I am a Christian, a retired teacher, a mother and a grandmother. I love to read and I love the Lord Jesus Christ! Unless otherwise specified ,all visual illustrations are from the YOU VERSION APP of the Bible.
The final book in the Devlin and Falco series is a complicated tale in which the present gets mixed up in the past and all of it flows seamlessly to a fantastic conclusion. Kerri Devlin and Luke Falco are partners in the Birmingham PD and are tasked with finding out who or what caused a fire that killed a young mother and her daughter. When the husband, a former police officer, confesses, neither of them totally buy into his confession and are determined to ferret out the truth. In their quest for justice, Devlin and Falco uncover some really dark truths about Falco’s past that he has not dealt with yet. With rogue cops and creepy grandmothers, this book has a lot of red herrings and tons of false trails that kept me guessing almost to the end. I won’t give anything away here, but I will say that I was able to follow the clues and guessed who the villains were, just before they were revealed. The author did a masterful job of weaving a realistic story that kept me engrossed and wanting more. Kerri is a strong female protagonist who is in tune with her partner and his needs. Luke shows his vulnerability in this final installment of the series and that was a perfect addition to his very macho character. I will miss this duo because this is one of the best detective series that I have read. Fans of suspense will really enjoy this book, but the first two should be read first so that you get to know the characters well before delving into the final book. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions 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 Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
This hard-hitting suspense/mystery will be released on December 14, 2021. Pre-order today at one of the links below:
This is not a typical light-hearted romance because there are some deep themes in this novel that are thought-provoking. Tia is a Hollywood rising star who has just finished a film when she is in a horrible accident that scars her face. Fleeing to Silver Springs, she finds refuge in a friends guest house at his secluded mansion, caring for his parrot and hiding from the world. Maxi, her good friend and benefactor, has also offered the use of his estate to world-renowned artist Seth. The clash between the two at first lent humor to the story. Seth is also suffering from the loss of his beloved wife Shiloh, so the two do have suffering in common, but other than that, they just agree to stay apart. The story is a familiar one in which they eventually discover respect and compassion for each other and ultimately love. But how they get there is an amazing, multi-layered story. The plot is well written and intricately designed around the town of Silver Springs and familiar characters from previous books in the series. I really enjoyed the character of Aiyana, Seth’s adoptive mom, who is as wise as she is kind and generous. Of course, I also enjoyed getting to know Tia and Seth, both of whom need to come to grips with a bad hand that the past has dealt them in order to move on into the future. That is a recurring theme here and a lesson to take from the novel. Family relationships is also an important theme in this book, both betrayals from the past and establishing new relationships for the future. Finally, there is the theme of being able to trust those around you, the ones whom you hold close. With all of these layers and complex, well-developed characters, this book delivered a romance for the ages, with heartfelt desire and the real need to find a lasting connection. I loved this book and truly did not want it to end, especially since it is the culmination of such a wonderful series. However, the story that was told here and the characters that were introduced were a perfect ending to the love story that is Silver Springs. Although this is definitely part of a series, it can be read and enjoyed as a standalone. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I also purchased my own autographed copy from the author’s store online. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions 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 Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak has written over 60 novels. An eight-time Rita nominee, she’s won The National Reader’s Choice, The Bookseller’s Best and other awards. She runs Brenda Novak for the Cure, a charity that has raised more than $2.5 million for diabetes research (her youngest son has this disease). She considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.
Tia Beckett ran a finger along the jagged scar on her cheek as she gazed into the mirror above the contemporary console on the living room wall. She’d taken down almost every mirror in her own house as soon as she came home from the hospital— broken them all and tossed them out. But she couldn’t do the same here. This wasn’t her home, and there seemed to be mirrors everywhere, each one projecting the same tragic image.
She leaned closer. It must’ve been the windshield that nearly destroyed her face.
She dropped her hand. After a month, her cheek was still tender, but she continued to examine her reflection. The woman in the mirror was a complete stranger. If she turned her head to the left, she could find herself again. The shiny black hair that framed an oval face. The smooth and creamy olive-colored skin. The bottle-green eyes with long, thick eyelashes. The full lips, which were her own, not a product of Botox injections. All the beauty that’d helped her land the leading role in Hollywood’s latest blockbuster was still there.
