Tag Archives: suspense

Review: Fault Lines, by Thomas Locke

Fault Lines, by Thomas Locke. Prequel novel to the Fault Lines series. #technothriller #cleanreadsFault Lines, by Thomas Locke (Revell, 2017)

In which book 3 is book 1… Fault Lines, the newest release in the techno-thriller series of the same name, fits first in the series chronology. If you’ve read Double Edge, the free ebook prequel, you’ll recognize the first four chapters of Fault Lines, but the rest is all new, expanding on what the prequel set in place, and a highly recommended read.

If you’ve read the previous books, grab this one. If you’re new to the series, dive in here. It’s fast-paced, a great read, and it’s clean. Although Revell is a publisher of Christian fiction, this book has only faint references to faith and would suit readers of all backgrounds.

This is the story of Charlie Hazard, a “risk containment specialist” whose life is upended when a strange and beautiful woman implores him to help her with a mysterious – and dangerous – mission.

Charlie is my favourite type of hero: a strong, competent character who’s over his head but readers know that somehow he’ll find a way to beat the odds. He draws together a team who will need to do the impossible.

The technology at the core of the series doesn’t exist yet, but with the events rooted in the present (or very near future) I hesitate to call it science fiction.

As always, the author’s choice of words and phrases adds an extra layer of enjoyment to the story. Here’s an example:

Every now and then she would stop talking and touch her tongue to her lips, as though she wanted to taste a certain word, as though another thought was crowding into her mouth. [Reese, page 58]

And my favourite line, because of the nod to the film, Casablanca:

“You think I would drive to Como for the waters, perhaps? For my health?” [Edoardo, page 244]

Fault Lines is a great read, and now I want to re-read the next book in the series, Trial Run.

Thomas Locke is the pen name of the prolific and award-winning Davis Bunn, who incorporates a stronger faith thread in the books under his own name. For more about the author and his books, visit tlocke.com.

[Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.]

Multi-Book Suspense Giveaway

Have you seen this amazing giveaway from BookSweeps?

Enter to win 25+ Christian mysteries & thrillers. Ends July 31, 2017

You can win my book Secrets and Lies, plus books from authors like Christy Barritt and Susan Sleeman, PLUS a Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet! This giveaway ends July 31, 2017, so make sure you enter soon.

Join the fun here: bit.ly/2u9Z7ep

When you’re done, tell me which books you’re most excited to win!

Review: Missing, by Lisa Harris

Missing, by Lisa HarrisMissing, by Lisa Harris (Revell, 2016)

Nikki Boyd and her partner, Jack Spencer, specialize in finding missing persons. Their newest case also involves murder, and the body count keeps growing. Can they find the missing woman before her enemies do?

Complicating the issue is the fact that Nikki’s good friend Tyler Grant and another man she knows are both linked with the crime. And somewhere in the process of comforting Tyler after his wife’s death, she’s fallen for him, even though he’s not ready to move on.

Missing is a fast-paced suspense novel that starts with action and doesn’t slow down. Nikki and Tyler are realistic characters with depth and struggles, learning to live with crippling loss. And learning not to blame themselves for what happened. In Nikki’s case, her younger sister’s abduction is the reason she’s in this line of work. It lets her empathize with victims’ families, but it also takes an emotional toll.

This is book 2 in the Nikki Boyd Files series. You don’t have to have read book 1, Vendetta, first, but it’s a series worth starting at the beginning. For more about author Lisa Harris and her novels, visit lisaharriswrites.com.

[Review copy provided by the publisher for an unbiased review.]

Review: Fatal Illusions, by Adam Blumer

Fatal Illusions, by Adam BlumerFatal Illusions, by Adam Blumer (first edition: Kregel Publications, 2009; second edition: Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, 2015)

In Cincinnati, a serial killer targets fair-haired teen girls with wire-rimmed glasses. After four years, the detective most invested in the case, Chuck Riley, has to retire and leave it un-solved.

In Chicago, Gillian Thayer can’t get past her grief over losing her unborn twins after years of fertility treatments. Her husband, Marc, is a busy pastor who’s never around. Her only daughter, Crystal, is 16 and beginning to move outside Gillian’s protective reach. Crystal, as it happens, has fair hair and new wire-rimmed glasses.

When Marc is involved in a scandal, his church asks him to take a leave of absence until the fuss dies down. They find him temporary work at a historic lighthouse in Whistler’s Point, on the shores of Lake Superior in Northern Michigan.

