Canceled by John Faubion is a thriller ride you won’t soon forget. Reminiscent of Peretti, a spiritual battle is taking place while events unfold on earth. A liberal seminary that doesn’t believe in the supernatural begins to question its teachings, as staff members meet violent ends.
I was glued to my seat as I followed Jerold Steele and Brenda Neal in their search for the truth. I could almost taste the fear and terror that Faubion puts some of his characters through. The twists surprised me, as I thought I knew the identity of the killer.
I appreciated the great, easy, and clear gospel presentation as it was very appropriate. I was surprised by the use of a 70’s tract in this very modern story. (I read that tract as a kid.) I would have been happier without denominations being named, since some readers may infer that a particular denomination mentioned must therefore be evil.
I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Great! Suspenseful Thriller that will have you furiously flipping pages!!
About the Author
John Faubion was a foreign missionary in Vietnam, Guam and to the Chinese for nearly thirty years. Then a professional software engineer for more than twenty years after that.
He’s the father of five children, and lives in central Indiana with his wife.
More from John
Cancel Culture? This is worse.
All around us we see our culture changing, and not for the better. Sometimes it seems like all the voices we hear are filled with anger, hatred and intolerance.
There’s a reason for that: They are all rooted (you guessed it) in anger, hatred and intolerance.
It was time to step back and look at what it’s like to be canceled, but from an entirely different source: The Supernatural.
The main character is a preacher, but one of those who does NOT believe in a supernatural god. He doesn’t know what he believes. But when he’s finally confronted with a supernatural experience he cannot deny, he finds that walking on the dark side is going to cost him his life.
The only solution, both for him and the one he falls in love with, is to know God, and get access to the supernatural weapons he never dreamed existed.
Placed in WITSEC while his brother testifies against a terrifying criminal, Tony Ortega must guard his young niece and nephew from the hit man hunting for them. Death Valley local Willow Duke’s hideout might just be the difference between the little family’s life or death. When bullets start flying, can they thwart a killer long enough to survive and become a family for real?
Dana Mentink once again gets the heart racing and turns up the heat in her Death Valley Hideout (#4 Desert Justice Book).
Willow Duke gets her story along with Tony Ortega. Problem is, Willow gets to know Tony and his children under false circumstances. Now they’re all in danger. Will Willow help Tony after this egregious deception, or will she walk away?
So many fun things about this book. A pairing of a quiet man with an impetuous woman. A four-year-old boy and an eighteen-month-old girl. That’ll get me every time! A down-home friend babysitting for her pal, committed first to the children. Mentink knows her desert setting, and displays a knowledge of helicopters and planes. Mentink provides rescuers who are wildcards. Ante up the suspense fast!! And last but not least, the Duke clan, all come together to help one of their own. “Well, Tony, you’re in for more help that you know what to do with. You request one Duke, you get them all.”
Not to be left out, the faith element. So important. I love the way Mentink shows the value of frequent prayer in the characters’ lives, allowing us to participate in their prayers. I got a very real sense of Tony’s and Willow’s dependence on God.
I read faster and faster, trying to outread speeding bullets, cars, and helicopters. And, of course, finger where the true danger lay. Well done, Ms. Mentink!
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit. I also bought my own copy. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
“You messed up, Tony. You never should have let her into your life. You can’t afford to have friends. Period.”
“You were friends with a guy who knowingly made you a target without your permission. In my book that’s no kind of friend.”
“But the Maestro hadn’t counted on one thing…he’d never met the Duke family.”
“…the Bible said it was possible to do anything that God wanted done. But being a substitute parent? Him? It was a tall order for a guy who couldn’t even keep a houseplant alive.”
“Love is not dependent on behavior.”
Magnificent!! More Desert, More Heat, More Dukes!!
About the Author
Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and the recipient of a Holt Medallion. She’s written over fifty titles in the suspense, lighthearted romance and mystery genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)
More from Dana
Wooty woo! We’re back in Death Valley again! So excited about this fourth book in the series because Papa Bear and I have actually returned to this amazing place. (Our previous return trip was stalled for a while due to the virus that shall not be named!) People have asked me, “Why do you love Death Valley so much?” I can only respond that you just have to go there to understand. Is it the vastness of the place? The enormous topographical variety? Maybe it’s the profound quietness that permeates the national park and environs. Then again, it might be the panorama of nighttime stars. (Death Valley National Park is a certified International Dark Sky Park due to its limited light pollution.) Could it be the tenacity of people who live there and survive the one hundred twenty plus degree temperatures in the summer? And how about those animals? The Death Valley pupfish is a teeny little endangered fish that lives in precisely one spot on the globe (Death Valley) and only two places within that range, Salt Creek and Cottonball Marsh. Imagine that! So why set a six book series in Death Valley? Because there’s no more hostile and incredible place I can think of. I hope you will enjoy taking a fictional trip with me there too. Enjoy the adventure, reader friends!
