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 Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race

 

 

Title:  The Great Chattanooga Bicycle Race

Author:  Mike H. Mizrahi

Pages:  344

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Redemption Press

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

I wondered throughout the book if the story told had any truth in actual history; I would love to know if it does or doesn’t.  The time is after the War Between the States and women have begun riding the Bicycle, which is accepted in some places but is not welcomed in the South.  The clothing for women is changing and that too is not a welcomed change.

There is tension in the book between friends, family, businesses, etc. so the fun was seeing how all the various players were going to deal with their own challenges.  The main character is Anna Gaines who is 19 years old and due to a riding incident has a limp that she believes makes her undesired by the male population.  Anna’s mother is against her riding the bicycle along with the “revealing” new style of clothes.

There are contentions between the townsfolk and those who ride their bicycles.  There is a minor male character who has some underhanded dealings going on and unbeknownst to him is being investigated.  Some of the female background players are interesting and my favorite is Hattie and her heart for Anna as well as her sharing truth that helps Anna overcome her shyness.

I enjoyed the trip back in time and when the bicycle first came on the scene.  I do wish the author shared what was historical fact and what was fiction as that would have helped.  The times set in the book are right on the verge of women demanding certain rights, but the budding romance for Anna has been a fun aspect to read.  I hope many will enjoy the story and share it with a friend.

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.”

When Tides Turn (Waves of Freedom #3)

 

Title: When Tides Turn (Waves of Freedom #3)
Author: Sarah Sundin
Pages: 391
Year: 2017
Publisher: Revell
My rating is 4 stars.
When Tides Turn is the third and final installment of the Waves of Freedom series from author Sarah Sundin. The other two books in the series are Through Waters Deep and Anchor in the Storm. This third story takes place beginning in July 1942 and ends August 1943. The two main characters in the book are Dan Avery and Quintessa (Tess) Beaumont. Dan is the older brother of Jim, one of the main characters in book one and Tess is the best friend of Mary, the other main character in book one.
Dan Avery has decided to be a career Navy man for as long as the Lord allows him. He has also determined that women are a distraction from his firm resolve to work his way up the Navy ladder to become an Admiral one day. He will not marry or take time away from his career, working seven days a week. He is coerced to go on a few outings when his brother is home on leave and finds Tess a distraction because of her beauty. He doesn’t encourage her to be interested in him and determines to stay away from her. Then, he discovers she has joined the WAVES and will be working in the same office as he is working. What will he do now?
Tess Beaumont is tired of being thought of as just a pretty face. She wants to be liked for who she is on the inside. She wants to have a purpose. She decides to join the Navy WAVES and excels at her job. She also has noticed her former roommate is acting a bit odd. Her roommate is French and has been attending a group that supports French resistance against Germany. With her odd behavior, Tess begins to wonder if she is a spy for the Germans. Tess reports her suspicions to the local FBI office and they recruit Tess to continue to go to the meetings and report everything to them. In the meantime, Tess fights against her attraction to Dan because she knows he wants to be married to the Navy. She wants to do what is best for him, so she tries to foster a friendship instead. Will this work?
This is a wonderful series for those interested in the WWII setting. They mostly take place in Boston with occasional segments at sea. The faith of the main characters’ shines through in each story. Tess is a wonderful example of an encourager, which I admire, as that is not my forte. I found the segments that took place on board ship very interesting and descriptive. Stay tuned as a new series from this author will be launched in 2018!

Long Time Gone (The Cimarron Legacy #2)

Title:  Long Time Gone (The Cimarron Legacy #2)

Author:  Mary Connealy

Pages:  304

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Bethany

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

We are introduced to the Cimarron Ranch and the Bodin family in the first novel titled, No Way Up! Personally, I have been excitedly looking forward to this book as the story picks up right where the first book leaves off.  I assume the third book will bring to a conclusion the mystery behind who is attempting to take the ranch from the family and constantly attempting to kill the family.

In this book, the focus remains on solving the riddle of who is so focused on stealing the ranch and will get rid of whomever is in the way.  The author does a great job of mixing up tense moments of action, adventure and danger with a comical pause or a possible romance.  With the patriarch of the family in Denver healing from a serious broken leg with his wife beside him, the danger is ramping up and the siblings feel as if there isn’t anyone they can trust.  The man after them has hired many guns against the family and greed is pure motive for some of the hands to go against their bosses.

