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Monday, October 31, 2016

Beth Ann Ziarnik Reviews SARATOGA LETTERS by Elaine Marie Cooper

Beth Ann Ziarnik reviews SARATOGA LETTERS by Elaine Marie Cooper

Amazon Short Version:                                                        
It is 1777. The Battle of Saratoga, a turning point of the Revolutionary War, encourages the American Continental Army with their first great victory. But there seemed little to celebrate for one patriotic woman forced to nurse wounded British soldiers right in their war camp. Thrust into deception by a cruel Loyalist uncle, Abigail is forced to lie in order to survive, all the while dealing with fears that challenge her faith. Danger stalks her everywhere, yet her salvation springs from an unexpected source.

Then…

 Two hundred years later, on the anniversary of the Battle of Saratoga, thousands arrive from Europe and the United States to celebrate the event—including descendants from the war. One young American, Abby, meets another offspring of a British soldier. When her life is threatened, Abby turns to the only person she knows at the event—her British ally. Can she trust him with her life? Or will he betray her in the same way Loyalist spies betrayed her ancestors? Perhaps letters from long ago will reveal the truth.

My Take:

When I first realized that Saratoga Letters was a two-part novel with two separate stories—one in the 1777 and the other in more modern times—I wondered how author Elaine Marie Cooper could pull it off successfully. A fan of her earlier novels, I should have known she was up to the challenge. The result is a riveting Christian historical romantic suspense,

As with her other novels, Elaine brings to this one an astonishingly rich and authentic knowledge of Revolutionary War times. In this case, the use of the herbs, medicines, and other medical care which Abigail had learned from her father. Her talent thrust her into great danger as a hidden patriot in a Loyalist field hospital. The author is also adept at using the mores and customs of the times to steep her heroine in even greater danger.

Two hundred years later, within the second part of the story, the author fascinates with the many facets of holding a reenactment of the original battle. Costumes, parts to be played, and so much more, along with danger that comes from that past to the descendants of the first story. I was fascinated by the many cords that connected the two stories, knitting them together as one. Yet each story has its own challenges to the romance and suspense elements.

I heartily recommend Saratoga Letters to avid readers of romantic suspense, lovers of Revolutionary War times, and historical reenactment fans. What a pleasure it was to read this novel given to me for an honest review.

About the Reviewer:

Beth Ann Ziarnik realized her long-time dream of becoming an inspirational romantic suspense author when HER DEADLY INHERITANCE released in January this year. She loves writing stories with all the twists, turns, cliffhangers, and romantic tension she and readers of romantic suspense love.

Co-founder of Word & Pen Christian Writers in Northeast Wisconsin and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, she also teaches a women’s Bible study. Married 47 years to her sweetheart, she is the blessed mother of two sons, grandmother of five, and great-grandmother of one.
Connect with Beth at her blog, and on Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Therese Heckenkamp Reviews REDZONE by Kelli Hughett


Therese Heckenkamp Reviews REDZONE by Kelli Hughett

Synopsis from Amazon:

When Marcy Farris comes face to face with a murder victim at a high school football game, she's plunged into a game no one wants to play. Despite police assurances, she knows this wasn't a random murder. But to prove otherwise she'll have to tackle the painful memories of her husband's suicide.

Struck down by an injury in his prime, former NFL linebacker, Jack Briggs, wonders if there's life after football. His perspective changes when he meets Marcy. Though she's out of his league, Jack finds himself drawn to Marcy's "go-for-it" demeanor. Now, as the killer stalks Marcy, Jack has to prove he still has moves before the killer has a chance to exact his revenge on Marcy.

There is no overtime in the game of murder—only sudden death.

My Review:
You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this novel. I’ll admit I’m not even very knowledgeable about the sport, but that didn’t hinder my interest in this story at all, and I appreciated the unique theme and settings. The characters and plot are engaging and keep the story moving with plenty of suspense, romance, and emotion.

Marcy Farris is a mother of two and weighed down with heavy personal baggage. Believing she drove her NFL agent husband to suicide, she harbors guilt and regret and is haunted by memories. Struggling with issues of self-worth, she has good reason to want to keep her distance from professional football players—especially ex-football players. So when ex-NFL linebacker Jack Briggs enters her life, things get complicated.

Forced into a very early retirement due to his football injury, Jack misses the game immensely and there’s a huge emptiness inside him. Football was his world. What else could life possibly have to offer? When he meets Marcy, he feels a spark of life for the first time in a long time, but there are plenty of challenges to their budding relationship—not the least being the threat of a killer closing in.

