Monday, October 19, 2020

Point Of Danger By Irene Hannon

Point of Danger
by Irene Hannon
Publisher: Revell
Series: Triple Threat
ISBN: 9780800736170

So, I have a few of Irene Hannon's books thanks to author, Natalie Walters. I haven't read them because... who has time? lol They sit on my tbr shelves calling my name! Since I had the opportunity to read Point of Danger for review from Revell, I figured now was as good a time as any to try her out!

Summary:

Hate mail was one thing. This was quite another.

Radio talk show host Eve Reilly is used to backlash from her pot-stirring on-air commentary and interviews. But now it seems a disgruntled listener is resorting to more than angry words to express their displeasure. When a suspicious package arrives on her doorstep, Eve turns to law enforcement for help.

Police detective Brent Lange can't find any evidence to link the string of unsettling incidents that follows, but he's convinced they're connected. As the harassment grows more menacing, it becomes clear someone wants Eve's voice silenced--permanently. 

But unless he can track down her elusive foe, the gutsy woman who is willing to take risks for what she believes--and who is swiftly winning his heart--may not survive.

My Review:

hahaha WOW! What did I just read? I wish Instagram Stories stayed longer than 24 hours because I'd tell you to go watch the ones I did about Point of Danger! If you've read any of my recent reviews of the suspense novels I'm reading you'll know I am "Ms. Detective" and I basically accuse everyone from the gate of being the bad guy. Of course all it does is throw me off.

The first sentence will have you clamoring for more:

"The package was ticking."

There's danger from the opening line and it doesn't stop until the end! And speaking of danger, there are a couple of storylines going on that involve it! Sheesh. First there's Eve Riley who is a stinking spitfire! She isn't going to put up with anyone's nonsense, even if she's being threatened. I guess when you're a controversial radio host you have to deal with crazy people. Something I never really thought of before.

And then... then there's Eve's co-worker, Meg. Sweetest thing ever, but then there's her husband. Let's just say he's the complete opposite of her. If you've ever despised a character before, let me just say, Meg's husband will set a new bar for you. lol When I read one scene where the author gives you insight into how his mind was working, I wanted to reach into the book and slap him silly!

Lastly we have some random people who are clearly gunning for Eve. That's the part that makes you start wondering what in the world is going on! Do these people go with the bomb threat from the beginning of the story? Are they a second set of people trying to take her out? With that added element, you're left guessing until the very end!

While I like Eve's character, I probably would've ditched the show and headed to Tahiti. HA! I really liked how her sisters played into her life and I can't wait to read their stories. Of course there's the knight in shining armor, Brent Lange, who took on the case and took it seriously from the start. I liked his straight forward talk and that he also wasn't one to put up with nonsense! I enjoyed the push and pull between he and Eve. The underlying current of attraction between the two just gives the story that extra "oomph" to help us enjoy the story!

This is just an aside and really is just me being curious, but the author uses the phrase (or close to this), "He set the brake on his car." Does anyone do that anymore? Don't we just put the car in park? lol If I'm on a hill, I'd set the brake, but not just to let someone out of my car. Just me?

Anyhow, I'm chomping at the bit for book 2 already and can't wait for it to come out!!

About the Author:

Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including Hope HarborSea Rose LaneSandpiper CovePelican PointDriftwood Bay, and Starfish Pier, as well as Point of Danger and the Code of Honor, Private Justice, and Men of Valor suspense series. Her books have been honored with three coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, and she is a member of that organization's elite Hall of Fame. Her many other awards include National Readers' Choice, Daphne du Maurier, Retailers' Choice, Booksellers' Best, Carol, and Reviewers' Choice from RT Book Reviews magazine, which also honored her with a Career Achievement Award for her entire body of work. In addition, she is a two-time Christy Award finalist. Learn more at www.irenehannon.com.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Mother Of The Bride By Cheryl Barker

Mother of the Bride
by Cheryl Barker
Publisher: BroadStreet Publishing
ISBN: 978-1424552368

As a mom of four it's no surprise that I hope to be a Mother of the Bride (MOB) at least 4 times. lol I've had the opportunity once so far and I know that all four will be very different experiences. That being said, when Cheryl reached out to me about her book, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her book! She sent me her book for review and I'm excited to be reviewing it!