But when she turned her head to the right…
Her stomach soured as she studied the raised, pink flesh that slanted in a zigzag fashion from the edge of her eye almost to her mouth. The doctor had had to piece that side of her face back together like a quilt. He’d said there was a possibility that cosmetic surgery could improve the scars later, but that wasn’t an option right now. After what she’d been through already, she couldn’t even contemplate another surgery. It’d be too late to save her career by then, anyway.
Who was this poor, unfortunate creature? Her agent, her fellow cast members for Expect the Worst, the romantic comedy in which she costarred with box-office hit Christian Allen, and the friends she’d made since moving to LA said she was lucky to have survived the accident. And maybe that was true. But it was difficult to feel lucky when she’d lost all hope of maintaining her career just as it was beginning to skyrocket.
A knock at the front door startled her. Who could that be? She didn’t want to see anyone, not even her friends—and especially not the press. They’d been hounding her since the accident, trying to snap a picture of her damaged face and demanding an answer as to whether she would quit acting. That was part of the reason she’d readily accepted when Maxi Cohen, the producer of her one and only film, offered to let her stay at his massive estate in Silver Springs, ninety minutes northwest of LA. He and his family would be in Israel for the holidays, so he needed someone to house-sit. That was what he’d said. What she’d heard was that she could hide out for a month and be completely alone. And she wouldn’t even have to pay for the privilege. She just had to care for the houseplants, feed and play with Kiki, the parrot, occasionally drive each of the six vehicles parked in the airplane-hangar-sized garage and make sure nothing went wrong.
She also turned on the lights in the main house at night—Maxi didn’t yet have them set up on a timer, like those in his yard—so that it looked occupied since she was staying in the guesthouse, which was smaller and more comfortable. But that was probably unnecessary. There wasn’t a lot of crime in Silver Springs. Known for its boutique hotels, recreational opportunities and local, organic produce, it was sort of like Santa Barbara, only forty minutes away and closer to the coast, in that there were plenty of movie moguls and the like who had second homes here.
Still, he couldn’t have left Kiki without a caretaker. And safe was always better than sorry. He also owned an extensive art collection that could never be replaced, so she figured he was wise to have someone watch over it, just in case
Whoever was at the door rapped again, more insistently. Maxi had given the housekeeper and other staff a paid holiday. Even the gardeners were off, since the yard didn’t grow much during the cold, rainy season. The entire estate was essentially in mothballs until Maxi returned. And no one Tia knew could say exactly where she was. So why was someone at her door? How had whoever it was gotten onto the property? The front gate required a code.
“Hello? Anyone home?” A man’s strident voice came through the panel. “Maxi said you’d be in the guesthouse.”
Damn. Those words suggested whoever it was had a right to be here, or at least permission. She was going to have to answer the door.
“Coming,” she called. “Just…give me a minute.” She hurried into the bedroom, where her suitcase lay open on the floor. She’d arrived in Silver Springs two days ago but hadn’t bothered to unpack. There hadn’t seemed to be much point. There didn’t seem to be much point in doing anything anymore. She hadn’t bothered to shower or dress this morning, either, and she was wearing the same sweat bottoms, T-shirt and socks she’d had on yesterday.
Yanking off her clothes, she pulled on a robe so that there’d be no expectation of hospitality as she scurried back through the living room. Still reluctant to speak to anyone, she peered through the peephole.
A tall, slender man—six-two, maybe taller—stood on the stoop. His dark hair had outgrown its last haircut and stuck out beneath a red beanie, he had a marked five-o’clock shadow, suggesting he hadn’t shaved for a couple of days, and a cleft chin almost as pronounced as that of Henry Cavill. He was a total stranger to her, but he had to be one of Maxi’s friends or associates, and she should treat him as such.
Bracing herself—human interaction was something she now avoided whenever possible—she took a deep breath. Please, God, don’t let him recognize me or have anything to do with the media.
The blinds were already pulled, so she turned off the lights and cracked the door barely wide enough to be able to peek out with her good side. “What can I do for you?”
His scowl darkened as his gaze swept over what he could see of her. He must’ve realized she was wearing a robe, because he said, “I hate to drag you out of bed at—” he checked his watch “—two in the afternoon. But could you let me into the main house before I freeze my—” catching himself, he cleared his throat and finished with “—before I freeze out here?”
