The Killing Tide ~ Dani Pettrey’s Coastal Guardian Series

The Killing Tide Several years ago, I found the audiobook Submerged on my library’s website. I’d never heard of the author before, but it ticked all the right boxes: Christian, suspense, family, exciting location, and intriguing story. I LOVED that book. I bought a copy for my Kindle, and I’ve read it several times. And listened to it again, too.  As each new book in the series was released, I bought the digital book and borrowed the audio from the library.  Later, Ms. Pettrey wrote a prequel novella, and I got that one, too.  The Alaskan Courage Series is s till one of my very favorite series.  She next wrote the Chesapeake Valor series, and I enjoyed those, too. So when Celebrate Lit announced openings for The Killing Tide blog tour, I signed up immediately.  By then, I’d already listened to the book, and I knew what I wanted to say about it! Dani Pettrey writes tightly-plotted, complex stories. They are always interesting, with surprises and plot twists that feel plausible.  Because The Killing Tide  is the first book in a new series (Coastal Guardians), there was a lot of information  and many characters to introduce.  It was just a Read More

Smoke Screen by Terri Blackstock – a review

Smoke Screen ~ A New Story from a Favorite Author! I heard a writing teacher say once that it’s much harder to write a truly good character than to write a flawed one. She said that readers would dislike the “perfect” people. I thought I’d feel that way about the hero of Smoke Screen. After Nate nobly saved an entire family (and their dog) from their burning home, then worried more about his team than about his own injuries, he was looking a little too good to be true. Ho-hum. But then the author did her trademark thing: she made his life messy. She gave him a very complicated family. She gave him a bad reputation.  Now, he was a genuinely good and likable guy, but he was interesting, too.  Terri Blackstock is really good at that! The heroine was easier to dislike – a weak woman with a drinking problem, when she should have been stronger and stayed sober if she really wanted to keep her kids. Instead, she wallowed in self-pity and hopelessness. So irritating. But… just as she has in so many other books, Terri Blackstock took that character and made her real. She was still doing Read More

Fragments of Fear by Carrie Stuart Parks

Fragments of Fear From award-winning author Carrie Stuart Parks comes a new novel with danger that reaches from a New Mexico Anasazi archaeological dig to micro- and nano-chip technology. Evelyn Yvonne McTavish-Tavish to her friends-had her almost perfect world in Albuquerque, New Mexico, come to a crashing end with the suicide of her fiancé. As she struggles to put her life back together and make a living from her art, she’s given the news that her dog is about to be destroyed at the dog pound. Except she doesn’t own a dog. The shelter is adamant that the microchip embedded in the canine-with her name and address-makes it hers. Tavish recognizes the dog as one owned by an archaeologist named Pat Caron because she did a commissioned drawing of the two of them months earlier. The simple solution is to return the dog to his owner, but she arrives only to discover Caron’s murdered body. After meeting undercover FBI agent Sawyer Price the mystery deepens as more people start disappearing and Tavish becomes a target as well. Her only solution is to find the links between microchip technology, an Anasazi site in the desert, her fiancé’s death, a late-night radio Read More

Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock

About the Book Book: Catching Christmas Author: Terri Blackstock Genre: Christian Fiction, Romance, Christmas Release Date: October 9, 201 This Year, Christmas Comes Just in Time As a first-year law associate, Sydney Batson knows she will be updating her resume by New Year’s if she loses her current court case. So when her grandmother gets inexplicably ill while she’s in court, Sydney arranges for a cab to get her to the clinic. The last thing cab driver Finn Parrish wants is to be saddled with a wheelchair-bound old lady with dementia. But because Miss Callie reminds him of his own mother, whom he failed miserably in her last days, he can’t say no when she keeps calling him for rides. Once a successful gourmet chef, Finn’s biggest concern now is making his rent, but half the time Callie doesn’t remember to pay him. And as she starts to feel better, she leads him on wild goose chases to find a Christmas date for her granddaughter. When Finn meets Sydney, he’s quite sure that she’s never needed help finding a date. Does Miss Callie have an ulterior motive, or is this just a mission driven by delusions? He’s willing to do Read More

A Sparkle of Silver by Liz Johnson

I’ve been busy preparing for the launch of Comfort & Joy, the 2018 Christmas Lights novella collection, but I took time to enjoy the new Liz Johnson book, A Sparkle of Silver. I’ve read other books by Liz Johnson, so when I was offered an advance reader copy of A Sparkle of Silver, I accepted it gladly and appreciated the break from my own writing! I really enjoyed it.  (Her book, not the break.) Millie and Ben are relatable – broke. burdened with responsibilities and guilt, doing the best they can in hard circumstances. They’re genuinely good people we like to root for. We want them to succeed at finding the treasure because they aren’t just doing it for fun, being greedy. They need the money. Ben is stubbornly trying to make restitution for something that wasn’t his fault. Millie is desperate, working against a deadline to find enough money to pay for her grandmother’s care. The setting – an opulent 1920’s era mansion with a history of lavish parties for the wealthy elite of Georgia – was intriguing. To gain access to the house, Millie got a job as a reenactor – dressing in the vintage clothing and putting Read More

Sins of the Past – a Novella Collection

  Sins of the Past Novellas vary, in length and in quality.  In a full-length novel, the author has more time to develop the plot and characters. The novella has to contain all of the story elements in a more compact package. It’s not an easy job – harder, in some ways, than writing a long book. The author has to develop a complete plot, create well-developed characters and (usually) write a believable romance  in a much shorter form. Novellas come in different sizes, usually between 25,000 and 45,000 words. Multi-author novella collections are popular, especially at Christmastime. They can be inexpensive and fun introduction to new authors. This novella collection from three distinguished writers of romantic suspense, was published one year ago, and I have already listened to it twice. Obviously, I liked it! All three of the authors are on my “read everything list.” Missing Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series is one of the most popular and enduring family sagas in its genre. I’ve read them all at least twice, so I had high expectations for her contribution to this collection, Missing. I was disappointed. As I considered it later, I decided that her full-length books are paced in Read More