The Thayers haven’t even heard of the Magician Murderer. And nobody has any idea that the killer has relocated to Whistler’s Point.

Fatal Illusions is compelling suspense that includes snippets from the killer’s point of view without becoming too graphic. At the same time, it’s character-oriented, and those characters are people we can root for (or at least root for them to change, in a couple of cases).

The Thayers are Bible-believing Christians, but they deal with ongoing human weaknesses. A bonus for me was seeing how they try to apply their faith to their struggles, and how in their better moments they realize there’s more at stake than their particular circumstances. At times both Gillian and Crystal stop to ponder what God might want to do or say through them to the people they’re with.

The faith element is not heavy-handed, but it gives an encouraging example to believing readers who, like the Thayers, are still learning to fully live by faith.

Fatal Illusions is Adam Blumer’s first novel. His second, The Tenth Plague, also features Marc and Gillian Thayer. For more about the author and his books, visit adamblumerbooks.com.

Fatal Illusions

[Review copy from my personal library.]

New Bonus eBook

Prelude to Danger, Redemption's Edge Series ExtrasBecause it’s short, and because it collects all the bonus features you could read here on the site if you took time to find them, my intent is to make this ebook free. At present it’s free for Kobo, Nook, but only free for Kindle in the US. Elsewhere for Kindle it’s 99 cents USD, which is the lowest they’ll let me set it. Kindle readers outside the US, I’ve tried my best to convince Amazon to match the free price, with no success. 🙁 You can find the bonus features listed on each novel’s book page here on my site. You might also have more luck than I’ve had with asking Amazon to match the price if you can find it free at one of their online competitors in your country. Readers who prefer iBooks, I’m sorry, but Apple only wants full stories, so they won’t take a book of bonus features.

Review: Book of Days, by James L. Rubart

Book of Days, by James L. RubartBook of Days, by James L. Rubart (B&H Publishing Group, 2011)

Cameron is in his early 30s but he’s losing chunks of his memory. His only hope lies in a cryptic mission from his father: to find the Book of Days. If such a thing exists, it holds everyone’s memories – past, present and future.

Supposedly this is God’s Book, based on Psalm 139:16. Cameron doesn’t believe in God, either, so that’s not much help. But his father did, and so did his wife.

Cameron’s quest forces him to turn to his dead wife’s foster-sister Ann for help, and it takes him to his father’s boyhood town, where secrets abound.

I enjoyed James Rubart’s writing style and the characters he created. There were plenty of clues, obstacles, and surprises along the way, as well as a few heart-warming moments. Looking back from the end, the only thing that doesn’t make sense to me is why a certain photo had been so carefully hidden.

The novel includes some well-turned phrases. Here’s my favourite:

…all he’d achieved was exhaustion. And a neck that felt like guitar strings tuned three octaves too high. [Kindle location 5415 in the Rooms/Book of Days/The Chair ebook box set]

Despite some of the New Age townsfolk, this is not an overly mystical novel, and I think it would suit anyone who enjoys a good contemporary story that includes Christianity, mystery and romance.

James L. Rubart is a writer and speaker whose website tag line is “Live free.” His most recent novel is The Five Times I Met Myself. For more about the author and his books, visit jameslrubart.com.

[Review copy from my personal library.]

Guest Post: Interview with Brock Daniels, Hero

Brock Daniels is the hero of HL Wegley’s new political thriller, Voice in the Wilderness. Here’s an interview that’s not in the novel, but it could easily have happened “off-stage.”

Background: A reporter is sent to interview Brock Daniels, after he clears customs at LAX. He’s returning from a mission trip to Guatemala, where he encountered Ebola in a place the disease has never been seen. Though cleared to travel, the media’s reporting that Brock might have been exposed.

REPORTER: Mr. Brock Daniels?

BROCK: Yes, ma’am. Who’s asking?

REPORTER: I’m a reporter for a local newspaper. May I have a few minutes of your time?

BROCK: This is LAX. What you mean by a local newspaper?

REPORTER: I work for the LA Times. Do you have a few minutes?

BROCK: I’ve got more than a few minutes. We just missed our flight due to spending eight hours being poked, prodded, and interrogated.

REPORTER: That’s one of the things I wanted to ask you about. We heard that the W.H.O. was here talking to you. Is it true that you were exposed to Ebola in Guatemala?

BROCK: Bad news travels fast. But we don’t know that we were exposed to Ebola.

