Thursday, November 27, 2014

Enjoyable from start to finish: "Deceived" by Irene Hannon

Cover Art

about the book....

A grieving mother. A mysterious child. And a dedicated PI who's determined to solve the puzzle.

For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on a mall escalator, she's convinced it's her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating "accident" begins to look increasingly suspicious. But if Kate's son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden--and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret. 

As Irene Hannon's many fans have come to expect, Deceived is filled with complex characters, unexpected twists, and a riveting plotline that accelerates to an explosive finish.

my review....

Irene Hannon's final book in the "Private Justice" series, "Deceived", kept me on the edge of my seat from the opening chapter to the riveting conclusion! As a parent, I found it terribly easy to step into Kate's shoes and imagine how I would cope with the loss of my spouse and my son all in one day. Horrifying! I wanted to skip to the end of the novel to ensure myself that all would turn out well, yet I'm so glad that I didn't, but instead allowed myself to be drawn fully into the story.

The characters are expertly portrayed, and you will soon find yourself rooting for Kate and Connor, while fighting an odd hint of sympathy for the villain as well. I continue to be amazed at the skill with which Hannon writes both suspense novels and engaging contemporary novels as well. "Deceived" finds her at her best, with a mounting tension that made me want to lean into the pages and tell the characters to hurry up and act! And for those readers who enjoy a little romance in their books, they are going to love the almost forbidden relationship that sparks between Connor and Kate, adding for some humorous moments along with some tender ones too.

All in all, "Deceived" is an excellent conclusion to what has proven to be a thoroughly entertaining and satisfying series. Good, clean suspense, plenty of action-packed scenes, and lots of true love to go around - what more could you ask for? 

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

 about the author....

Irene Hannon
Irene Hannon is the bestselling author of more than forty novels, including Vanished and the Heroes of Quantico and Guardians of Justice series. Her books have garnered many honors, including two coveted RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America, a Carol Award, and a Daphne du Maurier Award. Booklist also included one of her novels in its "Top 10 Inspirational Fiction" list for 2011. For more information, visit

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The Gift of a Legacy - eBook

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A wonderfully mysterious story: "motherless" by Erin Healy


"This is the truth: we all tell the stories that we want to believe. We tell them for so long that we forget what we really know. Occasionally we convince others to believe them too."

Marina and Dylan are two siblings who find themselves adrift in a sea of uncertainty, faced with the sudden death of their father and the loss of the stable life they knew. Having already lost their mom at a young age, they now must forge a new path and find their way in a world where the things they'd believed about their parents bears little resemblance to the truth. As they search out what really happened in their family's past, they have no idea that the secrets they uncover will change everything...

"motherless" is a wonderfully unique story, richly told from a first-person perspective of a character that will keep you guessing! In fact, rarely do I find myself in the middle of a book and suddenly find out that the assumptions I'd made out about the characters were completely wrong! I love those sorts of surprises, and that made me an instant fan of this book (though I will note my wife read the book with a similar sense of surprise and was not as pleased). Healy's writing is beautiful, and her pacing is perfect as she peels back the layers one by one to uncover the secrets that have been hidden for so long. The book explores the depths of human emotion, of wrong choices that lead to deep pain, pain that all too many readers will be able to identify with. The story resolves in a beautiful way, with the wonder of forgiveness offered for a sin that the world would argue doesn't deserve it. And that's where "motherless" really shines, celebrating the grace and forgiveness only God can provide, in the midst of a mysterious story unlike any other I have ever read.

I strongly recommend this well-written book and award it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Thomas Nelson, and the Booklook program, for the purposes of this unbiased review.

about the author...

Image of Erin HealyErin Healy writes supernatural suspense novels from a Christian worldview. Her books explore what it means to be a spiritual being in a physical world, and a physical creature in a spiritual world. She is an award-winning fiction editor who worked with Ted Dekker on more than a dozen of his stories before their collaboration on KISS and BURN. She owns WordWright Editorial Services, a consulting firm specializing in fiction book development. 