To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of the first four books in the series-Framed in Death Valley, Missing in the Desert, Death Valley Doublecross and Death Valley Hideout (Paperback for U.S. Only) and a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
Pilar Jefferson is shocked to learn that her supposedly deceased father is alive and has been in prison—and now his ruthless former partner is after her. Fleeing on her wedding day was the best way to protect her loved ones. But now with her mother held for ransom and her ex-fiancé, Austin Duke, stumbling back into her life, can she keep everyone safe—and escape an assassin?
From Love Inspired Suspense: Courage. Danger. Faith.
Book 1: Framed in Death Valley Book 2: Missing in the Desert Book 3: Death Valley Double Cross Book 4: Death Valley Hideout
“Sorry is what you say when you break somebody’s coffee cup or lose your temper. Doesn’t seem like enough for betraying someone and humiliating them in front of everyone they love.”
Austin Duke, delivering a senior rescue pet, is suddenly thrown together with his ex-fiancé Pilar Jefferson. Together, they race to protect Pilar and unravel the mystery surrounding her family.
Dana Mentink skillfully brings the dry, hot Death Valley to life with her evocative word pictures. In this third Death Valley novel, Death Valley Double Cross, one can almost see the delicate desert blooms, feel the heat, and be exhausted by jaunts into the rocky cliffs. Any dog lovers need to beware: these four critters of Austin’s will steal your heart, just as they do Pilar’s. And the emotional wringer Mentink will put one through as we see Pilar’s reasoning for her actions, then Austin’s reasoning. Plus, the emotions of running for one’s life. Those who have tight-knit families or wish for one will love the extended Duke clan and their protectiveness for one of their own. I loved the spiritual journey of discovery that we see in both Pilar and Austin as the novel progresses. And, like the great writer she is, Mentink throws in some twists and curves that keep you guessing and readjusting your theories as you go. Bravo!!
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
“How much of my life is an out-and-out lie?”
Noise and fear were related.
“No one understood the cost of her decision to run away…especially not Austin.”
The notion was tantalizing, that forgiveness could be handed out so graciously, like letting go of a heavy weight by simply relaxing your grip.
“No point in considering the ‘could haves.’ That’s one thing I’ve learned through all this physical therapy after I got shot. Work with what you have at the moment instead of what might have been.”
Humility would bring him grace.
Magnificent! Thoroughly, Emotionally Satisfying!!
About the Author
Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over fifty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)
More from Dana
I remember standing on the edge of the lookout and gazing into the wonder that is Artist’s Palette in Death Valley. Artist’s Drive, which takes you to this breathtaking view, rises above Badwater Basin (the lowest spot in North America) and then meanders along twisting canyons and hills until it brings you to this popular tourist stop. The premier view is a place called Artist’s palette. It’s a sprawling pocket of color, hues of rose, ochre, green and gold tucked in the rippling landscape and teased to life by the desert sun. Isn’t that just like God? To lead us to surprises and wonders that await us in a sometimes hostile world? Every day we spent in Death Valley held a surprise, from the rocks that move mysteriously across the sands to the towering twists and turns of 20 Mule Team Canyon. There are only two things to do with a wonderous place like that…enjoy the divine bounty, and write a novel set there so others can come along!
I hope you will enjoy this third installment in the Desert Justice series. The first is Beckett’s story and then we had quiet cowboy Levi’s adventure. Now it’s brash pilot Austin’s turn. Will he get his happy ending after being dumped at the altar and wrecking his shoulder in an accident? Turn those pages and come with me to Death Valley to find out!
Can this undercover agent save the woman he loves–or is her heart as counterfeit as the money he’s been sent to track down?