Marcy is drawn to Jack, yet she’s extremely wary. She wonders why this charming man, a former NFL star, could possibly be interested in her. But loneliness and longing propel her closer to him. Their relationship has plenty of give-and-take, misunderstandings, character development, and faith growth.

When Marcy literally fumbles across a body before a state championship game, the plot thickens. Authorities label it a random murder, but Jack and Marcy don’t buy it. And in different ways, they both feel responsible for the tragedy. Will one of them uncover the truth before it’s too late?

Meanwhile, as the reader learns things the characters don’t, suspense builds. The villain fears what certain people might piece together, so he calculates his moves carefully to protect himself and his secrets. Some viewpoint scenes provide strong clues to the villain’s identity, yet still keep the reader unsure till near the end, when we do discover the truth—but since Marcy hasn’t, she may walk right into disaster.

Red Zone is definitely a satisfying Christian suspense novel, and I think it’s particularly fitting for this football season time of year.

About the Reviewer:


Therese Heckenkamp loves to read and write and read about writing. She’s thrilled to be living her childhood dream as an author and has published three Christian suspense novels so far: Past Suspicion, Frozen Footprints, and After the Thaw. A busy wife and mother of three, Therese fits in writing time whenever she can manage (and sometimes when she can’t). Visit her at ThereseHeckenkamp.com and follow her on Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, and Twitter.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Brittany McEuen reviews THE WITNESSES by Robert Whitlow

Brittany McEuen reviews THE WITNESSES by Robert Whitlow

About the book (from Goodreads):

Young lawyer Parker House is on the rise—until his grandfather’s mysterious past puts both of their lives in danger.

Parker House’s secret inheritance is either his greatest blessing . . . or his deadliest curse. The fresh-faced North Carolina attorney shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye—a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past.

While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then, a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him.

Two witnesses, two paths, an uncertain future.

My review:

I enjoyed this legal drama. It was not a fast-moving ride, rather a slow and steady progression throughout the novel. I liked that there was a dual timeline that involved the present (or recent present of 2003) as well as frequent treks into the past. In this way, I was able to see what happened through the eyes of Franz Haus, a German soldier with an uncanny ability. I enjoyed both timelines, but found the portions in the past to be very interesting.

The Witnesses was not a story with a lot of action and heavy suspense. Instead, there was a general feeling of concern that threaded its way through the novel as events began to unfold that made it clear that someone was looking into Franz Haus and his past. Although I felt that the resolution of this possible threat was a bit quick, I still was ultimately satisfied with the outcome. The salvation message and the truth of God’s forgiveness were clear in the story and both were woven in very nicely. The Witnesses would be good reading for those who enjoy legal dramas and a bit of World War II history.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

About Reviewer Brittany McEuen:

I am a busy homeschooling mom to four children, ranging from kindergarten to high school. I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart and am an avid reader and book reviewer. I feature book reviews, giveaways, and occasional author interviews on my blog, Britt Reads Fiction. You can also connect with me on Pinterest and Goodreads.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Marji Laine Reviews TARGETED FOR MURDER by Elizabeth Goddard

Marji Laine Reviews TARGETED FOR MURDER by Elizabeth Goddard

Amazon Short Version: 

With his dying breath, Hadley Mason's fatally shot father reveals he's a CIA agent…and a bounty has been placed on both their heads. Heeding his urgent warning to disappear and trust no one, Hadley flees into the Oregon wilderness, but she can't shake the string of hired killers on her trail. So when a fearless and too-handsome wilderness guide comes to her rescue, Hadley has no choice but to put her life in Cooper Wilde's hands. The former Green Beret vows to protect her, but beyond steep gorges and treacherous terrain, a ruthless man will stop at nothing to see her dead. 

My Take:

When you pick up this book for the first time, make sure you're caught up on sleep and can hold your breath for a while. Elizabeth Goddard is a master at adding layers of suspense, and TARGETED FOR MURDER is no exception. Hadley Mason doesn't have a chance to live. If the first assassin fails, a steady march of new ones will take his place until the job is complete and Hadley is dead. 

I got exhausted by the time I'd reached Chapter Three. 

