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Frantic by Mike Dellosso –Suspense at it’s Best

Mike DellossoDo the lies you believe define who you are?   Death has followed  Marny Toogood from birth, snatching those closest to him and seemingly proving grandfather’s prediction.  He is cursed.

Despite the curse, every night Marny holds to the promise his mother told him until she died:  Behind every rain cloud is the sun, just waiting to shine.  Then he falls asleep and succumbs to the only place more dark and foreboding than his life.

We enter Marny’s life the day his nightmares and cursed life collide.  Living life in a tiny apartment above the station where he pumps gas, Marny tries to keep his involvement in the lives around him to a minimum–after all potential friends are potential victims of his curse.

But today there’s just something about the girl in the backseat of the old Ford Taurus that pulls in for a fill-up.  She speaks to him through her eyes, and through his own experiences he recognizes the message of sorrow and doom.

As the car pulls away Marny bends to pick up a piece of wadded paper.  Opening it he reads five words that have the potential to change his life forever:  HE’S GOING TO KILL ME.*

 

If there ‘s ever been a book that could be considered aerobic exercise its this one.  The plot twists, surprises, and races while keeping the reader turning pages frantically trying to find out what happens next.  The strong plot doesn’t sacrifice character depth. The book will pull you in from the first page and keep you hanging on each word til the very end.  I will warn you it’s hard to put down.

Frantic is definitely Mike Dellosso’s best work yet–and with books to his name like The Hunted, Scream, Darlington Woods, and Darkness Follows ,all five-star reads in their own right, that really say’s a lot.

Definitely a 5 Star Read.  Available early 2012

 

*Much of this description is taken directly from the book.  I couldn’t have described it with any better words, so I let it speak for itself.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher, Charisma House.  Any opinions rendered in this review are my own.

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Blame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Joyce MagninBlame it on the Mistletoe by Joyce Magnin

Welcome back to Bright’s Pond where the residents make even your strangest relatives seem normal.

What’s going on at the Greenbriar Nursing home?  Resident’s riding trikes down the halls? Seniors making out in the gazebo?  This is strange even by Bright’s Pond standards.  Who or what could be responsible?  Is it the fault of the new gazeebo, or the strange elusive man who built it for the residents?  Maybe it’s drugs or something in the water.  Police chief Mildred Blessing has her hands full trying to solve this one.

Meanwhile elsewhere in Bright’s Pond folks must contend with a luau thanksgiving, a Christmas pageant with live camels and the on again off again romance between Griselda and Zeb.  Do I hear wedding bells?

Though lighthearted, this book is no ball of fluff.  It is well written and entertaining.  It will leave you laughing, and feeling just a little bit better about your own life. The delightfuly quirky characters, like none you’ve ever imagined, are so real you’ll feel like you’ve always known them.

As with the first three books in this series, this is a 5 star read.  If you haven’t read the others (The Prayers of Agnes Sparrow, Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise, and Griselda Takes Flight), you must do so.  You’r life will be fuller from having read them.

I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Where the Power Lies–or Sits

James RubartThe Chair by James L. Rubart

James Rubart has done it again.  The Chair is a magnificient creation, a definite “edge of my seat” (pun intended) read.  Unpredictable up to the very end, this book deserves a very strong 5 star rating.

Corin Roscoe thinks the old lady who dropped off an even older chair at his antique shop is nuts.  Though he tries to refuse the chair, she insists he take it–claiming that it was meant to go to him.

Taking a closer look after she leaves, he realizes the chair is very well made in it’s simplicity.  Putting it off to the side, since he has an overabundance of furniture in his store right now, he figures it’s something he might take a look at later, if he has the time.

When a young boy is miraculously healed in his store after sitting in the chair, and word of it spreads, Corin realizes that maybe he has come across something special.  Could this chair possibly heal his brother–and his guilt?

When a well known mega-church pastor begins to manipulate Corin into selling the chair, he decides to lock it up for safekeeping.  Corrin, needing advice, confides in an old trusted friend, a college professor, who shares with him the history and legend behind the mysterious chair.

Does the chair really posses  power?  There are those who will stop at nothing to get it–and that puts Corin, and those he loves at the center of their cross-hairs.

I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Fairer Than Morning

Rosslyn Elliott

Ann dreams of a marriage proposal from her poetic suitor, Eli-until Will Hanby shows her that nobility is more than fine words.
On a small farm in 19th-century Ohio, young Ann Miller is pursued by the gallant Eli Bowen, son of a prominent family. Eli is the suitor of Ann’s dreams. Like her, he enjoys poetry and beautiful things and soon, he will move to the city to become a doctor.

Ann travels to Pittsburgh, accompanying her father on business. There she meets Will Hanby, a saddle-maker’s apprentice. Will has spent years eking out an existence under a cruel master and his spirit is nearly broken. But Ann’s compassion lights a long-dark part of his soul. Through his encounters with Ann’s father, a master saddler, Will discovers new hope and courage in the midst of tremendous adversity.

