Thursday, April 12, 2018

Fierian by Ronie Kendig



  • Series: Abiassa's Fire (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Enclave (March 13, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1683701062
  • ISBN-13: 978-1683701064

About the Book:

  • Abiassa's people fall. Her Fierian dwindles. Her Deliverers wait as Poired Dyrth marches unchecked through the Nine Kingdoms. He's taken the Embers of countless Accelerants. He's taken Zaethien and Hetaera, the mightiest cities of the Nine. He's taken the blood of the royal family. Now Dyrth is after Haegan's power--the Fierian's power. And after that, he wants the world.

    He will not take it unopposed. Battered and outnumbered, the remnant of the Nine forge new alliances, make friends of enemies, and prepare to stand against the last great press of evil. In faith, they wait. The Fierian will come.

    War raging without and within, Abiassa's people face their greatest need. But before the Fierian can fulfill his destiny, he has to defeat the enemy in his own mind.

My Thoughts:

I'm going to try my best to do this book and the series justice here, so please bear with me. 

I'm not a huge fan of the fantasy genre. It takes a story that is so mindbendingly epic to hold my attention, and such treasures are rare and precious finds.

I can count the number of such series' on less than two hands. But Abiassa's Fire and Fierian give me hope for more. 

When I do discover such a novel, I get swept up into the world the author has created. I become completely invested in the outcome of the tale and the well being of the characters. 

When I finished Tolkien's masterpiece series, I sobbed. It was over, and I didn't want to leave. When I finished Lewis' time-tested set of magical journeys through the wardrobe, I felt lost in the real world, having dwelled in Narnia for hundreds of pages.

As I turned the final page of Fierian, I wept. Both with joy because I finally knew how everything ends, and with sorrow, because I had to step out of that world and back into mine.

What Ronie Kendig accomplished with her military suspense is outstanding. But what she has done with Abiassa's Fire is masterful. From powerful description to realistic fantasy dialogue, to memorable imaginary friends and a completely unheard of premise (the ability to wield fire? I mean, c'mon, that alone is mindbendingly fantabulous!)...

Kendig has crafted high fantasy of the highest caliber. I truly believe that Abiassa's Fire was Kendig's destiny, that she was born to craft this series. 

Fierian caps off an epic, sweeping high fantasy trilogy that leaves the reader both satisfied and wanting more. . .just one more chapter, just one more moment spent in this incredible world. 

I can hardly wait to see what Ronie Kendig dreams up next. I just know it will be epic.


Until the next page turns, 

Deena

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Blind Betrayal by Nancy Mehl



  • Series: Defenders of Justice (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (April 17, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764217798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764217791

About the Book:

Deputy U.S. Marshal Casey Sloane has worked at the St. Louis Marshals office for two years and is given a routine assignment to help transport a reporter to D.C. to testify before a grand jury. Valerie, the reporter, was writing a story about an up-and-coming environmentalist who suddenly disappeared and, she later discovered, whose backers purportedly have ties to a terrorist.

When the seemingly ordinary assignment suddenly takes a shocking turn, Casey is forced to put aside her own feelings about the unexpected reappearance of a man from her past as she and two other Marshals take Valerie on the run. And as it becomes dangerously clear Valerie's testimony has even bigger implications than they knew, they'll do whatever it takes to make it out alive.


My Thoughts:

I enjoyed Blind Betrayal, just not quite as much as I loved the first two books in the series. This finale had too many moving parts and a huge cast of characters, plus numerous threat actors.

Nancy Mehl could have turned this one story into two books instead of one. Wasn't much breathing room which left me feeling cramped and overstuffed. 

That said, the action was intense, and she threw in a few red herrings that definitely took me by surprise. I just wish the story had been easier to follow and more focused.  That's why I'm giving 'Blind Betrayal' 3 and 1/2 stars, with my thanks to the publisher for my advance copy, with no services provided in return.

Until the next page turns,

Deena

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn



  • Series: Dive Team Investigations (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Revell (March 6, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0800729382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0800729387

About the Book:

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

Dive into the depths of fear with an exciting new voice in romantic suspense. Award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn grabs readers by the throat and doesn't let go until the final heart-pounding page.


My Thoughts:

Lynn H. Blackburn has crafted a novel worthy of 'must read' status.  "Beneath the Surface" has a unique concept and a fresh take on crime solving.  Ryan Parker is a member of the underwater rescue team with the local county sheriff.  That alone is intriguing and why I wanted to read Blackburn's debut fiction.

Leigh Weston works in emergency medicine, and I'm an ER junkie.  I love the authenticity of Blackburn's medical scenes, and I caught myself praying a few times for Leigh--even though she isn't real.  

When it appears her stalker has followed Leigh, Ryan and the other members of his team get involved and form a plan to keep Leigh safe.  Unfortunately, just as when you look out over a placid lake, things aren't always what they seem like on the surface.

