Friday, March 30, 2018

Happy Easter

By Kelly Bridgewater

Happy Easter!!!

Sunday is a very important day to me. I spend a while studying the cross and resurrection in the Bible from all four gospels and spend some time in prayer, thanking God for what he has done for me.

Without his death, I wouldn't be assured of my salvation. I'm glad I found God when I was a teenager. I couldn't living my life without him.

Now at my house, I have never done the whole Easter basket and hunting for eggs with my boys. My husband and I want them to focus on Christ and what he did for us. On Monday, when the candy goes on clearance is when I will give the boys a couple of dollars apiece, and they can pick out some candy.

I still can't wrap my mind around what a bunny delivering eggs has to do with the Lord's sacrifice.

Anyways, Happy Easter!!

Happy Resurrection Day!!!

Monday, March 26, 2018

Terri Blackstock: If I Live

By Kelly Bridgewater

Casey Cox is still on the run after being indicted for murder. The hunt that began with her bloody footprints escalates, and she’s running out of places to hide. Her face is all over the news, and her disguises are no longer enough. It’s only a matter of time before someone recognizes her.

Dylan Roberts, the investigator who once hunted her, is now her only hope. Terrifying attempts on Dylan’s life could force Casey out of hiding. The clock is ticking on both their lives, but exposing the real killers is more complicated than they knew. Amassing the evidence to convict their enemies draws Dylan and Casey together, but their relationship has consequences. Will one life have to be sacrificed to protect the other?

With If I Live, Terri Blackstock takes us on one more heart-stopping chase in the sensational conclusion to the If I Run series.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Not that long ago, I wrote a blog post about why suspense authors can't carry the suspense over one book. Television shows do it every season, so why can't books do the same thing. Terri Blackstock took the idea of a suspense that carries over three books, and I have loved them all.

The plot moved very fast with the final conclusion to Blackstock's If I Run series, If I Live. Just like the previous two books, Casey Clark was on the run from the law and didn't know who to trust. I really enjoyed following and getting to know Casey as she star lighted in three different novels. In If I Live, just when I thought the novel was completed, Blackstock threw a twist in the plan and made Casey and me struggle a little more to that moment of happiness. I really enjoyed that. This third book was worth waiting for. I stayed up really late finishing the book in one day. It was great.

Through the entire three novels, I watched as Casey finally learned to trust God and give all her struggles over to him. She learned to lean on him and see his movement in her dire situations. Her transformation story was really cool to watch. Blackstock's ability to dig deep into what it really means to hunt and surrender to God stroke a cord with me.

Dylan is a huge character in the final book. I think he gets more air time in the If I Live than Casey does. He works really hard to free her, so he can spend the rest of his life getting to know her. He was a strong, honorable man of God. I liked him as a hero. He grew on me.

The romance developed over the three novels, and I liked how Casey and Dylan had to learn to trust each other and started to fall in love with each other by the end of the series. I really enjoyed how Dylan didn't want to rush the relationship at the end because he understood that relationships that start under dire circumstances might not last. He wanted to take it slow and get to understand the real Casey. That was realistic.

Overall, If I Live by Terri Blackstock is a fast-pace thrilling ending to a three book suspense series with an admirable heroine and a hero worth waiting for. I really enjoyed this series. Now I need to sit down and read all three of them in a row to fully grasp the story.  Fans of Lynette Eason, I believe, would love this series. I really hope more suspense writers create a story that lasts more than one novel.

I received a complimentary copy of If I Live by Terri Blackstock from Zondervan Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Friday, March 23, 2018

Welcome Spring!

By Kelly Bridgewater

Welcome Spring!

According to the calendar, Spring has arrived.

I'm not a happy person, though.

Where I live in Indiana. Spring usually arrives around the first of March and stays until the first of May. Then we jump right into Summer, which I HATE!!!!! Summer sticks around until the first of November. Then fall like temperatures, which stick around until January. Then we might get some cold temperatures in January and February.

But  . . .

for a girl who loves winter and snow. I have been cheated for the past couple of years. We rarely get snow, and I haven't worn my winter coat in three years!!! Just sweaters.

Summer is a greedy season. It lasts for seven months and the humidity sticks around with it. I don't know about you, but my electric bill is crazy in the summer for the seven months, and I have my air conditioner set at 78 degrees. I complain to our electric company, but they tell me to raise my temperature.


How hot does a girl have to be?

