begins receiving threatening emails and Ty is not going to allow her to be hurt.  He vows to discover who her cyber stalker is and bring him down.  Can Ty stop this stalker before Sister Mary gets hurt?  She has been helping him with his investigations.  Could she have developed her enemy this way?

I am sorry to see this series end.  Ty Buchanan is a well-liked character in my book.  He has a great sense of humor, is well-read and able to give one-line zingers with ease.  All three books were well-written and exciting.  The short chapters set a quick pace for readers and the snappy dialogue will keep them turning pages quickly to get the next dose of humor or suspense.  I read one right after another in the span of four days!  Ty’s sense of justice and being willing to defend those who had no one to defend them made him such a likable character to me.  These are the first books of this author that I have read, but they won’t be the last!  He writes with ease and his knowledge and experience as a lawyer shine through.  I plan on reading more of this author’s work in the future.  As for this series, it is going on my “keeper” shelf.

Try Darkness (Ty Buchanan Legal Thriller #2)


Title:  Try Darkness

Author:  James Scott Bell

Pages:  292

Year:  2008

Publisher:  Center Street

My rating is 5 stars out of 5.

Ty Buchanan is back in another legal thriller.  This time he represents a poor, single, woman with a young daughter who is facing eviction from a hotel that rents rooms weekly.  She has the money, but the hotel won’t take it because if she lives at the hotel for more than 30 days, it changes the legal status of the hotel.  So, the hotel only accepts money for three weeks, then evicts tenants, putting them out on the street usually.  Ty’s client refuses to be cowed and wants to fight against the hotel in court.  Ty quickly discovers that the firm representing the hotel is one he is very familiar with, his former employer.  The lead attorney for the firm is his former best friend.  Ty wastes no time in playing hardball against the big firm, telling them his client wants to remain in the hotel and if they don’t accept her money, they will be taken to court.  Ty is warned to let the matter drop, but his client remains firm in her stance.  That is until she is found dead.

Ty is still living at the St. Benedictine Monastery with Father Bob and Sister Mary Veritas.  They help him in his quest to find his client’s killer as well as take care of her young daughter.  Father Bob also likes to discuss theological matters with Ty, trying to get Ty to open his mind to God.  Kylie, his client’s daughter, develops an attachment to Ty and Sister Mary as she tries to remember some things about her mother that might help Ty’s investigation.  Ty isn’t afraid of the big-time law firm or their wealthy and powerful client.  He loves to poke the bear.  He seeks justice for his client as well as her daughter.

Again, Ty’s wit and sense of humor are quickly evident, which I found refreshing.  His developing relationship with Sister Mary and Father Bob was also interesting.  His basketball skills are sure put to the test by Sister Mary as she schools him in the art of b-ball.  I also loved his interactions with Sister Hildegarde.  Boy, did he love to push her buttons!  He is a protector of those who can’t protect themselves.  When the pressure is on, he acts with courage and grit and stubborn refusal to give in or give up.  For those who like suspenseful legal thrillers, this book is sure to please!