REPORTER: We? Does that include the young lady with you?

BROCK: Yes. This is Julia Weiss.

REPORTER: So are you two a couple?

BROCK: I, uh …

JULIA: Brock, I think I’ll excuse myself and let you talk to this nice lady.

BROCK: Thanks, Julia … I think.

REPORTER: Okay, Mr. Daniels. What were you doing in Guatemala that exposed you to Ebola?

BROCK: Like I said, we don’t know if we were exposed. Four adults from my church were chaperoning a team of high schoolers on a short-term mission project helping people in a remote village. One of the young girls in the village became very sick. I had heard Ebola symptoms described by missionaries who had seen the disease in Africa. There’s never been a case of Ebola in Central America, but I was suspicious. So, we found medical help and a doctor confirmed that she had Ebola.

REPORTER: How many people got sick?

BROCK: As far as I know, just the one girl. Look, I’ve been up for twenty-four hours, and I’m really tired. I’ll answer a few more questions for you, unless I don’t like where the questions are going.

REPORTER: Fair enough. Didn’t you plan to pitch in the major leagues? Someone said they clocked your fastball as high as 105 miles-per-hour.

BROCK: Someone has a big mouth. Things change. So do plans.

REPORTER: They sure do. Now you have quite a reputation as a blogger. What do you write about?

BROCK: I write about the truth—truth in morality and ethics, in theology, history, philosophy, and religion. And I write about the state, what it should and should not be doing. Every few weeks I make a prediction about what will happen in the USA, based upon recent events and trends. Those posts tend to go viral.

REPORTER: How many people does your blog reach?

BROCK: Over a million.

REPORTER: My, oh my. A million followers? I understand that your posts are heavily critical of President Hannan.

BROCK: He’s certainly given the citizens of the United States plenty of reasons to criticize him. He violates the Constitution at every turn, using policies in the agencies and departments, coupled with executive orders. He’s emasculating our military and bankrupting the nation. Now, he’s prosecuting people of faith for simply living out their beliefs as they’ve always done in America. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

REPORTER: It sounds like you have it in for the president.

BROCK: Ma’am … I think he has it in for us, the citizens. And, especially, for me.

REPORTER: Some people call Brock Daniels a prophet, the voice crying in the wilderness. What do you say to—

BROCK: I can’t control what people say about me. But the truth is, I’m just a struggling writer who’s a bit of a Christian apologist.

REPORTER: Changing the subject. You never did tell me … are you and Ms. Weiss a couple?

BROCK: No. Julia’s a wonderful woman, but not for me.

REPORTER: So is there a special woman in Brock Daniels’ life?

BROCK: I don’t know. I thought there was. But she’s been away for a long time.

REPORTER: Can you give us a clue who you’re talking about?

BROCK: She’s going through some pretty tough times. Her mother and her father, a US senator, were killed in a plane crash a while ago.

REPORTER: The daughter of a dead US senator … you must be talking about Katheryn Banning?

BROCK: Yeah. KC and I have known each other since we were kids. We were pretty close growing up, then … well, things happened. Her father moved the family to DC and, after he intentionally split us up, we haven’t gotten back together.

REPORTER: You don’t sound very happy about that. Were you two—

BROCK: Now, I don’t like where your questions are going. Are you sure that someone in the Hannan Administration didn’t put you up to this? Probing into the life of Abe Hannan’s public enemy number one, Brock Daniels?

REPORTER: Well, actually … uh—

BROCK: That’s what I thought. How much is he paying you? Am I next on his hit list?

REPORTER: Silence

BROCK: Okay. Tell you what … since you’re so interested in my love life, maybe you’d like me to kiss you. I hear it’s a really fun way to spread Ebola. Hey, Ms. LA Times! There’s no need to leave. I think I feel a coughing fit coming on.

===

What if your blog could save the nation, but posting to it might cost your life?

Two extraordinary people …

Voice in the Wilderness, by HL Wegley

As catastrophes drive the US into martial law, all eyes are on America, waiting to see what emerges. KC Banning, network specialist, discovers President Hannan’s tyrannical plans and is branded a terrorist, sending her fleeing the Beltway to find her childhood soulmate and protector, Brock Daniels. Brock, a writer and man of faith, gives CPR to a dying nation through his blog, which is read by military members still loyal to the Constitution. But starting a grassroots insurgency while reconciling KC’s and Brock’s broken relationship proves difficult. When Hannan sends Special Forces to kill Brock and KC, starting a war in the Central Oregon desert, reconciliation, like staying alive, might be impossible.

born for a time such as this.