While most people might be happy Spring is here.

I'm not.

Go away.

Sorry for the rant!! Just a crazy writer who hates spring and summer, but they seem to be the only seasons in Indiana anymore.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Christy Barritt: Storm Surge

By Kelly Bridgewater

A storm is brewing hundreds of miles away, but its effects are devastating even from afar. Laid-back and light: that's Cassidy Livingston's new motto. But when a makeshift boat with a bloody cloth inside washes ashore near her oceanfront home, her detective instincts shift into gear . . . again. Seeking clues isn't the only thing on her mind-romance is heating up with next-door neighbor and former Navy SEAL Ty Chambers as well. Her heart wants the love and stability she's longed for her entire life. But her hidden identity only leads to a tidal wave of turbulence. As more answers emerge about the boat, the danger around her rises, creating a treacherous swell that threatens to reveal her past. Can Cassidy mind her own business, or will the storm surge of violence and corruption that has washed ashore on Lantern Beach leave her life in wreckage?

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

Storm Surge by Christy Barritt is an awesome addition to her Lantern Beach series. With the return of Cassidy and Ty, the mystery jumps off the page with the addition of a raft coming on shore. Cassidy is on the hunt for the people in the boat, so of course, she has to jump and look for clues without giving away her true identity again. Ty is taken to the hospital in the first couple of chapters, throwing Cassidy for a while ride on a rollercoaster of emotions. The suspense flies as the mystery comes close to home, and Cassidy has to once again save the day. I read the story in a little over a couple of hours. A great way to spend the afternoon. I keep looking forward to everything Barritt writes. She knows the needs and wants of a good mystery. I highly recommend anything she has written. I enjoyed this quick read and can't wait for the next installment coming out in April 2018.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Monday, March 19, 2018

Lynn H. Blackburn: Beneath the Surface

By Kelly Bridgewater

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she'd left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff's Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer--one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I haven't read anything by Lynn H. Blackburn, but she has written a number of romantic suspenses for the Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense line. I do enjoy a good mystery that grips my attention and keeps me focused on the story. With Blackburn's first full length novel Beneath the Surface, I expected to receive a military or FBI type character who is working to solve a case while the woman either works with him or he or she is trying to protect the member of the opposite sex. I expect the suspense to be non-stop with some explaining of the thought process to solve the case. With Beneath the Surface, I did receive all these things.

The writing is clear and concise. When the police officers got together to discuss the case, I trusted that Blackburn was actually writing what would have occurred in a police meeting as they discussed what they have and what they still needed to solve the mystery. No head hopping. Pretty good descriptions to keep me cemented in the mystery.

When I approach a mystery, I expect that the mystery I first encounter either in the first chapter or the prologue is the mystery for the entire book. Not in Beneath the Surface. It occurs, and I was drawn into the story, wondering about the body with no head, feet, or hands. But the next chapter focusing on Leigh, the heroine, and stays focused on her for the next fifty-five percent of the novel. Rarely, did it go back to the body in the water. Leigh had things happen to her, and the detectives, Ryan especially, wanted to know why. I wondered why Blackburn made us focus so much on Leigh when the opening chapter had nothing to do with her, or I was led to believe.

Another issue I had with the plot was that the series is called the Dive Team Investigations. The first chapter features the detectives under the water, but the rest of the novel occurs on land. They didn't even go back under to hunt for more clues. I thought the detectives would have spent more time diving for clues than hunting on land.

When another detective brings up the idea of the same killer hunting Leigh and murdered the body in the lake around sixty percent into the novel, then the novel becomes what I thought it should have been since the beginning. The novel becomes exciting, and I can't put the novel down. I finished the rest of the book in a little under two hours. Lots of actions and thought processes to solve the mystery.

The romance, in my taste, was a little rushed. So Leigh and Ryan liked each other when they were little. Do they honestly know the adult version of each other without someone hunting down Leigh? They want to jump into a forever relationship because of the crush they used to have on each other. If this was reality, I believe their romance wouldn't last.

Overall, Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn is different romantic suspense with a hurried romance but a hunt for the killer that kicked off around sixty percent, but dragged for the first part of the novel. There is a second book and probably a third, so I definitely will be giving Blackburn another try. Fans of Lynette Eason, Irene Hannon, DiAnn Mills, and Terri Blackstock might, I believe, enjoy this romantic suspense story.

I received a complimentary copy of Beneath the Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars