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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Tosca Lee: The Line Between


By Kelly Bridgewater

In this frighteningly believable thriller from New York Times bestselling author Tosca Lee, an extinct disease re-emerges from the melting Alaskan permafrost to cause madness in its victims. For recent apocalyptic cult escapee Wynter Roth, it’s the end she’d always been told was coming.

When Wynter Roth is turned out of New Earth, a self-contained doomsday cult on the American prairie, she emerges into a world poised on the brink of madness as a mysterious outbreak of rapid early onset dementia spreads across the nation.

As Wynter struggles to start over in a world she’s been taught to regard as evil, she finds herself face-to-face with the apocalypse she’s feared all her life—until the night her sister shows up at her doorstep with a set of medical samples. That night, Wynter learns there’s something far more sinister at play and that these samples are key to understanding the disease.

Now, as the power grid fails and the nation descends into chaos, Wynter must find a way to get the samples to a lab in Colorado. Uncertain who to trust, she takes up with former military man Chase Miller, who has his own reasons for wanting to get close to the samples in her possession, and to Wynter herself.

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

Tosca Lee is a wonderful writer who captures the unusual and writes a wonderful, captivating story. With her newest thriller, The Line Between, she does definitely that. At first, I was a little confused by the beginning of the novel, but after getting into the story, it begins to make sense. A good thriller shows a world in dire need of some type of help from some type of threat either man-made or biochemical. In The Line Between, Lee gave us a story wrapped around a biochemical agent.

Lee's writing is clear and concise. Like I mentioned earlier, when the story starts, it jumps around from about three points of views, and I don't know whose story I was supposed to be following, then Lee leads us to two points of view and that took me a while to sort out too. It was a little confusing. But trust me, stick with it. It eventually makes complete sense why Lee wrote the story the way she did.

The plot was original and unpredictable too. I didn't see the cult twist when I read the synopsis, but I think it worked really well for the story Lee was trying to tell. I can't imagine the amount of research and horror stories she had to wade through to come up with a realistic background for New Earth and for Wynter. I liked the biochemical agent element too. I was wrapped up in the chase through the countryside, hoping Wynter met her goal.

There is a hint of a romance toward the end of the novel, but nothing like a contemporary romance or a romantic suspense. Nothing too touchy feely. Just the way I like my thrillers or suspense novels.

As a word of caution, there are a number of cuss words written in the text. I read them and kept moving on with the story. Yes, they were a little shocking to see, but I enjoy Lee's writing, so I just kept reading.

Overall, The Line Between by Tosca Lee is a unique story from an accomplished thriller writer who takes the unknown and makes it known. I really got wrapped up in the story and finished it one day. Can't wait to see what Lee comes up with next.  Fans of Ted Dekker, Amanda G. Stevens, and James Rubart might want to pick up this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of The Line Between by Tosca Lee from Howard Books, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
From Amazon

Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory duology (THE PROGENY and FIRSTBORN), ISCARIOT, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.

You can find Tosca at www.ToscaLee.com, on social media, or hanging around the snack table. Look for A SINGLE LIGHT, the follow-up to THE LINE BETWEEN, September 2019. (Taken from Amazon.)

Monday, January 28, 2019

Melanie Dickerson: The Warrior Maiden


By Kelly Bridgewater

From New York Times bestselling author Melanie Dickerson comes a fresh reimagining of the classic Mulan tale.

Mulan isn’t afraid to pretend to be a son and assume her father’s soldier duties in war. But what happens when the handsome son of a duke discovers her secret?

Mulan is trying to resign herself to marrying the village butcher for the good of her family, but her adventurous spirit just can’t stand the thought. At the last minute, she pretends to be the son her father never had, assumes his duties as a soldier, and rides off to join the fight to protect the castle of her liege lord’s ally from the besieging Teutonic Knights.

Wolfgang and his brother Steffan leave Hagenheim with several other soldiers to help their father’s ally in Poland. When they arrive, Wolfgang is exasperated by the young soldier Mikolai who seems to either always be one step away from disaster . . . or showing Wolfgang up in embarrassing ways.

When Wolfgang discovers his former rival and reluctant friend Mikolai is actually a girl, he is determined to protect her. But battle is a dangerous place where anything can happen—and usually does.

