Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Twin Murder Mix-Up Review and GIVEAWAY!

iTQqqDt4

About the Book

7Tf4lQQ4

Book: Twin Murder Mix-Up

Author: Sami A. Abrams

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: August 23, 2022

A case of mistaken identity…

has lethal results

After capturing a murder on her camera, photographer Amy Baker becomes the next target—but her identical twin is killed instead. Now on the run with her sister’s newborn, Amy has only one person to turn to—Detective Keith Young, her childhood crush. But when they discover Keith is the baby’s father, can he regain Amy’s trust to keep them safe…before the killer strikes again?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

nASUJRBc

Sami A. Abrams lives in Northern California, but she’ll always be a Kansas girl at heart. She loves to travel and watch sports. However, most evenings, you’ll find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. She thinks a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story.

More from Sami

#Authorproblems That’s what the excitement around Keith Young was…a problem—Kinda. Lol!

When I started to hear request for his story, I panicked. Authors don’t want to disappoint their readers. And being new to the published scene…Well, you get the picture. 😊

After the release of Buried Cold Case Secrets, many readers told me they wanted Keith’s story. In fact, the overwhelming response puzzled me. What had I done to create such a buzz about Jason’s partner? And of course, I had to ask why?

The general answer I received…Keith’s a nice guy and the perfect partner.

I have to admit, I got a little nervous since I had already written his story. And I worried if I’d done his character justice?

However, after writing Buried Cold Case Secrets, I knew Keith had to have his own story. He’s such a great guy and needed his happily ever after. So, I dove in and asked, what would happen if he made a huge mistake? Not just a physical one, but a heart one.

By the time I finished, I loved seeing Keith and Amy move past their poor choices and hurt to find acceptance and love. The perfect ending to Keith’s struggles.

All that to say, I hope you love Keith and Amy’s story as much as I do. #TeamKeith

My Review

Amy Baker maneuvered through the afternoon traffic, whispering a prayer for the millionth time that the person for her sister’s death hadn’t discovered his mistake: he’d killed the wrong twin.

There is something about twins, particularly identical twins, that has always fascinated me and has sometimes made me wish that I was one. As Sami Abrams demonstrates in Twin Murder Mix-Up, however, there are obviously a few disadvantages, too! Most cases of mistaken identity end up being of little consequence, but in this case, the stakes are much higher when Amy Baker inadvertently photographs a murder in progress. Like Amy, readers find themselves thrust into the middle of an intense cat-and-mouse game with no answers and everything to lose. Detective Keith Young, her childhood best friend who dropped out of her life a year ago, is the only person she can reach out to, but wounds run deep and add to the challenges.

Featuring one of the characters from Buried Cold Case Secrets, Twin Murder Mix-Up can easily be read as a standalone. Abrams focuses more on the characters and their relationships than on the suspense element per se, highlighting how a person’s actions and communication (or lack thereof) have direct consequences. As much as the main characters frustrated me at times, I realized that it is important for Christian fiction to portray realistic characters that have flaws and have made mistakes. These are the types of characters that people can relate to the most, and even more importantly, they are the types of characters that might speak to nonbelievers. Amy and Keith do grow throughout the story as they encounter situations that test their faith and their perspectives, and Abrams explores the nearly-ubiquitous problems of lacking self-confidence and being unable to forgive oneself. When we come to the end of ourselves, we realize that God has been in control all along, and that when we accept Him as Savior and Lord, all things do work together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 27

Bizwings Blog, August 27

The Avid Reader, August 27

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 28

Christina’s Corner, August 28

Genesis 5020, August 29

Texas Book-aholic, August 29

Inklings and notions, August 30

Through the Fire Blogs, August 30

EmpowerMoms, August 30

Betti Mace, August 31

deb’s Book Review, August 31

For Him and My Family, September 1

Pause for Tales, September 1

The Sacred Line, September 1

She Lives To Read, September 2

Locks, Hooks and Books, September 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, September 3

Britt Reads Fiction, September 3

For the Love of Literature, September 4

Lights in a Dark World, September 4

Paula’s Persuasion, September 4

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, September 5

Book Looks by Lisa, September 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, September 6

Vicarious Living , September 6

Mary Hake, September 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, September 7

Bigreadersite , September 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, September 8

Blogging With Carol, September 8

Simple Harvest Reads, September 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Labor Not in Vain, September 9

Giveaway

VgmCOo_s

To celebrate her tour, Sami is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon card and signed copy of Twin Murder Mix-Up (US only) or eBook for outside the US!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/210ca/twin-murder-mix-up-celebration-tour-giveaway

Vanished Without a Trace Review and GIVEAWAY!

KJI-RF1o

About the Book

FHrQBSdM

Book: Vanished Without a Trace

Author: Sarah Hamaker

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: June 28, 2022

A missing person case. A new clue. And a fight for survival.

After nine years searching for his missing sister, attorney Henderson Parker uncovers a clue that leads him to Twin Oaks, Virginia—and podcaster Elle Updike investigating the case. Partnering with the journalist is the last thing Henderson wants, until mysterious thugs make multiple attacks on both their lives. Now they’ll have to trust each other…before the suspected kidnappers make them disappear for good.

Click HERE to get you copy!

About the Author

hT9qyVmo

Sarah Hamaker loves writing books “where the hero and heroine fall in love while running for their lives.” She’s written romantic suspense novels and nonfiction books, as well as stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul volumes. As a writers coach, her heart is encouraging writers. She’s a member of ACFW; ACFW Virginia Chapter; and Faith, Hope and Love, as well as the president of Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. Her podcast, “The Romantic Side of Suspense,” can be found wherever you listen to podcasts. Sarah lives in Virginia with her husband, four teenagers, a preschool foster child and three cats. Visit her online at sarahhamakerfiction.com.

