Title by Darlene L Turner, subject of review: Abducted in Alaska
Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Darlene L Turner
Release: January 2023
Saving a boy who has escaped his captors puts Canadian border patrol officer Hannah Morgan right into the path of a ruthless child-smuggling ring. Now with help from police constable Layke Jackson, she must keep the child safe. But can they rescue the other abducted children and bring down the gang…all while protecting a little boy and keeping themselves alive?
About the Author
Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at http://www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders.
As with all of Darlene L Turner’s books, Abducted in Alaska, her contribution to Ambushed in Alaska, starts out with a bang! Hannah Morgan is a Canadian border patrol officer who finds a very frightened 8-yr-old boy in a blizzard by her station. Hannah works with her boss, Superintendent Doyle Walsh, who is like a father to her, and police constable Layke Jackson to keep young Gabe safe and discover more about a a child labor ring.
There is plenty of snow and cold in this beautiful setting, and you will both realize the awesomeness and the fearsomeness of the Yukon as Ms Turner depicts it so vividly.
Both Hannah and Layke have sworn off a romantic relationships due to their past. It will take much trauma, prayer, and togetherness before they can consider a relationship with each other.
I loved seeing how God is working in Hannah’s life, to bring about her heart’s desire, when all she can see is that desire has been stolen from her. Why is it always so much easier to see God at work in other people’s lives, than to trust Him with our own?
Layke will have quite the journey before he can trust God. His past has made him bitter and sure that God was absent in the hard times of his life. I must admit, it was hard reading about Layke’s background as well as Gabe’s difficulties because they both involved innocent children.
While I thought I had the mastermind of the ring figured out, the ending pleasantly provided several surprise twists. Bravo!!
Two notes: I am reviewing only the first book of this 2 book compilation. Also, Ms Turner’s book was previously published separately.
I received this book from the author. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Magnificent!! All the beauty and fierceness of the Yukon, plus the fierceness of protecting precious young children, mixed with action, romance, and faith.
If any place on God’s earth was designed to help one heal, it is Meadowland. Surely here, at her brother-in-law’s Kentucky farm, Rose and her daughters can recover from the events of the recent past–the loss of her husband during the 1918 influenza epidemic, her struggle with tuberculosis that required a stay at a sanatorium, and her girls’ experience in an orphanage during her illness. At Meadowland, past troubles become rich soil in which faith can grow.
Dirk Meadows may have opened his home to his late brother’s widow and her girls, but he keeps his heart tightly closed. The roots of his pain run deep, and the evidence of it is written across his face. Badly scarred by a fire and abandoned by the woman he loved, Dirk fiercely guards his heart from being hurt again.
But it may be that his visitors will bring light back into his world and unlock the secret to true healing.
“Are you fey, child?”…””Is that the same as tetched in the head?…If so, I don’t think I am. My mother told me I wasn’t and not to pay mind to anyone who said I was.”
“Most people have some life scars, Miss Warfield.
Sometimes they show, sometimes they don’t.”
“Scars aren’t a sign of wickedness. Mistreating children is a sign of wickedness.”- Calla
Ann H Gabhart has been a favorite author of mine for years now. Employing uncomplicated, warm, and homey language, Gabhart invites us into the lives of a fractured family trying to find normalcy in When the Meadows Bloom. Rose Meadows has spent years recovering from TB at a sanitarium. Her young daughters are left in a children’s home that promises to care well for them until she returns. Rose finally decides she is ready to well enough to leave snd reclaim the girls, but finds she must have someone to stay with. Enter her late husband’s reclusive, taciturn brother who owns a beautiful farm. Not promising new beginnings.
This book made me want to cry. To think that children’s home workers could be two-faced and not properly care for those in their charge.
I loved the tertiary characters who were not in charge, but who did what they could to lighten others’ burdens. Those who saw beyond their own needs or in one case, world.
