Review of CRITICAL THREAT by Lynette Eason

About the Book:

Author: Lynette Eason
Series: Extreme Measures, Book 3
Genre: Revell
Publisher: Revell
Publication Year: January 3 2023
ISBN: 0800737342

Working with the son of a serial killer? That’s a first.

FBI Special Agent Grace Billingsley tracks serial killers, using her skills as a psychiatrist and behavioral analyst to get dangerous people off the street and safely behind bars. But prison psychiatrist Sam Monroe knows that just because a killer is incarcerated doesn’t mean they’re not a threat. His own father, Peter, is a serial killer—in prison but certainly not out of Sam’s life, as much as he wishes he was.

When bodies start showing up with Peter’s MO, Sam and Grace are both called in to consult. They’ve met before, and though Grace thought they’d made a real connection, Sam ghosted her. They’ll have to get past the awkwardness and mistrust to solve this case—especially because it’s about to get personal.

My thoughts about CRITICAL THREAT:

The story of Grace Billingsley and Sam Monroe is one that is a fascinating character study as well as a fast-paced suspense thriller. The clever way the author builds the story, with layers and unexpected twists, is absolutely brilliant and addictive. I enjoyed getting to know the characters who were the FBI agents and was intrigued by the personality of the villains. Sam’s father, an inmate in prison and a serial killer, was a complicated character who added to the terror that unraveled in the plot. The plot was tight, with misdirection in just the right places and a satisfying mixture of romance building just as the suspense ramped up. I also enjoyed the signature humor of the author, like the dinner date that seemed to always get interrupted. This is a compelling book to read with edge-of-your-seat action and uniquely complicated relationships that are explained well and thoroughly. The suspense gets intense at times, but that must made the story more enjoyable for me. With well-developed ideas and clues throughout the novel, this book kept me guessing and absorbed. I did not like all of the characters but all of them were fleshed out and made me see them for who they were created to be. I enjoyed the resilience of Grace and her reliance on her faith and her colleagues. And I enjoyed seeing Sam develop into a man who deserved her trust. Unpredictable and heart-pounding suspense make this book the perfect addition to the series! It can be read as a standalone, but I highly recommend the entire series and getting to know all of the characters who are friends and who support each other in their quest for justice.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell via Netgalley and from the author as part of her launch team. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

A clean read but I would rate it PG-13 because of content concerning a serial killer.

Purchase Links:

https://amzn.to/3Ycpg8x (Amazon)

http://bit.ly/3VNgtrT (Powells)

http://bit.ly/3Fkjl8L (Google Play)

http://bit.ly/3FG1bjh (Baker Book House)

http://bit.ly/3HwbCXV (Barnes and Noble)

http://bit.ly/3iVKvLJ (Christian Book)

http://bit.ly/3Yh0rIq (Bookshop)

Lynette Eason is the best selling, award winning author of almost forty books including the Women of Justice series, the Deadly Reunions series, the Hidden Identity Series and the Elite Guardians series. She writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists. She has won several awards including the 2013, 2016 and 2017 Carol Award in the Romantic Suspense category. She’s also the recipient of the Christian Retailing’s Best 2017 Award. She placed in the top ten (out of thousands of entries) in the James Patterson 2016 co-writer contest. Her Stolen Past was recently made into a Lifetime Movie Network movie and will air February 2nd, 2018. Lynette teaches at writing conferences all over the country. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), Romance Writers of America (RWA), Mystery Writers of America (MWA), International Thriller Writers (ITW), and Faith, Hope, and Love chapter of RWA as well as the Kiss of Death (KOD) chapter. Lynette can be found online at http://www.lynetteeason.com and http://www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and @lynetteeason on Twitter
Many thanks to Lynette Eason for allowing me to be on her launch team and to the Revell Reads Blogger Program for providing an e-copy of the book for me to read and review. Once again, Lynette has outdone herself with plot, characters and suspense and Revell has published a sure bestseller!

No Condemnation

I don’t know about you all, but I personally have a tendency to kick myself repeatedly and hard about my shortcomings, especially the things I can no longer accomplish because of my physical problems. For example, since I will be staying in Maryland doing childcare again, I have been very anxious about what I cannot do for the toddler in my care. It’s hard for me to keep up with his activity level, so I have just been doing the best that I can and praying that God guards him from danger.