Assuming he was a worker of some sort—she couldn’t imagine why he’d be here, bothering her, otherwise—she couldn’t help retorting, “Sure. As long as you tell me why I should care whether you freeze or not.”
The widening of his eyes gave her the distinct impression that he wasn’t used to having someone snap back at him. So… maybe he wasn’t a worker.
“Because Maxi has offered to let me stay in his home, and he indicated you’d let me in,” he responded with exaggerated patience. “He didn’t text you?”
“No, I haven’t heard from him.” And surely, what this man said couldn’t be right. Maxi had told her that she’d have the run of the place. She’d thought she’d be able to stay here without fear of bumping into anyone. She’d been counting on it.
“He was just getting on a plane,” he explained. “Maybe he had to turn off his phone.”
“Okay. If you want to give me your number, I’ll text you as soon as I hear from him.” He cocked his head.
“I’m afraid you’ll have to come back later.”
“I don’t want to come back,” he said. “I just drove six hours, all the way from the Bay Area, after working through the night. I’m exhausted, and I’d like to get some sleep. Can you help me out here?”
His impatience irritated her. But since the accident, she’d been so filled with rage she was almost relieved he was willing to give her a target. “No, I’m afraid I can’t.”
He stiffened. “Excuse me?”
“I can’t let some stranger into the house, not unless Maxi specifically asks me to.” Even if this guy was telling the truth, forcing him to leave would not only bring her great pleasure, it would give her a chance to feed Maxi’s parrot before hiding the key under the mat. Then there would be no need for further interaction. He wouldn’t see her, and she wouldn’t have to watch the shock, recognition and pity cross his face.
Pity was by far the worst, but none of it was fun.
“If I have the code to the gate, I must’ve gotten it from somewhere, right?” he argued. “Isn’t it logical to assume that Maxi is the one who gave it to me?”
“That’s a possibility, but there are other possibilities.”
“Maybe you hopped the fence or got it from one of the staff?” His chest lifted in an obvious effort to gather what little patience he had left. “I assure you, if I was a thief, I would not present myself at your door.”
“I can appreciate why. But I’m responsible for what goes on here right now, which means I can’t take any chances.”
“You won’t be taking any chances!” he argued in exasperation. “If anything goes missing or gets damaged, I’ll replace it.”
What was there to guarantee that? “The art Maxi owns can’t be replaced,” she said and thought she had him. Maxi had told her so himself. But this stranger said the only thing that could trump her statement. “Except by me, since I’m the one who created most of it in the first place,” he said drily.
“You’re an artist?” she asked but only to buy a second or two while she came to grips with a few other things that had just become apparent. If he was one of the artists Maxi collected, he wasn’t some obscure talent. Yet…he couldn’t be more than thirty. And he certainly didn’t look too important shivering in a stretched-out T-shirt, on which the word Perspective was inverted, and jeans that had holes down the front.
“I am,” he replied. “And you are…the house sitter, I presume?”
She heard his disparaging tone. He wondered who the hell she was to tell him what to do. He thought he mattered more than she did. But that came as no surprise: she’d already pegged him as arrogant. She was more concerned about the fact that Maxi might’ve referred to her as a menial laborer. Is that the way her former producer thought of her now? It was only a few months ago that she’d been the most promising actress in Hollywood. Certainly she’d attained more fame than this snooty artist—when it came to having her name recognized by the general public, anyway.
But what did it matter how high she’d climbed? She’d fallen back to earth so hard she felt as though she’d broken every bone in her body, even though the damage to her face was the only lingering injury she’d sustained in the accident. “I’m house-sitting, yes. But, like you, I’m a friend of Maxi’s,” she said vaguely.
Fortunately, he didn’t seem interested enough to press her for more detailed information. She was glad of that.
“Fine. Look, friend.” He produced his phone. “I have proof. This is the text exchange I had with Maxi just before his plane took off. As you can see, he says he has someone—you—staying in the guesthouse, but the main house is available, and I’m welcome to it. If you’ll notice the time, you’ll see that these texts took place just this morning.”
Her heart sank as she read what he showed her: I have someone in the guesthouse. Just get the key from her.
“How long are you planning on being here?” she asked.