I love the female characters of Angie and Sadie along with Mel as they have true grit and are a determined force of females to be reckoned with should those intent on harming them cross their paths.  I enjoyed watching a budding romance and the family sticking together regardless of being separated by miles, especially because of the determined nature of whomever is on the warpath.

Read the first book and then this sequel to get caught up on the action, danger, romance, faith and family in the Cimarron Legacy series!  The stories will keep you turning pages for awhile!

: A Trail of Crumbs (A Novel of the Great Depression)

 

Title:  A Trail of Crumbs (A Novel of the Great Depression)

Author:  Susie Finkbeiner

Pages:  320

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Kregel

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

The first novel I read by Susie Finkbeiner was A Cup of Dust, which is a story of the dust bowl, and it was really good.  Now, she presents a story that brings some of the characters from the other book into a new story, which is set during the great depression.  Now don’t think that Susie focuses on the Great Depression; she leads us on a journey where her characters must leave the Dust Bowl to go to another state.  There is where the family, having recently lost a child and asked to raise another by a friend, must learn life in a new county while grieving and adjusting to life without dust everywhere.

There were many surprises in the book and I thought for sure the author was going to take the story in a certain direction that seemed like a good idea at least to me.  However, the author leads us to understand true family and what it can be based on and learning to put one foot in front of the other when unexpected choices are made that impact the heart of the main character, Pearl Spence.  At this time, she is just a young girl who has gone through so much abandonment and has questions galore while learning how reading can help her cope in daily life.

The church the Spencers go to is nothing like they are used to, but Pearl likes how this preacher speaks and the way he shares truth from the Bible.  Pearl’s aunt encourages her imagination and helps her explore the wonderful world of various stories.  I loved the aunt for her carefree, loving and accepting heart which Pearl needed desperately.

I sat down to read the book thinking it would take me days to get through when I found myself unable to put it down and completed it in one sitting.  I was pulled in by the heart, emotions and circumstances described in the tale and how Pearl’s grandmother had deposited so many nuggets of wisdom in Pearl’s heart when she was alive.  What a beautiful example of how our words and actions may not seem to make a difference at the moment, but later can blossom into hope in the heart of a listener!

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.”

Justice Delayed (A Memphis Cold Case Novel #1)

 

Title:  Justice Delayed (A Memphis Cold Case Novel #1)

Author:  Patricia Bradley

Pages:  352

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Revell

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

A friend of mine has read and enjoyed Patricia’s novels for a long time now not until I read her newest story did I fully understand the reason.  In Justice Delayed, we meet a spunky woman named Andi whose sister was murdered many years ago.  Even with the age difference Andi was close to her sister and became a journalist due to the last words she heard her sister speak to her.

In the past, four women stewardesses lived together and may have become involved in illegally smuggling rough diamonds into the States.  While not technically a cold case, the man who is to be executed for murder in a matter of a few days receives a letter stating he didn’t do the deed.  Now, his cousin, who is a detective in the cold case unit, must try to find out the real perpetrator or the evidence that proves the man’s guilt.  The twist is they are related and Andi knows them as well, having grown up together in the same neighborhood.

Both Andi and her brother Brad and detective Will eventually come together to find out the truth about Stephanie even though their friendship is strained by the case.  Will has issues with his birth mother and her coming once again into his life uninvited along with trying to keep Andi from further harm as she digs into stories that are dangerous.  Add to that the growing feelings Will has towards her and vice versa and the story just keeps getting better and better.

I loved how well the author kept me guessing as to who committed what deed and how the various threads of different cases may come together to reveal a completed tapestry of truth.  There are familiar issues, addiction, danger, action and adventure all while on the road to uncover the truth that has been buried for over a decade.  I hope if you are not familiar with Patricia Bradley’s books that you too will grab a copy and enjoy the mystery and the tension as it builds throughout the story all the way to the conclusion!

Expert Witness

 

Title:  Expert Witness

Author:  Rachel Dylan

Pages:  219

Year:  2015

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating is 4 stars.

My two favorite things about the Love Inspired Suspense stories is that they get the story going quickly and readers get to see faith in action not just in word.  This book is no exception.  It takes place in Atlanta, Georgia.  The two main characters are Max Preston, a U.S. Marshal and Sydney Berry, a forensic artist and expert witness.

