Mark Stone thinks his biggest problem is finding a way to reconcile with his estranged wife. That is until he hears screams during a phone conversation with his friend. Not the ear piercing high mewls...
Blood Brothers is Rick Ackerís sequel to Deadmanís Rule where attorney Ben Corbin finds himself in the middle of a high stakes battle between brothers Karl and Gunnar Bjornsen. Once partners in Bjornsen...
By Reason Of Insanity
By Reason of Insanity opens with a series of kidnappings and murders in Virginia Beach where Catherine OíRourke, reporter for The Tidewater Times, captivates her audience with breaking information...
Scream is a relentless thriller, replete with wonderfully flawed characters, a creative plot, and strong spiritual message. | Posted March-03-2009
Mark Stone thinks his biggest problem is finding a way to reconcile with his estranged wife. That is until he hears screams during a phone conversation with his friend. Not the ear piercing high mewls of an excited child, or the lower more subdued screams from an adult, but otherworldly, terrifying screams. And this is not an isolated incident as the screams reappear in other conversations. It doesnít take Stone long to figure out that each time a scream rips into him, the person heís talking with dies during or shortly after the conversation.
Imagine, receiving advance warning that another person will die unless you intervene. A horrible situation to find yourself in. Right? Not horrible enough for author Mike Dellosso who continually ups the ante for Stone as the book unfolds. When he hears the screams during a phone conversation with his estranged wife, Mark must act fast. But can he save her from the screams? Or will she, too die? And why is he the one hearing the screams? What do they mean?
Thatís all Iím telling you about the plot. I donít want to spoil the incredible ride you will take when you read Scream. Warning! Read Scream with the lights on. Better yet, during daylight hours. Dellossoís depiction of hell is so real it rises up from the Screams, reaches out, and grabs hold, convincing you of the very brutal price exacted for a life lived without Jesus.
Mike Dellosso, an astonishing new voice in supernatural thrillers, cements his right to be grouped with the likes of King and Peretti with this relentless new thriller. Dellossoís sophomore effort is packed with wonderfully flawed characters, a very creative plot, and a strong spiritual message. Scream is one of those books that stays with you long after youíve put it down. Not only for the excellent writing that weíve come to expect from Dellosso, but also for the incredible message he weaves into the story.
Even if you donít read supernatural suspense, you need to read Scream. You wonít be sorry you did.
ASuspense Zone book of the month | Posted January-08-2009
Before I start with my review I want to encourage you to look at Field of Blood with an open mind and not toss it aside because it's a vampire novel. Sure, it's about vampires, but it is so not a typical clichťd vampire novel. Though supernatural in nature the book is also filled with a valuable message that we all need to hear and embrace. Everyone is vulnerable without the power of Christ. We have free will and can choose God or walk away from Him and live in our own sin.
The story holds two major storylines, seeming unrelated at first but brought together as the story unfolds. The first plot line opens with Judas Iscariot ending his life and his blood seeping into burial graves. Fast forward to 1989 where the site is excavated and the souls, The Collectors, are freed to wander among the living. But these Collectors are not the only immortals wandering the earth. They are accompanied by thirty eight individuals, the Nistarim, who were marked by God to protect the human race. The Nistarim hunt the Collectors and vice versa.
The second storyline revolves around a Romania girl, Gina Lazarescu who at first is unaware she is being hunted by the undead. She is whisked to America by her mother to keep her safe as she grows up. As Gina becomes suspicious of her mysterious past, she shoots to center stage in the war between good and evil, transforming the book into a nonstop page turner.
I have chosen Field of Blood as The Suspense Zone's book of the month for December for the originality of plot, the extensive research, the spiritual message, Wilsonís fine prose, and Wilsonís willingness to take on a topic that Christians will surely talk about for years to come.
I am unabashedly an Eric Wilson fan and have loved all of his previous works. When he announced the upcoming Undead Trilogy, I blinked a few times, and sighed. Why Eric, why? Why mess with what I have enjoyed reading for years? I am not a huge supernatural/speculative fiction reader, and definitely not a gothic vampire novel lover, so when the book arrived, I began to read simply because Wilson had earned my respect as a writer and captured my joy of reading as a reader.
With an open mind ?, I delved into the book and was pleasantly surprised that the story was not at all what I expected. It was so much more and it held Wilsonís signature writing with flawed characters and a strong message without preaching. Sure, the book is dark, but it is written with enough realism to make the reader think it could really happen, and Wilsonís humor helps to lighten the mood.
So put aside your preconceived notions, put aside your distaste for supernatural books, and embrace Field of Blood. You will be glad you did and will eagerly await book two, Haunt of Jackals.