After all that Grandfather has sacrificed to raise her, Theresa Plane owes it to him to save the family name–and that means clearing their debt with creditors before she marries Edward Greystone. But when one of the creditors’ threats leads her to stumble across a midnight meeting, she discovers that the money he owes isn’t all Grandfather was hiding. And the secrets he kept have now trapped Theresa in a life-threatening fight for her home–and the truth.
After months of undercover work, Secret Service operative Broderick Cosgrove is finally about to uncover the identity of the leader of a notorious counterfeiting ring. That moment of triumph turns to horror, however, when he finds undeniable proof that his former fiance is connected. Can he really believe the woman he loved is a willing participant? Protecting Theresa and proving her innocence may destroy his career–but that’s better than failing her twice in one lifetime.
They must form a partnership, tentative though it is. But there’s no question they’re both still keeping secrets–and that lack of trust, along with the dangerous criminals out for their blood, threatens their hearts, their faith, and their very survival.
Ah, a deliciously, satisfying debut novel of the Gilded Age from Crystal Caudill. A couple, Theresa Payne and Broderick Cosgrove, once engaged, must determine if they can trust each other and if there is any hope for a rekindled romance. Will they be able to work together to uncover the true counterfeiters in Cincinnati?
Caudill emphasizes themes of trust, forgiveness, and family as she provides plenty of emotion, action, and truth. “Even if… “ is a big question that Theresa grapples with mightily. The novel is well-paced, balancing all the threads together- romance, history, suspense, and life lessons- delightfully.
Broderick is the long-absent love; tall, charming, and witty. But, he is shrouded in mystery. His methods are a little suspect. His results, well, not quick enough for the boss. Is he a man of faith and integrity or one who would play Theresa and his partners for fools?
Theresa is wonderfully headstrong, intensely loyal, and also very intelligent. Is she intelligent enough to figure out her grandfather’s secrets? Loyalty is a great quality if one places it in the right person. Can Theresa discern who to trust with her secrets? Theresa tends to be quick to forgive and allow most people second chances. I loved this about her, but sure rooted for her trust not to be abused!
While Theresa and Broderick are relatable and sure to earn the reader’s loyalty, other characters kept hopping the good guy/bad guy fence for me. What I thought of characters like Isaacs, Lydia, Abraham, Mrs. Hawking, Grandfather and others was variable. This fluidity made the story very suspenseful and I couldn’t put it down!
With thoughtful questions at the end, this would be a good book for a book club discussion.
I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through I Read with Audra. (I also bought a copy for my keeper shelf.) No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
“Nathaniel wronged you, but God convicted him, and he’s a different man now.”
“It’s so nice to be together again. Isn’t it?” Theresa squeezed their arms…”“About as nice as an outhouse in summer.” …”Then I suppose it’s a good thing I have plumbing.”
“Feelings change, and they can lie, but God’s presence is constant and true. Whether we feel Him or not.”
Love, not blood, makes a family.
Family. The word stuck in her throat like a lozenge, melting to soothe an ache she’d long accepted as permanent. Her blood relatives were gone, but the love flanking either side of her pulsed with life and healing. They may not always see eye to eye, but they cared. More than that, they wanted her.
God answered Theresa’s prayers this time, but that didn’t mean He would in the future. Could she trust Him with what little she had left? But trust didn’t mean she’d get what she wanted. So what did it mean?
“…no matter what happens or what you think you’ve lost, you cannot lose God….
Magnificent!! This is a Satisfying Debut Novel of the Gilded Age, and I’m looking forward to the next two in the series!!
About the Author
Crystal Caudill is the author of “dangerously good historical romance,” with her work garnering awards from Romance Writers of America and ACFW.
She is a stay-at-home mom and caregiver, and when she isn’t writing, Caudill can be found playing board games with her family, drinking hot tea, or reading other great books at her home outside Cincinnati, Ohio.
Genre: Historical Christian Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Releases: April 12, 2022 (I reviewed an ARC copy.)
She’s fiercely independent. He’s determined to protect her.
Wisconsin, 1933—When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe.
Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life.
“He might be an ex-soldier, a sniper trained to kill, but he prayed daily that kindness would be the trait people would identify most when they interacted with him.”