Sydney has given part of her testimony on opening day in the trial of a prominent businessman’s murder trial.  She is set to give the bulk of her testimony tomorrow.  Due to suspected ties to a local drug gang by the defendant, Sydney is assigned a protective agent from the U.S. Marshal’s Office in the person of Max Preston.  Upon leaving the courthouse, she is in immediate need of his protection as she is the target of a drive-by shooting.  She is uninjured, but she has been put on notice that she is not safe to go home.  She and Max head to a safe house, but soon after arrival their lives are again threatened.

Hereafter, they can no longer be sure who they can trust and are on the run.  They are kept in the loop by a couple of co-workers as to the trial of the status as Sydney is determined to complete her testimony so she can give justice to the young murder victim.  Another threat from Sydney’s past also enters in to play, that of her abusive ex-boyfriend.  He has no idea of the strong woman she has become since their relationship ended when she ran away from him.  She ran from him and to a church where she found God and faith in Him.  She now lives her faith daily and with Max spending so much time around her, he has begun to renew his childhood faith that had previously been put by the wayside.  With constant threats and attempts on their lives, can there be time for a romantic relationship?  Can Sydney move beyond her mistrust of men?

This story get the heart pumping from beginning to end with lots of action and suspense.  There is little down time, so hold on to your hat!  Sydney’s strong faith will be put into action as she must run for her life.  Max revisits his past and why he veered from his faith after he sees Sydney’s dependence on God.  This is a good story for a rainy afternoon or anytime readers have a few hours.  It won’t take long to read as the pages will flip quickly!

Security Detail (Secret Service Agents #1)

 

Title:  Security Detail (Secret Service Agents #1)

Author:  Lisa Phillips

Pages:  224

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

If you haven’t discovered or read any Love Inspired Suspense novels, you’re in for a treat even if you have read several!  Each one is unique, filled with suspense, constant tension and some romance that can also add tension to the story.  Here is tale where a former first daughter has made a life for herself in a small town without her security detail to try and be an average lawyer.  She doesn’t take court cases again just so she doesn’t draw attention to herself.

Kayla Harris is alone, except for her ailing father from whom she lives far away.  Though people still recognize who she is in the town, they respect her desire for anonymity.  Unfortunately, there are those who are now after her and are not playing around; they are playing for keeps.  The problem is Kayla has no idea why they are after her!  Then, her former protector from the secret service, Conner, shows up just when all goes wrong in Kayla’s world.

I loved the story which shows Kayla’s and Conner’s past relationship and now they are forced together.  This new series by Lisa Phillips is a fun, entertaining and thrilling read so please grab a copy and enjoy Lisa’s story as well as look at her other novels that are exciting too!

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.”

Redeeming Liberty

 

Title:  Redeeming Liberty

Author:  Diane and David Munson

Pages:  314

Year:  2011

Publisher:  Micah House Media, LLC

My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.

Griff Topping and his unofficially adoptive son, Wally, are in a small town to attend a wedding.  Wally is unexpectedly roughed up and arrested for a crime he didn’t commit, but the small-town deputy likes Wally as the criminal and refuses to budge in regards to any real proof, but relies circumstantial evidence to hold Wally in jail.  Dawn, Griff’s girlfriend, is going on a mission trip to Sudan, which Griff isn’t thrilled about as tensions in that area are high.  Wally is saving money to pay the bride price to bring his bride, Liberty, to America from Sudan.  Dawn visits Liberty and gives her news of Wally.  As Dawn is flying away in a bush plane, she sees men arrive in Liberty’s village and kidnap her.  So, begins the search to find and free Liberty for Griff and Dawn.

Bo Rider is undercover at a scientific convention in London to secretly recruit potential spies for the U.S.  He finds an unattended briefcase and discovers some interesting information.  The wife of the owner of the briefcase makes trouble for Bo and he barely escapes legal trouble.  Bo is also busy undercover as an Army serviceman, dealing with a Russian military man who is supplying Bo with secret information about Russia’s dealings with Iran.  Can Bo trust his informant’s word?  While undercover, he meets and begins to work with a Mossad agent.  After an attack of severe flu, Bo returns to the U.S. only to discover he didn’t have the flu, but some type of new strain that in most cases is deadly.  Bo must stop the scientist who has created this deadly flu strain before it is released, killing millions.