When the Millers must return to Ohio and their ministry there, Will resolves to find them, at any cost. If Will can make it back to Ann, will she be waiting?

Read an excerpt here: http://www.rosslynelliott.com/books.php

This book is a wonderful debut novel from Rosslyn Elliott.  It is well written and researched and makes for a delightful read.  If you enjoy historical romance, you will love this book.  5 Stars

fairer than MorningAbout Rosslyn:  Rosslyn Elliott grew up in a military family and relocated so often that she attended nine schools before her high school graduation. With the help of excellent teachers, she qualified to attend Yale University, where she earned a BA in English and Theater. She worked in business and as a schoolteacher before returning to study at Emory University, where she earned a Ph.D. in English in 2006. Her study of American literature and history inspired her to pursue her lifelong dream of writing fiction. She lives in the Southwest, where she homeschools her daughter and teaches in children’s ministry. For more about Rosslyn, visit her website: http://rosslynelliott.com

Why Is Someone Trying To Kill Me?

Shirley McCoyLone Defender by Shirley McCoy

Six days in the Sonoran desert…six days without food…with barely any water…six days since Skylar Grady’s been left for dead with no idea who even wanted her that way.

This was supposed to be such a simple assignment.  Just locate the deadbeat dad so the authorities could have him arrested and brought to justice.  She hadn’t even found him, yet here she is, pretty sure she’s only hours away from certain death.

If anyone else had asked Jonas Sampson to track someone lost in the desert (and believe me, they had) he never would have done it.  But his old college friend Kane Dougherty was someone he’d do almost anything for–especially since Cane assured him that this woman was too stubborn to die.  Now that he’s found her, getting her home safely is going to be a whole other battle–both because of the dozen or more men tracking her with an intent to kill, and because she fight’s him almost every step of the way.

This is the best Love inspired Suspense book I’ve read in a long time.  Shirley McCoy doesn’t waste any time getting to the meat of the story.  The action begins with the first sentence, and keeps the reader on the edge of their seat til the very end.  The characters are real.  They draw you in till you feel yourself longing to see their hopes and dreams fulfilled, and cheering them on every step of the way.  There is really a lot of punch in this little book.  It is a great value, and worth every one of the 5 stars I’m giving it.

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

What My Eyes See

 Kristen HeitzmannIndelible by Kristen Heitzmann 

Natalie Reeve is a gifted sculptor whose ability stems from a unique disability.  When her brother helps her buy a home and business in the peaceful mountain community of Redford, what she hopes for is  tranquility.  How was she to know that events would so quickly spiral out of control.

Trevor MacDaniel is searching for two elderly hikers that seem to be lost when he comes across a dire situation.  A mountain lion has snatched a toddler from the trail where he was walking with his father and aunt.   The decision to put his life on the line to save the boy requires no contemplation.  Having lost his little brother to a horrific accident years ago, he’s not about to let another family go through that kind of pain if he can help it.

The lives of these two are seemingly thrown together when Natalie and Trevor realize that not only did he rescue her nephew, but their businesses are next door as well.  The more time they spend together, the more they see that they may be just what each other needs.  When Trevor is stalked and Natalie is attacked by the stalker she may have seen, their worlds collide in a way neither of them saw coming.

This is an enjoyable story, and I found myself not wanting to put it down at times, but the beginning is not quite up to Kristen Heitzmanns best work.  The story started out with an impressive scene that was not carried out as good as it could have been, and it took too much time to see how the different threads were fitting together.  I definitely enjoyed the book, but although I was expecting it to be a five-star read, it really was more of a four-star.

This book was provided to me by the publisher, Waterbrook Press.  All opinions rendered are my own.

Cash Burn or Crash and Burn?

Michael BerrierJason Dunn thinks he know whats going on–he wasn’t born yesterday.  When he finds love notes from his wife to another man, he thinks affair, not set up (like she claims). 

 Little by little things in Jason’s life begin going so-right, and yet at the same time so-wrong.  His most despised co-worker becomes his boss, he gains a beautiful new assistant, his recently released jailbird brother is causing all kinds of trouble for him, and he finds a loophole that if he should take it, will net him enough money to last many lifetimes. 

What he would have never thought have doing at one time becomes a bit easier with every baby step, every little sin, every bit of twisted reasoning.  Now comes the big step, the one he won’t ever be able to undo.  Will he take it, or will something happen to change the path he’s headed down.

I feel like I should have had a crash course in banking and high finance before reading this book.  There was way to much bank-speak.  Also, this was definitely a book written with men in mind.  It is highly plot driven, and the characters are left swimming in shallow water. 

I was not comfortable with how the intimacy was described in the book.  If as it seemed it was truly written for men, then it would draw even more of a visual than I felt it did.  Although not excessive by mainstream standards, for a christian publisher it was awfuly close to the line.

  Overall I just did not enjoy this book, but I must admit that the writing skill was excellent and Michael Berrier has a lot of potential.  I will be looking out to see what he writes in the future.

3 Stars

This book was provided to me by the publishers through NetGalley.  All opinions rendered are my own.

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