Friday, May 27, 2011

A Killer Among Us by Lynette Eason


From the Publisher

What happens when the hunter . . . becomes the hunted?

Kit Kenyon is a first-rate hostage negotiator. Noah Lambert is a good detective with excellent instincts. These new partners have hardly had time to get used to each other when they are thrown into a grisly murder case. As evidence mounts up and more victims are found, Kit and Noah realize they are on the hunt for a serial killer. The problem is, he may be hunting one of them too.

With nail-biting suspense, clever plot twists, and a hint of romance, A Killer Among Us is the latest thriller from Lynette Eason.

My Take

This is the third book in a series, called the Women of Justice series.  But you don’t have to read the first two to enjoy this one. I find I’m totally enjoying the series, though, and the author, Lynette Eason. The way she works around the plot and the unexpected twists really keep my interest. Then there’s the family drama of the main character dealing with the new knowledge of being adopted. Her new family is heavily involved in the story and we get to learn the emotional side of a life-changing event.
Writing a killer suspense novel (no pun intended!) with enough detail without getting gorey while adding that touch of romance as well as a Christian theme is a very fine line. Ms. Eason covers all that while still keeping the reader wanting more. It’s really hard to put this one down!
I hope Ms. Eason is planning on a fourth book in the series—the characters are now cemented in my mind and I can’t wait to see what comes next both professionally and personally for them. I would give this book a 5 out of 5 star rating for readability, cohesion, suspenseful plot, and developing sub-plots.
About the author:

Lynette Eason is the author of Too Close to Home, Don't Look Back, and three other romantic suspense novels. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master's degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.

Available May 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

I received this book free from Revell as part of their book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, May 8, 2011

UNSINKABLE by Abby Sunderland


 A stirring narrative of Unsinkable tells sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland's remarkable true story of attempting to become the youngest person ever to sail solo around the world. 

More people have flown into outer space than have sailed solo around the globe. It is a challenge so immense that many have died trying, and all have been pushed beyond every physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual limit. In Unsinkable, readers follow Abby Sunderland into those depths. This biography delivers a gripping and evocative firsthand account that starts prior to her departure, travels through her daring (and sometimes near-death) encounters on the open sea, to her dramatic rescue in the remotest corner of the Indian Ocean, and the media explosion that happened upon her safe return to dry land.

Along the way, readers discover what it means to boldly face any challenge, to strive after something great, and to plumb the depths of faith, fear, and desperation only to emerge changed, renewed, and emboldened. In this day and age, when the most productive thing a teenager may do is play videogames, Abby's ambition and tenacity is a real-life parable of what can happen when we choose to exceed our own limits, embrace faith, and strive after what all the naysayers say is impossible.

Unsinkable is the autobiography of Abby Sunderland—a 16-year-old young woman whose dream of sailing around the world by herself finally comes true. Normally, I don’t read autobiographies---they just don’t keep my interest. But when I read the overview of Unsinkable, I was surprised at how interested I was to read this book. I love to read about mature, courageous young people who have a clear goal and purpose in life. Many teenagers don’t have these traits and expect the people around them to hand them everything they need without truly working for it.

I enjoyed how the book was laid out—from three different points of view. The narrator helped by filling in the technical information and also giving background on media involvement, family history, and technical sailing information. Abby’s point of view is more detail oriented about how she felt during the preparation of the trip and the day-by-day experiences she endured. After the  grueling premature conclusion of her trip, there is also the point of view of view of those who helped save her. This is a unique way of putting the book together and it was just right for telling Abby’s story.

Abby is a lucky girl to have such a supportive family for her lifelong dream. There aren’t many parents who would let their child go into a feat such as this. Can you imagine sending your teenager out—alone—to navigate one of the most powerful elements on earth? The sea is unpredictable and volatile and there’s no control over its erratic behavior. I’m sure Abby was completely prepared for most contingencies, but let’s face it, you don’t know if you are until the situation arises. 

On the flip side, I’m sure her father was very protective and concerned about her trip. However, I got the impression that he subconsciously pushed her decision for the fame and notoriety that comes with such an attempt. He’d felt it before when his son made the same trip and it’s almost like an aphrodisiac—he wanted that feeling again. You could feel his ego creeping in to almost every decision.

