Just Look Up – Courtney Walsh
After tirelessly climbing the ranks of her Chicago-based interior design firm, Lane Kelley is about to land her dream promotion when devastating news about her brother draws her back home–a quaint tourist town full of memories she’d just as soon forget. With her cell phone and laptop always within reach, Lane aims to check on her brother while staying focused on work–something her eclectic family doesn’t understand.
Ryan Brooks never expected to settle down in Harbor Pointe, Michigan, but after his final tour of duty, it was the only place that felt like home. Now knee-deep in a renovation project that could boost tourism for the struggling town, he is thrilled to see Lane, the girl he secretly once loved, even if the circumstances of her homecoming aren’t ideal.
Their reunion gets off to a rocky start, however, when Ryan can’t find a trace of the girl he once knew in the woman she is today. As he slowly chips away at the walls Lane has built, secrets from his past collide with a terrible truth even he is reluctant to believe. Facing a crossroads that could define his future with Lane and jeopardize his relationship with the surrogate family he’s found in the Kelleys, Ryan hopes Lane can see that maybe what really matters has been right in front of her all along–if only she’d just look up.
Two adventure/mystery books, one historical, one Amish and one Fantasy. Christian fiction is getting very diverse and I am enjoying every minute. Is there a genre you wish the Christian market had more of?
Unquiet Ghosts – Glenn Meade – Eight years ago, her husband and children were killed in a plane crash. Now, new evidence reveals that they didn’t die—her husband deliberately vanished—and that he knows a secret the powerful forces will stop at nothing to keep hidden. Kathy Kelly’s world was shattered when a plane carrying her husband—an Iraq War veteran and devoted father—and her two children vanished from the sky one night. No trace of the plane was ever found. Eight years later, Kathy has struggled to rebuild her life, but then wreckage of his plane is found in the wilderness of Great Smoky Mountain National Park—hundreds of miles from where her husband’s plane should have been. The pilot perished in the crash, but there is no sign of Jack or the children. Could they have made it out alive after all? But if so, where have they been all this time? Where are they now?
Fatal Trust – Todd M. Johnson – Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars. Ian warily accepts the job–but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.
Johanna and Henriette Kuper -Daring to Change their World – Abigail Van Der Velde – At the turn of the 1800s, two women challenge society in the Netherlands. Johanna is a traditional wife eager to both support and challenge her strong-willed husband, the political leader Abraham Kuyper. Henriette is an international traveler, champion of women’s suffrage, and wartime correspondent—among much else! Both mother and daughter risk reproach and defy custom—changing their world for good and for God’s sake.
Peace in the Valley series – Jerry S. Eicher – Book #1 Silvia’s Rose, #2Phoebe’s Gift, and #3 Mary’s Home. (Yes all three books released together) – #1 – Esther Stoltzfus considers herself to be down-to-earth, the way most Amish women do. Her marriage to her deceased husband was one borne out of practicality, and Esther sees no reason why God won’t replace what He was taken away. #2 – Phoebe Lapp’s grandmother was anything but ordinary. Before her death, the eccentric elderly woman purchased three Assateague ponies, seemingly for no reason. But after her passing, Phoebe learns of her beloved grandmother’s wish to start an Amish pony farm in a lovely little valley near the Adirondack Mountains for hurting Englisha children. That dream now lies with Phoebe if she decides to fulfill it, but a teaching position is available as well. Which path should she choose? #3 – Mary Yoder’s life couldn’t get much better. She’s engaged to be married, spring is in the air, and love is in her heart as she looks forward to the fall wedding she’s always dreamed of. Six months later on a crisp November morning, Mary awakens in a lovely little valley near the Adirondack Mountains on what was to be her wedding day, heartbroken and alone.
Fault Lines – Thomas Locke -As a security expert, Charlie Hazard is all about taking control of the situation. But when the stunning Dr. Gabriella Speciale draws him into a secret psychological project, risk parameters are shattered. Every move brings him to the edge of one fault line after another, and Charlie struggles to stay clear of a maelstrom of entangled dangers. The research team abandons the lab on the Florida coast and flees to a mountain refuge in Italy. The battles in Charlie’s mind are overtaken by real life attacks. He must grapple with the daunting realization that a conspiracy is taking hold on both internal and external levels. Can Gabriella be trusted, or is she just part of the scheme?
How is the reading going? I am close to finished with the book. Have read through the timeline in the back of the book yet? Johanna and Henriette did a lot with their lives. Abraham Kuyper is a well known figure in the Christian community around here and around the world. To see the women behind the man is always an interesting story to me. I know that history sometimes presents the ‘heroes’ of history as going it alone, but they had families and sometimes those families sacrificed more and suffered more than the person we all know.
Is there any one aspect of the story that has surprised you?
P.S. I love Dutch Apple Pie. I wonder how close it is to the Dutch Apple Pie my grandmother use to make.
There is this funny little series that has really started catching on and if you haven’t read them let me tell you do so. The Herringford and Watts Mysteries by Rachel McMillan are just a hoot to read. They have a fun and intriguing mystery and the characters are just a joy to meet and get to know. The White Feather Murders is book #3, The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder and A Lesson in Love and Murder are book 1 & 2, just released a few short months ago and is as much fun to read as the first two.
Merinda and Jem are at it again. Their popularity is on the rise and they see themselves as the picture of female empowerment for the city. Well except for all the unrest in the city. It seems our little band of intrepid detectives are all at risk. Jasper because he isn’t sure he wants to be a police officer, Ray because he is Italian and the women because, well, they are women and detectives.
Set in a time where things we changing quickly for women and in a city I know so little about, at least half the fun is reading the heading for each chapter and when Rachel crosses over the 3rd plain and talks directly to the readers. It adds the humor that is sometimes lacking in books, but it also gives the reader the feel of actually being in on the writing of the book and why the author did what she did. It is like Rachel knows what the reader would be thinking at that moment and uses it to enhance the story a fun and creative way.
I know these books are a nod to Sherlock and Holmes and Rachel doesn’t hid the fact. That in and of itself makes for an even better read. When you have iconic fictional characters like those two men, it would be hard to not include them in a book (series) of wonderful and fun murders mysteries.*
*Okay so murder isn’t wonderful or fun, in fact it is a horrible thing, but in the case of Rachel’s books there is a lot of fun to be had.
Egypt’s Sister – Angela Hunt – #1 The Silent Years – A book about Cleopatra
Raised together in the Alexandrian palace, Chava, the Hebrew daughter of the royal tutor, and Urbi, an Egyptian princess, become as close as sisters–and rivals with their dreams of greatness. When Urbi unexpectedly ascends the throne as Queen Cleopatra, Chava believes their bond is strong enough to survive. But absolute power has a way of changing everything.
The ultimate betrayal rips Chava from everything she’s ever known and sends her to the lowest rung of Roman society where she must choose between love and honor, between her own desires and God’s will for her life, if she hopes to rise again.