The title of this story has many different applications, but I want readers to enjoy that discovery for themselves.  Just know that it is worth the time spent reading this suspenseful story.  The authors really know their subject so I always learn something when I read their books, which I value.  The faith of Wally and Liberty especially stood out to me.  During horrific experiences in their young lives, they looked to God and didn’t waver in their faith in Him.  They were truly inspirational.  It is always a treat to visit with familiar characters too such as Bo, Griff and Eva.  I very much like the tangent in the story of Griff’s life-changing discovery.  I look forward to this trio’s next adventure as their stories are always entertaining.

A Viscount’s Proposal (The Regency Spies of London #2)

 

Title:  A Viscount’s Proposal (The Regency Spies of London #2)

Author:  Melanie Dickerson

Pages:  283

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Waterfall Press

My rating is 4 stars.

Edward, Viscount Withinghall has tried all his life to avoid scandal and life a pious life to try to redeem his family’s good name.  His father did his best to desecrate the family name and plagued the family with his wild ways.  Edward has vowed to be just the opposite.  He has his eye set on becoming the youngest Prime Minister of England.  He needs a proper, gentle, staid wife for her role in his career and life.  Leorah Langdon is definitely not the kind of wife he would ever consider!

Leorah Langdon flouts society’s rules that try to limit women.  She maintains her good reputation and virtue, but she isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  She meets Viscount Withinghall and thinks he is a stuffed shirt.  He thinks she is a hoyden.  They do not get along on a subsequent meeting.  Then, Leorah is out riding her horse alone, is thrown and breaks her wrist.  Edward happens to be driving by in his carriage and offers to give her a ride home.  During the trip home, Edward’s carriage overturns, his driver is killed, the horses run away, Edward breaks his leg and then it starts to rain.  Night falls and it is close to midnight before anyone discovers them.  Both of their reputations now are tainted with only one way to repair the damage.  What can they do?

While this was a good romance story, I wasn’t too sure what it had to do with spying.  There were attempts on one of the main character’s lives, but he wasn’t a spy nor was the mastermind behind the crimes a spy.  Other than that, I enjoyed the verbal sparring between Edward and Leorah.  The old saying of opposites attract is certainly evident in this story.  Two people could not be more different, but after spending some time together they both realize they have more in common than they originally thought.  Edward learns not to be so concerned with what people think and Leorah learns that not everything is black and white or that what resides on the inside what is revealed on the outside.  I am certainly looking forward to another book in this series!

Deep Extraction (An FBI Task Force Novel #2)

 

Title:  Deep Extraction (An FBI Task Force Novel #2)

Author:  DiAnn Mills

Pages:  416

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Tyndale

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

How many times have you stayed up late to finish a story that just wouldn’t let up?  Well, for me last night was just such an experience.  When I found out another novel was coming from the pen of DiAnn Mills, I was ecstatic!  She has many published works and I have read several of them, staying up late and reading for hours while lost in the mystery with thrills!

In her newest story, we see various characters making choices which have both positive and negative effects that ripple and touch many others.  Take for instance Nathan, who though extremely rich, was spiritually poor because he believed he had all he needed.  However, what others didn’t know or see ended up costing him his life.  Sally, Nathan’s wife, along with her two teenage sons now learn of a side of the husband/father they never knew.  Will they remain bitter, hurt or work through forgiveness?

There are three people working to uncover and locate the mastermind behind many criminal activities including murder.  Max, who is a seasoned FBI agent, has his personal life in shambles and wants nothing to do with spirituality.  He just wants to finish up his last case before he retires.  Cole is a multilayer complex U.S. Marshall with many talents.  He knew Nathan and wants to help catch the person(s) responsible for his death.  But what will it cost him?  Finally, there is Tori.  She is a hard-working FBI agent who has endured many hardships, both professionally and in her private life.  Will she eventually see her need for God to walk through life?

DiAnn’s stories I find to be highly entertaining with action, adventure, mystery, and faith.  There are many threads in her books that weave captivating tapestries.  Her research makes her tales more lifelike and the characters face similar spiritual, emotional and life questions.  Plus, the more I read of the law enforcement community, the more I respect their devotion and the cost they and their families pay to serve and protect!  Well done, DiAnn.  Keep the books coming!