Blackburn breathes fresh life into the mystery suspense genre, and I'm eager for her next novel!  'Beneath the Surface' gets four out five stars from me, with my thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy with no services offered in return.

Until the next page turns, 

Deena

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

No One Ever Asked by Katie Ganshert



  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook (April 3, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601429045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601429049

About the Book:

Challenging perceptions of discrimination and prejudice, this emotionally resonant drama for readers of Lisa Wingate and Jodi Picoult explores three different women navigating challenges in a changing school district--and in their lives.

When an impoverished school district loses its accreditation and the affluent community of Crystal Ridge has no choice but to open their school doors, the lives of three very different women converge: 

Camille Gray--the wife of an executive, mother of three, long-standing PTA chairwoman and champion fundraiser--faced with a shocking discovery that threatens to tear her picture-perfect world apart at the seams. 

Jen Covington, the career nurse whose long, painful journey to motherhood finally resulted in adoption but she is struggling with a happily-ever-after so much harder than she anticipated. 

Twenty-two-year-old Anaya Jones--the first woman in her family to graduate college and a brand new teacher at Crystal Ridge's top elementary school, unprepared for the powder-keg situation she's stepped into. Tensions rise within and without, culminating in an unforeseen event that impacts them all. 

This story explores the implicit biases impacting American society, and asks the ultimate question: What does it mean to be human? Why are we so quick to put labels on each other and categorize people as "this" or "that", when such complexity exists in each person?

My Thoughts:

First of all, my thanks to the publisher for my advance copy with no services provided in return.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way...

Wow.

I've been a fan of Katie Ganshert's writing since her first book released.  I'm also a follower of her social media, so I'd been reading her posts and articles about race relations in America.  I'm going to be honest--I had mixed feelings about what I was reading.  I found myself growing defensive, because I was frustrated.

After I read the novel, I even asked the question of fellow readers, "How can I make an impact if I'm just a white woman who can't relate to the marginalization of minorities?"  Then a sweet sister gently pointed out that Katie Ganshert is a white woman, and she wrote this book.

That gave me hope.  Real, genuine hope.  Because this book is going to spark a dialogue that will invade ever crease and crevice of our culture.  Of our church.  Of our souls.

It's also likely to create a firestorm, so I've been praying over Katie, over the book release, over everyone who's going to be impacted by this powerful story.  While it's rooted in true, real events, it is fiction.  And fiction is powerful.  Fiction can disarm, lower defenses, and persuade people to really think and soul search.

After all, Jesus used story often.  Ganshert is just following in His footsteps.  Don't misconstrue what I just said.  I'm not saying she is on the level of Jesus--but just as our Savior used story to the power of the parable to convey powerful and sometimes painful truth, Katie Ganshert has utilized the power of story to convey a powerful and painful truth:

we still have a long way to go to reconcile people to Christ and to one another.

The truth is, I'll never understand what it's like to be a black woman in America.  Or a black man.  Because I was born with white skin.  But that doesn't mean I can't work to understand, and can't raise my voice to affect change.

The novel?  Well written.  The story?  Powerful.  The lessons?  Painful.  The author?  Passionate about her faith, her family, and her fiction.

So I highly encourage you to set aside any previous mindset or anger or confusion or preconceived notions about "No One Ever Asked" and read it with an open mind and an open heart.  Allow yourself to walk in the shoes of Camille, Jen, and Anaya.  And see the multilayered message within the pages.  Then let God use the story in your life to motivate positive change in your life, your family, your neighborhood, your church, your community, your town, your state, and your nation.

Go forward with Jesus and flip the world upside down.  And fear not, because He goes before you.  Just as He's gone before Katie Ganshert as she wrote the novel she was created to write.

Thank you, Katie Ganshert, for giving me a voice and opening my heart.

Until the next page turns, 

Deena

P.S. I don't normally do this, but any hate-filled or profane comments will be immediately deleted.  Not to silence your voice, but to silence your disrespect.  So if you want to be heard, keep it polite and keep it civil, even if you disagree.

Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan



  • Series: Atlanta Justice (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (May 1, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764219812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764219818

About the Book:

Prosecutor Sophie Dawson's first job in the White Collar division of the Fulton County D.A.'s office is to build a case against a local bank employee who may be cheating clients. But when circumstances beyond her control leave her as the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang, her world is turned upside down.

Former Atlanta police officer turned private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to ensure that Sophie is kept safe. But as threats escalate, they don't know who they can trust. 

Sophie is determined not to back down, but her bank case gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying. Sophie wants to take a stand for what's right--but can Cooper, who is determined not to be distracted by their growing attraction, keep her safe so that she can finish her pursuit for justice?

My Thoughts:

I love Rachel Dylan's legal suspense!!


