Sunday, May 24, 2009

Karen Young

Dear Readers,

I know, three mysteries in a row. Sorry, but it is my favorite genre of books. I will try to do something beside that this weekend.

Karen Young is well known in the ABA market. She has written 34 books, with a total of over 10 million in print. I had not heard of her before, which is too bad, because I really liked her book.

Blood Bayou is set in a small town just north of New Orleans. 7 years ago Stephanie was brutally murdered. The BBPO thought they had caught the right guy and sent him to death row. That is until Camille St. James poked holes in their case and proved that they didn't. The problem that arises is that 3 days after Chester returns to Blood Bayou another young lady is murdered and he is discovered with her blood all over his clothes.

Camille returns to Blood Bayou to prove that Chester isn't guilty. No one believes her, until several strange things begin to happen. Jack, her ex-husband, now a pastor, lives in town and Camille isn't sure she is ready to deal with him and his problems again. But he and the town say he is a changed man. Can she believe him?

The mystery and story of this book are good. I enjoyed it a lot. The only problem I had with this book is the same one I have with several different ABA authors who start writing for the CBA market. They feel they must write out the complete plan of salvation in their books. I think it is a neat concept, but one that becomes tiresome if you read lots of Christian fiction. I find myself skipping those parts anyways. :-) I know it doesn't seem right, and yet it isn't necessarily part of the story and therefore something that can be skipped. It is something that you may share with someone who is asking those questions...

I do and will recommend this book to those looking for a great mystery, just next time I hope Pastor Karen stays out of the book and she sticks to writing really good stories.

Happy Reading.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

Dear Readers,

A couple of you have asked for my to read list... or at least what is on my book pile. I have right now piled up at home the following books. They are not in any particale order, just as I thought of them. This weekend might give me lots of extra time to read, so maybe I will get a couple done.
Green - Ted Dekker
Veiled Freedom - J.M. Windle
How Sweet it is - Alice Wisler
Things Left Unspoken - Eva Marie Everson

A good variety for me. Mystery/fantasy, Contemporary and issues. Have a great weekend.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Brandilyn Collins

Dear Readers,

In typical Brandilyn Collins fashion, Exposure might not be a book you read while home alone in the dark. Every bump and creak will be a stalker coming to get you.

Kaycee Raye has spent her whole life looking over her shoulder, it is a learned behavior from her mother. Her mother taught her to be careful, watch over your shoulder and keep moving, no one can catch you that way. All Kaycee wants is to live a quiet life in the same house in the same town for more than 2 years.

She gets her wish in Wilmore Kentucky. That is until a camera with a dead guy's picture comes and goes from her kitchen table. The police dept. tries to be understanding, but they know she is a bit paranoid. Then when Kaycee's friend Hannah goes missing, the Police start thinking there might be something behind her claims of being stalked.

I love Brandilyn's books. This one is not as creepy as some of her others, but it is a good stalker book. It gave me a good shiver and it was interesting to figure the mystery out. I did figure it out before the end. Brandilyn is good at planting really good clues.

This is a great book for reading by the pool in broad daylight.

Happy Reading

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Captain Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky

Dear Readers,

Certain Jeopardy by Captain Jeff Struecker and Alton Gansky. I am not sure how they did that, but because of Jeff's past in the Special forces, it is very believable. There are a couple of points where you will wonder if it is real, but over all the storyline is interesting and fun to read. It will make you feel very patriotic after you get done with it. It also gives you a whole new respect for what military families in general, but especially Special Ops families go through.

The six guys from the Special Ops team spending time with family and friends, they all receive the one phone call that they are their families dread. "You have 30 minutes to get to base." Off they go, leaving without even having a chance to say goodbye sometimes.

Eric Moyer is at the doctor's office getting test done for a problem he has told no one about, not even his wife, as it could cost him his career. Jose' is playing in the front yard with his wife and kids, Martin is talking to his ex-wife, J.J. is biking with his brother and Pete is talking to his fiancee'. All normal everyday things, until the phone rings. Upon arriving at base they all learn that they are off to Venezuela. Deep undercover, trying to figure out why there is a compound hiding in the middle of town.

