Fatal Trust

41SOn7T9eLL._SS300_This book had more twists and turns than a roller coaster!  Seriously, several times I had to go back and reread different parts because I wondered how I had missed certain things!

The novel begins with a scene from the end of the book so from the get go the reader is wondering how mild Ian Connor could end up in a scene like that!  And then the author unravels the story, with bits from the past, and dreams, and even from the view points of different characters.  What a suspenseful novel – with hit men, armed robberies, shootings, etc.

I liked how this book was a clean suspenseful novel – no profanity or sex.  But I will say I was expecting there to be some mention of God, since the publisher is Bethany House, but I did not find any.  I do highly recommend Fatal Trust as a clean, suspenseful legal thriller but wouldn’t say it is Christian Fiction.  I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

The Author: Todd M. Johnson

Todd M. Johnson has been a practicing attorney for over 30 years. Todd’s passion for writing blends well with his legal career and his novels are drawn closely from his personal experiences as a trial lawyer.

A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, Todd taught for two years as an adjunct professor of International Law and has served as a US diplomat in Hong Kong.

The Deposit Slip, Johnson’s first novel, debuted in 2012. His second novel, Critical Reaction, was released in October 2013.

A third novel, Fatal Trust, is set in Todd’s hometown of Minneapolis.

The Captain’s Daughter

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It takes place in 1879 in London, mostly in the theater world.

London, 1879

Forced to Leave All She Loves Behind, She Seeks a New Life in a City Bursting with Opportunity, But Fraught with Danger

When a series of circumstances beyond her control leaves Rosalyn Bernay alone and penniless in London, she chances upon a job backstage at a theater putting on the most popular show in the city. A talented musician and singer, she feels immediately at home and soon becomes enthralled with the idea of pursuing a career on the stage. That is, as long as the shadows from her past don’t catch up with her.

After a hand injury forces Nate Moran from his army regiment in India, he returns home to London, a place that holds bitter memories. He agrees to fill in temporarily as a stagehand while his brother recuperates from a broken leg, but Nate is counting down the days until he can rejoin his regiment. His future is decided–until he meets a beautiful woman who has found a new lease on life in the very place Nate yearns to leave behind.

Although I’ve read history about the Globe theater in Shakespeare’s day, I’d never read about the theater in a more “modern” time (just about 140 years ago!). I found the details about the shows fascinating as the theater was producing HMS Pinafore – a musical still known today. There’s a scene with Gilbert and Sullivan working out the details of their next show and words from some of the songs are in the book both of which getting me thinking of those tunes! A lot of the action revolves around backstage – costumes and lighting and sets as Rosalyn is hired first as a cleaning lady and then as a dresser and Nate is working as a stagehand. I also enjoyed the referencing to George Mueller’s orphanage and his beliefs/actions. I’ve heard of him, so to have his orphanage play a pivotal part in the lives of the characters and seeing how it influenced them really intrigued me.

There were just so many details of London life woven around a great story of love and forgiveness and the grace of God that I found this book captivating and look forward to reading the next one by this author, about Rosalyn’s sister Julia! I highly recommend it! I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I am freely writing a review – all thoughts and opinions are my own.

 

The Author: Jennifer Delamere

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Jennifer Delamere’s debut Victorian romance, An Heiress at Heart, was a 2013 RITA award finalist in the inspirational category. Her follow-up novel, A Lady Most Lovely, received a starred review from Publishers Weekly and the Maggie Award for Excellence from Georgia Romance Writers. Jennifer earned a BA in English from McGill University in Montreal, where she became fluent in French and developed an abiding passion for winter sports. She’s been an editor of nonfiction and educational materials for nearly two decades, and lives in North Carolina with her husband.

Wow! Great finish for a fabulous series!

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Women of Unfailing Conviction

Virginia, 1864

Therese Jennings cannot abide the thought of owning slaves. When her widowed mother inherits a plantation, Therese flees to Civil War Richmond, where she works as a governess by day and tends to wounded soldiers at night. But when trouble befalls her family, can she reconcile her obligations with her beliefs? And will love—whether with an old beau or a handsome new suitor—ever fit in her broken world?

Virginia, present day

Nicole Talbot’s life is back on track after years of substance abuse. Home from college for the summer, she’s finally ready to share a shocking secret, one that raises new questions about a traumatic childhood experience. But when facts she uncovers cast doubt on her family’s legacy, she must risk all that she’s gained—her fresh start, her family’s trust, and her growing relationship with a new man—to unlock the secrets of the past.

* * *

From the Christy Award-winning team of Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould comes a thrilling tale of two women longing to follow God’s leading, make the most of second chances, and find true love at last.

 

Wow!  Third book in the cousins of the Dove series and they just keep getting better!  This one stars Nicole in present day Richmond, Virginia (she is the youngest of the 4 Talbot cousins) and Therese Jennings in Civil War Richmond.  I thought it was neat that both young women often were at the same location but over a 100-year difference in time, which not only affected the topography of the location but also their attitudes.  Once again, the authors beautifully weave a story flowing back and forth from the past to the present, often using old photographs to connect them.