More from Sarah

As a podcaster myself, I’ve listened to many true crime podcasts, such as “Up and Vanished” and “Accused,” so when I was thinking about the plot for Vanished Without a Trace, I decided to have my heroine be a true crime podcaster investigating cold missing persons cases. I also am fascinated by unsolved mysteries, probably because I love history, and have a strong sense of justice—I want those who commit crimes to be caught. Of course, as a Christian, I do rest in the assurance of God as the ultimate and only truly righteous Judge, but I do find myself rooting for cold cases to be solved and criminals brought to justice. Thus the book combines my two of my interests—cold cases and true crime.

Personally, I can’t imagine anything more difficult than to have a loved one go missing and never be found or heard from again. The uncertainty of their fate must weigh very heavily on the family members left behind. I wanted to capture some of that with Henderson’s strong desire to find his missing sister, Helena, and reunite her with their mother. He’s seen how much Helena’s absence has taken a toll on their mother’s health and mental well-being, and when he has a chance to chase down the first real lead in years, he jumps at it.

Elle’s motives are no less personal than Henderson’s—her own heart aches for these grieving families. Having distant parents, she wants to help families heal by discovering what happened to a loved one if possible. But Henderson doesn’t trust her motives and the two clash more often than not over her podcast.

I hope you enjoy seeing how Elle and Henderson learn to work together to find Helena…and perhaps, their own happy ending.

My Review

There’s something about disappearances that is both intriguing and chill-inducing. As a mystery reader, I tend to gravitate toward those which involve disappearances because they are often more challenging and can offer any number of outcomes. That, combined with the fact that I had not previously read anything by Sarah Hamaker, compelled me to read Vanished Without a Trace. I went into the book blindly, solely viewing the title and cover and only reading the summary on the back cover after finishing the story, and I would personally recommend this to future readers, especially those who don’t wish to know any plot points ahead of time. The novel is enjoyable either way, and this is a personal preference, so it does not affect my rating; it’s simply a suggestion based on my experience.

A diverse cast of characters and a savvy use of modern technology make Vanished Without a Trace an interesting romantic suspense tale, complete with a bit of humor peppered in to lighten the tension. As is characteristic of the Love-Inspired Suspense series, there is relentless action rivaling that of a TV movie, with the same high stakes, to boot. The nearly decade-old vanishing of Henderson Parker’s sister, Helena, has set him on a quest to find her, following any and every lead until he winds up in Twin Oaks, Virginia. Podcaster and journalist Elle Updike is similarly pursuing the cold case for her show, and when dangerous threats are manifested, Henderson realizes he has to join forces with Elle, despite his dislike of journalists. Elle brings important investigative techniques she has learned from her prior experiences and from online research, underscoring the ubiquity of such resources. I appreciated her character and how she contributed to the story, but it didn’t seem to me that she or Henderson grew much as characters throughout the course of the novel, as their approaches did not change, which I admittedly found frustrating at times. Henderson’s stubbornness was, however, counterbalanced by loyalty and compassion.

Vanished Without a Trace also focuses on relationships and the impact of trauma. Several of the characters have had poor relationship experiences in the past, and Hamaker demonstrates how the lingering effects impact the present. This is particularly notable with Henderson, as “His guilt over failing to find Helena had eaten away at his ability to have a relationship with anyone, leaving him with a hollow hole where his heart had been.” I do wish that the faith element would have been more prominent; the faith theme naturally coalesces with the plot, and I would love to see it further emphasized. The challenges which the characters encounter are relevant to those facing society today, and the ultimate solution is the same as well: trusting the Lord with our concerns and seeking Him above all else.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 25

Where Crisis & Christ Collide, July 25

Bizwings Blog, July 26

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, July 27

Through the Fire Blogs, July 27

Betti Mace, July 28

For the Love of Literature, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 29

Pause for Tales, July 29

Texas Book-aholic, July 30

Inklings and notions, July 31

Genesis 5020, August 1

Bigreadersite, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 2

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 2

deb’s Book Review, August 3

Livin’ Lit, August 3

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 4

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 5

Paula’s Persuasion, August 5

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 6

Blogging With Carol, August 7

Mary Hake, August 7

Giveaway

gF4AcboQ

To celebrate her tour, Sarah is giving away the grand prize package of a Vanished Without a Trace branded tote bag, Vanished Without a Trace pin, a print copy of the book, plus a $75 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1ffe1/vanished-without-a-trace-celebration-tour-giveaway

Undercover Assignment Review and GIVEAWAY!

t66oPbF4

About the Book

ujlUavO0

Book: Undercover Assignment

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Suspense

Release date: June 28, 2022

This K-9 will stop at nothing to keep a child safe.

When a little boy is threatened, Officer Daniella Vargas and K-9 partner, Zara, are assigned to pose as his nanny to uncover the culprit’s identity. Suspecting one of the guests in his inn, widower Sam Kavanaugh’s only option is to begrudgingly trust Daniella and Zara to help. But can they solve the case and its mysterious connection to Sam’s late wife before it’s too late?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

gHx4R4QQ

Dana Mentink is a USA TODAY and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. She’s written more than forty mystery and suspense novels for Love Inspired Suspense, Harvest House, and Poisoned Pen Press. She is honored to have received two ACFW Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion Award, and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Please visit her on the web at www.danamentink.com to sign up for her newsletter, or find her on Twitter, Facebook and Bookbub.

More from Dana

What a joy to participate in a series with seven other talented authors! A continuity series is a set of books, each written by a different author, and each with its own suspense plot along with an overarching series plot and characters. It’s a very complicated project to complete, but the fantastic part is chatting, collaborating, and sometimes commiserating with other writers. What a rare treat, since most of our work is done alone in dark rooms with computer screens and bottomless cups of coffee! This series was especially fun to write because of the whole wilderness lodge setting which is my favorite type of story. Picture it! Ancient cliff dwellings, a freak electrical storm, twenty-four hours with no power and a killer on the loose! That’s my kind of suspense novel. I hope you will enjoy this multi author series as much as we enjoyed creating it!