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.”

Forgotten

 

Title:  Forgotten

Author:  Don & Stephanie Prichard

Pages:  336

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Stephanie S. Prichard

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

What makes readers open a book?  What keeps them coming back to authors again and again?  For me, it isn’t any one aspect, except perhaps that these two authors write with such faith-gripping, heart- pounding, realistic stories!  The characters we met in the first book titled, Stranded, continue here in Forgotten as does the plot, so read Stranded before starting this one.

The lives of the four main characters were each changed, touched and forever bonded by their various experiences as well as faith on that lone island.  As a refresher, Jake is a Marine reservist, Betty is the great-aunt of Crystal, who is young budding teenage girl and finally the federal prosecutor, Eve.

I thought book one was worth losing sleep over, but I wasn’t sure the author duo could do it again.  Let me tell you this story was even more heart-pounding than the first!  The mystery, intrigue, danger and adventure thickens as Eve’s memory is gone and putting her life together is exceptionally tough.  Betty is beside herself with how her relatives are treating Crystal by sending her away to a boarding school.  Jake just wants to be beside Eve as she recovers and well, that isn’t where he ended up.  To find out where he did end up, you must read the story!

Jake’s faith is severely tested and his suffering is more than just his body.  Multiple times he faces enemies and hopelessness, but God touches his heart.  The way the authors portray the wrestling Jake goes through with living out his beliefs is so lifelike.  My heart was touched and challenged.  While I knew this was a work of fiction, I couldn’t help but see that there are truths being revealed that go far deeper than any suffering or loss of hope anyone experiences.

It is my firm and expectant hope that the authors are coming out with more stories that include Jake, Eve and Crystal.  I sure hope I don’t have to wait too long, but even if I do, I know it will be well worth it as I will again get lost in the pages of their tales!  So, please before another book is published grab copies of Stranded and Forgotten because you will definitely be glad you did!

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.”

Stranded

 

Title:  Stranded

Author:  Don & Stephanie Prichard

Pages:  408

Year:  2014

Publisher:  Stephanie Prichard

My rating 5+ out of 5 stars.

Both the novel and the authors are new to me, and I haven’t read any of the over 1,000 reviews posted on an online bookstore site.  I am glad that I didn’t have anything in my mind before I opened the book.  If I could have kept my eyes from getting tired, this is one book I would have read from beginning to end in one sitting!  What an exceptional story that is filled with danger, mystery, conflict, and so much more!  It seemed like every page was filled with the tension of the four survivors figuring out a way to live on an island after a disastrous voyage on a ship had placed them in the perilous ocean for days.

Each of the four main characters has a story to tell of their life that is slowly revealed as they live on the island through heat, storm, dangerous animals not to mention the difficulty of finding food, shelter and a lone soldier still at his post?  Oh, but you must discover that one yourself when you read the story!

First, there is Betty who is the elderly great-aunt to Crystal who is a young girl in need of understanding God’s love.  Betty’s story of her past and her love for God is moving.  Then, meet Eva Gray or is that her real name?  Eva is a federal prosecutor who is trying to find evidence to put a dangerous man away for life.  Eva’s past and her well-protected heart make her furious every time Betty or Jake mentions God. Jake is a reservist with the Marine Corps who was on the cruise with his wife to make memories before her cancer would take her life.  Jake takes the lead when he is marooned with these three women.  His grief is threatening to strangle his heart, but he must take care of them all and hopefully get home to his two children.

What happens during the time on the island is both surprising and heart-gripping!  There are times of discovery that help buoy their hearts and other times where life hangs in the balance.  All four must pull together and learn new skills and constantly attend to the needs of the group as death is nipping at their heels.  Betty and Jake openly share their faith.  Jake had his Bible on him when he went overboard so he can teach Crystal about God and his actions help her understand how real God is.  The very end of the book is just brilliant and instills hope in the heart of readers as I can attest to!

Make time to read, experience and get lost in the pages of one stupendous 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.”