I loved how even scarred hearts had openings where love and care eked out for the downtrodden. Which, I think, amazed even the persons suddenly showing such compassion!
If you love kids at all, you will love both fearful Calla and dreamy Sienna! They are so very different, yet love each other fiercely. You will only want the happiest of endings for these two wise-beyond-their-years, deeply scarred little girls. And you may come to care for the adults who love them, as well.
I received a copy of the book from Library Thing Early Reviewers. I also bought a copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Meadowland. The very name sounded like heaven.
You need a purpose other than what you are to somebody else.
Secrets nearly always surface eventually and bring with them troubles.
He could drown in those eyes of hers. “You are trespassing on my heart.”
Magnificent!! A Heartwarming Historical of Healing Scars
About the Author
Ann H. Gabhart is the bestselling author of Along a Storied Trail, An Appalachian Summer, River to Redemption, These Healing Hills, and Angel Sister, along with several Shaker novels–The Refuge, The Outsider, The Believer, The Seeker, The Blessed, and The Gifted. She and her husband live on a farm a mile from where she was born in rural Kentucky. Ann enjoys discovering the everyday wonders of nature while hiking in her farm’s fields and woods with her grandchildren and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. Learn more at http://www.annhgabhart.com.
To make ends meet, the Fitzgerald women must open their home as a boardinghouse, but will the secrets they uncover prove their undoing? The day Cora Fitzgerald turned sixteen, she fled Sugar Hill for the bright lights of New York City, leaving behind her senator father’s abuse. But just as her career takes off, she is summoned home. The stock market has crashed. The senator is dead. Her mother is delusional, and her mute Aunt Clara pens novels that expose the town’s secrets. Then there’s Boone Robertson, who never knew she was alive back in high school but now manages to be around whenever she needs help.
And the Fitzgerald women need a lot of help, indeed. They are forced to find a way to make ends meet, whether it s mining for gold or doing what Southern women have done for generations in times of need turning their home into a boardinghouse.
But will the people of Cora’s past keep her from returning to a brilliant future?
Ane Mulligan has been an author whose works I buy immediately upon release ever since I met her Chapel Hill characters. The Georgia Magnolia series is set around the Great Depression. The female characters “have iron in their veins.” They are stronger than they know as they face insurmountable odds together. It is not necessary to read the books in order, as they are connected by theme, not characters. But how I learned to love those characters! Fitzie, the Senator’s wife, and mother of Cora and sister to mute Clara. Just how sane has reality left Fitzie? And yet, she is such a blessing to those around her and retains a wonderfully positive attitude despite her life. Clara is quite the enigma. Mute, but not deaf. She has strong opinions and contributes much to the solutions that will rescue the ladies from their troubles.
Pearl is just wonderful! She is loving and beneficent to those around her, when she has every reason to be hateful and resentful instead. Poor Cora! She is easy to identify with, and one wonders if she’ll ever escape the mental prison others have made for her. Boone is drawn in such a way I wanted to trust him and wanted Cora to fall for him, but what if he’s hiding more than can be seen? Try to read this when you’re not hot or hungry. Every time I read about Cora’s wonderful support group, the Dillies, I pictured ice cream bars! Seriously, they are some truly refreshing friends. To wrap this up, if you liked Steel Magnolias, you’ll love On Sugar Hill, #2 The Georgia Magnolias. Notable Quotables:
“You can forgive the person and still hate what they did.”
“Some voices are harder to turn off than others.”
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Magnificent! Southern Fiction at its Best, Imbued with Hope!
About the Author
I’ve been a voracious reader ever since my mother instilled within me her own love of reading at an early age. Together we would escape together into worlds otherwise unknown.
A new love entered my life when I saw Mary Martin in PETER PAN. Struck with a fever from which I never recovered, I submerged myself in drama through high school and college, but, alas, Broadway never found my phone number.