I love how Danielle Grandinetti marries Miles’s sniper’s skills to that of a tender heart! Strong, shrewd, and swoon-worthy, Miles is willing to sacrifice everything for those he loves. A totally relatable romantic suspense hero. Then, Grandinetti’s heroine, Lily, is a similar juxtaposition of traits. Fiercely independent, Lily is a compassionate, dog trainer who needs protection. She can push the ones she cares about to great heights. Now Grandinetti really had my attention, and I was swiping pages as fast as I could to reach the conclusion of A Strike to the Heart. While this was my first Grandinetti novel, it won’t be my last.
Faith is a constant thread throughout this novel. Lily seeks God out daily. Miles isn’t quite as comfortable with God due to past events, but one hopes and prays he will find his way totally back to God. Perhaps… ”second chances were meant for redemption.”
Miles needs redemption in more ways than one. He fails his team, it seems. Will he fail to protect Lily, who is becoming very important to him? Will he fail his boss? Lily’s family, who doesn’t care much for him?
Which begs the next question. In this fast-paced action novel, who is trustworthy? Who is treacherous? Relationships are tested. The milk strikes of 1933 were dangerous, yet Lily’s family is embroiled in the midst of it all. What, if anything, does Lily’s kidnapping have to do with the strikes?
So many questions!! So many possibilities! I suspected some answers, but Grandinetti successfully includes a lot of twists and turns until more than Miles and Lily were unsure.
I love to highlight a notable secondary character. Gio is so awesome. He has Miles’s back, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The special way Gio prays for Lily is just amazing and it teaches Miles how to pray effectively for a loved one at the same time. Maybe Gio will get his own book soon.
So many Notable Quotables…
“Whom should he fear more … the men who would kill them or the woman who tested the fortifications of his heart?”
“…the simple change of clothes caused him to go from intense protector to confident friend.”
“She would have hope for both of them until there was no hope left to be had.”
I received this book from the author. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Magnificent!! These Two Characters Stole My Heart!!
About the Author
Danielle Grandinetti is a book blogger at DaniellesWritingSpot.com, focusing on Christian historical romance, romantic suspense, and sweet romance.
Her historical romantic suspense (published by Heritage Beacon Fiction) releases in April 2022.
A Chicagoland native, Danielle lives along Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin shoreline with her husband and their two young sons. She loves quiet mornings served with the perfect cup of tea.
More from Danielle
Because I had a lot of questions for Danielle about her book, she was gracious enough to respond and give us readers a peek into what goes on in the mind of a writer…Thank you, Danielle!!
Q: What inspired you to write about the milk strikes of 1933 in Wisconsin?
A few years ago, Wisconsin farmers were in a position where they had to dump their cow’s milk because it was more expensive to transport than dump. That made me curious as to whether it had happened before. Not only had it, but in 1933, farmers organized three strikes in order to prompt a raise in milk prices.
Q: I love that you made Miles a trained sniper who prays people see him as a loving, caring person. Probably one reason I love this book so much. What gave you the idea to make him have two very different sides to his personality?
Snipers seem to have this distant, cold persona, but as I dug into Miles’ past, I realized his skill and his personality were at odds, creating an internal conflict for him. I had him wrestle through holding life and death in his hands as he held the rifle and doing so because of his desire to protect those he cared about.
Q: I love that you made Lily a dog trainer. (My daughter and I have taken our puppies through basic obedience, and years ago our daughters took our dogs through rigorous 4-H training for the local fair. It’s a lot of hard work!! How did you research Lily’s professional dog training?
I’ve also always loved dog training and have studied it myself for years. What made the historical aspect even more fun to include was because of the history of dog obedience training. In October of 1933, two women in New York became the first individuals to organize Dog Obedience Trials. As a nod to them, I made Lily a dog trainer.
Q: Do you rely on a team of writing buddies to help you when you hit writer’s block?
I do have several writing friends who help me with all aspects of my writing career. Two names stand out: My critique partner, Ann Elizabeth Fryer, who also writes Historical Romance, sees my rough drafts before my editor does and she helps me through plot holes and brainstorming ideas. My writing friend Beth Pugh, who writes Contemporary Romance, signed with my publishing house at the same time as I did, so I’m grateful to have been through the process together.
Q: Do you include snippets of yourself in your characters?
I think every author does to some extent. As for the characters in A Strike to the Heart, Lily’s dog training and Gio’s Italian heritage are two aspects of myself I included.
Q: Can you tell us about your next book? Is there a story coming for Gio? You have made him so charismatic, I certainly hope so!!