When Mulan receives word that her mother has been accused of practicing witchcraft through her healing herbs and skills, Mulan’s only thought is of defending her. Will she be able to trust Wolfgang to help? Or will sacrificing her own life be the only way to save her mother?

From Amazon


My Thoughts:

Melanie Dickerson is pretty popular for re-creating popular fairy tales and dropping the characters into Hageheim, her city in Germany. With her newest story, The Warrior Maiden, it is a Mulan re-make. While I have seen the Disney version, Dickerson did not follow that story line. She wrote something completely different. Not in a bad way. I actually really liked this version. Better than the Disney version.

Again, Dickerson takes a well-known Disney story and transforms it into a romantic recreation. I really don't know much about Mulan outside of the Disney version, but I enjoyed this one. Dickerson does a fabulous job at bringing Mulan to life with a back-story and the reasons why she joined the army to fight for what she believed in. She jumped off the page as a character.

In Dickerson's version, Wolfgang, the hero, realizes Mulan is a woman but he allows her to see her for who she really is and falls in love with her no matter what. The story is about sacrifice for the ones you love. Mulan sacrifices for her mother and Wolfgang while Wolfgang sacrifices for Mulan, her mother, and his brother Steffan.

The plot moves pretty quickly. I spent less than a day devouring the novel. I couldn't wait to see how the predictable ending would happen. Of course, it is a fairy tale, so it has to have a happy ending. Dickerson is wonderful at creating an ending to satisfy an romantic at heart. While the plot line was different than Disney, the romance felt predictable and pre-determined.

The spiritual element strength the characters. It did not interrupt the story or preach at the readers. Dickerson allowed it to flow naturally from each individual character. I enjoyed that.

Overall, The Maiden Warrior is a much stronger version of the Mulan story than the Disney version. I liked how heroic Mulan was and the back-story to her story. Dickerson invited me back to the setting I'm familiar with and kept me engrossed in the story. A must read for fans of Dickerson or any fairy tale story.

I received a complimentary copy of The Maiden Warrior by Melanie Dickerson from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:

From Amazon
Melanie Dickerson is the New York Times bestselling author who combines her love for all things Medieval with her love of romance and fairy tales. She also loves Regency Romance and has drawn on her Southern heritage to write a romance set in the late 1800s called Magnolia Summer.
Her books have won the Christy Award, two Maggie Awards, The National Reader's Choice Award, and the Carol Award in Young Adult fiction. She earned her bachelor's degree from The University of Alabama and has taught children and adults in America, Germany, and Ukraine. Now she spends her time writing stories of love and adventure near Huntsville, Alabama. Sign up for her newsletter at http://www.MelanieDickerson.com. (Taken From Amazon.)

Friday, January 25, 2019

My Writing Goals


By Kelly Bridgewater

If you read my post back in July 2018, I felt God wasn't calling me to write anymore or at least, take a long break. Can't force something that doesn't want to happen.

BUT . . .

It is hard to let this dream go. 

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http://www.photos-public-domain.com/2011/09/22/writing/


I'm praying, and I would love to have you pray for me too, for God to give me the inspiration to write again. I have been working, so it releases my mind from focusing too much on the reading part of my life.

Hopefully, it will spark my imagination again and allow my mind to focus on the story that I have felt called to write.

I would love to come back in 2020 and explain that I have written a novel and have all the research down, so I can sit down and write either my three World War II suspense novels or my six part family saga taking place from 1935 - 1945 in a humble town in Western Indiana.

What about you? Do you actually write down writing goals for the year? I know if you're published, then you have to have those goals in place in order to honor your contract. But I don't have that wonderful gift yet.

I pray that is what God wants me to do with my life.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Jaime Jo Wright: The Curse of the Misty Wayfair


By Kelly Bridgewater

Left at an orphanage as a child, Thea Reed vowed to find her mother someday. Now grown, her search takes her to Pleasant Valley, Wisconsin, in 1908. When clues lead her to a mental asylum, Thea uses her experience as a post-mortem photographer to gain access and assist groundskeeper Simeon Coyle in photographing the patients and uncovering the secrets within. However, she never expected her personal quest would reawaken the legend of Misty Wayfair, a murdered woman who allegedly haunts the area and whose appearance portends death.