I truly love this series and am only bummed knowing that this is the conclusion.  I enjoy learning different aspects of American history but also reading about different contemporary issues – as well as the wonderful romances and mystery!  In this book, the authors bring in some notable Civil War leaders, showing their humanity.  Therese finds that although the rumors were that one highly positioned wife treated people harshly, she hadn’t seen that the night she reflected on.  She reminisced that everyone, herself “included, was capable of doing good or bad.  She’d like to think that it simply came down to one’s choices, but she feared, as with Mother, that perhaps it became more complicated than that as one aged.  She sincerely hoped she’d take the moral high road and she guessed that marrying a man of principle would help her do so.”

Great book, Mindy and Leslie!  I loved it and highly, highly recommend it!  I had my bookclub read the first in the series and now many are looking forward to reading this one!  I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher to help promote it. No review was required but I am freely writing one. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I also want to say I loved the previous 2 books – My Brother’s Crown and My Sister’s Prayer!  But I am highlighting this book because it technically comes out on July 1!

 

The Authors:

Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. www.mindystarnsclark.com

Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including Beyond the Blue and Garden of Dreams. She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. http://www.lesliegould.com

A Love So True

A Love So TrueI so enjoyed this novel and I just felt for the heroine – poor spinster Evelyn – she has no husband, she has pox marks on her face, no hope of ever having her very own children and now, she might even be losing her livelihood!  Yes, if her parents retire she would need to leave the orphanage too as a single woman could not possibly run it.  Made me so grateful to not have the some of the same societal rules they had back in the early 1900’s!  I also loved Evelyn’s large heart – she adores kids – both the orphaned ones and the societal outcast ones born to prostitutes.  But not only does she care for the children, she also cares for their mamas – the “soiled doves”, trapped in demeaning, abusive jobs with no hope of ever escaping.  Evelyn brings hope, even as she despairs ever escaping her own past.

“A Love So True” is the second book in the series but completely stands alone.  It’s a bonus to have read the previous Teaville Moral Society novel but not necessary.

I know this is a story about early 20th century Kansas, but the author also made me think about the attitudes I might have towards societal outcasts.  Would I act like some in the book and turn a blind eye or even avoid coming into contact with the outcasts or would I try to help them?  This was a great book to read yet it also made me think.  I highly recommend it!  I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher to help promote it. No review was required but I am freely writing one. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

For those in the local area, the Burke Community Church Fiction bookclub will be reading one of Melissa’s books for our September meeting and Melissa has graciously agreed to chat with us via Skype for the meeting!

 

The Author:

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Much to her introverted self’s delight, Melissa Jagears hardly needs to leave her home to be a homeschooling mother and historical romance novelist. She doesn’t have to leave her house to be a housekeeper either, but she’s doubtful she meets the minimum qualifications to claim to be one in her official bio. Her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly. Find her online at http://www.melissajagears.com, Facebook, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

“I stay home with my kids, and though that’s PLENTY enough to do, I decided to add homeschooling and writing novels into my schedule too! I am an English/English as a Second Language teacher by trade and still occasionally convince myself to stuff an English class into my schedule since I LOVE adult second language learners (When students are eager to learn, that’s a teacher’s dream job).

My husband and I have been married since 2001 and have a daughter and two boys. My husband loves blacksmithing, knife smithing, traditional archery, hunting, etc. Generally whatever a mountain man does, he does it or has or wants to attempt it. He comes in handy for research!”
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PS – I love this sepia photo – what a great idea!!!

Bread of Angels

This book isn’t coming out until June but I got the privilege of reading an advanced copy of it and I absolutely loved it!!

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Purple. The foundation of an influential trade in a Roman world dominated by men. One woman rises up to take the reins of success in an incredible journey of courage, grit, and friendship. And along the way, she changes the world.

But before she was Lydia, the seller of purple, she was simply a merchant’s daughter who loved three things: her father, her ancestral home, and making dye. Then unbearable betrayal robs her of nearly everything.

With only her father’s secret formulas left, Lydia flees to Philippi and struggles to establish her business on her own. Determination and serendipitous acquaintances―along with her father’s precious dye―help her become one of the city’s preeminent merchants. But fear lingers in every shadow, until Lydia meets the apostle Paul and hears his message of hope, becoming his first European convert.

Still, Lydia can’t outrun her secrets forever, and when past and present collide, she must either stand firm and trust in her fledgling faith or succumb to the fear that has ruled her life.

I confess – I was predisposed to like this book because I read the previous one – and I was not disappointed! It was phenomenal and I just absolutely loved it! It did cost me a little sleep one night because I just could not put it down!

Lydia is known in the Bible as the dealer of purple cloth who Paul meets in Philippi (Acts 16). This is her story – from her early adolescence in Thyatira to her life in Philippi. The author Tessa Afshar has done her research on Roman life and brings the ancient days to life, giving the reader a rich understanding of Biblical days but in an enjoyable, fascinating novel. She adroitly weaves in Biblical narrative, bringing so much more meaning and understanding to the events in Acts.