Yes!! Gio gets a story! I love Gio, too, and was so excited to give him a story, at Christmas no less. As Silent as the Night releases in September.
He can procure anything, except his heart’s deepest wish. She might hold the key, if she’s not discovered first.
Chicago, 1933―Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity.
Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers.
Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love?
Q: Lastly, you are writing at least a three-book series. Is it necessary to read the books in order, or would we just feel more connected to the characters if we do?
Readers do not need to read the three books in order. A Strike to the Heart is the main book in the series and the only full-length novel. To get a little back story and a running start into the conflict, I recommend reading To Stand in the Breach, the prequel novella featuring Lily’s brother and her best friend. Gio’s Christmas novella, As Silent as the Night, serves as a Christmas wrap-up that will hopefully have everyone getting a happily ever after.
Wow, I for one am ready for Gio’s story—yesterday!! Thank you for your time with us, Danielle!!
Searching for her best friend’s remains could help forensic anthropologist Melanie Hutton regain her memories of when they were both kidnapped—unless the killer gets to Melanie first. For her safety, Melanie must rely on Detective Jason Cooper, who still blames her for his sister’s death. Can Jason set the past aside to solve the cold-case murder…and shield Melanie from the same fate?
“He wasn’t her attacker. He was worse. Her best friend’s brother, Jason Cooper, stood before her. The man who hated her guts.”
Melanie Hutton returns to the small town she left years ago, following the horrendous kidnapping of her best friend and herself. She vows to find justice for her murdered friend but doesn’t count on having to work with her best friend’s brother. Sami Abrams brings us a fast-paced romantic suspense adventure in Buried Cold Case Secrets. I liked the trope of childhood best friend’s brother to more. Jason seemed a bit insensitive until I really understood all the baggage he was juggling for years. Then his unreliable actions make a lot of sense. Amazing how easy it is for us humans to judge each other when we don’t know somebody else’s full story. It seems the whole book was about that, yet I just realized I may have been doing that throughout the book!
I found Melanie to be incredibly brave. Just returning to her hometown is hard enough, but in her efforts to discover the truth, she eventually makes some choices that cause her some very painful results.
The hidden gem of this book? (That invaluable secondary character?) That would have to be a tie between Mrs. Evans and Keith, Jason’s partner. What a sweet, wonderful, wise, and older lady. And Keith always has Jason’s back!
I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher via Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required, and all opinions aremy own.
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Magnificent! Great Debut Novel!
About the Author
Two-time Genesis winner Sami A. Abrams and her husband live in Northern California, but she’ll always be a Kansas girl at heart. She enjoys visiting her two grown children and spoiling their sweet fur babies. Most evenings, if Sami’s not watching sports, you’ll find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. She thinks a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story.
More from Sami
What writer doesn’t grow up reading every chance they get? That would be me.
Until my thirties, I hated to read. Then someone told me about Terri Blackstock, and I decided to give her books a try. I was hooked. I guess there’s something to finding the right genre. Romantic Suspense is it for me. Of course, that makes sense. I love CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. Over the years, I have expanded my taste, but there’s just something about suspense that keeps me coming back.
A little over five years ago, I decided to start checking off some of the items on my bucket list. I learned how to rock climb and got my scuba certification, among other things. When I got to the item, writing a novel, I sat down and pounded it out. Check the box; I was done. Wrong. God had other plans and placed some amazing people in my life.
One of those plans was attending MurderCon, a conference for writers where they learn from experts about, you guessed it…murder. Actually, it’s about police procedures, crime scene analysis…the list goes on and on. One of the workshops I attended was with a forensic anthropologist, and the idea for Melanie Hutton and Buried Cold Case Secrets was born.
I loved writing Melanie’s story. She’s a fighter and refuses to let anything stand in her way, including the man, Jason Cooper, who blames her for her best friend’s death. Jason holds on to the past and his hatred toward Melanie, but he soon learns that if he puts aside his assumptions and listens, he’ll discover the truth about the day his sister died. Letting go of his anger and blame is tough for Jason, but when he does, he finds the life he’s always wanted.
I hope you enjoy reading Melanie and Jason’s story as much as I did writing it.
I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my website at samiaabrams.com and sign up for my newsletter.
Released: November 2021(note: available at debbieviguie.com or soon on Amazon)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
In the 18th installment of the Psalm 23 mysteries series, Cindy and Jeremiah find themselves in over their heads when a trip to New Orleans goes terribly wrong.