My Review

Human predators were good at surviving and thriving too, she thought, sometimes hiding in plain sight.

Aside from the fact that I love Dana Mentink’s writing, the first thing that attracted me to this book was its focus on dogs. As strange as it may sound, that also made me nervous because I can’t bear to read stories in which any harm comes to the dog, even if it’s a work of fiction. Thus I both applaud and cringe when I come across a new book—or better yet, a series—that spotlights working dogs. This is the first book in the Rocky Mountain K-9 Unit series that I have read, the fourth book in the series, and it can easily be a standalone. Furthermore, for any readers who share my concerns, I’m very happy to report that the canine comes through unscathed. Admittedly, this is just about the most important part for me! While I’m familiar with service dogs, I am less well acquainted with police canines, and Undercover Assignment offers a glimpse into the life of a K-9 officer and her four-legged partner.

A seemingly eclectic mix of characters greet the reader within the pages of this suspenseful yet heartwarming tale. Officer Daniella Vargas finds herself at the remote Cliffside Lodge in New Mexico with her K-9 partner, Zara, posing as a nanny in order to investigate strange goings-on there while keeping owner Sam Kavanaugh’s young son, Oliver, safe. What Daniella thinks is a humiliating waste of her time soon proves to be a true mystery with real dangers, and it’s somehow connected with Sam’s late wife. In spite of their different personalities, he and Daniella share a similar predicament: they have each erected nearly impenetrable walls around themselves to protect their hearts. Strength and perseverance can become handicaps when we close off our hearts and don’t rely on God for our daily needs or allow Him to be our strength. This is just as important during our grief as it is during our joy, and it always involves stepping outside of our comfort zones, even when it doesn’t make sense, as Daniella observes: “From what she knew of Sam, he’d fight and scrap to make the best of what God had given him, just like she had.” Often, the biggest blessings come after determining to endure. What we lose might just pave the way for a blessing that we never expected, and sometimes it takes the loyalty and devotion of a dog to help us realize that.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, June 15

Inklings and notions, June 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, June 16

EmpowerMoms, June 16

Vicky Sluiter, June 17

For Him and My Family, June 17

An Author’s Take, June 18

Blogging With Carol, June 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 19

Betti Mace, June 20

Texas Book-aholic, June 20

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 21

Blossoms and Blessings, June 21

She Lives To Read, June 22

Through the Fire Blogs, June 23

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 23

Labor Not in Vain, June 24

deb’s Book Review, June 25

Pause for Tales, June 25

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 26

For the Love of Literature, June 26

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 27

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, June 27

Genesis 5020, June 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 28

Giveaway

_TuVrhjs

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $75 Amazon gift card and a signed book!!

(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1eff2/undercover-assignment-celebration-tour-giveaway

Death Valley Hideout Review and GIVEAWAY!

4y2FfP8o

About the Book

NvZa9WPM

Book: Death Valley Hideout

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Christian fiction

Release date: April 26, 2022

Running from a murderer

with only the desert as refuge…

Placed in WITSEC while his brother testifies against a terrifying criminal, Tony Ortega must guard his young niece and nephew from the hit man hunting for them. Death Valley local Willow Duke’s hideout might just be the difference between the little family’s life or death. When bullets start flying, can they thwart a killer long enough to survive and become a family for real?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

gHx4R4QQ

Dana Mentink is a USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author as well as a two-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, and the recipient of a Holt Medallion. She’s written over fifty titles in the suspense, lighthearted romance and mystery genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Wooty woo! We’re back in Death Valley again! So excited about this fourth book in the series because Papa Bear and I have actually returned to this amazing place. (Our previous return trip was stalled for a while due to the virus that shall not be named!) People have asked me, “Why do you love Death Valley so much?” I can only respond that you just have to go there to understand. Is it the vastness of the place? The enormous topographical variety? Maybe it’s the profound quietness that permeates the national park and environs. Then again, it might be the panorama of nighttime stars. (Death Valley National Park is a certified International Dark Sky Park due to its limited light pollution.) Could it be the tenacity of people who live there and survive the one hundred twenty plus degree temperatures in the summer? And how about those animals? The Death Valley pupfish is a teeny little endangered fish that lives in precisely one spot on the globe (Death Valley) and only two places within that range, Salt Creek and Cottonball Marsh. Imagine that! So why set a six book series in Death Valley? Because there’s no more hostile and incredible place I can think of. I hope you will enjoy taking a fictional trip with me there too. Enjoy the adventure, reader friends!

My Review

The Duke family saga continues with Death Valley Hideout, book four in Dana Mentink’s Desert Justice series and part of the Love Inspired Suspense set. Even though I am not a fan of deserts, I have loved this series, and this book was my favorite story thus far. Likewise, Willow Duke stands out as my favorite character from amongst those featured in the books. Her tenacity in the face of life-threatening circumstances and her compassion despite past betrayal speak to the optimism that characterizes her. Tony Ortega is someone who was also easy to connect with because Mentink writes him realistically, as a man whose life has been upended and who is struggling to do the right thing in a situation with no good options. He’s in over his head, and I appreciate that Mentink portrayed his weaknesses. As Willow observes, “You’ve gotten through it one day at a time, alone…holding on to God’s provision. That is strength, Tony. That’s love.” Most of the time, when God calls us to a task, it is something that we can accomplish with His help alone, and Tony demonstrates that.