Bread of Angels is a sequel to Land of Silence but is a complete separate story – the characters of the previous novel are briefly woven into this story but knowledge of them is not important to the following of the story line.

“I lost everything and found God. But it wasn’t until you (Paul) came into my life and told me the Truth that I found peace.” Early in the novel Lydia faces some extreme tragedies and then finds the God of the Old Testament through a Jewish friend. But it is not until much later that she finds Christ through his messenger Paul.

I wish I could give this book more than 5 starts as it was just so wonderful! I received it from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

I’ve never posted a link to Amazon on my blog before, but the book is on sale right now as a presale on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Bread-Angels-Tessa-Afshar/dp/1496406478/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1492033186&sr=8-1&keywords=Bread+of+angels

 

The Author:  Tessa Afshar71ECfis7JBL._UX250_

Tessa Afshar is an award-winning author of historical and biblical fiction. Her novel, Land of Silence, was voted by Library Journal as one of five top Christian Fiction titles of 2016, and nominated for the 2016 RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Inspirational Romance.

Harvest of Gold won the prestigious 2014 Christy Award in the Historical Romance category.

Her book, Harvest of Rubies, was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in the fiction category.

Her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, won her “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards 2011.

Tessa was born in Iran and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life. She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently. Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever.

Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. She serves on the staff of one of the oldest churches in America. But that has not cured her from being addicted to chocolate.

Pursued by Lisa Harris

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Wow! The action doesn’t stop from beginning to end – from plane crash in the beginning to the end where Nikki says, “Uneventful. I’d like that.” I loved how real the author made that plane crash though – describing one of the flight attendants after the crash with these words, “Nikki didn’t miss the fear mingled with determination in the young woman’s eyes. She couldn’t be more than twenty-five, trained to be able to open the door of an airplane in her sleep, while hoping to never experience something like this.” But right after the crash Nikki realizes her seat companion has disappeared – even though she made it through the crash. Since there are so many inconsistencies in this disappearance, Nikki, an investigator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, is drawn into a hush-hush case. Will she be able to figure out where Erika has gone?

Nikki seems to be a magnet for trouble – plane crashes, hostage situations, and more! Every page seems to bring more trouble, not to mention the standing mystery of whatever happened to Nikki’s sister Sarah who disappeared years ago.

I really enjoyed this book although it is not a good one to start reading if you must get a good night’s sleep – I stayed up way too late because I just had to know what would happen next! I loved, too, how Nikki has personal struggles and keeps trying to give them over to God, but is having such a hard time doing it. So, this book has mystery and suspense, romance, and a heroine trying to live fully for God. What a great combination, in my opinion! And speaking of opinion, I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion of it.

 

The Author:  Lisa Harris

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LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 and 2015 from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over twelve years living as missionaries in Africa where she leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at http://www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com.

 

Still Life

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What a bunch of twists and turns and dead bodies that Dani Pettrey has woven into a riveting suspenseful romance novel! This is the second in the Chesapeake Valor novels – Cold Shot came before it. In Still Life the author highlights the romance/stories of Avery and Parker. Avery is a photographer, who, at the beginning of the book has gone to a gala to celebrate the opening of a photography exhibit as her childhood friend is a model for the photographer. When her friend Skylar doesn’t show and seems to have disappeared, Avery seeks the help of Parker, a crime scene investigator. Parker loves Avery (their romance began in the previous book) but can Avery trust him enough to love her, even with her past? And why did Skylar not show on the night of her big event?

Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime-scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime-scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright- and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit for which her friend modeled. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead- and the photographer insists he didn’t take the shot. Worse, her friend can’t be found, and so Avery immediately calls Parker for help.

As Avery, Parker, and their friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

Mystery, romance, murder, abductions, forgiveness – it’s all inside! And I loved the wonderful descriptions of Baltimore and its surrounding areas! I had never heard of Fort Howard, the abandoned military base,  and found it both fascinating and creepy! So I highly recommend this book if you like CSI type books – a real murder mystery that doesn’t shy away from frightening scenes but is clean in the language and sex scenes – and has a sweet romance. On the other hand, if you have a weak stomach like some of my friends, this one is not for you!

 

The Author: Dani Pettrey

Dani-Press-Page-PhotoDani Pettrey is a wife, mom, grandma, and the author of Cold Shot, the first book in the Chesapeake Valor series, and the Alaskan Courage romantic suspense series, which includes her bestselling novels Submerged, Shattered, Stranded, Silenced, and Sabotaged. Her books have been honored with the Daphne du Maurier award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award nomination, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award, among others.

She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves—the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of her characters’ faith, and plenty of romance. She and her husband reside in Maryland, where they enjoy time with their two daughters, a son-in-law, and a super adorable grandson.