So, this series, the Psalm 23 Mysteries by Debbie Viguié, is my abs fave of all time!! Murder, a Jewish rabbi and a Christian secretary (how will THAT come together?!), characters that I swear I know like friends suddenly shocking me. Each book revolves around a holiday. This is book #18 in the series, and it is ESSENTIAL to read the books in order. Viguié refers to so many characters and events from past novels, you feel like someone handed you a spoonful of your fave dessert each time that happens. Somehow, Viguié manages to turn everything you thought you knew about your beloved characters on their heads, and you trust NOBODY in this book!! YIKES!! Yet, this book contains a crucial, wonderful scene we Psalm 23 fans have been waiting for, like forever!! Biting my nails, howling with laughter, angrily growling at the author for her treatment of fave characters!! Absolutely highly recommended!! Not for the faint of heart!!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
My All-Time Fave Series!! Best Book of Series Yet!!
About the Author
Debbie Viguié is the New York Times Bestselling author of more than three dozen novels including the Wicked series co-authored with Nancy Holder. In addition to her epic dark fantasy work, Debbie also writes thrillers including The Psalm 23 Mysteries, the Kiss trilogy, and the Witch Hunt trilogy. Debbie also plays a recurring character in the audio drama, Doctor Geek’s Laboratory. When Debbie isn’t busy writing or acting she enjoys spending time with her husband, Scott, visiting theme parks.
Bodyguard Sally Wilson has become the target. Can she save her own life as well as her daughter’s?
Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but when Sally’s young daughter, Emma, becomes the target of child traffickers, and the little girl’s biological father wants Sally dead, the Christmas season takes a dark turn.
Police officer, Dillon Brady, responds to a call for help at the home of his friend and Protection Inc. bodyguard, Sally Wilson. When their relationship tips beyond friendship, Dillon is determined no one will hurt Sally or her daughter again. Will his resolve be enough?
Sally is drawn to Dillon. He’s a natural with Emma and appears to care about both of them. Sally’s been fooled before by a man she believed loved her, but what if it’s an act? Can Sally learn to trust again and follow her heart, or will Dillon get relegated to the friend zone?
Award winning author Kimberly Rose Johnson married her college sweetheart and lives in the Pacific Northwest. From a young child Kimberly has been an avid reader. That love of reading fostered a creative mind and led to her passion for writing. She especially loves romance and writes contemporary romance and romantic mystery and suspense with a heart.
Kimberly holds a degree in Behavioral Science from Northwest University in Kirkland, Washington, and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Every year since I signed the contract for my debut novel, a book set at Christmastime, I have made it a goal to write a Christmas book, usually a novella. This year, Personal Threat is that book.
I wrapped up the series with Personal Threat. My husband came up with the title for this one because the threat in this book is very personal for one of the Protection Inc. team members.
We first met Sally in book two of the series and it seemed only fitting she starred in a book of her own. We also get to know Dillon better in this book which for me was super fun to write. He’s played an important and growing role as the series has progressed and is one of my favorite characters in the series.
“She couldn’t take much more of these adrenaline bursts. She was liable to age ten years at this rate.” Yet, it seems all of Personal Threat, #5 Protection Inc, by Kimberly Johnson, is made up of adrenaline rushes. From start to finish, you will be glued to your seat as you quickly thumb through or swipe pages.
Sally Wilson, a member of the Protection Inc, team, is frantic to protect her young adopted daughter, Emma. Emma’s biological father wants her back and will stop at nothing to get her. Sally must utilize the professional help of her own team, plus the policeman they call in for back-up when the chips are down.
Trust is a huge issue. If Sally couldn’t trust her first love, how can she trust Dillon Brady, a man who is becoming more and more important with each tumultuous day?
I enjoyed seeing all the Protection Inc group again and getting glimpses of their continuing lives. It was neat seeing this group grow even closer and expand to include one, not their technically their own.
I loved that Dillon is persistent enough in his pursuit that he takes Sally to God in prayer. He actually challenges her to ask God for more than she has considered or hoped. “I’m going to pray for you that the Lord will open your heart to love again. But to a man that will treasure and love you the way God intended…“What’s the matter, Sally? Don’t you want God’s help in the love department?” “It’s not that. It never occurred to me to bother Him with my love life or lack thereof.” I believe Sally begins to understand here what Dillon is getting at… God is interested in every part of a person’s life, and He can be trusted, no matter what circumstances say. A lesson Sally sorely needs to learn and so do many readers.