Death Valley Hideout delivers a perfect balance of suspense and romance. With an unrelenting pace and non-stop action, this book is a hard one to put down! The witness protection program (WITSEC) adds an extra layer of intrigue, while criminal cyberactivity highlights the reality of crime in the digital age. The story takes place outside the realms of a computer, however, and in the heat of the Death Valley landscape, where romance can blossom despite the sweltering temperatures. As with the previous books in the Desert Justice series, the family members all play a role in the story, and this close-knit clan is both humbling and inspiring in their dedication to the Lord and to one another, not to mention the comic relief that they add just when it’s needed. After all, the villain may seem to have the upper hand, “But the Maestro hadn’t counted on one thing…he’d never met the Duke family.” Discovering how this salt-of-the-earth family works together to accomplish daunting tasks by relying on each other and, most importantly, God, makes Death Valley Hideout and the entire Desert Justice series a wonderful reading experience.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Remembrancy, April 21

Texas Book-aholic, April 21

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, April 22

Bigreadersite, April 22

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, April 23

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 23

Life, Love, Writing, April 24

For Him and My Family, April 24

Betti Mace, April 25

Inklings and notions, April 25

Locks, Hooks and Books, April 26

EmpowerMoms, April 26

deb’s Book Review, April 27

Blogging With Carol, April 27

For the Love of Literature, April 28

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, April 28

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, April 29

Simple Harvest Reads, April 29 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, April 30

Vicarious Living, April 30

Bizwings Blog, May 1

Blossoms and Blessings, May 1

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, May 2

Paula’s Persuasion, May 2

Labor Not in Vain, May 3

Through the Fire Blogs, May 3

Pause for Tales, May 4

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 4

To Everything There Is A Season, May 4

Giveaway

vwwchTh8

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of the first four books in the series-Framed in Death Valley, Missing in the Desert, Death Valley Doublecross and Death Valley Hideout (Paperback for U.S. Only) and a $50 Amazon gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1d0af/death-valley-hideout-celebration-tour-giveaway

Buried Cold Case Secrets Review and GIVEAWAY!

uYi_WsWc

About the Book

eyOdsZug

Book: Buried Cold Case Secrets

Author: Sami A. Abrams

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: December 28, 2021

Recovering her missing memories…

Could be the key to solving a murder…

Searching for her best friend’s remains could help forensic anthropologist Melanie Hutton regain her memories of when they were both kidnapped—unless the killer gets to Melanie first. For her safety, Melanie must rely on Detective Jason Cooper, who still blames her for his sister’s death. Can Jason set the past aside to solve the cold-case murder…and shield Melanie from the same fate?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

nASUJRBc

Two-time Genesis winner Sami A. Abrams and her husband live in Northern California, but she’ll always be a Kansas girl at heart. She enjoys visiting her two grown children and spoiling their sweet fur babies. Most evenings, if Sami’s not watching sports, you’ll find her engrossed in a romantic suspense novel. She thinks a crime plus a little romance is the recipe for a great story.

More from Sami

What writer doesn’t grow up reading every chance they get? That would be me.

Until my thirties, I hated to read. Then someone told me about Terri Blackstock, and I decided to give her books a try. I was hooked. I guess there’s something to finding the right genre. Romantic Suspense is it for me. Of course, that makes sense. I love CSI, NCIS, and Criminal Minds. Over the years, I have expanded my taste, but there’s just something about suspense that keeps me coming back.

A little over five years ago, I decided to start checking off some of the items on my bucket list. I learned how to rock climb and got my scuba certification, among other things. When I got to the item, writing a novel, I sat down and pounded it out. Check the box; I was done. Wrong. God had other plans and placed some amazing people in my life.

One of those plans was attending MurderCon, a conference for writers where they learn from experts about, you guessed it…murder. Actually, it’s about police procedures, crime scene analysis…the list goes on and on. One of the workshops I attended was with a forensic anthropologist, and the idea for Melanie Hutton and Buried Cold Case Secrets was born.

I loved writing Melanie’s story. She’s a fighter and refuses to let anything stand in her way, including the man, Jason Cooper, who blames her for her best friend’s death. Jason holds on to the past and his hatred toward Melanie, but he soon learns that if he puts aside his assumptions and listens, he’ll discover the truth about the day his sister died. Letting go of his anger and blame is tough for Jason, but when he does, he finds the life he’s always wanted.

I hope you enjoy reading Melanie and Jason’s story as much as I did writing it.

I’d love to hear from you. Please visit my website at samiaabrams.com and sign up for my newsletter.

My Review

Forensic anthropology, and forensics in general, has fascinated me for two decades. It may not be as glamorous as Hollywood would have us believe (it rarely, if ever, is), but using remains to piece together the story of a person’s death and aspects of their life in order to provide some closure seems like a unique calling. I wanted to read this book based on the title and cover alone! One major benefit of the Love Inspired Suspense series is the tacit understanding that the stories will be clean, providing the mysterious and thrilling elements without the profanity and immorality. As this particular story attests, the series does not shy away from the uncomfortable realities of life, but instead presents them through a Christian lens.

A contemporary union of suspense and romance, Buried Cold Case Secrets by debut novelist Sami Abrams offers both to readers from the very first chapter. The pacing is quite intense, with no breaks in the action, and as a result, I had a difficult time putting this one down! Despite the heroine Melanie Hutton’s profession, no foreknowledge of forensic anthropology is necessary; Abrams smoothly works the science into the plot without pulling readers out of the story. Furthermore, Melanie’s plight evokes sympathy for the feelings of rejection she has endured: “Stuck in a town that pitied her, working with a man who hated her, and in pain because someone tried to hurt her—what a mess. Why had God brought her back here? No matter the reason, she trusted Him, but it didn’t mean that it wasn’t hard.” All of us have felt similarly at one time or another, regardless of our backgrounds, and as Abrams demonstrates, God goes with us through it all, promising to never leave or forsake us.