Murder, Mayhem, and A Fine Man mixes all the right ingredients, spinning a tale that you won't want to miss | Posted January-08-2009
When Amanda Bell Brown-thirty-five years old, single, biological clock ticking-meets homicide detective Jazz Brown at a murder scene, the second crime of the night happens. Technically, there's nothing criminal about Bell and Jazz finding each other mutually irresistible, even at a murder scene, even after Bell hurls all over Jazz's expensive shoes. But Jazz, a.k.a. Mr. UNAVAILABLE, breaks all laws when he refuses to maintain a professional only relationship with Bell.
But it's not only Bell's exterior that Jazz takes a fancy to. Wanting her skills and training as a psychologist, Jazz hires Bell to help him solve the murder case. This, of course, sets the scene for the couple to spend plenty of time together and leads us into the frightening world of cults. I'll stop here with the plot as I don't want to be a spoiler, but rest assured the remaining plot points make the book well worth the read.
Though many suspense books are driven by their plot, and this one is not weak in that area by any means, it is the characters, vividly and clearly drawn through their dialogue and interactions that keep you reading long into the night. Witty, sassy, straightforward diva, Amanda Bell Brown comes to life in the book. It's been a while since I've read a book where the main character's voice really cemented the character in my mind without any physical description. And, here's the bonus. Not only does Bell live large in this book, she is joined with her fellow cast mates, each leaping onto the page with their dialogue and relationships.
Murder, Mayhem, and A Fine Man, is the first in the Amanda Bell Brown Mystery series with to Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz be released in April. Be quick now, pick up Murder, Mayhem, and A Fine Man, so you can savor each fabulous page before Death, Deceit, and Some Smooth Jazz is released.
Not only a book of the month selection, but one of my favorites for 2008 | Posted January-08-2009
Taylor Pasburyís mother deserted her at the age of nine. Her father, a Special Forces veteran, took over and raised her to be a strong woman. As Forsaken opens, we see Taylor in a life or death situation with her father. A situation that further wounds the woman whose mother abandoned her. And a situation that sets into motion Taylorís future employment.
Taylor immerses herself in her job as a Secret Service agent and searches for love in all the wrong places. But after a questionable incident, she retires from the Secret Service and opens a security firm. Taylor is called into service by televangelist Simon Mason when he is threatened by Muslim extremists. Despite Taylorís protection, the terroristís strike, kidnapping Kacey, Simonís daughter, and they make a demand of Simon that is impossible to agree to, yet impossible to deny.
Does Simon agree to the kidnapperís demands? Does he get Kacey back? Does he regret his decision? Can he live with it? All questions the author answers in this fast paced enthralling novel.
Forsaken is a book I picked up and did not put down until the last page. The action in the story keeps the pages flipping, yet the character development makes you wish it never ended. James David Jordan expertly created and developed flawed characters, searching for love, while trying to out run their pasts. And then he burdens them with a challenge so big, there is no good way out of it. A challenge you will ask yourself over and over as you read, what would I do in that situation and come out just as maimed and hurt as Simon does over making the decision. When the decision is made, you can empathize with Simon and understand his struggle to deal with it. And then you find, that as big as the decision was, watching Simon live with the consequences is even bigger.
Though the plot is superb, the characters make this story what it is. Taylor is likeable, flawed yet strong. Simon Mason, not the kind of televangelist you have ever seen, reluctantly accepts the fame that goes with his position, but would rather be an unknown, has equal emotional issues and faults. Thankfully, the story doesnít end with Forsaken, but the reader gets to journey further with Taylor in the sequel due out in Fall of 2009.
James David Jordanís Forsaken has skyrocketed to the top of my must read list.
The plot drives this novel from start to finish with surprises all along the way. | Posted January-08-2009
If you love traditional romances spiced with an action plot that twists and turns, youíll love Reluctant Burglar by Jill Elizabeth Nelson. The opening chapters are filled with tumultuous changes in the life of Desiree Jacobs. As partner with her father in HJ Securities, a firm that specializes in providing top notch security for art galleries, museums, private clients, etc., Desi is tasked with finding the weak link in their security systems so that HJ Securities can offer better protection.
Desi takes the unorthodox route of stealing a prized piece of art then returning it to the owner to demonstrate the weak link. Couple this adventurous job with a father whoís accused of art theft, murdered in his bed, and an attempt to do the same to Desi, interest and you have a suspense tale that keeps you reading. Tack on a desirable FBI agent Tony Lucano, who no matter how much he denies it, is drawn to Desir and you have romance that equals the suspense.
The plot drives this novel from start to finish with surprises all along the way. Just when you think nothing else will surprise you, Nelson tosses in another one to keep you reading. If youíre not a plot kind of person but are in this book for the romance only, the developing relationship between Desi and agent Tony Lucano is strong enough to fulfill that need as well. As a bonus, youíll also receive an interesting insight into the art world.