Personal Threat is part of a series that is best read in order to understand and appreciate the relationships within the various books. If you like children, romantic suspense, or reading about workgroups that form familial bonds, this is a good choice.
I received a copy of this book from CelebrateLit. All opinions are solely my own.
1885. Adria Fontaine has been sent to recover goods her father pirated on the Great Lakes during the war. But when she arrives at Foxglove Manor–a stone house on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior–Adria senses wickedness hovering over the property. The mistress of Foxglove is an eccentric and seemingly cruel old woman who has filled her house with dangerous secrets, ones that may cost Adria her life.
Present day. Kailey Gibson is a new nurse’s aide at a senior home in a renovated old stone manor. Kidnapped as a child, she has nothing but locked-up memories of secrets and death, overshadowed by the chilling promise from her abductors that they would return. When the residents of Foxglove start sharing stories of whispers in the night, hidden treasure, and a love willing to kill, it becomes clear this home is far from a haven. She’ll have to risk it all to banish the past’s demons, including her own.
About the Author
Daphne du Maurier and Christy Award-Winning author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing suspenseful, mysteries stained with history’s secrets. Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimewrightbooks.com!
“Foxglove Manor was alive. It had eyes in the walls and a soul in the floorboards.” Indeed, Foxglove Manor is an imposing, sinister house that sits on the cliffs at the edge of cold and howling Lake Superior. Jaime Jo Wright expertly evokes a very melancholy, ominous dual-timeline mystery in her latest, On the Cliffs of Foxglove Manor.
In the post-Civil War story, Adria Fontaine is exiled to the manor as punishment for embarrassing her family. She can only get back in her father’s good graces by finding what he is searching for.
My heart went out to poor Adria, whose father and sister are incredibly cruel and self-centered. A large part of who she is, negatively, is caused by their abusive behavior towards her.
What an assorted, unusual cast of characters inhabit Foxglove when Adria arrives. I did not figure out this mystery, but I sure enjoyed how Ms. Wright drew her characters with such depth and intrigue. I loved how all the puzzle pieces came together at the end, quite differently than I would have deduced.
I did figure out a little bit more of the present-day part of the mystery, but it again was multi-faceted, so no wins there for me. Kudos to Wright for the way she stretches and twists her characters to conform to the shape of this compelling, spooky story! Yet it is all very plausible. More kudos.
And Jude. This quote shows all of Kailey’s love and respect for him, when many would disregard him. “But the questions drilled into her by kidnappers at the age of five had their answers embedded in the mind of Jude, the boy with autism. And now Jude was the man with autism, whom too many looked on as less than instead of what he was—a veritable genius.” I love how Jaime Jo Wright shows what an incredible genius an autistic person can be, way more than the average person we tend to see as “normal!”
The two tales tie together well, with the one dependent on the other. Intrigue and suspense run high as shenanigans, manipulation, and abuse are slowly revealed. Romance and some humor plus faith round out this amazing tale and make it a must-read for those who love dual-timelines, mysteries, the Great Lakes, the Civil War, special needs people, etc.
More Notable Quotables:
“The truth that Foxglove Manor would twist its way into your soul until one day it owned you, and it called to you, and it didn’t cease hunting you until you returned.”
“I am losing my mind, and Raymond wants to take all the fun out of it.”
“…there’s a smartness in being a coward. A person stays alive when they run.”
“Stereotyping and ostracizing because of differences were the worst sorts of cruelty.”
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Magnificent! Eerie, Historic, & Amazing Dual Timeline Not to be Missed!!
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?
Eloise Marshall cannot stand Phillip Clayton. She finds him arrogant, condescending, and full of old-fashioned ideas about women’s roles in society.
Phillip Clayton can’t believe his new partner is a woman. One with no espionage experience or training, and this mission they’re on… interviewing women about collector’s dolls?! Child’s play when you consider the life-and-death case he is currently wrapping up.
How do two mismatched people move from disdain and contempt to grudging admiration to love? Author Johnnie Alexander aptly traces this very gentle, romantic adventure from its inception in her suspenseful novel, The Cryptographer’s Dilemma, #1 Heroines of WWII.