When I take time to ponder what’s in my heart (anger at the woman who let my son down again for the second year in a row) and to repent and ask forgiveness for my unrighteous feelings, I know that God doesn’t condemn me. He knows what is is my heart and how I long to go home to my normal routine. God doesn’t condemn me because of me and my actions or thoughts; He doesn’t condemn me because of the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It is truly finished, so that I can feel confident in my ongoing relationship with the Father.

Have a blessed day, knowing in your heart and mind that God does not condemn you but forgives and welcomes you as a beloved child. Not perfect, just forgiven!


Why I Like to Read

I think that I have always enjoyed reading, or at least I cannot remember a time when I did not like it. I was born with asthma so I was limited in the number of activities I was allowed to do, and reading was a safe one for me, so I immersed myself in books from a very young age.  I read all of the Bobbsey Twin books, then went on to read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.  I shared my mother’s love of Victoria Holt and Phyllis Whitney.  For a while, when I was a young wife, I read a lot of romance, including Danielle Steel and others.  I now read a lot of Christian fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and some non-fiction occasionally.  I read a lot of books from the library and post reviews on Goodreads.  I also read for Netgalley and love to be chosen to read some of the latest books before they are available to the general public.  So, I will share some reviews here as well as some of the happenings of my daily life that keep me reading as an escape.  I relax with a good book and forget that I had a stroke and could die any day, or maybe not.  I count my blessings daily that I have lived this long and that I have lived to see the birth of eight grandchildren and have enjoyed so many books. I am just taking one day at a time and one book at a time and loving the life that God has given me.


With Us

When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He reminded the disciples that He would always be with them. He continues to remind us of that today, but we have to take the time to be with Him.

Jesus only spoke of two commandments and both were about love. Love God and love your neighbor. He is with us as we fulfill those commandments and as we spend time with Him seeking the ways we should be showing love to God and to others.

I think that my alone time with God, reading His Word, praying and singing, is the most important part of my day. It sets the tone for the day and allows me to speak freely to God as I go through whatever challenges the day may present. Jesus, God’s own Son, spent time praying to His Father. Following His example, we should feel compelled to spend time with the Lord, not just telling Him our problems, but listening for His solutions and encouragement. Ok;.;.;.;

In the Garden-Alan Jackson

Review: IN THE SHADOW OF THE RIVER by Ann H. Gabhart

About the Book:

Series: Stand Alone Novels
Publisher: Revell
Publication Year: May 2023
ISBN: 0800741722


In 1881, Jacci Reed is only five years old when a man attempts to kidnap her from the steamboat her mother, Irena, works on. Badly wounded during the confrontation, Irena takes Jacci aboard the Kingston Floating Palace, a showboat tied up beside them. There, Jacci’s actor grandfather tends to her mother, and Jacci gets a first taste of the life she will come to lead.

Fifteen years later, Jacci is an actress aboard that same showboat and largely contented with her adopted family of actors, singers, and dancers. Especially Gabe, who has always supported her, and the gruff grandfather she has come to know and love. Jacci’s mother has been gone for years, but the memory of the altercation that ultimately took her life—and the cryptic things Jacci has overheard about her past—is always there, lurking in the back of her mind.

When someone on the showboat tries to kill Jacci, it’s clear her questions demand answers. But secrets have a way of staying in the shadows . . . and the answers she craves will not come easily. (From the author’s website at http://www.annhgabhart.com)

My Thoughts:

Historical in that the story is set on a showboat in the late 1800’s, but mostly mystery, this book captivated me with its fast-paced action and authentic details. I was captured from the first moment that little Jacci was introduced, only five years old and already facing being an orphan. She knows that there is a mystery surrounding her life even as she enthusiastically embraces her life as a performer on the showboat, but that is not at the forefront of her mind all the time. The romance between Gabe and Jacci is predictable and sweet, but it is not the center of the story either. The central focus of the story is secretive background that others are hiding from Jacci, her roots and her heritage that eventually she is determined to uncover. Ann H. Gabhart methodically tells the story in an addictive way, teasingly revealing details slowly and giving the plot multiple layers and great depth. The characters are realistic and relatable, with real tears falling from my eyes over little Jacci’s losses and her dilemma. As the story progresses, the characters change and grow, so they are dynamic and so believable. The plot is clever, with history and faith woven into the main story that is as complex as it is riveting. I learned a great deal about life on a showboat from this book and enjoyed my journey down the river with Jacci and Gabe. This is a satisfying, brilliantly written historical fiction with a compelling mystery in the center of it.
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. All opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”

Rated PG due to content

About the Author:

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she’s published many books for both adults and young adults. Her books cover several genres from historical to small town family stories to cozy mysteries (mysteries published with author name A.H. Gabhart). Her ideas are sparked by events in Kentucky history and by experiences in her own family. Her first Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award, and These Healing Hills was the Faith, Hope & Love Readers’ Choice Women’s Fiction Book of the Year.
Ann lives on a Kentucky farm not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann enjoys hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. See more about her books at http://www.annhgabhart.com or join the conversation on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/anngabhart. (Info from the author’s page on Amazon)

Purchase Links:

Baker Book House


Books A Million

Christian Book

Barnes and Noble


With great appreciation to Revell for the Revell Reads Blogger Program that introduced me to this author to begin with and keeps me in good Christian fiction to read and review.