Summary:

Mothers in today's world wear many hats and struggle to keep the stress in their lives at manageable levels. Add the delightful but demanding new hat of mother of the bride (MOB) to the roles they are already juggling, and you have a host of middle-aged moms pushed to their limits, in desperate need of an empathetic voice and moments of nourishing relaxation.While trying to maintain life as they knew it before their daughters' big announcements, MOBs are called upon to magically morph into wedding planners, help their daughters navigate the journey to the altar, and establish new and loving relationships with their prospective sons- in-law and their families. With all focus, financial and otherwise, dedicated to the brides and the weddings themselves, the needs of mothers of the bride are overlooked.Mother of the Bride will help MOBs step away from the hurried pace of daily life complicated by a demanding new role. It will offer them the refreshment found in discovering community as they take time for themselves time to be encouraged, to gain helpful insight and practical tips, and to enjoy the feminine beauty of a book designed just for them.Through essays featuring relevant quotes or Scriptures, personal stories, nuggets of wisdom, simple suggestions for personal pampering, journaling opportunities, communication aids, and practical tips for wedding planning, Mother of the Bride will nurture the all-important but too often neglected mother of the bride.

My Review:

First I want to say this is probably one of the most gorgeous books I've come across. The hardcover is embossed and the colors are very elegant. It also comes with a fabric bookmark attached inside.

My first thought is two-fold with Mother of the Bride. It would make a perfect book for a daughter to give their mom as they learn they're going to become a MOB or for a friend to give to a girl friend who has just learned they're going to be a mother of the bride! 

I think this was a good book for me to have read through since I've had the experience once. I'm able to get a good grasp on if and how this will be a benefit and encouragement to others. And I can say hands down that it is! Cheryl knows what it's like to be a mom not just the first time, but numerous times. She knows what it's like to plan a wedding near and far. She also recognizes that while it's different for each of us, there's a similarity that turns through the veins of all moms. And that's where she's able to encourage us through this journey.

I like at the end of each chapter, which are short and sweet by the way, Cheryl gives the MOB encouragement, a tip, suggestions for who to talk to, as well as a place to jot down your own thoughts from her prompt.

I know as mother of the bride, we encounter a lot of stress. I really appreciate in chapter four when Cheryl says, "When problems arise, Mother of the Bride - and they always do when planning a wedding - God will provide either solutions or the grace needed to handle the situations." She is so right on that!

A chapter I found amusing is about secrets! While weddings are exciting and we want to shout it from the rooftops, it turns out there are secrets we need to keep. Like when the young man who wants to marry your daughter comes to ask you for her hand in marriage. Been there, done that. Whew! Keeping my meeting with my future son-in-law was quite the feat! I had to be rather elaborate in my deception with my daughter and involved my son & his best friend in the scheme. hahahaha

My favorite aspect of this book overall is that while it's extremely practical, she reminds us how God fits into our planning! Cheryl reminds us to lean on Him, lean on the people around us, and to honestly just do the best we can with what we can. In a way, sometimes I felt like I was reading an etiquette book on how to properly be a mother of the bride, but not in a lofty way, but in a way that will bless your daughter, family, friends, and the Lord.

If you have recently become a MOB, first of all, congratulations! Secondly, I would encourage you to get your hands on this book asap! While Cheryl doles out good advice covering all kinds of topics, at the end of the book all kinds of worksheets for you to go through! There are questions to ask for the person you're interviewing as well as for people they use as references! Really, it's a gold mine for you!

Happy wedding planning! I hope and pray it's a smooth and blessed journey for your family.