Being a former kidnapping victim and survivor, Melanie has an ongoing conflict between her past and her present that stands in the way of her hope for the future. Buried Cold Case Secrets explores the long-term effects of trauma, a topic that is sadly ever more relevant in today’s secularized society. Detective Jason Cooper, whose sister was Melanie’s best friend and who was kidnapped with her but with a worse outcome, harbors unforgiveness toward Melanie for what happened that day, especially because Melanie claims to have no memory of the details. Abrams uses dissociative amnesia and PTSD to inform the story as Melanie again finds her life in danger. Melanie is forced to acknowledge that “Someone had painted a target on her back, and she was clinging to reality by a thread,” highlighting the psychological impact of unresolved trauma compounded by new attacks. On a lighter note and because she was my favorite minor character, everyone needs a Miss Judith Evans in their lives to boost them into gear and get the wheels turning toward the Lord and His plan!

Sami Abrams has written a solid debut with Buried Cold Case Secrets. The story is intriguing and the rhythm unremitting. I did find Jason annoying in that he continued to make the same mistakes with regard to his approach to situations, to the point that it seemed a bit overdone. Some of the elements could have been more subtle, in my opinion, including the identity of the perpetrator, but I still think that this is a very well-done debut and am truly looking forward to reading more inspirational suspense from this author! Fans of Investigation Discovery, the popular TV series Bones, or the romantic suspense genre will doubtless enjoy this book.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, January 8

The Avid Reader, January 8

Bigreadersite, January 8

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 9

Bizwings Blog, January 9

Texas Book-aholic, January 10

The Sacred Line, January 10

Inklings and notions, January 11

Labor Not in Vain, January 11

Betti Mace, January 11

For Him and My Family, January 12

For the Love of Literature, January 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, January 13 (Author Interview)

deb’s Book Review, January 13

Lights in a Dark World, January 13

Locks, Hooks and Books, January 14

Elly Gilbert, January 14

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 15

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, January 15

Mary Hake, January 15

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, January 16

Kayem Reads, January 16

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 17 (Spotlight)

Through the Fire Blogs, January 17

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 18

Britt Reads Fiction, January 18

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 19

Blogging With Carol, January 19

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, January 20

Simple Harvest Reads, January 20 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, January 21

Pause for Tales, January 21

Blossoms and Blessings, January 21

Giveaway

XP0i2pa8

To celebrate her tour, Sami is giving away the grand prize package of a book, a coffee mug, a notebook, a pen!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/17198/buried-cold-case-secrets-celebration-tour-giveaway

Yukon Justice Review and GIVEAWAY!

Yukon-Justice[1]

About the Book

Yukon-Justice-1-647x1024[1]

Book: Yukon Justice

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: October 26, 2021

Sabotage on a family ranch…

Newfoundland Ella and her Alaska State Trooper partner is on the case.

When her estranged uncle attempts to sabotage her family’s reindeer ranch, K-9 team assistant Katie Kapowski heads home to help save it—and becomes his target. With their rocky past, Alaska State Trooper Brayden Ford and his furry partner are the last team Katie wants assigned to protect her. But with the ranch under siege, they must work together…or risk falling victim to a killer.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

NFlZgAiQ

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is the Publisher’s Weekly and Amazon bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Up on the housetop, click, click, click, down through the chimney with good St. Nick. Does anyone know that line from the famous Christmas song? I’ve been singing it for years but only recently did I learn that the clicking is a real reindeer phenomenon. Those reindeer ankle joints make a clicking sound so they can find the rest of their herd if they are separated in a blizzard. It’s just one of the many things I learned about reindeer while researching to write Yukon Justice. In the novel, Katy has to take over running her aunt’s reindeer ranch and protect it from threats by a dangerous intruder. I had the pleasure of “Zoom” interviewing the owner of the Running Reindeer Ranch in Fairbanks, Alaska! Jane helped me learn all kinds of interesting things about reindeer. How much do you know about these critters? Take my quick three question trivia quiz to test your knowledge!

  1. What’s the difference between caribou and reindeer? They are the same animal but caribou are the wild variety and the domesticated version are called reindeer.
  2. Do males or females grow antlers? Both! Reindeer are a type of deer and the only species where the female grows antlers as well as the males.
  3. How come kids put out carrots for Santa’s reindeer? Good question! Carrots are not, in fact, part of a natural healthy reindeer diet. The animals don’t even have front teeth! A much better treat would be willow or birch leaves, or their favorite food…lichen, which they find by scraping the snow away from the ground with their hooves.

So how did you do? If you want to know more about these amazing creatures, snag yourself a copy of Yukon Justice!

My Review

Once again Dana Mentink writes a pulse-pounding romantic suspense, this one perfect for chilly weather. Set on a fairly remote reindeer ranch near Palmer, Alaska, Yukon Justice has me rethinking the loveliness of such Alaskan solitude. It’s a state that I would love to visit precisely for its natural beauty and seclusion, and the fact that it’s not part of the contiguous United States only adds to its mysterious allure. Although obviously not true of the entire state, when I think of Alaska, the first thing that comes to mind is off-grid living, which speaks to the pioneering, simplicity-seeking part of me. There are, however, drawbacks to such a lifestyle, or to just living in an isolated location. Such as a murderous relative, for example. And you thought your family didn’t get along!

On leave from her hard-earned job as assistant to the Alaska K-9 Unit Colonel and the group of state troopers with their canines, Katie Kapowski is working to help save her Aunt Addie’s reindeer ranch from her Uncle Terrence’s resentful sabotage. Believing himself to be the rightful owner, Terrence will stop at nothing, including coldblooded murder, to claim what he thinks is his. To Katie’s dismay, State Trooper Brayden Ford is the co-worker assigned to the case, a challenge given their less-than-congenial past encounters. Nevertheless, as the situation at the ranch escalates, Katie and Brayden, along with his Newfoundland, Ella, take on the challenges as a team. During one moment early in their partnership, they connect over the Scripture verse of Romans 8:31, and Brayden reflects that this is “A God thing, as his mom used to say. Too bad he didn’t let more of those God things out of his mouth. Might be less room for his foot.” Such amusing contemplations imbue the story with comedic relief throughout.