I love the way that we see the softer sides of both Phillip and Eloise come to light in the other’s eyes, and their integrity become evident.
This line made Phillip swoon-worthy to me:
“In the depth of his eyes, she detected curiosity, but more than that, she found compassion.”
Yes, Phillip is good looking, but Eloise finds that off-putting until she realizes his gentle, caring nature. Isn’t that an important quality most women want in a man?
Eloise, for her part, like Phillip, knows when to pry and when to give him space until he’s ready to share the massive burdens weighing down his heart. Plus she’s brave, adventurous, smart, and good at ferreting out information from suspects.
One part of the storyline gave me pause. I puzzled over it for a couple of days, wondering if the character’s actions fit with how that person was drawn. I finally decided one never knows the human heart and its machinations. I may or may not have written that part of the story with those results, but I agree it could be plausible.
If you like WWII novels, near-enemies to lovers(clean) stories, or tales where individuals overcome hurts in their past, this Johnnie Alexander novel is calling your name. Listen.
I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher through Celebrate Lit. No positive review was required. All opinions are my own, voluntarily given.
Magnificent! WWII Espionage with Dolls. You will fall in love with the hero and heroine as they gradually learn to work together.
About the Author
Johnnie Alexander creates characters you want to meet and imagines stories you won’t forget in a variety of genres. An award-winning, best-selling novelist, she serves on the executive boards of Serious Writer, Inc. and the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference, co-hosts Writers Chat, and interviews other inspirational authors for Novelists Unwind. Johnnie lives in Oklahoma with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, her raccoon-treeing papillon. Connect with her at http://www.johnnie-alexander.com and other social media sites via https://linktr.ee/johnniealexndr.
More from Johnnie
American Traitor in WWII
Not all secret messages involve substitution codes where random letters and numbers replace the original letters and numbers. Velvalee Dickinson, a doll collector who owned a doll shop on Madison Avenue in New York City, used jargon code to pass along information to the Japanese about the U.S. ships that had been damaged at Pearl Harbor.
Here’s an excerpt from one of the letters (as originally written):
The only new dolls I have are THREE LOVELY IRISH dolls. One of these three dolls is an old Fisherman with a Net over his back—another is an old woman with wood on her back and the third is a little boy….I can only think of our sick boy these days. You wrote me that you had sent a letter to Mr. Shaw, well I want to see MR. SHAW he distroyed Your letter, you know he has been Ill. His car was damaged but is being repaired now. I saw a few of his family about. They all say Mr. Shaw will be back to work soon.
Velvalee, who the FBI nicknamed The Doll Woman, wrote this letter on her Underwood typewriter. She used the return address and forged the signature of one of her regular customers, Mary Wallace of Springfield, Ohio. Then Velvalee mailed the letter to an address in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Unknown to Velvalee, the Japanese had abandoned the Buenos Aires address as a drop point. The letter was marked “return to sender.” When Mrs. Wallace received it, she turned it in to the Post Office Director in Springfield who passed it along to the FBI.
Cryptographers determined that the letter was written in jargon code. To the casual reader, the letter is about dolls. But the intended recipient would have understood it’s about much more than that.
In this example, only one of five letters given to the FBI between February and August of 1942,
cryptographers decoded the message as follows:
Old Fisherman with a Net over his back ~ refers to an aircraft carrier which has anti-torpedo nettings on its sides.
Old woman with wood on her back ~ refers to an older battleship, one made of wood.
A little boy plus our sick boy ~ a damaged ship.
Cryptographers believed that the words Mr. Shaw and Your were purposely capitalized and that the word distroyed was purposely misspelled to draw attention to them. Mr. Shaw referred to the USS Shaw, a destroyer (distroy + your = destroyer).
The remainder of the letter says Mr. Shaw is ill but “will be back to work soon.”
The ship was in dry dock at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attacked. As the heroine in The Cryptographer’s Dilemma explains, “About two weeks before this letter was written, it [the USS Shaw] was undergoing repairs in San Francisco.”
In the novel, Eloise Marshall is a naval cryptographer who teams up with FBI agent Phillip Clayton, to find the person responsible for forging the signatures on the letters. Their search takes them from Washington, DC to the Springfield, Ohio, to the west coast and back again. On their journey, Eloise will confront an unexpected specter from her past and Phillip will risk his life to save hers.