Interview of Don & Stephanie Prichard

 

Interview of Don & Stephanie Prichard

 

  1. You two co-author your novels. How did this happen?

 

Steph: Funny that Don is the one who got us started. He is dyslexic, therefore hated writing, and seldom read anything growing up other than comic books. I always loved reading and writing and wanted to be an author. When I became a wife and mom, I simply forgot about the dream. Then one day, at age 57, Don told me this storyline was stuck in his head and he wanted to publish it as a novel. I confess I snickered. He worked at it for four years before inviting me to join him. I figured I’d be nice and correct the spelling and grammar, but instead I fell in love with the story. Little did I know that I had to “learn to write” too. It took us ten years to reach publication, but sharing the “passion” has been a fantastic experience.

 

 

  1. Did you find it easy to work together on it?

 

Don: It really helped to have a division of labor. While I wrote the initial draft, I realized I had to turn my precious baby over to Steph and trust her feminine sensibilities to soften the way I’d told the story. At first I gritted my teeth at any suggestion of change, but as we read how-to books together and attended writers’ conferences, I realized the worth of literary surgery on my poor child.

 

  1. How did the team-work impact you?

 

Don: It ultimately caused me to love my wife more as I grew in respect for her. I marveled at the way she was able to elegantly express ideas that I was just clumsy with.

 

Steph: I tend to be a global thinker and often reduce my knowledge to the bottom line. Over and over I was impressed with the details Don had imbedded in the story, especially from his experiences as a Marine Corps reservist and Viet Nam veteran. I also discovered that although he wasn’t a big reader, all those movies he watched had made him into an excellent plotter. Most important for both of us was that collaborating on our novel created a terrifically enjoyable bond for us as husband and wife.

 

  1. What is the hardest thing about writing as a team?

 

Steph: We rarely disagree but when we do, we feel free as husband and wife to, um, clearly express ourselves. However, with fifty-one years of marriage under our belts, we also know how to get over it, find a way to agree, and move on. Being Christians with access to prayer definitely makes a difference.

 

 

  1. What are you reading right now?

 

Don: I like Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series because there is lots of action and the story is not slowed with unnecessary description.

 

Steph: Our church has a women’s book club, so right now I’m reading A Different Sun by Elaine Neil Orr for them, and The Distant Hours by Kate Morton for me.

 

 

  1. How did you choose your characters’ names?

 

Steph: Poor Don, we’ve ended up changing most of the names he started out with. He had all the first names of the protagonist’s family handily begin with J, and all the names of the antagonist’s family begin with R. Not any more! The protagonist’s last name is Chalmers, which is a family name in Don’s ancestry. Otherwise, the names were randomly chosen or selected from a list for the year they were born.

 

 

  1. Do your novels feature certain themes?

 

Don: I pretty much focus on the action of the story. Steph “discovers” and develops the themes.

 

Steph: I love developing the themes of our books. Our overall plan is to subtly feature a character quality of God in each novel and man’s struggle with it. In Stranded, the character quality is God’s sovereignty; man’s struggle is seeing God as good in light of the hard things that happen to us. In Forgotten, God is featured as the Just Judge; man’s struggle is with not taking vengeance into our own hands.

 

 

  1. Anything else you want to tell us about your books?

 

Don: Men will enjoy reading them.

 

Steph: Women too, of course! I think having a man and a woman co-author the stories has made them an attractive mixture of adventure and suspense on the one hand, and warm relationships between the characters (eventually—ha!) on the other hand.

 

 

Thanks, Lisa, for inviting us to your blog! Your readers rock!

 

The Saboteur

 

Title:  The Saboteur

Author:  Susan Page Davis

Pages:  248

Year:  2017

Publisher:  Tea Tin Press

My rating 5 out of 5 stars.

While looking for a couple of new books to read, I came across Susan’s newest novel.  After reading the synopsis, I bought it.  When I finished it, I was thirsting for more of her writing and thankfully another novel had recently been published and written with her son titled, The Seafaring Women of the Vera B.  Be looking for a review in the near future.

The story takes place in a small town where Debra Griffin is looking for a job after deciding that her current path of studies at college wasn’t looking favorable.  While stopping to get gas at a local station, which is owned by her best friend, a man comes running out and quickly drives off.  Debra runs in to find out a robbery occurred and then meets Detective Michael Van Sant when he comes to question her at the gas station.  In that moment, Debra’s life is about to change in many ways.  She has no idea what is coming around the corner.  When she lands a job, it is as a secretary to the detectives with Michael being her boss.  Soon it becomes apparent that there is something wrong in the department as various items come up missing or damaged, as well as other mysterious happenings.