Yukon Justice delivers an inspirational tale of perseverance and overcoming through the ordeals of the characters. Ella, trained in underwater search-and-rescue, plays a more secondary role to Katie, Addie, Brayden, and Terrence, in my opinion, and although I would have liked to have seen her used a bit more, she still adds entertainment and her own proficiency to the storyline. Mentink develops and matures her characters as the plot unfolds and they must face their weaknesses, which includes releasing control and asking for help. I love the maxim that Brayden learned from his mom and passes on to Katie, one derived from Romans 8:31: “Eyes up, not down.” As Katie experiences, “There was danger and stress and uncertainty, all mixed up with a mega portion of fear, but with Brayden’s hand holding hers, she felt a strong surge of hope, and another smile broke across her face.” Trusting that God will ultimately work everything out is rarely easy in the midst of the storm, but it is necessary if we want our anchor to be secure.

Complete with suspense, life lessons, romance, a goofy Newfie, and yes, reindeer, Yukon Justice hits all the sweet spots for lovers of the genre and newcomers alike. “Sure as eggs in April!

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 6

lakesidelivingsite, November 6

Texas Book-aholic, November 6

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 7

Jodie Wolfe – Stories Where Hope and Quirky Meet, November 7

Gina Holder, November 7 (Author Interview)

Inklings and notions, November 8

Daysong Reflections, November 8

Genesis 5020, November 8

For Him and My Family, November 9

Lighthouse-Academy, November 9

Bigreadersite, November 9

For the Love of Literature, November 10

Remembrancy, November 10

Betti Mace, November 10

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, November 11

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, November 11

deb’s Book Review, November 11

Locks, Hooks and Books, November 12

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, November 12

Blogging With Carol, November 13

To Everything There Is A Season, November 13

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, November 13

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, November 14

Simple Harvest Reads, November 14 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, November 15

Vicarious Living, November 15

Jeanette’s Thoughts, November 15

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, November 16

Blossoms and Blessings, November 16

Bizwings Blog, November 16

She Lives To Read, November 17

The Meanderings of a Bookworm, November 17

Splashes of Joy, November 18

Through the Fire blogs, November 18

Kayem Reads, November 18

Labor Not in Vain, November 19

Pause for Tales, November 19

Raining Butterfly Kisses, November 19

Giveaway

Yukon_Justice_Giveaway[1]

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and an eBook copy of the book OR signed copy of the book (U.S. Only)!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/12f8a/yukon-justice-celebration-tour-giveaway

Promises Broken, Promises Kept: A Book Review of Lynette Eason’s “Hostile Intent”

Bestselling Christian fiction author Lynette Eason brings her Danger Never Sleeps tetralogy to an electrifying finale with Hostile Intent. As with the previous three books in this series, this one can be read as a standalone, although there is strong character overlap and therefore spoilers; having previously read only the first book so far myself, I still encourage everyone to read all of them for the pleasure of the plot intricacies and the obvious research that has gone into them. Even as someone who typically shies away from contemporary military stories, I could not put this book down, and it definitely increased my heart rate a time or two!

From the first page, Hostile Intent ratchets up the suspense and lays the foundation for an intense romantic thriller. A caveat is necessary for those who are profoundly disturbed by the murder of children, as well as violence and torture because they are integral to the plot, but Eason handles these sensitive issues with grace and leaves out graphic details. As such, while this may not be a light read, it does take on the all-too-real brutality and antagonism that fuels so many in modern society, offering some insight into how this type of behavior comes about and where it can lead when left unchecked: “Just two more families and his mission would be complete, his promise kept. His grandmother was wrong. Vengeance didn’t belong to God. It belonged to him. And it tasted sweet.” However, teaching someone to hate another person or group of people for any transgression, perceived or real, will never lead to a positive outcome for anyone.

Amidst this backdrop of reprisal, Ava Jackson, who recently left the Navy to care for her dying mother, finds herself somehow involved in a case of several murdered families, of which hers might be next. Working with FBI Special Agent Caden Denning to put the puzzle pieces together before time runs out, the duo uncover secrets that someone went to great lengths to conceal—and keep that way. Just as revenge can be a powerful motivator, so too the desire to protect the ones you love, even at the cost of personal sacrifice. After all, Jesus Himself showed us that sometimes the most unpleasant situations can lead to the most blessed destinations. As Caden remarks, “It’s funny how life can throw you a curve ball when you least expect it—or how God can change your perspective.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Buy your copy HERE

Lethal Cover-Up Review and GIVEAWAY!

ck62hyHQ

About the Book

IsRYalTA

Book: Lethal Cover-Up

Author: Darlene L. Turner

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release date: July 27, 2021

Some secrets are dangerous…

But uncovering the truth could be deadly.

Border patrol officer Madison Steele knows her sister Leah’s fatal car crash was no accident. Someone’s willing to kill to cover up a pharmaceutical company’s deadly crime of distributing tainted drugs. Now they are after Madison to tie off loose ends. But with her high school sweetheart, Canadian police constable Tucker Reed, at her side, can Madison expose the company’s deadly plan before she becomes the next victim?

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

qTKAJYaA

Darlene L. Turner is an award-winning author and lives with her husband, Jeff in Ontario, Canada. Her love of suspense began when she read her first Nancy Drew book. She’s turned that passion into her writing and believes readers will be captured by her plots, inspired by her strong characters, and moved by her inspirational message. You can connect with Darlene at www.darlenelturner.com where there’s suspense beyond borders.

More from Darlene

The Hidden Staircase, The Secret of the Old Clock, The Sign of the Twisted Candles—these were just some of my favorite Nancy Drew books. I couldn’t get enough of them growing up! My family often saw me with my nose stuck in one of Nancy’s many tales. When I was finished with those, I’d sneak my brother’s Hardy Boy books and devour them too. This is where my love of writing and of a good mystery/suspense began.