This story is filled with exciting plot turns and the romance builds as you read. | Posted January-08-2009
Desiree Jacobs, the owner of HJ Securities is back and up to her old tricks in Reluctant Runaway, the second book of the traditional romantic suspense series by Jill Elizabeth Nelson.
Continuing in the unique job where she masquerades as a cat burglar to test the effectiveness of her clientís security systems, Desi grabs the readerís attention as she opens the book in criminal mode. She demonstrates her prowess as a thief and gives the reader a few uncomfortable moments worrying about her safety during this escapade.
This time around, we follow Desi on the hunt for missing Anasazi Indian artifacts. This case comes to Desiís attention when her best friendís niece, Karen Webb, disappears and is accused of the theft. Desi commits to give her all to find Karen, no matter the risk. Her search is peppered with danger and exciting scenes, and ends with a thrilling closing.
FBI agent Tony Lucano, Desiís love interest, cautions Desi to let the authorities investigate this crime, but Desi being the spunky character she is, ignores Tonyís warning and throws herself into the investigation. Along the way she discovers Karenís involvement in a strange religious group. Desi believes the group to be a cult that will ultimately lead to solving Karenís disappearance.
Tony and Desiís already rocky relationship is filled with turmoil when they are thrown together in Albuquerque. The danger of Desiís profession strains the relationship as does Tonyís inability to open up to Desi. Desi rushes full steam ahead to solve the case and Tony follows hoping to keep her safe. All along the way their faith is equally tested.
The story is filled with exciting plot turns and the romance builds as you read. Desi is a strong character that captures readerís adventurous side. Once again, Nelson provides a complex and interesting plot filled with lots of tension. Be sure to pick up Reluctant Burglar and read that one first, so you can thoroughly enjoy each book in the order Nelson intended.
Once again, Nelson brings us an excellent fast-paced plot | Posted January-08-2009
In Reluctant Smuggler, the third in Jill Elizabeth Nelsonís Romantic Suspense, To Catch A Thief Series, we once again find Desiree Jacobs of HJ Securities where she loves to be, up to her eyeballs in stealing a precious and valuable piece of art. This time we find her in Mexico City where she succeeds in stealing her target, the crown of Pakal, only to discover the piece she risked her life for is a forgery.
Though she is frustrated with this find and is almost one upped by her competitors, Greybeck and Sonsí, Desi is tempted to chuck it all and return home to begin planning her wedding to FBI agent, Tony Lucano instead of uncovering the whereabouts of the missing crown of Pakal and protecting her reputation. But as weíve learned in the past about Desi, sheís the kind of woman who will dig in and fight and she does just that.
Hired by Mexican Presidente Montoya to investigate the whereabouts of not only the missing crown, but other stolen art treasures as well, Desi is thrust into a the Mexican underworld, where she becomes a target of merciless killers. Enter, fiancť and FBI agent Tony Lucano who defies FBI policy and rushes to Mexico to rescue Desi. Oh, and did I mention, that Tony faces a challenge of his own in this book, a challenge that forces him to confront who he really is.
Once again, Nelson brings us an excellent fast-paced plot, with unexpected turns and thrills as we follow Desi in her stay in Mexico and into the black market and her time at home with Tony. The action keeps the story moving along and the information Nelson gives us about art antiquities is authentic and interesting. You can tell from the story that Nelson does her research, not only into the art field itself, but also into the process of securing these valuable treasures. All in all, she provides a very believable story and expertly weaves a spiritual thread of trusting Godís plans no matter what is thrown into the mix.
Best of all, in Reluctant Smuggler, those of us who have read all three books in the series finally find out if Desi and Tony, the jet-setting pair, find a way to follow their very busy career interests and yet spend time together. Though the task is big and almost overwhelming, does Nelson give the reader a satisfying conclusion to not only this book, but the series as well? I wonít be the spoiler who tells you if Desi survives her toughest challenge yet and lives happily ever after with Tony. Youíll have to make the discovery yourself.
Hermanís plots are strong and move stories forward, but her characters are her real strength. | Posted January-08-2009
Is Ivy Griffith guilty of murder? Or is the fact that she witnessed then conspired to cover up murder a lesser crime?
In her latest release, Ever Present Danger, Kathy Herman brings us a confused high school senior Ivy Griffith, who doesnít know the difference. She spends ten years trying to numb her guilt with drugs, until she finally comes clean and returns to her hometown of Jacob's Ear, Colorado to make things right.
Knowing her confession will likely lead to a jail sentence, Ivy must allow time for her seven-year-old son, Montana to bond with her parents before she spills the details. But at her ten-year high school reunion, a surprising twist of events puts her plan on hold. Discovering whether Ivy finds the courage to confess her part in the murder and face her punishment will keep you reading until the end.