I found the book mostly interesting but it was a very difficult read for me. I have no knowledge of sailing and even though the authors spell out many terms and technical points, parts of the book were like reading a manual. I’d start getting into a section of the book when the authors would throw in paragraphs to pages of detail and I would just zone out. 

You could tell Abby’s point of view was told by a typical teenager with the jargon & lingo inherent in a 16-year-old. I would have liked to have seen more in-depth, maybe spiritual (since they professed to have much faith) insights during her journey. Yes, the experience made her see she was strong and courageous, but what made that happen?

I’m going to give this book 3 out of 5 stars. The overall story was pretty good if you could get through the technical portions and the father’s desire for recognition. However, if you enjoy sailing or more technical reading, I think your rating might be higher.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Sunday, May 1, 2011

ONE GOOD MAN by Virginia Foster


Dr. Diane Redfield seems to have it all: beauty, brains, good friends, and a thriving psychology practice. She is dedicated to her patients and spends her free time enjoying the California weather with her loyal dog, Paul. But despite her full life, she has yet to find success in love--until she meets Dr. Bob Callahan, a highly respected psychiatrist and widowed father. The two begin a passionate affair.

As the relationship progresses, Diane struggles with her own fears as well as her professional ethics. Then she begins to realize something very sinister is going on. The more she learns, the deeper she falls into danger.

One Good Man is a page-turner full of romance and suspense. Join Dr. Diane as she struggles to survive the darkest places of the human mind--and to keep her faith in the possibility of love.


Don’t tell anyone, but I love a good romance novel now and again! So when I saw One Good Man offered at Dorrance Publishing, I knew it was the one for me. 

A very interesting plot evolved for the couple. Both psychologists, the story utilized their profession all the way from their meeting to their involvement in shared cases, to the unusual twist in the plot (that I won’t give away!). It is a topic that is rarely written about in a romance novel much less contemporary novels. I found it out of the ordinary and thought-provoking for a subject I didn’t know much about.

Ms Foster has a very good writing style—easy to read and follow with attention to filling in all the “gaps” involved in such a story line. I would definitely pick up another of her books in the future.

I’m going to give this a 4-star rating for it’s lovely tale of new love, intriguing story line, and the way the book flowed.

I received a complimentary copy of One Good Man by Virginia Foster as a member of the Dorrance Publishing Book Review Team. Visit to learn how you can become a member of the Book Review Team.

Miracle of Mercy Land by River Jordan


From the Publisher:
What if you had the power to amend choices you made in the past? Would you do it even if it changed everything?

Mercy Land has made some unexpected choices for a young woman in the 1930s. The sheltered daughter of a traveling preacher, she chooses to leave her rural community to move to nearby Bay City on the warm, gulf-waters of southern Alabama. There she finds a job at the local paper and spends seven years making herself indispensible to old Doc Philips, the publisher and editor. Then she gets a frantic call at dawn—it’s the biggest news story of her life, and she can’t print a word of it.
Doc has come into possession of a curious book that maps the lives of everyone in Bay City—decisions they’ve made in the past, and how those choices affect the future. Mercy and Doc are consumed by the mystery locked between the pages—Doc because he hopes to right a very old wrong, and Mercy because she wants to fulfill the book’s strange purpose. But when a mystery from Mercy’s past arrives by train, she begins to understand that she will have to make choices that will deeply affect everyone she loves—forever.

My Take:
Quite Unexpected!!

Reading the synopsis of this book, my expectations were high. I was looking forward to a scintillating story line and an investigation into the mystery. That’s exactly what I got but in a totally different path. The story started out very good but then the introduction of the “curious book” was nothing like I had imagined. It was more of a fantasy book rather than a mystery or thriller. Personally, that’s not really my favorite genre. But since I had started it, I wanted to finish it. 

The book is written from three different viewpoints—Mercy, Doc, and the invited stranger John Quincy. There is sometimes overlap and repetition  from each of them on a particular segment. That was a little difficult  to follow on occasion. The further the storyline progressed, the more unrealistic it seemed to me---the reason I say it’s a fantasy. 

But parts of it did intrigue me to continue reading. The parts of Mercy’s life back in Bittersweet were interesting and Doc’s past was heart-warming. However, it just wasn’t enough for me to give it a high rating. Unfortunately, I have to give this book a 3-star and that’s only because of those small interesting portions and the phenomenal cover art.

I received a free copy of this book from WaterBrook Multnomah as part of their Blogging for Books program in return for my review. My opinions are honest and unbiased.