While a large, floppy straw hat is my favorite, I’ve worn many different ones: hairdresser, legislative affairs director (that’s a fancy name for a lobbyist), business manager, creative arts director and writer. My lifetime experience provides a plethora of fodder for my Southern-fried fiction (try saying that three times fast).
I wrote and published my first script in 1996 and to date have over 4-dozen scripts in print, nine books, and numerous articles on various aspects of Christian drama and the craft of writing. In Jan of 2003, having quit my job with my husband’s encouragement, I began to write full time. I reside in Sugar Hill, Georgia with my artist husband and a rascally Rottweiler.
Peter Pan has crash-landed back on Neverland. But this is not the island he remembers.
Desperate to rescue Claire and the fractured Lost Boys, Peter must unravel what truly tore his dreamland apart. But with each step, he is haunted by more of his own broken memories. Not even Pan himself is what he seems.
Claire Kenton is chained to a pirate ship, watching the wreckage of Neverland rocked by tempests. When she finally finds her brother, Connor is every bit as shattered as the island. Claire may have pixie dust flowing in her veins—but the light of Neverland is flickering dangerously close to going out forever.
To rescue Neverland from the inescapable shadow, the boy who never grew up and the girl who grew up too fast will have to sacrifice the only thing they have left: each other.
This!! This YA retelling of a childhood favorite, Peter Pan, and how Neverland came to be, is a must-read all Peter Pan lovers. Some of us reluctantly left Peter Pan behind, realizing we had to grow up, wishing we could stay in his world, but our metaphysical world marches on, not allowing that. Somehow, Kara Swanson’s Heirs of Neverland series has healed that yearning of my soul to stay in Neverland, but in a most wonderful way. Swanson guides us first in Dust, now in Shadow, to meet the present, disturbed Neverland. Peter is partially grown up physically, but his emotional growth is questionable.
We meet siblings Claire and Connor. Connor has been taken to Neverland by Hook in Dust and Claire is working to get him back. Shadow is not a light-hearted book, although there are moments of joy, romance, and hope struggling to overcome the darkness that is fast becoming Neverland. Will these be strong enough to offset the reality of childhood abuse, nightmares, and evil determined to overtake Neverland and all the beloved inhabitants we remember (and a few new friends)? Enough angst, despair, evil, intrigue, with glimmers of hope, love, and growth struggling to break through to appeal to both young adults, those who work with them, and anyone who once journeyed with Pan and Wendy to Neverland. Just incredible!!
I gratefully received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. I also purchased a hardback copy for myself and a friend. No positive review was required. All opinions are my own.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Magnificent!! JUST INCREDIBLE!!
About the Author
As the daughter of missionaries, Kara Swanson spent her childhood running barefoot through the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea. Able to relate with characters dropped into a unique new world, she quickly fell in love with the fantasy genre. The award-winning author of The Girl Who Could See, Kara is passionate about crafting stories of light shattering darkness, connecting with readers, and becoming best friends with a mermaid—though not necessarily in that order. Kara chats about coffee, fairytales and bookish things online (@karaswansonauthor) and at karaswanson.com.
More from Kara
One of my favorite CS Lewis quotes is this:
“Some day you’ll be old enough to start reading fairy tales again.”
There’s something subtly profound about the idea that the very stories which captivate our imagination and shape our perspective on good and evil as children, will reveal more gems when we return to them later. When we’ve conquered some dragons of our own.
This was especially true when I write my Peter Pan retelling duology Dust and Shadow. These YA novels literally return to a fairy tale. I took a familiar story and dug even deeper, pushing Peter himself to grow a little more and see what new bits of pixie dust and hope there may be in a familiar story.
But there is another reason why our hearts gravitate toward fairy tales.
I think GK Chesterton put it brilliantly in a quote that is actually at the very front of Shadow:
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be killed.”
Because maybe even more than being reminded of the whimsy of a fairy, we need the reminder that even in a world filled with dragons – they can be killed.
We can conquer.
And that simple truth, told a hundred different ways, will always lift our hearts and our chins.