The book doesn't stop with doses of suspense. It matches equal parts of romance with the entrance of  Cooper Wilde, a wilderness survival trainer. Bigger than life heroes, especially when they're broken by their past and make mistakes throughout the plot, rivet me to the story. Coop is made especially vulnerable by Hadley. Though she's in desperate need of help, she's far from waif-like. Her strength draws him as much as her circumstances. 

As much as the suspense and romance kept me turning the pages, the action in this book propelled me to keep reading. From the second page, the intensity grew with on life-threatening event after another. The attacks came on without allowing the characters or me to stop and rest, breathe. I found myself flipping the pages instead of turning them. Turning them just wasn't fast enough!

Love Inspired Suspense and Elizabeth Goddard are a perfect match! May they continue to put out these incredible stories together! I'm so blessed to have been given a copy of TARGETED FOR MURDER by the author in return for an honest review. It was a true pleasure to read this book!

About the Senior Reviewer:

Suspense Sister, Marji Laine, loves books and writing. Her own Grime Fighter novella series, about a crime scene cleaner, involves mystery, romance, and a touch of suspense. She's also just released her first full novel, COUNTER POINT, for pre-order.

Living in a Dallas suburb with her hubby of almost 30 years and her twins - the youngest of four - she spends her days homeschooling and transporting her teenagers to various functions, especially volleyball games. She also directs the children's music, helps with the youth choir, and sings in the adult choir at her church, as well as coordinates the high school credit classes along with the website of a large home school co-op. In addition to all of that, she's just been named the Executive Director of Write Integrity Press.

Join her at MarjiLaine.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter, or visit her Amazon author page.


Monday, October 3, 2016

Iola Goulton Reviews THE SENATOR'S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER by Kelley Rose Waller

Iola Goulton Reviews THE SENATOR'S YOUNGEST DAUGHTER by Kelley Rose Waller

Book Description:

Senator A.C. McFerren has been missing for more than six months. The obvious prime suspect in his disappearance is the homegrown terrorist group known as the Army of Social Justice.

Searching for her kidnapped father leads Brenna McFerren Jefferson to the terrorists’ elusive “Death of Government” headquarters, known as The Doghouse. But nosing around where the federal government won’t investigate puts a target on her family and sets in motion a rebellion she isn’t prepared to lead.

Dreams of liberty cause the Senator’s daughter to disguise herself for undercover recon, recruit a high-ranking defector, and partner with a subversive news agency that combats government propaganda. As Brenna’s strength and family ties are tested, she unites a political party that commands the power to transform the United States.

My Review:

The Senator’s Youngest Daughter gets off to a powerful start, introducing us to the ‘new’ USA, and to Brenna being chased by a gang of unknown assailants. It then gets a little shaky—there are a lot of characters and a lot of back story to introduce, and that did get a little confusing. But once I sorted out who was who among the government, the Army of Social Justice, the Versives and the Litants, it got a lot easier to read.

I could also have found the start a little shaky because the novel is written in first person (which I usually enjoy) present tense (which, while I usually enjoy it, I also always find it takes me a while to get into it). There were also a few odd phrases, like “I think” which didn’t seem necessary given the first person viewpoint.

No matter.

Once I found my way into the story, it was rip-roaring good suspense as Brenna and her family attempt to rescue first their kidnapped father, then rescue their country from the hands of a power-crazed dictator (who proves a dictator is a dictator. Left, right, centre. The politics don’t matter. What matters is the power, and their willingness not to allow law or civil liberties to get in their way).

The novel explores a USA where much of the battle is being fought in the media, both official and underground. It’s also a USA where religion has been effectively banned, although this isn’t explored as much as the political differences, were right becomes wrong and everyone who opposes the President is labelled a terrorist (and made to look like one in the official media).

Brenna is an interesting narrator. She’s bright, beautiful and talented, but doesn’t necessarily know her own value. Fortunately, her husband is there to reinforce her strong points and make up for her weak points (great example of a marriage, although I’m sure we’re all happy not to be in the situation Brenna is in!).

Overall, an enjoyable suspense read—and it’s well worth the effort of persevering even if you get a little confused in the beginning.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.
About Reviewer Iola Goulton:


I am a freelance editor specializing in Christian fiction, and you can find out more about my services at my website, or follow me on FacebookTwitterPinterest or Tsu .

I love reading, and read and review around 150 Christian books each year on my blog. I'm a Top 25 Reviewer at Christian Book, in the Top 1% of reviewers at Goodreads, and have an Amazon US Reviewer Rank that floats around 2500 (and I'm in the Top 50 at Amazon Australia).