Friday, September 24, 2010

Defensive Tactics by Steve Westover

Defensive Tactics by Steve Westover

In this riveting debut novel, we find both Paul Stephens and Emily Mathews, rookie FBI Agents, working together on an assignment that will bring a corrupt judge down.

When Jimmy Younger, a friend of Paul's high school days comes into his life, he knows he needs to help him, as Jimmy has been in the depth of despair for years, after a tragic accident takes the lives of his sisters. Then, when his father comes close to taking his own life as well, it causes Jimmy to lose all hope he'll ever have a forever family. Both Paul and Emily help Jimmy regain his faith while Jimmy unknowingly helps Emily thwart some mobsters from harming her. Emily is set up as a pawn to bring down the corrupt Judge Craven, but when she is required to compromise her moral standards, she has doubts about whether she should do what is required because it is her job.

When Paul is sent to the Oklahoma City Office to work on an assignment, he finds that by flushing out the corruptness, he could be jeopardising his career.

When Jimmy's new bishop has a long talk with him, he is asked to read his scriptures, pray and ponder, he comes to realize he needs to find a job and he has an interview with the bishop's friend, who hires him. When he spends the entire night helping the team apprehend the mobsters and free Emily, he panics, as he's supposed to be on the job at 6am and it's now 8:30am. He rushes to make amends as to why he's late, not realizing that Paul had saved his butt.
Emily is abducted and it is up to Paul, Jimmy and the rest of the team to free her, find the men responsible for several murders and flush out the mole on the team. The mobsters find that Emily is not the naive patsy of an agent when she is able to cleverly outwit these low-life's and save her friends and team. She also has feelings for both Paul and Jimmy and she has to search deepwithin her soul to decide which is the one she truly loves, as from what one friend says, "You can't kiss a friend."

At the end, when Emily sets up Judge Craven and gets even, really made the story in my eyes. From the beginning, when they first met, Judge Craven was all sure of himself, thinking Emily was this little naive FBI agent who would do anything he asked. What an ending!!! And, Emily shows just how ingenious she can be for a young rookie agent with morals.

I see a sequel in the making, as one of the characters is still out there, needing to be found.

I received my review copy from Steve Westover.

Published by: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Published Date: August 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59955-445-7

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Road Show by Braden Bell

The Road Show by Braden Bell

This superlative debut novel from Braden really puts Road Shows to a new level. We all in The Church have seen many Road Shows and know how absolutely corny they can be with the tawdry costumes and pitiful funny songs, but this puts Road Shows where they should be.

Scott Jenson, a theater teacher, who is close to losing his position due to ineffective work, is called as the new Road Show Director. He feels not worthy of directing the Ward Road Show, feeling the participants will find out his secret. He is surprised at how well the creative juices inspire him to come up with the perfect script. With the assistance of Ed, the ward outcast, they collaborate on some original music and serious scriptural passages into the script.

Stephanie, a young wife and mother of two, has been feeling such a failure as of late and needs this part in the Road Show to begin feeling alive again. Sister McDougal, an older lady, who is sick and has ward members talking about her behind her back and shunning her because of the way she dresses and the way her home looks, is enthralled by being in the Road Show.

Curtis, the Elder's Quorum President, is feeling too good for his ward. He feels that everyone else should be doing what needs to be done, that he'd much rather stay at home, rather than take his Priesthood Responsibilities seriously. He feels that the reason so many of the ward cause their own problems, he has to humble himself and really see them and their situations from a different perspective, before he can do his part convincingly.

When a cast member cannot go on at the last minute, Scott has to fill in and it's not until he steps on stage that he truly understands the Atonement and what it can do for him that he comes to really love his Road Show cast members and know that he can be healed. The cast come together at the end to bond.

Sister Cartwright, former Road Show Director, leads the cast in a very comical exercise in learning stage directions. One male member recites his part in Shakespearean English, another male member thinks he's a great actor just because he's done a few local bits. This little gem of a novel deserves a sequel. The Road Show is a very uplifting, very spiritual feast. I was totally moved, crying, as it touched my soul.

Forever Friends Rating 5 HUGE Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Date Published: June 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59955-356-6

I received my review copy from Braden.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Light On Fire Island by Marlene Bateman

Light On Fire Island by Marlene Bateman

When I first saw this book advertised, I knew I would love it, because I love lighthouses. And, since this was a suspense novel, all the better, as they always seem to have a certain mystery about them.

Celena Jackson had fled from her home on Fire Island five years earlier to get away from her unyielding father, who was totally against her joining The Mormon Church along with her mother. With her mother's death and her father's bitterness, she flees to her grandparents home until her younger brother begs her to come home to take her injured father's place as the Lighthouse Keeper. As soon as she arrives, unexplained accidents start occuring, even sightings of a "ghostly" figure appearing on the beach.

When Celena meets Andrew, the son of Gerald, she has feelings for him, but Andrew seems aloof and secretive at times. Several townsfolk seem to not want herc running the lighthouse, especially once she finds her father's accident was not an accident. When she finds there is rumrunning occuring, she doesn't know who to suspect, but when her life is threatened more than once, she knows she needs to find out who is behind the "accidents" before her life is ended. She also finds out a friend's wife's death years earlier, was not an accident. It seems as if Celena can trust no one but herself, her brother and her father, but things aren't always as they seem.

This is a mystery that leaves you wondering who the villain is up until the end, whichis the way I like my suspense novels to end. I highly recommend this novel to everyone who enjoys a great suspense.

I received my review copy from Marlene Bateman.

Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Date Published: February 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59811-552-9

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen

This second novel by Ronda is a stunning portrait in suspense, deceit, sacrifice and courage. Emi Warrin is awakened in the night to find a thief in her mother's house. She is not aware that a trap has been set for her, that a mysterious forged letter, a golden vial and an ancient curse will change her life forever. When she decides to go looking for clues about her deceased father, she finds all sorts of deceit. things not as they seem, and she finds a mafia-type family living in the ancestral manor in the Austrian Alps.

To find out who is behind the break-in at her mother's house, she must act as a spy to save her self, her family and her best friend Daniel. When she finds out that she is the First born She in a long line of ancesters who had sons first, she must thwart those close to her who wait to deceive her. Emi is the only one who can free the centuries old curse from her family and save Daniel and the rest of her family.

The Austrian Alps makes a fascinating setting for this breathtakingly suspenseful thrill ride of a novel to a shocking climax. There are big surprises galore.

I received my review copy from Ronda and Walnut Springs.

Forever Friends Rating 5 Stars by Teri
Until Next Time, See You Around The Book Nook.

Publisher: Walnut Springs Press
Date Published: July 2010
ISBN: 978-1-935217-64-0