Learn more about her books at

This biography was provided by the author or their representative.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

DESPERATE husbands rejoice! I have TEN THOUSAND ways to save your Christmas!!

Every November the first Christmas carol of the season hits the airwaves, and while other people are overcome with nostalgia and joy, I instantly break into a cold sweat and start twitching uncontrollably. 

OH NO, I think as nearby shoppers stare at me with raised brows.


Within moments, I find myself rocking back and forth in the corner wondering what I am going to get my wife this year.

Unfortunately, I have a whole history of epic fails in this department in terms of buying my wife the perfect Christmas present.

For example, one year I was completely inspired to buy my wife a beautiful food processor.

Yes, that's right. I am that romantic. Nothing says I love you forever and for always like a food processor, right?

I watched as she unwrapped the gift, certain I was soon to be showered with loving kisses.

Fortunately I kept the receipt. Enough said.

But yesterday I was SAVED.

I came home from work to find a plain brown package sitting on my front door step. As I leaned down, I saw the trademark red sticker that marks packages I receive from Graf-Martin Communications, the one that says "Today is a good mail day!".

Awesome, I thought as I grabbed the box. Must be some new books to review.

Seconds later my back had seized from the unexpected weight of the box.

Not books. 

Need Ibuprofin for my back

A few manly grunts later and I'd heaved the box into the house.

My curiosity soon overcame me and I tore into the box. Most carefully of course. And imagine my delight when the box revealed a beautiful card made by an artisan in India who is blind! Next to the card was an absolutely DELICIOUS chocolate bar that I did NOT eat all on my own.

Divine Milk Chocolate Spiced Cookie Bar

But what on earth is so heavy? I wondered as I carefully set the card and chocolate bar aside.

Further investigation revealed something that had me hooting in glee (bad pun, yes, but still true!). A set of "Midnight Owl Bookends" peered up at me from their protective layer in the box. 

T'was all I could do to restrain my joy as I lifted them out and set them on my mantel:

Finally! A Christmas present she is going to love! 

The tic in my left eye that I'd developed since hearing the words to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" magically disappeared. I'd been saved courtesy of Graf-Martin and Ten Thousand Villages, who gave the owls to me.


So, you too can have a different sort of Christmas this year!

How, you may ask? Well, Ten Thousand Villages has an amazing assortment of gifts just waiting to be given to your loved one. The best part is that these products are made by people whose lives will be incredibly blessed as a result of you purchasing their item.

Here's more about the agency:

Ten Thousand Villages is the oldest and largest Fair Trade organization in North America, selling artisan-crafted personal accessories, home decor and gift items from around the globe. Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), the relief and development agency of Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in North America. 

Ten Thousand Villages creates opportunities for artisans in developing countries to earn income by bringing their products and stories to our markets through long-term, fair trading relationships.

For example, the Midnight Owl Bookends are made by "Tara Projects":

Tara Projects

Tara Projects works to change the lives of India’s “untouchables,” by eliminating unfair trade practices and child labour, fighting the exploitation of artisans and supporting Fair Trade and human dignity. Tara is a pioneering Indian organization in the field of fair wages, non-formal education programs for children and women, health and environmental awareness, adult literacy centres and further development for its member artisans. Numerous levels of committees with elected representatives from all sections of the project co-ordinate the production, design and marketing of handicrafts. Currently, nearly 1000 artisan families from 35 community-based artisan groups and workshops create products from all the major traditional handicraft lines of northern India. These artisans receive medical insurance, interest-free loans and advances, access to savings programs and skills training. 

Now how cool is THAT?

So, all you desperate husbands out there, head on over to Ten Thousand Villages

There, you will find an amazing selection of items to buy for your wife. And wives? There is stuff for your husbands too! You can go to their website and find the location of their nearest store. Or you can have the product shipped to your home!

Here's a sample of some of their products:

Herb Planter TrioDark Chocolate Minis (10)UntitledShea Butter Lip BalmUntitled

Make sure you go check out all the things they sell!


As for me, I have to go quickly hide these owls so my wife doesn't find them before Christmas morn'....

Thursday, November 20, 2014