Creating stories in the romantic suspense genre was a natural journey for me. I had always wanted to be a policewoman after watching Charlie’s Angels (they even kicked butt while wearing high heels…what could be better than that?!), Cagney and Lacey, Police woman, Murder She Wrote, etc. My love for all-things-mystery carried into my adult life. Who doesn’t love Sydney Bristow and Kate Beckett?

I enjoy creating strong female characters in a law enforcement role. Madison Steele fits the bill head on as she works to bring down a ruthless pharmaceutical company. While she has nerves of steel, I also wanted to make her vulnerable. In the beginning Madison loses her long-lost sister in a heart-wrenching crash. One she knows was not an accident. This thrusts her into a deadly pursuit of the perpetrators with her estranged high school sweetheart, Tucker Reed, by her side.

I wrote this book during the tough year our world faced living in the unknown. Madison and Tucker are stuck in their own fears but eventually find hope. Hope in the unknown and hope in knowing God is in control and with us—no matter the circumstances. We just need to know where to look.

I hope you enjoy reading Madison and Tucker’s story as much as I loved crafting it. I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me through my website www.darlenelturner.com and also sign up for Darlene’s Diary newsletter to receive exclusive subscriber giveaways.

My Review

Review to come.

My rating:

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, August 18

Lighthouse-Academy, August 18

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, August 19

Genesis 5020, August 19

Simply Susan, August 19

Texas Book-aholic, August 20

Bizwings Blog, August 20

She Lives To Read, August 21

HookMeInABook, August 21

Inklings and notions, August 22

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 22

Mary Hake, August 22

Betti Mace, August 23

Daysong Reflections, August 23

For the Love of Literature, August 24

deb’s Book Review, August 24

Locks, Hooks and Books, August 25

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 25

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 26

Pause for Tales, August 26

Blogging With Carol, August 26

For Him and My Family, August 27

Simple Harvest Reads, August 27 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 28

Batya’s Bits, August 28

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 29

Kayem Reads, August 29

Little Homeschool on the Prairie , August 30

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 30, August 30

A Good Book and Cup of Tea, August 30

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 31

Labor Not in Vain, August 31

Giveaway

XHBlotrw

To celebrate her tour, Darlene is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback copy of Lethal Cover-Up!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/1141b/lethal-cover-up-celebration-tour-giveaway

Missing in the Desert Review and GIVEAWAY!

T6nytaAQ

About the Book

NL5qKEww

Book: Missing in the Desert

Author: Dana Mentink

Genre: Inspy suspense

Release date: July 27, 2021

Five years ago, her sister disappeared…
Now someone is coming for her.

Who would believe that Mara Castillo’s sister—missing and presumed dead—suddenly sent a one-word text? Now Mara wants answers, even if it means stepping into a killer’s sights with her brother’s best friend, rancher Levi Duke, as her only protection. But with someone who has everything to lose after her, uncovering a long-buried secret could save her life…or claim it.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

NFlZgAiQ

Dana Mentink is a two time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol Award winner, a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award and a Holt Medallion winner. She is a national and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of over forty titles in the suspense and lighthearted romance genres. She is pleased to write for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, Harlequin Heartwarming and Poisoned Pen Press. You can connect with Dana via her website at danamentink.com, on Facebook, YouTube (Author Dana Mentink) and Instagram (dana_mentink.)

More from Dana

Hello, readers! Boy am I excited! Since the virus-that-not-shall-be-named is being brought under control, I am cautiously venturing out again and our first vacation spot will be a return to Death Valley. Papa Bear and I love the amazing diversity of Death Valley, from the salt flats, to the sand dunes, mountains, and everything in between. Writing this book allowed me to relive the incredible topography, as well as let my mind run loose imagining a cold case that warms up to fiery levels in this ferocious climate. Part of this story revolves around “Camp Town Days” which was inspired by the Encampment Days, an event held in November by a volunteer group called the Death Valley 49ers that aims to capture the pioneer spirit with their wagon rides, parade, poetry readings, a vendor show, and historical talks. I hope you can feel the desert wind in your face and hear the distant howl of the coyote as you dive into the second book in the Death Valley Justice series.

My Review

Was this real? Was she in the grip of a heinous nightmare?

The second Desert Justice story by Dana Mentink, Missing in the Desert, shoots out of the gate with a gripping first chapter that sets the pace for the rest of this Love-Inspired Suspense installation. While technically it could be a stand-alone, I recommend reading Framed in Death Valley first; I did not have a chance to do so, and I think that if I had, I would have had a richer understanding of the relationships between the characters. Nevertheless, this did not at all detract from my enjoyment of this novel.

Suspense relies, naturally, on action and plot, but carefully developing the characters and how they interact with one another is likewise imperative. Mentink introduces them here in a rapid-fire style and then proceeds to explore them throughout the narrative, an effective technique that underscores the power of first impressions and demonstrates that people are not always as they appear. Everyone has something in their past that they regret, and for some, the past becomes the present. Five years after her younger sister Corinne disappears and is presumed dead, Mara Castillo reluctantly steps in to help Levi Duke on his ranch, only to find herself in the crosshairs of a killer. Her name stood out to me immediately, and as Naomi called herself Mara in Ruth 1:20, the forename is fitting here, also; Mara Castillo is bitter and sad about her circumstances at the beginning of the story, but as she begins to see things differently, her heart changes.

As a dog and horse lover, this cover caught my eye before I knew anything about the story itself. I enjoy the inclusion of the ranch animals in the narrative, often offering a bit of comic relief during or after tense scenes. For instance, in an amusing twist, Banjo the dog goes from stalwart guard to unlikely mother. The animals also signify the importance of home as a place of belonging, refuge, and freedom to pursue dreams. Even when those dreams end up looking differently than expected, which is when faith must truly believe that the Lord will keep His promise to “make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:19).