About the Author:

CHERYL BARKER is a veteran mother of the bride and freelance writer. She s written for magazines, compilation books, and other publications as well as for Blue Mountain Arts greeting cards, gift books, and calendars. Her heart's desire is to refresh spirits and nourish souls. She and her husband live in Kansas and delight in spending time with their two adult daughters, sons-in-law, and precious grandchildren. Cheryl loves to take photos, enjoy friends, and indulge in daily doses of chocolate.

Saturday, October 10, 2020

Pearl In The Sand By Tessa Afshar

Pearl in the Sand
by Tessa Afshar
Publisher: Moody
ISBN: 978-0-8024-1986-6

I have to admit, I have been devouring Tessa Afshar's books. I have been enjoying them on audiobook and plan to get paperback copies as I can. That being said, I was incredibly thankful to be chosen to be on Tessa's launch team to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Pearl in the Sand. It was her first novel and I had never even heard of it. Of course, I was kind of on a sabbatical with reading when this came out so I'm not really surprised. Life was happening and I missed out on a lot of good reads, this one included!

Summary:

Can a Canaanite harlot who made her living enticing men be a fitting wife for a leader of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes.

This 10th anniversary edition of Pearl in the Sand includes new features that will invite you into the untold story of Rahab's journey from lowly outcast to redeemed child of God. Rahab's home is built into a wall, a wall that fortifies and protects the City of Jericho. However, other walls surround her too, walls of fear, rejection, and unworthiness… Years of pain and betrayal have wounded Rahab's heart—she doubts whether her dreams of experiencing true love will ever come true…

A woman with a wrecked past—a man of success, of faith... of pride. A marriage only God would conceive! Through the heartaches of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth and find healing in God.

My Review:

I wasn't sure how I was going to respond to this story. There has been a lot of excitement about its release from people who read it the first time around a decade ago. Is it really that incredible? Well, I'm here to say that it lived up to its hype! Wow!

I know that any of the books I've read by Tessa have been amazing. They bring the people of the Bible to life in fantastic ways... fictionally, of course! Always have to keep that front of mind, these are fictional accounts of real people.

I'm honestly still in recovery from Pearl in the Sand. We meet Rahab at the beginning of her betrayal by her parents. While this is absolutely significant to the story and Rahab's life, it didn't impact me on a personal level until closer to the end. I know that most of the story, while difficult in and of itself, didn't impact me personally until the author got to the heart of the matter for Rahab - what she'd been through, how she responded, her betrayals, her lack of worth, etc. We read her pain through the words of the author, but when Rahab is confronted with her past, that's where we get to the nitty gritty of life.

It was so interesting to me, through this fictional story, to see the different ways God moves in a person's life. We sometimes ask if He cares about the little things, and I believe time and time again He shows us that he does. Think about it. The spies end up at the ONE place where they aren't turned over to the Canaanites. God knew Rahab would hide them. And I ended up really enjoying these spies. :)

It was amazing to read God's promise to Rahab fulfilled when the Israelites attacked Jericho. This entire city destroyed all around this harlot's inn. And to leave it all behind to join the Israelites... what that must've been like. That's where I appreciate an author's liberties to reach into their lives and imagine it for us.

And then we meet Salmone. Oh, Salmone. This guy has a rough go of it when Joshua makes the decision that Rahab's family will join the tribe of Judah. Oof! A harlot! In the tribe of Judah! I have to admit, Salmone gave me some really good chuckles! It's so interesting being able to look at one's self through a character in a book. How the author can make us look into the depths of our own hearts and see where we need more of God!

I really loved how Tessa used Joshua so much in the life of Rahab and Salmone. I also enjoyed the character of Miriam, Salmone's sister. She plays such a pivotal role in the life of not only Rahab, but in her family as well. 

The biggest take away, and the piece I'm still wrestling with is God's mercy. How the things of our past, those things that taint us and oftentimes break us, don't define how God will pour out His mercy on us when we turn to Him. The example that finally jars Rahab, and certainly wrecked me, was where the whole "pearl in the sand" comes in. Oh my gosh, if this isn't one of the most amazing allegorical examples, I don't know what is (outside of the Bible). It brought a fresh understanding of God's love for us... for me. It is such a wonder!