Shadow was not an easy book to write – and it is not a particularly lighthearted tale. It is raw and vulnerable and at times lives up to it’s title in some darker moments. But there is always a sense of courage there too. A reminder that even in the shadowed places, the valleys, the instances that steal our breath and twist our hearts and make us wonder if all is lost –
There is another page to turn. Another step to take.
We are not finished.
No matter how young we are, we can strap on our armor, lift our swords, and fight for the light.
We are not overcome because our strength does not come from us.
It comes from our King.
And in the end, He will make all wrongs right, and there will be a happy ending to our tale, even if it may not be the ending we expect.
Because it may not be easy to slay the dragon, but as the fairy tales do remind us –
He knows the pain of betrayal. She has a past that could ruin her future. What can heal their brokenness?
Tony Coniglio loves being single again and the freedom that comes with it. But when he’s pressured to ask out the next available woman, he agrees, just to get his family off his back—even though she’s the town’s all-too-serious cop.
Officer Stacy Kallisto is by the book. Maybe it’s because she once broke the rules and has regretted it ever since. When trouble around town leaves Stacy searching for the culprit, she keeps running into Tony, the one man who wants to know more about her than she wants to share.
As sparks fly and secrets are revealed, Stacy wonders if there’s room in her heart for a man so different from herself—and for the God she wrote off long ago.
Having earlier read The Trouble with Tulips, I jumped at the chance to read Emily Dana Botrous’s next book, The Fault in Firelight. After losing a brotherly bet, divorced Tony Coniglio is told he has a week to ask out the next single woman who walks through the door. Unfortunately, that lady is policewoman Stacy Kallisto, who promptly refuses Tony. Now that her storage unit has been vandalized, he’ll have to contact her again. “Relationships required trust. Trust and secrets made for a poor mix, and she’d sacrificed too much to let the truth out for a man.” Stacy is a superior police officer, and next in line for the police chief’s role, but her private life is a mess. Torn by regrets, insecurities, and bitterness, she has built a wall around her heart.
Tony is a deeply caring and fun guy who finds himself surprised at his attraction to Officer Kallisto. Working with her to find out who burglarized her storage unit, he falls harder and harder, only to have Stacy hold him at arm’s distance. I enjoyed this novel. It contains elements of a contemporary romance, mixed with romantic suspense, mixed with a bit of a psychological study. ( Why do people do what they do? How and why does that affect the character so deeply? ) And most importantly, can Stacy and Tony break the repeated cycles and shackles that bind them and find the love they yearn for?
If you enjoy contemporary romance and romantic suspense with tidbits of faith to guide you, this is a book for you. Plus there are more coming. Marcy’s story is up soon. I’ll be here. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
In the first entry in the Madison River Romance series, Keira Knudsen gets the traveling opportunity of a lifetime, but when she reunites with her first love, Robbie, she learns that even a wandering heart needs a home….
No one in the quaint town of West Yellowstone, Montana, knows that unassuming geography teacher Keira Knudsen moonlights as sensational travel blogger Kat Wanderfull. No one, that is, except for her first love, Robbie Matthews, who has just discovered the woman he is falling for online is the same one that broke his heart five years ago.
But Robbie has another problem: the mother of his daughter, Anabelle, has resurfaced after a three-year absence determined to rip Anabelle away from him. Robbie needs a steady paycheck for a chance at custody, and now, on the eve of a grand adventure that could give Keira a chance to flee her old, troubled life once and for all, she is in need of assistance.
With so much broken trust between them, Keira and Robbie must keep an arms-length away to make this partnership work. But the more time they spend together, exploring majestic places and sharing new experiences, the closer they get–until their secrets and dreams threaten to cost them everything.
Can Keira, a history teacher by day and a travel social media presence by weekend; and Robbie, an expert builder but non-intellectual; get honest enough with each other to explain their past issues and build a new future?