“Does it matter?” he replied.
It did matter. But this was Maxi’s estate, and they were both his guests, so she had an obligation to treat him as well as he was accustomed to being treated. “Just a minute,” she said and muttered a curse after she closed the door. There goes all my privacy.
What a lovely, magical story set at Christmastime in the most wonderful town imaginable! Wishing Tree is a small town built around the theme of Christmas and with citizens who all know and support each other. Dena is running a B & B that she inherited while also dealing with morning sickness from her artificially inseminated pregnancy. Her sister Reggie has returned to town from Seattle for the renewal of wedding vows by her parents, a really big affair since her mom wants the dream wedding that she had never had. The entire book is like a dream, with love, romance, conflict and dogs that add humor to the story. The characters are realistic, just sarcastic enough that I could hear the author’s voice as she wrote their dialogues. Perfect casting! The plot moves along at a steady pace, with the story switching back and forth from Dena to Reggie and their love interests. I laughed aloud more than a few times and really enjoyed the antics of Belle, the Great Dane, being fearful of the little dachshund Burt. The addition of a precocious child was absolutely endearing! All in all, this is a sweet Christmas treat that everyone should enjoy, any time of the year, because it will make you feel good. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley, and I also purchased my own copy from Barnes and Noble. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions 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 Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
I sincerely appreciate my blog followers who are still following me even after long days (weeks, at times) of my absence. I am staying really busy in Maryland taking care of little ones and have very little spare time. So, I’m blessed that I do still have time for my devotionals and my Bible reading and an occasional post. Today’s post is from my devotionals today and Scriptures that are speaking to my heart.
I must admit that I haven’t been feeling very strong lately, either physically or spiritually. I’m still coughing a lot and using my inhaler, but I am feeling some better. I guess I got discouraged when the other family members got over this cold thing more quickly. But the Lord is my strength and will continue to hold me up through this test. The big problem for me is getting enough rest. At home, when I don’t feel well, I lie down and take a nap. That isn’t a possibility with a five month old to care for, so I would appreciate prayers for good rest at night.
Good thing that I know from whom my help comes. God, who made the whole earth, can certainly help me get through the next six or so weeks and be able to fulfill the commitment here in MD.
I hope you’re seeing the theme in my devotional today. I felt particularly weak and down-hearted today, so the Lord in His grace and mercy led me to Scriptures to encourage me in His strength.
Finally, although my time is not my own these days, I rejoice in the fact that God’s Spirit lives in me and in Him I have freedom. Freedom to worship and praise and pray, even as I hold a sleeping baby.
I hope this post finds you well and blessed and counting your blessings. I’m particularly blessed that my husband drove up from VA to be with me for his birthday tomorrow. I’m excited to see him again even for only a few days. Then he will return home and continue his responsibilities to family in VA. Which brings me to another prayer request, this one for our son. He is having hernia surgery on Tuesday and my husband is staying at their home to minister to him while he recovers. Please pray that the surgery and recovery period go well.
Thank you again for following, praying and befriending me. May God richly bless you from His great storehouse of blessings!
This book was an intense and high-octane read, with a plot that was twisted and totally absorbing. When a serial killer finds a way to have his victims die without being there, the action ramps up and the story took off to parts that were unexpected and highly entertaining. The FBI’s BAU team seems to be the ones targeted and even protection inside the academy is not keeping them safe. They know someone on the inside is helping out the killer, but they have to find out who it is before the next person dies. Sound fascinating? It really was! With believable characters who are struggling with their faith and their personal relationships this book had me mesmerized and waiting for the next victim to fall, trying to guess the identity of the next one to die as well as the perpetrator. The author did a stellar job of creating a dark and eerie atmosphere and so much suspense that it made my heart race from beginning to end. This is a romantic suspense, with a little romance and tons of suspense. Fans of this genre will be missing a real treat if they pass up this book! Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions 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 Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Nancy Mehl lives in Missouri, with her husband Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. She’s authored thirty books and is currently at work on a new FBI suspense series for Bethany House Publishing.
All of Nancy’s novels have an added touch – something for your spirit as well as your soul. “I welcome the opportunity to share my faith through my writing,” Nancy says. “It’s a part of me and of everything I think or do. God is number one in my life. I wouldn’t be writing at all if I didn’t believe that this is what He’s called me to do. I hope everyone who reads my books will walk away with the most important message I can give them: God is good, and He loves you more than you can imagine. He has a good plan especially for your life, and there is nothing you can’t overcome with His help.”