Set in Washington DC and near Crooked River Ranch in the Central Oregon desert, Voice in the Wilderness, Book 1 of the Against All Enemies Series, is a political thriller, with romance, about two people who must decide if they’re willing to sacrifice their lives to prevent the USA from becoming the Dystopian States of America.

H L Wegley

H. L. Wegley served as an Air Force Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. In civilian life, he worked as a research scientist, publishing in the scientific literature, then developed Boeing computing systems for 20 years before he and his wife of 50 years retired near Seattle. He is a multi-published author with a 4-book inspirational thriller series, 2 nonfiction books, and 4 more novels on the way.

Link to the author’s website: hlwegley.com

Guest Post: The Roaring Twenties in Buckeye Lake

The Roaring Twenties in Buckeye Lake

by Amy C. Blake

From the time I learned about the Buckeye Lake Amusement Park that once graced the shores of Buckeye Lake, Ohio, I’ve been intrigued with the idea of setting a book there. In the early to middle 1900s, Buckeye Lake was considered the Playground of Ohio. The amusement park (actually, two parks set side by side) drew thousands each day from Easter to Labor Day. Buckeye Lake’s ballrooms—the Crystal and the Pier—featured big name bands from the Swing era, like Benny Goodman, Lawrence Welk, and Louis Armstrong.

Colorblind, by Amy C. BlakeMy newly released Christian suspense novel, Colorblind, is set in modern-day Buckeye Lake, where the amusement park is a mere memory. The main character, Christy Kane, is a music major who began an internship at her mega-church pastor-father’s church, but had to leave when his misdeeds became public knowledge. Instead, she goes to Buckeye Lake to help a distant relative, Aunt Jo, make a go of her School of Music and Dance in the (fictionally) rebuilt Pier Ballroom.

Beyond the difficulties she endures because of her daddy’s fall from grace, working at the Pier Ballroom, which sits on Buckeye Lake itself, forces Christy to face her greatest fear—water. Also, her fellow music volunteers harbor racial and socioeconomic antagonisms that encumber their attempts to prepare for the Pier’s Grand Reopening, and Christy fears Aunt Jo will lose her ballroom to bankruptcy. Christy also finds a diary written by Lillian, a girl who lived in Buckeye Lake in the 1920s, and soon discovers that dangerous events from Lillian’s time are being reenacted in the present.

In writing Colorblind, I enjoyed researching Buckeye Lake, Big Band musicians, and 1920s slang to incorporate into my story. However, I was surprised (and disturbed) to discover that Buckeye Lake was also the location for two huge Ku Klux Klan rallies—one in 1923, the other in 1925. In Colorblind, I incorporate some of the racial issues from the 1920s into Lillian’s story line and show the effects of such prejudices in Christy’s world.

Colorblind is the second book in my On the Brink Christian suspense series (Whitewashed released in February, 2015). The books in this series follow three homeschooled friends on their individual journeys into adulthood and so can be read in any order.

Colorblind is now available on Amazon in paperback and e-book formats. I hope you’ll pick up your copy today!

Amy C. BlakeAward-winning author Amy C. Blake is a pastor’s wife and homeschooling mother of four. She has an M.A. in English from Mississippi College and has written articles, devotionals, and short stories for a number of publications. You can connect with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter. She’d love for you to visit her website at amycblake.com for tips on homeschooling, advice for the rookie pastor’s wife, and helps for the Christian life. You can also find more information on her website about her novels—Whitewashed, Colorblind, and The Trojan Horse Traitor.

 

Review: If I Run, by Terri Blackstock

If I Run, by Terri Blackstock (Zondervan, 2016) If I Run, by Terri Blackstock | Christian suspense

What if you found your best friend murdered, but you couldn’t trust the police? The police force let Casey Cox down last time, so she flees. If they catch her, they’ll arrest her for her friend’s death – or worse.

If I Run is the story of Casey trying to stay out of sight long enough to find the courage (and a plan) to prove her innocence. And it’s the story of Dylan Roberts, a PTSD-suffering veteran who was a friend of the dead man and who’s now hired to find her.

To find her, he needs to learn how she thinks. Problem is, the more he learns, the more he doubts that Casey would commit a crime like this. Meanwhile, Casey’s caring heart draws her into fresh danger.

Told in the first person, present tense, chapters are clearly marked so we know if we’re going to be in Casey’s or Dylan’s point of view. If I Run is a refreshing suspense novel, and one of the best I’ve read in a while.

Casey’s not a person of faith, although the more trouble she’s in, the more she asks God for help and hopes He’s there. The evil she’s seen has left her unwilling to believe, and when she meets Christians who also carry pain, she’s intrigued by how they’ve let it deepen their faith.

The only warning I’ll give is that If I Run is book 1 in a series. Don’t expect everything to be wrapped up with a pretty bow at the end (this instalment’s plot does resolve). Do expect to want to read book 2.

Terri Blackstock is a multi-award-winning, NY Times bestselling author of Christian suspense fiction, and she knows how to craft a page-turner. For more about the author and her books, visit terriblackstock.com.

[Review copy from the public library.]

Guest Post: Deadly Intent

Deadly Intent

by Lillian Duncan

DEADLY INTENT is the second in my Deadly Communications series. It features Maven Morris, a speech pathologist (another word for speech therapist) who has a knack for getting into trouble—deadly trouble.

In Deadly Intent, Maven takes on the foster care of a small boy, abandoned in a park. She hasn’t got a clue how that decision is going to impact her life. She’s in for a lot more trouble than she bargained for.

I’m not going to ruin the story by sharing what she’s about to face, but let me assure you there’s a reason deadly is part of the title. Instead, I’ll share a bit about how I came up with Maven, a crime-fighting speech pathologist.

I was a school speech pathologist, also known as an SLP, for more than thirty years. I’ve also been writing for twenty. During the time, I never figured out a way to merge the two together until about two years ago, three things happened within a week of each other.

First I was talking with someone whose daughter had been in a serious car accident that resulted in brain damage. She was having difficulty with her expressive language skills. He was telling me about a program she planned on attending to help.

Second, my brother was talking with me about my writing. He wondered why I’d never featured a speech therapist in any of my books. My honest answer was I’d never figured out how to work a speech therapist into a suspense story. I loved being a speech pathologist but I’ll be the first to admit, it can be a bit boring listening to a student practice S or R again for the 600th time!

Anyway… later in the week I wasn’t doing anything in particular. Probably riding in the car with my husband or watching TV. Two activities that promote daydreaming in me.

All of a sudden, a ten-second movie blip played in my head. I saw a young woman running through the woods. As she emerged from the trees, she ran onto a highway where the headlights of a truck blinded her.

In that instant, the plot of Deadly Communications was born and from that Maven, my crime-fighting speech therapist was created. I love Maven. In many ways she reminds me of myself. In other ways, not at all.

She’s definitely the adventurous one!

To celebrate the release of Deadly Intent, I’m having a giveaway on my blog, Tiaras & Tennis Shoes at www.lillian-duncan.com. Grand prize is a $25 Amazon gift card but that’s not all! Five more winners will get a $5 Amazon gift card. How’s that for a celebration?

All you have to do is hop over to www.lillian-duncan.com and leave a comment on the Deadly Intent announcement. The contest ends September 26. PS. When you leave a comment, be sure to tell me what blog you read about me on. Then check back to see if you’re a winner!

Everyone belongs somewhere. The key to happiness is recognizing that place when you get there.

Deadly Intent, by Lillian DuncanMaven Morris can’t seem to find that place. A childless widow, she has no immediate family. Forced into a medical leave, she has no career. At loose ends, she hasn’t a clue what’s next for her.

Her neighbor, Paul Jordan knows what he wants—to move their friendship to a new level. Maven may not know what’s next, but she does know she has no interest in romance with anyone— not even her handsome neighbor.

When a young boy is abandoned in the city park, he touches her heart. In spite of his obvious special needs, she agrees to provide a temporary foster home for him. She has no idea the impact he will have on her life—or the danger he brings to her doorstep.

Lillian Duncan: stories of faith mingled with murder & mayhem!

Author Lillian Duncan

Lillian is a multi-published writer with several Amazon bestsellers, including The Christmas Stalking and Betrayed. She writes the types of books she loves to read—fast-paced suspense with a touch or two of romance that demonstrates God’s love for all of us

Whether as an educator, a writer, or a speech pathologist, she believes in the power of words to transform lives, especially God’s Word.

To learn more about Lillian and her books, visit: www.lillianduncan.net. Tiaras & Tennis Shoes is her personal blog at www.lillian-duncan.com.