Left at home, wives and mothers, sons and daughters, all worry and try to deal with their guys being in a situation they are not allowed to know anything about. What do you do if you are one of the guys on the mission and you find out that your wife's life is in danger? Do you stay with the mission, because that is important to the safety of your country or do you go home and leave the team down one member? What a dilemma. My heart tells me that I would go right home, but do we go home when we have a small cold? What if the country needed you? Hmmm

This was an interesting look at both sides of that story. These guys love their families and yet volunteer to help their country in any way possible, even if it is death. I did like the story even if I wasn't sure I would at the beginning. I thought maybe it was going to be too much of the oorah thing. But it isn't really, it is just a look at the life of a Special Ops team.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Elizabeth Musser

Dear Readers,

Who would have thought a book about driver's training and book publishing could be so interesting? I am not kidding. Words Unspoken by Elizabeth Musser is a good tale of past mistakes and moving on.

Lissa Randall was a shining star. Top of her class, expert horsewoman, and courted by all the top colleges in the country. It all comes crashing down when her mother is killed in a car accident. She can no longer drive and without being able to drive she can't go to college. She is stuck.

Ev MacAllister teaches teens to drive who are having a hard time passing the regular classes. It is something he started doing in memory of his little sister, Tate, who lost her life in a car accident. When he takes Lissa on as a student, he sees a lot of his sister in her and he aches for her. He really wants to help her move on her life.

Ev and his wife Annie are strong Christians, trying to live the life that God has called them to, but they have a past that they have not shared with many people. Ev himself has the biggest secret of all. (No I am not going to tell you what it is;-) His daughter Katy Lynn has not visited with them for years because of past hurts that she is unable to forget or forgive. When her life falls apart she goes to visit her sister in France.

Are there enough story lines to confuse you yet? I could go on... Elizabeth is so good at taking what seems to be very separate stories and tie them all together. I wasn't ever confused by the story lines, but I was wondering how they all tied together. It was interesting to try to figure it all out before Elizabeth revealed the story to us all.

Happy Reading

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Robin Lee Hatcher

Dear Readers,

Robin Hatcher is best known for her historical fiction. She writes great contemporary fiction also, but she still is asked the most about her historical. In Vote of Confidence she goes home again.

Gwen decides to run for Mayor of Bethlehem Spring. She has complained enough about the old mayor in town meeting and the newspaper long enough, so friends challenge her to run herself when he comes up for re-election. Gwen is at first reluctant and then decides that it isn't a bad idea. She has always been very independent, so with her families support she throws her hat into the ring.

Morgan has been trying to get a spa built that he is building in memory of his mother. The Mayor and other various board members have been hindering it and Morgan has decided that the only way to get anything done in this town is to be mayor. They both want the job and think they are both very qualified to do a good job, so may the best person win.

I am sure that you can see where this is going. It is a delightful little story about politics in early 20th century. Robin does her research and that comes through, but the story itself is light and funny. I really did enjoy it myself and feel like it would be a nice summer read. It does go to show you that there isn't anything new in politics today.

Happy Reading

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Robert Whitlow

Dear Readers,

Higher Hope by Robert Whitlow is going to be one of my favorites of his. It is an interesting read and very thought provoking. It is the second of the Tides of Truth series, number one is Deeper Water and yes you need to read them in order.

Tami Taylor is back finishing up her summer internship. She is given a case late on a Friday afternoon simply for the reason that it involves a pastor and one of the partners thinks she would know a lot about religious fanatics. Tami knows she will struggle with the case.

Ramona Dabney knows things about people no one else knows. God reveals things to her and she is able to either confront them about it or pray for them and reassure them. It can be very disconcerting and even distressing when it isn't good news. Jason Paulding is suing her for defamation of character for the statements she made to him when he approached her about buying her church and house.

Tami questions whether the lawsuit is correct or if she should even be working for this law firm. She is struggling with the two guys in the law firm that are interested in "courting" her and when Mrs. Fairbanks falls ill she is under even more stress.

I really liked this book, more than I thought I would at the beginning. Robert takes you home with Tami for the weekend and I once again struggle with her family's beliefs. I loved that he threw Zach into the mix which really was an interesting mix of Christian beliefs. It is very interesting that Tami stays true to her beliefs in God while in Savannah, which is different that what a lot of authors will do with the college students they send off into the big world.

The story line with Rev. Dabney in and of itself was also interesting and made me think a bit about what is right to say and what is not. With political correctness running rampant now it does make you wonder what we will be able to say or not say. It is already illegal in Canada to preach on certain verses in the Bible because they condemn gay practices.

I am ready to read #3, Greater Love, which releases in 2010.

Happy Reading