Pearl in the Sand is a book that, when you finish it, you just want to abide for a little while longer. One where (if you had the time) you'd go back and immediately re-read it. This book will be a top recommendation for anyone who asks about Biblical fiction. There is deep, abiding Truth that pours through the pages onto our hearts and minds. I'm so incredibly thankful for this book.

About the Author:

TESSA AFSHAR is the award-winning author of many biblical and inspirational historical fiction books, including Harvest of Gold which won a Christy Award and In the Field of Grace, a biblical fiction on the life of Ruth. Born in the Middle East, Tessa spent her teen years in England and later moved to the United States. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life. She holds a Master of Divinity from Yale, where she was co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship. She served in women and prayer ministry for twenty years before becoming a full-time writer and speaker.

Friday, October 9, 2020

Great Waters By Jennifer Q. Hunt

Great Waters
by Jennifer Q. Hunt
Publisher: Independent
ISBN: 979-8647840196

Ok, I admit it. I'm always nervous when authors reach out to me asking me if I will review their books. This is especially the case if they're independent authors who I've never heard of. Let me just say, I'm SO glad Jennifer asked me to review her book. She sent me the ebook copy to facilitate my review.

Summary:

Haunted by the tragedies and mistakes of his past, Russell Carver has nonetheless managed to build a successful—if lonely—life for himself in his native Boston. But when he meets lovely, vivacious Katie Sweet, up from Atlanta to visit her grandmother, Russell’s stoic life is turned upside down and long-abandoned dreams are reawakened. Russell will do anything to protect and provide for this woman he adores, but neither of them can imagine the great waters of calamity that will soon rush against them and shake their fledgling relationship to its very foundation.Set against the backdrop of the final years of the Roaring Twenties and the beginning of the Great Depression, Great Waters is a stand-alone sequel to Some Through the Fire.Can Russell and Katie’s love survive through the family conflicts, heart-wrenching losses, and dark secrets that threaten to drown them both?

My Review:

Looking for a story that will send your emotions through the wringer? Look no further than Great Waters. hahahaha You will follow the characters to their mountain tops and their valleys. This isn't just a story, it's a saga!

The start of the story, when Russell meets Katie is fun and lighthearted. The reader literally isn't prepared for what's to come. If you can think of anything that could possibly happen to a character in a story, you'll most likely find it in Great Waters. And while the story's main characters are Russell and Katie, we get to know many of the others in a very deep way: Billy and Cornelia, Violet and Andy, Sadie and Harry, and Grandmother Sweet. 

I will warn you that topics such as addiction, suicide, and spousal abuse are covered in this book. Both of those storylines are powerful and well written. I have to admit, the character, Harry, is an evil man and his character is written in a way that truly portrays that.

The characters and situations are written in such a way that you can feel the emotions of what they're going through. The excitement for new love, the loss of a job, the sense of betrayal of a loved one, etc. Their feelings are palpable.

One thing I loved in this story is that the characters didn't live under the assumption of something for very long. You know what I mean, right? A character assumes another character did something and for 4 chapters it's not discussed or if it is, it's with more misunderstanding. I liked that the characters had people speaking truth into their lives and were reacting in ways that portrayed a more "normal" sense than just adding to the dramatics. In fact, most times the characters are encouraged by faith.

And the faith element to this story is to be commended! It was an exceptional part of this story and defining piece that guided the main characters. I appreciated that faith is what motivated them to forgiveness, restoration, and making choices (for the most part). The characters are very imperfect, but you see the growth of each them in themselves, their relationships, and with the Lord.

Overall, a very enjoyable book and I will miss all of the characters.