Until the next page turns,

Deena

Monday, April 2, 2018

Spotlight Tour: Progeny by Tosca Lee



Book Details:

Book Title: The Progeny: A Novel by Tosca Lee
Series: Descendants of the House of Bathory (Book #1)
Category: YA Fiction, 352 pages
Genre: Thriller, (YA-leaning), Slight paranormal
Publisher: Howard Books
Release date: May 2016
Tour dates: March 26 to April 13, 2018
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

From New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee comes a story of love, ancient secrets, and survival. Book 1 in the House of Bathory duology.
When you wake up, you remember nothing. Not your name, or where you were born, or the faces of the people you knew. Just a single warning written to yourself before you forgot it all:

"Emily, it’s me. You.

Don’t ask about the last two years… Don’t try to remember and don’t go digging. Your life depends on it. Other lives depend on it.

By the way, Emily isn’t your real name. You died in an accident. You paid extra for that."

You start over in a remote place with a new name, a fresh life. Until the day a stranger tells you you’re being hunted for the sins of a royal ancestor who died centuries before you were born.

You don’t believe him, until they come for you. Now you’re on the run.

Every answer you need lies in a past you chose to erase. The only thing you know for sure is that others are about to die and you need those memories back.

But first, you have to stay alive.




Praise for The Progeny:

"Be warned: once you start this book, it’s impossible to put down!”
- Maria V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Study

“Intriguing and romantic, I literally couldn’t put it down.”
- Jennifer L. Armentrout # 1 New York Times bestselling author

"Irresistible..."
- Publishers Weekly

"[A] complex thriller with various turns and twists...A great choice for readers who enjoy their psychological thrillers with a historical twist."
- Library Journal

"Exciting...action-packed…intriguing.”
- Romantic Times Book Reviews

"Filled with intrigue, romance, and reversals fans are sure to love."
- Family Fiction

"The Progeny has risen to the top of my favorites list…I devoured every word of it.”
- Book Reporter



Buy the Book:


Begin Reading Now!
EXCERPT:


The Center

No one speaks when you enter the Center for the last time. There’s no need. You’ve gone through the counseling, tests, and a checklist of preparations to get the plastic bracelet you wear the day of treatment. The one that saves a life. They don’t need to know why you’re doing it any more. Or that you lied about it all. Just the scratch of the stylus as you sign your name on the screen one last time.

A nurse takes me into a room and I lie down on the table. I give her the sealed packet—the only thing I brought with me. There’s cash, meds, and an address inside, the one for “after.” It’s a thousand miles away. She’ll pass it to the companion assigned to me. No point meeting her now.

I’m 21 years old and my name doesn’t matter because it’s about to be erased forever. I’m choosing to forget the ones I love, and myself, in the process.

They say your life flashes before your eyes when you die. But they don’t tell you that every detail comes screaming back to life. That you taste each bite of every meal you savored, feel the shower of every rain you walked in… smell the hair against your cheek before that last, parting kiss. That you will fight to hold on to every memory like a drowning person gasping for poisoned air.

Then everything you knew is gone. And you are still alive.

For now.

Continue reading the first four chapters FREE.


Meet the Author:


"Superior storytelling." - Publishers Weekly

"One of the most gifted novelists writing today." -Steven James, bestselling author

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory Duology (The Progeny and Firstborn, currently in development for television),Iscariot, The Legend of Sheba, Demon: A Memoir, Havah: The Story of Eve, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (Forbidden, Mortal, Sovereign). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at ToscaLee.com, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. (And be sure to check out Ismeni, the free e-short prequel to The Legend of Sheba!)

Get your copy of The Progeny here: http://toscalee.com/product/the-progeny/ (Kindle readers: now you can enjoy special insights in the author’s highlighted comments!)

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Pinterest

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends April 21, 2018


a Rafflecopter giveaway





Until the next page turns,

Deena

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman


  • Series: Hidden Justice (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 5, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0718083482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0718083489

About the Book:

“This is the way legal thrillers are meant to be—compelling, intelligent, and deeply satisfying.” —Randy Singer, author of Rule of Law
THE POLICE SAY THE WOMAN WAS A MURDERER. EMILIE WESLEY KNOWS THEY CAN’T BE TALKING ABOUT HER CLIENT . . . CAN THEY?
To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. 
Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.
Reid Billings thought he knew his sister—right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.
Thrown together in a race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl—and find a future for themselves in the process?

My Thoughts:

Putman has hit her stride in the genre of legal suspense. I enjoyed her first novel in the series, but I'm blown away by "Imperfect Justice". While I had no problem identifying the person giving Em the heebie jeebies, figuring out the actual mystery seemed simple, but Putman threw in a last second twist that had me exclaiming "No way!"

I'm a huge Randy Singer fan, and when he states that THIS is the way legal thrillers are meant to be, I sit up and take note.  He is completely right--which is a hard thing for me to admit, because I love his books so much.  But that just demonstrates just how well Putman writes.

I'm eager to see what she writes next!  I'm giving "Imperfect Justice" five out of five stars, and my thanks to the publisher for my advance copy of the book with no obligations in return.

Until the next page turns, 

Deena
 

Just One More Published @ 2014 by Ipietoon