Lethal Beauty by Lis Wiehl and April Henry (Contributor)

leathal beauty cover

Mia Quinn is the prosecuting attorney for what seems like an open and shut murder case, but when the jury comes back without an agreement, she is forced to find a reason to re-file the case. Dandan Yee was murdered but the man who stood trial claims she attacked him. Bo Yee, Dandan’s mother, is convinced a member of the jury was paid off and takes it upon herself to seek justice. Mia’s own investigation leads her to a group of Chinese immigrants who refuse to talk to her. There is more going on with this group than meets the eye. Kenny Zhoung, the owner of a Chinese restaurant wants to protect all aspects of his business at whatever the cost. How do all of these paths diverge? When Mia’s family becomes involved, things take a personal turn.

As you can probably tell, there was a lot going on in this book—many different perspectives and several characters. Once the main players are introduced, the reader is able to follow along well. Wiehl delves into the world of human trafficking in the U.S. (a timely read considering police in my hometown just arrested seven people for this exact thing and freed five others). Readers get a peek into the lives of the immigrants, the police investigation, and the justice system as well as the family life of Mia. This is the third book in the Mia Quinn series, but you will not be lost if you pick this one up first. Great mystery with almost no romance if that’s what you’re looking for.

Available March 3, 2015

Thomas Nelson provided me with a copy of this book (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Deadly Echoes by Nancy Mehl

deadly echoes cover

Sarah Miller has made a life for herself in the small town of Sanctuary, Missouri. When she was a child, her parents were murdered, and her sister’s investigation has led to her murder. As Sarah tries to welcome her niece into her home and solve her sister’s murder, she’s unsure who she should trust. The circumstances surrounding her sister’s death are similar to those surrounding her parents’ murders.

I didn’t love this book and I’m not sure why. I think it was a combination of several things. First of all, it was predictable. I knew who the murder was right away. The first person point of view only allowed character development for Sarah. I would have loved to read more about Paul and his thoughts. And Paul was another issue I had with the book. There wasn’t a whole lot of development of the romance between Sarah and the Sheriff’s deputy who wanted to help her solve the case. It’s like they flirted, acknowledged their interest, and Sarah was all of the sudden in love with the guy. All of that said, the book was an easy and fast read. It was a nice change of pace from the historical romance I finished before this one.

Available now.

***Bethany House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Spy of Richmond by Jocelyn Green

spy of richmond cover

In 1861, Richmond, Virginia became the Confederate capital. A city that differed from other Virginia cities could have easily been swayed to the Union side until the attack on Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Sophie Kent grew up with slaves but, like her mother, believed owning them was wrong. In an effort to help the Union, Sophie takes on the huge task of passing information on to the Union through secret messages. But she can’t do it alone. Bella Jamison comes to the city of Richmond from Gettysburg when she learns her husband is imprisoned there and her twin sister, Daphne, is living there as well. On her deathbed, Daphne begs Bella to take care of Sophie Kent, her mistress. Harrison Caldwell is a newspaper man determined to write the next great story. In his attempt to atone for a wrong done to Bella, he accompanies her to Richmond and hopes to learns news about Libby prison and the treatment of the prisoners there. Of course, when he learns Sophie Kent is also there, he has even more incentive. As the network of spies grows, so does the danger and chance of being caught and hanged. Can this group of people survive not only the war but disease, starvation, and more?

There was so much happening in this book it was difficult to keep track of who was who at times.. Spies of Richmond would have been a better title. I didn’t realize the book was a part of the Heroines Behind the Lines series until I pulled up the book on a retailer site. This is a well written book with names of people Civil War buffs may recognize (Elizabeth Van Lew, Robert Ford, and Erasmus Ross) along with the fictional characters. Jocelyn Green denotes many of the story arcs were inspired from other accounts. Green’s research for this book pays off and brings readers into Kent House, Libby Prison, Castle Thunder, the city of Richmond, and even the front lines of a couple of battles. For fans of Historical fictions, this book draws readers into a captivating story sharing both the heartache and pain of slaves and both sides of the war.

****Moody Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book (via Netgalley) in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers by Max & Denalyn Lucado

Family Christian provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

Since January, I’ve noticed a common theme running through several sites. Let me give you just two examples of that. Family Christian’s book of the year is Max Lucado’s Before Amen. Author Robin Lee Hatcher announced on her blog at the beginning of the year that her word for 2015 is Persistent Prayer. Prayers is often something that becomes rote, something we do at meals or before bedtime with our children. What if we became more committed to prayer? What if we taught our children to pray continuously? How much different would our world be with more prayer warriors?

treasury of prayers cover

In Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers, Max and Denalyn Lucado provide a book full of prayers for children. Parents, teach them young and they will build a lifelong habit.

treasury of prayers inside

This beautifully illustrated book begins with a letter to parents, a plea to teach children to pray. The Lucados encourage parents to read the book with their children, memorize their favorites, and recite them often. The prayers of others are as important as our own.

lucado pic

Don’t let the title fool you. This book is full of morning prayers, prayers of thanks, playtime prayers, and more. A collection of time-tested prayers that have been adapted, scripture verses, and new prayers written by the Lucadoes that flow like nursery rhymes (the flow and rhythm make them east to memorize).

lucado pic 2

If you’re looking for something special to share with your children or grandchildren, this would be a wonder family activity. The book would also make a beautiful gift for expecting parents (perhaps you’ve got a baby shower ahead and need a thoughtful gift). Sunday school teachers who have a student who might not have a spiritual mentor might consider passing this along as a way to teach a child to pray.

Would you like your own copy of Lucado Treasury of Bedtime Prayers? Enter to win a $10 Customer Appreciation Certificate from Family Christian to use toward your copy of this wonderful book.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hidden Agenda by Lisa Harris

When I was in high school and then again when I was in college I worked in Christian bookstores. I remember the Christian fiction section. It was small (maybe five or six bookshelves with five or six shelves on each side). Thankfully, more authors have chosen this genre over the years. I feel like there are so many authors I have yet to read and then I read a book by a new-to-me author and think Why am I just now learning about this person?. As was the case with Lisa Harris.

hidden agenda lisa harris

Michael Hunt aka Michael Lindley aka Liam Quinn has been deep undercover for eight months. In his quest for justice, he has given up a lot. His family and friends believe he’s dead and the police think he’s a dirty cop. Now his cover has been blown and he is certain he won’t be able to cheat death this time around. And then he is rescued by two people who should be his enemies. Olivia and Ivan Hamilton are the son and daughter of the man Michael is gathering evidence on. As the three of them escape and evade their pursuers, Michael deals with whether his family and friends will forgive him, Olivia tries to come to terms with the fact the people in her life are not who she believed them to be, and they both struggle with the attraction they are feeling for the other. After running from both the law and the drug cartel, is there a possibility a man and woman from two different worlds have a chance at their own happiness?

From the first page, this book was non-stop action. Just when you think the trio is safe, something else happens to bring the action back into full swing. Hidden Agenda is the third book in Harris’s Southern Crimes trilogy but the first one I’ve read. While I wasn’t at all lost reading this book, I do want to read the other two just to get a better understanding of Michael’s sisters (who make an appearance in book three).

***Lisa Harris and Revell provided me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.