About the Author:

Jennifer Hunt has been writing her whole life, ever since she took crayons to tablet paper to write "The Princess is Saved" and brought it in to kindergarten Show and Tell! Throughout the years, Jennifer has written short stories, articles, and dramatic scripts. She has used her writing abilities to further the ministries of the churches and organizations where she has worked vocationally and/or volunteered. For history tidbits, deleted scenes, and more "extras" as well as information about upcoming releases, follow Jennifer on Facebook at Jennifer Q. Hunt, Author or Instagram @jennifer.q.hunt.author.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Backlash By Rachel Dylan

Backlash
by Rachel Dylan
Publisher: Bethany House
Series: Capital Intrigue
ISBN: 9780764234316

I was SO excited to be part of Rachel Dylan's launch team for Backlash! I had read End Game and HAD to follow it up with book 2! She sent me her book to read for review. As with book 1, I want to point out that the topic of sexual assault is part of this storyline. I know there are people who are triggered by certain topics and I wanted to make sure this was understood. It is handled with the utmost care.

Summary:

With a target on her back, she's determined to find answers.
But can she escape the deadly backlash?

CIA analyst Layla Karam is thrust into a dangerous DEA field operation against a cartel, and after one of her team members is murdered because of fallout from the op, Layla is left scrambling to find safety.

At the same time, the CIA opens an internal investigation against her. Out of options, Layla turns to ex-boyfriend and private investigator Hunter McCoy for help finding out who might want to ruin her career.

Layla and Hunter soon discover that a mole inside the DEA has sold out the team's identity to the cartel. She needs to clear her name with the Agency in order to protect herself and her teammates from cartel retaliation. With threats on all sides, Layla must put her trust in Hunter--the man who broke her heart--and hope they both come out of it alive.

My Review:

From the FIRST page... sit down and buckle up because wooo boy are you going for a ride! Also, be prepared for some fingernail biting. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Do you ever set out with the intention to figure out "who done it" while you're reading the book. I typically dive in, just trying to enjoy the story, but the more I read suspense novels, the more I want to see if I can deduce who the bad guy is. lol

Well, Rachel has enough characters in Backlash to keep you guessing. I pretty much guessed each person at some point throughout the story. Enough to drive myself crazy! I guess that's a good thing because it means Rachel was keeping me on my toes. There are explosions, shootings, attacks and everything else you expect from a suspense novel like this! lol

Layla was an amazing character in this book! She's not a field agent. She doesn't want to BE a field agent. Thankfully she was required to do some training because she was going to need it in this story. And while she's trying to protect herself from whoever is after her, people around her are dropping like flies. I also liked that Layla's ex-boyfriend, Hunter, is brought in. He was easy to dislike from the start. You hurt Layla, you have to deal with all of us. hahahaha

Then there's Izzy's storyline and honestly, I appreciate that Christian fiction authors are tackling really tough topics such as sexual assault. Rachel handles it from the victim's perspective and she does it very well. It's important for people to also read about the men who support and care for women who have been assaulted, which Rachel does with Jay and Aiden.

As I continued reading this story, I wondered why anyone would want to work for a government agency. lol Do people get started there believing they can change the world? All "pie in the sky" visions and then they turn dirty? OR are they dirty and see an Agency as pay dirt? I don't even know who to trust any more. Anything ever happens to me, I'm hoping Marco, Zane, Cass, Layla, Izzy, Bailey, and Viv are on my side.

Of course, I can't forget the most important aspect of the story... their faith! When characters struggle with faith, I think we can relate to them on a level that helps us see ourselves better. The ladies, who are all friends, are able to encourage and support each other because of their shared faith.

Don't miss out on this fantastic suspense in the heart of the Capital! I wish I would've had time because I would've loved going to Alexandria or DC to get some photos with the book!

About the Author:

Rachel Dylan (www.racheldylan.com) is an award-winning and bestselling author of legal thrillers and romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade, including being a litigator at one of the nation's top law firms. Her Atlanta Justice series has won the Holt Medallion, the Maggie Award, and the FHL Reader's Choice Award. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids--two dogs and three cats.

 
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Woven by Words by Mimi B is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.