I found the story heartwarming and interesting even though there really wasn’t lots of action, adventure or danger.  Really the action focuses on Debra and Michael leading to possible romance as well as a working relationship.  The faith theme is strongly woven throughout the novel and I liked how it was written in a way that reflects the realistic struggles and triumphs of life lived with faith.  I hope many take time to enjoy curling up with this novel as it was well written and tugs at the heart without a whole lot of unnecessary drama.  I loved the compassion and faith with which Michael sought to let Debra know how he felt.  This is a great novel for which I would love to see a sequel written!

Of Moose and Men

 

Title:  Of Moose and Men

Author:  Torry Martin & Doug Peterson

Pages:  224

Year:  2016

Publisher:  Harvest House Publishing

My rating is 5 out of 5 stars.

This book is about the hilarious misadventures of Torry Martin and his friend Rob in the beautiful but dangerous state of Alaska.  I say dangerous, but only because of the bears and other predators that live in the wilderness.  In each hilarious misadventure that Torry reiterates, he finds God working in mysterious ways.  For this hippie, his trials work to make his spiritual life stronger in his walk with God, which is an inspiration to all of us (however hilarious).

I would recommend this book to others for its clean humor and insights that God can use anyone, even a misfit like Torry Martin to use his gifts to inspire others to find God.  At the end of each chapter, he makes some excellent points such as at the end of the final chapter he states that Jesus doesn’t promise an easy life once you have accepted Him, but things are easier to bear knowing we will be with Him in the end.  I like also how he writes this book with a wonderful sense of humor.  I hope others who read this book not only read it for a good laugh, but also find the spiritual insights the author(s) give that in the midst of life’s craziness our Heavenly Father is always with us.

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.”

Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2)

 

Title:  Still Life (Chesapeake Valor #2)

Author:  Dani Pettrey

Pages:  348

Year:  2017

Publisher:  BethanyHouse

My rating is 4 stars.

Parker Mitchell misses Avery Tate more and more every day.  Six months ago she left his employment and his life because their relationship became more personal and he couldn’t wholeheartedly commit to her.  His first love, Jenna, was murdered several years ago and he hasn’t been able to move on in his personal life.  Her killer was never caught and Parker feels he failed to protect her.  He cares for Avery, but knows she needs someone who can give her 100%.  Out of the blue she calls him, needing his expertise as a crime scene processor.  Everyone in the business knows he is the best and as Avery used to work as his crime scene photographer, she knows it too.  Parker hopes Avery is back in his life for a lot longer than this case as he spends more and more time with her, trying to help her.

Avery Tate’s best friend, Skylar, is missing.  She posed for a bizarre photograph for a gallery showing, but evidence in the photograph leads Avery to think Skylar is dead.  She calls the best in the business to come look at the photograph and Skylar’s trailer to process them.  The best being the man she has given her heart to, Parker Mitchell.  She and Skylar grew up together and had a past riddled with alcohol, drugs and petty crime, but eight years ago Avery became a Christian and has never looked back.  She totally turned her life around.  Unfortunately, Skylar has not.  Avery desperately wants to find out where Skylar is and try again to get her out of her seedy lifestyle.  Parker and Avery embark on an investigation with the help of Charm City Investigations, which includes their friends Griffin, Finlay, Kate, Tanner and Declan.  Their search leads them after an obsessed man, his girlfriend, some college kids who were in Skylar’s trailer as well as some other people from Avery’s past.

While this story definitely had moments of tension and suspense, I felt that Declan and Tanner were too much in the story.  They took the focus sometimes off of Avery and Parker.  I know the third book in the series is to focus on Declan and Tanner, but having them appear so often in this story dimmed my enjoyment somewhat.  I was glad to see Griffin and Finlay make appearances in the story, and since their story was told in book one, I was okay with them being in the story.  I did really like how Avery and Parker both prayed and kept each other accountable in their relationship with God.  God was definitely a part in their relationship, drawing them together and strengthening them.  I look forward to book three being released in October 2017 titled, Blind Spot.  Also, check out Dani’s other great series set in Alaska called Alaskan Courage.