This Wandering Heart, #1 Madison River Romance by Janine Rosche was a Hallmark-type Christian romance. I wasn’t sure what to think of Keira. I really liked her, but she didn’t seem to know her own mind. She had a rough past, but when things got tough, it was hard to predict which way the wind would blow. She does show tremendous growth when she finally stands up to her father and tells her mother, “…courage isn’t something we’re born with. It’s a choice.” Kiera does find the bravery needed to make some other changes in her life that create great life choices for her.
I immediately liked Robbie for his great, tender care of his daughter by himself. He was totally dedicated to Annabelle. Robbie has several issues to sort out, all coming to a head at once. He was wise enough to lean on God and his family to help him produce the resources he needed to weather some very tough storms.
Annabelle was another show stopper. How could anyone not fall in love with this sweetheart?
I even loved how Vivian was drawn as more than 2- dimensional. Sometimes the villian only seems to have one side- bad. But I could actually identify with Vivian as Ms. Rosche wrote her.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. This in no way affected my opinions, which are solely my own.
4 Stars – Excellent- Will be Glad to Recommend
About the Author
Prone to wander, Janine Rosche finds as much comfort on the open road as she does at home. This longing to chase adventure, behold splendor, and experience redemption is woven into her Madison River Romance series. When she isn’t writing or traveling, she teaches family life education courses to college students, takes too many pictures of her sleeping dogs, and embarrasses her four children and husband with boy band serenades.
More from Janine
Do you remember that weird kid who would sit at their desk in elementary school and stare into space for minutes at a time? If you don’t, then chances are, you were that weird kid. Welcome to the club—you know, the club for people who believe that whatcould beis worth imagining.
“If you imagine it, then it will never happen,” my junior high friends said.
“You’re setting yourself up for disappointment,” my high school mentor advised.
“Close your mouth, or you’ll catch a fly,” my second grade teacher warned.
While that last one scared me into buttoning my lips while staring blankly at the chalkboard, those early naysayers didn’t keep me from daydreaming. I couldn’t help it. I loved imagining a world far more exciting, awe-inspiring, and romantic than my own. Even when I’d finish books or movies, I would happily dream myself into the story where courage abounds and heroes are truly larger-than-life.
Of course, through the years, disappointment did come, and so did reality. In love, my heart was broken. In my career aspirations, my confidence was shattered. My daydreams almost stopped entirely.
People often ask me if it was a lifelong dream of mine to publish a book. The answer to that is yes…and no. It had been once, but holding on too tightly to that while also believing it was too far out of reach for someone like me created such an overwhelming ache in my heart. And so, I buried it. However, that dream, along with the storylines and characters in my mind weren’t content to stay buried. For eight years they awakened me at night and distracted me by day, until finally, I chose to spit out the words in a blank spiral notebook. I’d hoped that by writing down the story that had festered, I’d finally have peace, but then the next story came, and the next.
“I’ve learned that courage isn’t something we’re born with. It’s a choice.” That line of dialogue comes from a key moment in my debut novel, This Wandering Heart. In the story, my heroine, Keira, rises above an awful childhood to live a life of adventure. The line was quite autobiographical. I could have chosen to keep believing the naysayers. That would have been easy. It took no courage–no risk at all—to believe the lies, the criticism, and the discouragingly low probability statistics of publication.
Pursuing your dream, though, requires a lot of courage. Courage to be laughed at, to fail, to be rejected. Courage to be terrible at this new thing you’re trying. Certainly more courage than I carried in my spirit. So I prayed. I climbed onto that metaphorical rope dangling from the hand of God, and swung.
It was a choice. To be completely honest, it stillisa choice to believe these daydreams of mine. Each day, it takes faith to chase this dream of writing novels and to imagine what could be. I guess you could say that I’ve found my way into the story after all. And it truly is exciting, awe-inspiring, and—dare I say?—romantic.
I’m honored to have you all join me on this incredible journey! But it’s not all about me. What daydream are you tempted to believe in your life?