Well, I have been in MD doing childcare for almost two weeks now. Unfortunately, this week I got sick, for the first time in over a year and a half. It started with the pre-schooler bringing home a cold from daycare and my body responded accordingly. Then, my asthma kicked in. So with nebulizer treatments, inhaler, OTC cold remedies and throat lozenges, I have been battling this thing since the beginning of this week. I finally called my doctor in Virginia yesterday and got her to send me a Medral pack of steroids to help break up the inflammation and hopefully calm the cough some. That being said, I am okay, but I must admit that I have been distressed. I want my husband to make me homemade soup, to rest in my own bed and to just be able to call my own physician if I need her. Oh, well…that’s not possible, so I am doing what is even better. I am calling on the God of Jacob to answer me in my distress and to heal me of this disease. I have seven more weeks here in MD and my days are very busy taking care of the four month old. God knows my needs and will meet me right where I am. My husband is coming up for a weekend visit next weekend and to celebrate his birthday with me. I have been too tired and ill to plan anything, but today is the day that I will set aside my physical weaknesses and do what needs to be done to take care of a plan for him and rest for me. Did I mention that I love the weekend? I’m “off duty” then so it’s great. I enjoy being with grandchildren, but I’m tired and God is calling me to rest and recuperate. So that is what my plan is for today.
May your day be blessed with answered prayers and the love of family and friends!
The themes in this Christian romantic suspense are some of my favorites, including trusting God after turning away from Him and letting go of the past in order to forge a better future. Ainsley is an investigative ranger and returns to her hometown of Natchez in order to work on the murder of a pregnant teen. No sooner does she arrive than her elderly aunt is attacked in her own home and the woman’s family diaries are missing. When Ainsley realizes that her life is in danger, she is helped by her former love interest, Lincoln Steele, a man who wants to keep her safe but is not sure of his own abilities. This is a well-written book with plenty of suspense and some simmering romance in the background. The sub-plots are Ainsley’s aunt and her missing diaries and the murdered teen. The main plot is the danger that Ainsley is facing daily from various killers who want her dead and will stop at nothing to make it happen. I enjoyed the various viewpoints presented, especially getting to read what the killer was thinking and doing during several intervals in the book. I liked getting that glimpse into the mind of the villain and trying to guess what his next step would be. I really liked the big surprise twist at the end that I did not see coming at all! The characters are well-developed and realistic and the plot was fast-paced and filled with danger and action. There were also a lot of descriptive details about the setting that made the book memorable. Although this is the third book in the series, it can definitely be read as a standalone and thoroughly enjoyed by anyone who likes brilliantly written suspense and propulsive mysteries. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell Books via Netgalley as part of the Revell Reads Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions 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 Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
This engrossing book is available now wherever books are sold. Here are some purchase links for you:
This is a compelling book dealing with international intrigue and it has a fast-paced plot. The characters are believable and some are even lovable, in spite of this being a romantic suspense/spy thriller. The synopsis is that Brynn Taylor developed a computer program to combat terrorism and is responsible for inviting spies from foreign countries to come to the U.S. in order to form cooperation between the nations. Unfortunately, things don’t work out as planned because one of the spies, an Egyptian named Remon Riad, suddenly disappears. The SNAP agency, with Jack Hudson in charge of the team, is tasked with finding the missing spy and securing the U.S. from a terrorist plot. The action is non-stop and fast-paced and although it is slightly futuristic, it is not out of the realm of possibility. The themes of second chances and forgiveness make the romantic part of the book come to life and the whole spy scenario definitely added plenty of suspense. I enjoyed the pace, the characters and the whole idea that two people who don’t really trust each other had to work together to safeguard the nation. My favorite character was Kekoa, the giant Hawaiian who is a computer genius with a dry wit and a big heart. I am delighted that this is part of a new series because this book had me enthralled and waiting for the next shoe to drop and for the reactions of the heroes. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book on Netgalley from Revell Books as part of the Revell Reads Blogger Tour. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions 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 Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
This book is available now and can be purchased at the following retailers: