Vendetta by Lisa Harris


I used to read every novel in a series of FBI thrillers by a certain author, and I really enjoyed peeking into the lives of FBI agents, even if they were fictional characters.  The suspense and action kept me enthralled while the humor and romance entertained me.  Unfortunately, the author started adding supernatural elements to her plots, and I prefer more realistic fiction.  I had not found anything close to that series until I read Vendetta this week.

Vendetta is the first novel in the Nikki Boyd Files by Lisa Harris.  This fast-paced mystery is filled with action, adventure, suspense, humor, and romance, but the author also addresses grief and a faltering faith in response to the death of a loved one.  While there is some discussion of faith and God, it is not enough to turn off those who are not Christians.  Lisa Harris does not shy away from the tough questions but allows her characters to work through their doubts in their own way.

Nikki Boyd is an agent with the newly-formed Tennessee Missing Persons Task Force.  In Vendetta, Nikki works with state and local authorities to hunt down an abductor before it’s too late.  The race to find the missing person kept me reading late into the night.  This is an exciting mystery, full of plot twists, set in a majestic area.  The characters are likeable and well-developed, and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series. 

I received this book for free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.  

Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart 

  This is the first installment in Gabhart’s Hidden Springs Mysteries series, which is set in a small town in Kentucky.  Michael Keane is a competent sheriff’s deputy who must investigate a murder committed on the courthouse steps.  His investigation leads to many surprises and prompts more questions. 

The author certainly captured the small-town nuances in this novel and introduced many unique, but familiar, characters.  The plot twisted and thickened repeatedly throughout the book, which made for good reading.  The setting was perfect for introducing this series. 

I have been reading mainly Christian fiction lately, but this book is not classified as Christian.  It is a clean story without foul language or sex scenes, and there are characters who are Christians, but they are not spiritual advisors to other characters.  They just play their part as another small-town character.

This book is full of humor and suspense.  It even contains a little romance.  I stayed up late the last few nights reading this because it was hard to put down.  After I finished the book last night, it took me awhile to process it before I could go to sleep.  There are many layers to the story.

I received this book free from Revell Books in exchange for an honest review.  These opinions are my own. 

Until the Harvest by Sarah Loudin Thomas

About a year ago, I had the pleasure of reading the lovely novella Appalachian Serenade by Sarah Loudin Thomas in anticipation of reading her first full-length novel, Miracle in a Dry Seasonlater that summer.  I am pleased to announce that her next book has been released and is just as delightful as her first two stories.  Until the Harvest jumps ahead a generation, but there are appearances from many of the characters of the previous book.  I always enjoy reading about familiar characters and seeing how their story ends or continues.  I was disappointed at the early demise of a main character from the previous book, but his death served as the catalyst for much of the conflict in Until the Harvest. 

Henry Phillips is a college student who makes several foolish decisions following the death of his father.  He gets tangled up in a couple of serious situations before seeking wise council.  

Margaret enjoys working for Henry’s grandmother, but Margaret’s mother thinks the position is too menial for her daughter.  Margaret finds a way to leave home and take her little sister with her, away from her selfish, inattentive parents. 

Initially, Henry and Margaret dislike each other, but they have two common interests who continually draw them together:  Margaret’s sister Mayfair and Henry’s grandmother Emily.  Over time, Henry and Margaret find they have much more in common than family and friends.  

This story is set in the mid-1970’s, but some aspects seem further back in history due to the slower pace in Appalachia.  I enjoyed reading about life on the farm and women living independently.  I learned a few things while enjoying a good read.  

I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review.

Tyndale Rewards

When I submitted my last book review on the publisher’s website, I noticed they now have a rewards program called Tyndale Rewards.  Click the link to sign up and get started with 25 points.  I earned 70 points the first day I joined, and that was enough to earn a free book, which is being sent to me free of charge.  I love receiving free stuff, especially books.  Check it out!


The Wonder of You by Susan May Warren

The Wonder of You is Susan May Warren’s fifth book in the Christiansen family series, but this is the first time I have had the pleasure of reading anything by this award-winning author.  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.  Now I need to see if my local library has the first four books in the series!

The Wonder of You opens with a dramatic rescue scene, and I immediately fell in love with the main characters.  Warren creates characters who have realistic attributes, flaws, and struggles, but they are also surprisingly charming.  The only complaint I have about this book is the main characters are in their early twenties, so they make me feel old (I am in my late thirties), but the leading lady is the youngest sibling in the Christiansen family, so the ages are appropriate and fit their characters’ struggles and lifestyles. 

I must confess that I was afraid the book had too many pages left after I had read the first five chapters.  I couldn’t help but wonder how Warren could possibly fill the rest of the novel with enough to keep me interested, but there were so many little surprises throughout the book that kept me not only interested but unable to put down the book.  I read this book in less than 48 hours, and I hated having to put it down for any length of time.

The Wonder of You is about Roark St. John trying to convince Amelia Christiansen that he loves her.  My favorite quote in the book is when Roark tells Amelia, “Extreme doesn’t begin to describe what I’d do to win you back.”  (That sounds a little creepy taken out of context, but it was completely sincere, even romantic, in the book.)  The rest of the book details Roark’s efforts to regain Amelia’s trust and win her heart.  

Warren also includes the continuation of Amelia’s siblings’ stories, which provides emotional depth and a touching side story along with a little mystery for the next book in the series.  

NFL Mom Interview and Mother’s Day Giveaway from Melissa Tagg

Author Melissa Tagg recently had the opportunity to interview Wilma “Char” McNabb, mother of former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb.  It’s an interesting article and focuses on Mama McNabb’s dedication and efforts to support her son’s dream.  While her love for and devotion to her son are admirable, I finished reading the article wondering if Mama McNabb trusts in God or her son.  After I listened to the song she wrote, I was more troubled.  One line states, “He gives me strength when I am weak,” and another, “He’s my light when I can’t see.”  These lyrics would be perfect in a praise song to God, but these are describing her son.  Am I misinterpreting this?  Read Melissa’s post and let me know what you think.  While you are there, be sure to enter her giveaway for a “Dream” bracelet, two DVDs, and a Target gift card.  

From the Start by Melissa Tagg


Awhile back, I reviewed Made to Last by Melissa Tagg and jumped at the chance to review her latest novel.   She  has also written a novella that is the prequel to this first book in her Walker Family series, and the e-novella is available for free as a digital download from Bethany House Publishers or on Amazon.  It isn’t necessary to read the novella first, but it’s a great, short love story. 

From the Start is a delightful romantic comedy set mostly in Iowa.  Melissa Tagg knows how important good dialogue is between the characters, and she incorporates just the right amount of wit, history, humor, and truth.  The characters are realistic with flaws and insecurities, and they don’t always say and do the right things, but they trust God to direct their paths.

Colton Greene is a former NFL quarterback who is trying to figure out what he is supposed to do now that an injury has forced him to retire early.  Colton is under contract to write a book about his life, but he doesn’t remember the most devastating thing that happened to him and doesn’t want to discuss it with a writer.  In the process of helping his friend Logan Walker, he meets Logan’s sister Kate, who just happens to be a writer.

Kate Walker is tired of writing romance scripts and wants to do something meaningful with her writing.   She receives an offer but needs money to pay for her travel.  She agrees to write Colton’s book even though she knows nothing about football.  In the process, she learns a great deal about the game and the player.

From the Start is a great book, filled with romance, humor, mystery, and a little suspense.  I highly recommend it. 

I received this book for free from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.  These opinions are my own and are not influenced by the publisher.