Look Around You

If you look up, you can see the sky and the clouds, the sun, moon and stars. God made all of them. If you look down, you can see the grass, flowers, trees all of the living creatures. God made all of them. How can anyone deny the existence of God when everything around us shows us His loving care? Even the rain that can be a nuisance when you have planned a beach trip is from God’s loving providence. The rain that annoys you makes the food in the fields grow. I am ever grateful for God’s creation and the way He has set an order to everything. I have only to look around me to see the proof of God’s loving kindness and tender care.

Some Thoughts about Light

“Be the light!” the preacher proclaims from the pulpit. “Shine in the darkness,” says the Sunday school teacher. All good advice, but the practicality sometimes escapes us as we hurry away from the darkness and try to stay near the light ourselves. We are missing the point that we are the light and in our haste to move away from darkness, we are missing opportunities to shine His light on a dark world.

We try to stay insulated in our protected group of Christians who all believe as we do when what we are supposed to do is go into the world and shine the light that we have on the people who don’t yet know that they need Jesus. When we are doing what we should be doing, we are going to naturally attract others and need to have an answer for the hope that is in us. Be ready at all times to tell others how Jesus has made a difference in your life! Like a moth is attracted to a flame or any kind of light, so people in darkness need to know that there is a light that they can turn to. At the most unexpected times and from some of the most unexpected sources, you may have people seeking answers from you because they have seen your light and want to know more about what makes you different. Be ready to be that light!

Many times we fear approaching darkness because we are intimidated by just how dark it is and the fact that we cannot see “two inches in front of our face.” That’s okay, Step into the darkness and it won’t be dark anymore because your presence brings the light with you.

The light that is in us comes from the Lord Jesus. When darkness is all around, we can continue to shine and attract others to the beauty of salvation and the peace and hope that it offers.


Are you a fan of lots of blankets? Snuggling down into the warm comfort and resting securely? One of my children used to have a “security blanket” that he carried everywhere. Ragged and threadbare from so much laundering, it was barely a blanket, yet still he carried it, holding it up to his nose and wrapping it around his little neck. I don’t recall when he finally gave up “Blankie” but I do remember being sad at the passing of an innocent age when he thought that the blanket he carried and wore would surround him with security.

We can all have that security today if we just accept that God promises it. It’s not a totem we carry around or wear. It’s not a Bible verse that we memorize and cite each time we need God’s presence (although that is certainly helpful). It is just an awareness of how much God loves you and the feeling that He has His arms wrapped around you.

I had a scary incident happen last week. I was sitting in my recliner getting ready to read when the vision in my right eye went all wonky. It was blurry and wavy, and at the same time I got a tremendous sense of vertigo. I called for my husband, but he couldn’t hear me, so I carefully made my way to the bedroom, told him what was happening, and we prayed. I then proceeded to go to bed. I lay there in the dark for quite a while, with the room spinning around me and my vision in that one eye blurry. I fell asleep for a few hours and when I awakened and got up to go to the bathroom, I was still dizzy and my vision was still weirdly unfocused. So, back to bed I went and prayed and praised God as I drifted back to sleep. The next morning, I seemed fine. On Monday, I called my retina eye specialist, whom I had just seen the day before the incident. The triage team called me back, asked me a lot of questions and told me that if it happens again, I should call the on-call doctor and go to the ER. I also let my cardiologist know, in case there was some kind of reaction to my medication. And, finally, I alerted my neurologist in case the whole thing was a brain glitch. The neurologist called me a few days later and said he is concerned about my blood vessels in my brain so he wants me to have an MRA. I had already had an MRI, CT Scan, EEG and EMG, but apparently an MRA looks at only the blood vessels to see if there is something going on that shouldn’t be. The test is all scheduled now and I think the doctor must have put in an urgent request because it’s on June 12th, only a few weeks away. (I waited months for some of the other tests to be done.) Anyway, I wrote all of that so that you know that I know that I am covered. Is it scary each morning when I awaken and I don’t know whether my eyes will be focused and my head will be spinning? I would be lying if I said it isn’t a little tense for me. But I awaken each day as always, praising God that I slept and woke up again and I go through my day with the praise on my lips that God is taking care of me, regardless of what happens. Am I thrilled to undergo another test and have an unknown possibly happening in my brain? No, of course not! But I know that I cannot learn trust by having everything be nice and smooth in my life, so a few bumps are to be expected as I press in closer to God.

God is sheltering me and He has already provided my protection in His Word. I have to stand on it and believe that He is working it all out for His glory. So, I am covered, not with a security blanket that I can hold in my hands but with one that I hold close to my heart.

Memorial Day

Ah! The official beginning of summer, beach traffic and tanning season! But, Memorial Day is much more. Just a reminder that many gave their all so that we can have the freedom that we cherish today. Let us pause from our celebrations, picnics, cookouts and family time to remember their sacrifice and to be thankful that they were willing to die for their nation.

“It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives — the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember.” Ronald Reagan 🇺🇸

Kind Words

I really dislike when I am in a public place and someone starts berating another person, giving them a hard time loudly enough that those around them cannot help but overhear. I would like to think that the person berating the other one apologizes later and the rift that occurred gets healed. I’m not sure that is always the case though, and that saddens me. A heart was hurt that could have been encouraged. In teaching high school students for many years, it was a common sight to see the kids “dis” each other. When I would say something about it, the reply was inevitably that they were just jokin’ or kiddin’ around. I generally tried to remind them that the heart is not something that is easily mended but it is easily broken. Some were open and either did not criticize their peers in front of me or they dropped the habit. I would like to hope for the latter.

In this day and age when everyone has an opinion that they want to share with you, it is refreshing to hear kind words. Even when they are not addressed to me, I love to hear them. It stirs something deep within me to hear a wife say that she loves the tie her husband chose or that his new pants fit him well. I enjoy hearing parents tell their children what a good job they did listening and paying attention. I am often sitting quietly in church as I wait for the service to start and it’s heartwarming to see most of the interactions. Kindness is abundant and cheerfulness is apparent. I wish that this attitude would go out the church doors with everyone and into the grocery stores, the restaurants and other public places. Kind words are not just needed in church; they are needed everywhere, at all times. Our words matter and kindness counts, when we least expect it and in ways that we can only imagine. In a busy and hurrying world, take time to be kind and watch faces smile and hearts cheer up!

Receive the Blessings

God showers us with blessings and sometimes in our ignorance of what He is doing, we put up an umbrella or run for shelter. Instead, we need to be in touch with what God’s plan is and accept the kindness, wisdom and understanding that He is giving us. Stand under the shower, don’t run away from it!

Prayer and Peace

Just when I was beginning to think that I was on the mountaintop, looking down into the valleys of all my trials and worries, a new medical test comes along, and boom! There I am, calling out to God for help to get through this one. I awakened a lot during the night, knowing that my EMG is early this morning. Each time, God would bring a praise song to my mind and I would drift back to sleep. It doesn’t help my state of mind that I have had this test before, know that it’s uncomfortable and takes about an hour of pins and electric shocks, simultaneously. Nevertheless, I am trusting God to get me through it without tears of anguish and frustration. The last time I had the test was over eight years ago, after my stroke, so I don’t recall a lot, just the pain and the feeling that it was taking a long time. I think a “long time” is relative when you are in pain that is being dealt out by a machine in the hands of a technician who gently says that it will be slightly uncomfortable. But, just as God has been with me through all the other tests, He will walk with me through this one, too. It reminds me of the wilderness experience of the Israelites. God took them through the wilderness, not around it. So, through this trial I go and I am confident that I will come out the other side, more compassionate for others going through tedious and painful medical procedures.

Fixing my thoughts on God helped me sleep during the night, so I know that fixing my thoughts on Him will help me get through the pain of electricity coursing through my body. Honestly, childbirth does hurt more, so there is that. And I know that my Lamaze breathing helped the last time I had the test done, so I will take deep breaths and with each inhale, I will say a prayer of thanksgiving that I am able to have the test done and a prayer that the test will show what the doctors need to know.

I think that peace comes as a result of prayers, so I am wearing my full armor today, including the shoes on my feet that come from the peace of God’s Good News. As He continues to remind me, nothing will happen to me today that He and I cannot handle together!