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, July 28

Simply Susan, July 28

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 28

Remembrancy, July 29

Inklings and notions, July 29

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 30

For the Love of Literature, July 30

deb’s Book Review, July 31

Through the Fire Blogs, July 31

She Lives To Read, August 1

Batya’s Bits, August 1

For Him and My Family, August 1

Pause for Tales, August 2

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, August 2

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, August 3

Genesis 5020, August 3

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, August 4

Bigreadersite, August 4

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, August 5

Blossoms and Blessings, August 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, August 5

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, August 6

Reviewingbooksplusmore, August 6

Older & Smarter?, August 7

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, August 7

Labor Not in Vain , August 7

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, August 8 (Author Interview)

Texas Book-aholic, August 8

Life, Love, Writing, August 8

Simple Harvest Reads, August 9 (Guest Review from Donna Cline)

Betti Mace, August 9

Daysong Reflections, August 10

Splashes of Joy , August 10

Blogging With Carol, August 10

Giveaway

gv3BwEvg

To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/110df/missing-in-the-desert-celebration-tour-giveaway

Written Off Review and GIVEAWAY!

-h3HQrHY

About the Book

j1-ab260

Book: Written Off

Author: Barbara Cornthwaite

Genre: Christian Cozy Mystery

Release date: May 2021

“Break a leg?” They’ll be lucky if they don’t all break their necks!

After years of waiting, Katrina finally has her happily ever after. All is right with her world . . . until hate crimes begin happening in the charming college town of Wilkester. Even more disturbing is the fact that the perpetrator seems to be connected with the writing class Katrina teaches. How can she prevent her rosy visions of the future from turning into broken dreams?

Find out in this third book of the Wilkester Mysteries.

Click HERE to get your copy!

About the Author

dKUjbbCM

Barbara Cornthwaite lives in the middle of Ireland with her husband and children. She taught college English before “retiring” to do something she loves far more; her days are now filled with homeschooling her six children, trying to keep the house tidy (a losing battle), and trying to stay warm in the damp Irish climate (also a losing battle). She is surrounded by medieval castles, picturesque flocks of sheep, and ancient stone monuments. These things are unappreciated by her children, who are more impressed by traffic jams, skyscrapers, and hot weather.

More from Barbara

What Kind of Lessons Could a Mystery Possibly Teach Me?

It’s been a couple decades since I taught a college English class, and writing the Wilkester Mysteries with Professor Katrina Peters as the main character brought back happy memories of teaching. Not enough to want to go back to it—homeschooling my own kids is much more rewarding—but enough that I had to stop myself from writing much longer lectures into the stories! These are my first contemporary novels, and it was nice to write a story without the hours and hours of historical research I usually have to do. But whatever time period stories are set in, people feel the same emotions and have to learn the same spiritual lessons.

Katrina loves literature and can’t help seeing her own life as a story. The only problem is that she keeps thinking she knows what the Author is doing, and she has definite ideas about what the plot should be. She is not unlike myself: over and over I’ve thought I knew what God was doing in my life. And if He was short on ideas, I had quite a few that He was free to use! But He has rarely been doing what I thought He was, and for some reason He never seems to use my ideas about what could happen in my story. Both Katrina and I need to learn the lesson that God’s wisdom is beyond ours, His storytelling is much deeper and richer than ours, and His plots are never predictable!

My Review

The third and concluding book of the Wilkester Mysteries, Written Off finds Katrina Peters preparing for her upcoming wedding to police detective Todd Mason. Because this trilogy follows the same character arc, it is best read in order, but the mystery plot in each stands independently. My favorite aspect of these stories is author Barbara Cornthwaite’s literary allusions; the witticisms that she employs stem from Katrina’s work as an adjunct English professor, the details of which are imparted in Brought to Book. I was an English major myself, so I get a particular glee from the quotations and references.

Given the subject matter of Written Off, this book is very germane to current events in the news. Hate crimes seemingly fueled by racism incite the otherwise quiet college town of Wilkester, and the flashpoint may be Katrina’s Writing Detective Fiction class. In an example of Cornthwaite’s clever humor, Katrina considers this and exclaims to herself, “I’d been unwittingly training a cohort of felons!” Of course, as with any mystery worth its red herrings, the solution is not so straightforward. Add in wedding planning and house hunting, and this is a fast-reading cozy that demonstrates a realistic approach to the challenges that everyone faces at some point, whether single or married.

As such, I recommend this trilogy to those who enjoy cozy literary mysteries combined with Christian romance and contemporary societal issues. I personally enjoyed the first two books the most; I prefer mystery over romance, and if I’m being completely honest, Katrina annoyed me a bit in the lead-up to the wedding. I definitely appreciate Cornthwaite’s insight into the nature of criminal activity, as evinced by Katrina’s friend Kim: “Trying to stop other people’s sin—how overwhelming. Although I don’t think they would call it sin. They would probably call it evil, which for some reason calls for destruction rather than repentance.” As Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Ultimately the message of the Gospel comes down to this, too, as Jesus tells the Pharisees in Matthew 22: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.

My rating: 4 stars ♥♥♥♥

See my review of Brought to Book HERE and Snuffed Out HERE

Blog Stops

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, May 31

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 31

Locks, Hooks and Books, June 1

April Hayman, Author, June 1

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 2

Losing the Busyness, June 2

Texas Book-aholic, June 3

CarpeDiem, June 3

Remembrancy, June 4

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, June 4

She Lives To Read, June 5

For Him and My Family, June 5

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 6

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, June 6

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, June 7

Inklings and notions, June 7

Labor Not in Vain, June 8

Genesis 5020, June 8

Aryn The Libraryan 📚, June 9

Blogging With Carol, June 9

For the Love of Literature, June 10

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, June 10

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 11

Joanne Markey, June 11

Through the Fire blogs, June 12

Mary Hake, June 12

deb’s Book Review, June 13

Daysong Reflections, June 13

Giveaway

ML7lULr4

To celebrate her tour, Barbara is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a paperback of the book!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

https://promosimple.com/ps/10ca5/written-off-celebration-tour-giveaway