And I did just that read each and every page. I have to admit that I figured out who did it early on in the story. What you say, did what? Youíll have to read the book to discover that little secret. You donít want me to spoil the surprise. But even though I was pretty certain how the book would end it didnít discourage me from reading and enjoying the complete novel.
In the first of her Phantom Hollow series, Herman successfully weaves suspense with a strong family drama. The book begins with great character angst and pain, and some readers might question if it really is a suspense novel. But keep reading as the story takes a sharp turn toward suspense when a surprising sub-plot surfaces and speeds up the page turning. A strong faith message is woven throughout the book reminding all of us that compromise even on the smallest things can lead to downfall.
Hermanís plots are strong and move stories forward, but her characters are her real strength. Iíve never met a character Herman created that I couldnít identify with or develop strong emotions about, and Ever Present Danger is no exception.
Another Kathy Herman suspense novel that is sure to satisfy you from page one to the end | Posted January-08-2009
Never Look Back is the second book in Kathy Herman's Phantom Hollow Series where we once again reconnect with all the characters of Jacob's Ear, Colorado from book one. We rejoin Ivy Griffith as she is released from prison and ready to finally begin the drug-free life she has spent her prison term thinking about. She accepts a job working at her father's Christian camp, Three Peaks, moves into a cabin with her son Montana, and sets out to be the mother she had never been when using drugs.
Her father, impressed with Ivy's rehab and wanting to give others in the same situation a break, invites two recovering substance abusers in a sponsored work program to repair cabins at Three Peaks. Not only does Ivy bond with one of the men, Rue Kessler, but a romance soon takes off and leads to a very surprising outcome that you HAVE TO READ to believe.
While Ivy and Rue only want to get on with their lives, get to know each other and see if a relationship is in God's plans for them, local residents are terrorized by a serial maniac who brutally beats the elderly in their homes. Of course, Rue due to his past becomes a major suspect in the crimes, especially since he cannot prove his whereabouts on the nights of the crimes. Starting with the first beating, Herman sends us on a mystery that keeps us reading until the very end.
In my opinion, Kathy Herman always does a fantastic job of bringing forth a strong spiritual message though her characters struggles and growth, and Never Look Back is no exception. Throughout the book, Ivy Griffith struggles with letting go of her past actions-actions and sins she's repented of, received forgiveness for, and yet continues to drag with her like a worn old security blanket. Through those who care for Ivy and help her to work toward unloading this baggage, we see how we can let go of these very things in our own lives.
Though Never Look Back is a stand alone book and doesn't require you to read book one, Ever Present Danger, I recommend you read book one first. As much as I would have understood and cared for Ivy Griffith in Never Look Back if I hadn't read book one, by having read the first book I can really feel how her pain and angst from her past made her the person she is. And I could far more readily appreciate how difficult it is for Ivy to give up her spiritual baggage.
But, no matter what you chose, to read book one or not to read book one, you are sure to enjoy another find Kathy Herman suspense novel that will satisfy you from page one to the end.
A tender depiction of a handicapped thirteen year old boys struggle for independence | Posted January-08-2009
Cassie Dixon is back in book two of the Sensations Series by Clint Kelly. To help their family friends cope with the trials of raising a deaf son, Cody, the Dixons embark on a camping trip in the Cascade Mountains with the Fergusons. Cassie hopes this trip will bring the Fergusons closer together and provide her with an opportunity to rejuvenate after her failed venture in the perfume industry.
But Cody has other ideas.
Suffocating under his motherís over protective umbrella, Cody hatches a plan to disappear in the wilderness. To show his family that, though he is deaf, he is capable. That he needs space and a chance to become the young man he knows he can be. Unfortunately, Cody didnít plan for all of the dangers lurking in the Cascades and the race is on to stay alive, drawing his family and friends into danger.
Kelly pens a novel, with strong prose and interesting characters who tug at your emotions right from the start. Cody, written from the boyís point of view, captures your heart from the first page. In fact, I rarely like prologues, but this one penned in Codyís voice instantly drew me into the story. There were moments when I found Codyís thoughts to be beyond the depth of a typical thirteen year old boy, but even so he is a boy you would be proud to call your own child.
Though Scent is classified as a suspense novel, and it is at times, I found the book to be less about suspense and more about the interpersonal struggles of the Ferguson family. So if youíre looking for a fast paced, keep you riveted in your seat kind of book, until the second half you will be disappointed. But if you are looking for a tender depiction of a handicapped thirteen year old boys struggle for independence and a fair shot at the world that builds into an intriguing plot, this is your book.