A century later, Heidi Lane receives a troubling letter from her mother--who is battling dementia--compelling her to travel to Pleasant Valley for answers to her own questions of identity. When she catches sight of a ghostly woman who haunts the asylum ruins in the woods, the long-standing story of Misty Wayfair returns--and with it, Heidi's fear for her own life.

As two women across time seek answers about their identities and heritage, can they overcome the threat of the mysterious curse that has them inextricably intertwined?

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From Goodreads


My Thoughts:

Jaime Jo Wright is making a name for herself in the Christian fiction genre. She has won a number of awards for The House on Foster Hill. Wright creates historical time-slip suspense novels. Her latest book, The Curse of Misty Wayfair is a beautifully written suspense novel showing the importance of every created person. With rapid succession, the story begins like a ghost story and kept my rapid attention. Asylums are uncertain and scary places, so Wright to create a story centered around one gripped my attention. There is a soft romance included, but nothing to forceful. This original and completely unpredictable story filled with fascinating characters kept me spellbound. I really liked The Curse of Misty Wayfair and am glad the Christian fiction genre took a gamble and printed this story. It is timely and important for the world we live in. I pray the Christian publishing world keep printing stories like this. Fans of Steven James, Carrie Stuart Parks, and Lynette Eason might enjoy this novel. Definitely a great book to start 2019 off with a bang!

I received a complimentary copy of The Curse of Misty Wayfair from Jaime Jo Wright from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:

Jaime Jo Wright
From Amazon
Professional coffee drinker & ECPA/Publisher's Weekly best-selling author, Jaime Jo Wright resides in the hills of Wisconsin writing spirited turn-of-the-century romance stained with suspense. Coffee fuels her snarky personality. She lives in Neverland with her Cap'n Hook who stole her heart and will not give it back, their little fairy TinkerBell, and a very mischievous Peter Pan. The foursome embark on scores of adventure that only make her fall more wildly in love with romance and intrigue.

Jaime lives in dreamland, exists in reality, and invites you to join her adventures at jaimejowright.com! (Taken from Amazon.)

Monday, January 21, 2019

Colleen Coble: Secrets at Cedar Cabin


By Kelly Bridgewater


Her mother lied about her identity and her husband wasn’t who she thought he was—can Bailey even trust herself anymore?

Running for her life in the wake of her mother’s murder, Bailey Fleming escapes to the only place she can think of—a remote, dilapidated cabin in Lavender Tides. Intending to finally get to the truth behind the lies of her past, Bailey only finds more questions when bodies are discovered near her cabin hideout along with traces of a dangerous human trafficking ring. In an unlikely partnership with FBI agent Lance Phoenix, Bailey races to understand the mystery surrounding her life and circumstances before the murderer tracks her down. 

Meanwhile, Lance is determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted after running away from home as a teenager. An unexpected lead brings him to the remote cabin, and he wonders if Bailey—with her suspicious past and strange connections to his sister’s case—is really who she claims to be and if she can somehow lead him to Ava. 

Filled with Colleen Coble's custom blend of suspense and romance, Secrets at Cedar Cabin takes us back to the evocative landscape of Washington's coast where nothing is quite as it seems.



From Amazon



My Thoughts:

Colleen Coble is a highly acclaimed romantic suspense author. With Secrets at Cedar Cabin, Coble dives back into the world of the missing siblings. This time, I received the story of Bailey, the baby of the family. I learn just at the same time as Bailey does about what happened to her at the beginning of the story. This story touched and dived into the world of human trafficking. This is a horrible topic, but a harsh, disgusting reality in our world today. The story does move pretty fast. It does have moments of rush and calm to it. In my personal opinion, I believe there is more calm than the rush of a typical suspense novel. The story was well-written and kept my attention because I wanted to see how the story ended, but I wish for more suspense. Overall, Secrets at Cedar Cabin does explain the final clues to the missing siblings, and the human trafficking was interesting, but the story didn't flow like a suspense novel with non-stop action. I believe fans of Coble's previous writings, Lynette Eason, and DiAnn Mills would enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

About the Author:
Colleen Coble
From Amazon
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com. (Taken from Amazon.)