The tempering agent – an impossible love in the desert

Broken hearts and impossible love lead the way in this Egyptian romance. Can two people overcome their past and open their hearts to a new beginning amongst the backdrop of betrayal and suspicion. Both have to dig deep like the archaeological excavation going on in the story.

Margaret Kazmierczak reviews The Tempering Agent by Victoria Pitts Caine

My Penny’s worth

The impossible love of the main characters Priscilla and Donnie dances around a plot that has intrigue flowing through it. Both are on a dangerous mission, and I enjoyed Ms Caine’s writing as she wove the action from dig to romance to jeopardy.

As storylines go, this held me even though the pace seemed to be a bit quick especially with regards to overcoming the past and the possibility of moving on. Consequently, this appeared too neat and not messy enough for me. In fact, I wanted to feel the battle and walk alongside the pain, empathising with the struggle. Would Priscilla just give up?

What I liked

I liked the little gems and twists along the way to keep you guessing as to whom the villains were. But could Donnie protect a woman whose independence had got her to where she was today?

Rayhan and Liz I felt were good supporting characters and added to the story. From the descriptions, I could see, smell, taste and hear the action along with the food and personal relationships.

Cheerio?

One little curiosity I had, why the word “Cheerio” for a greeting? Priscilla’s father, who is English, uses this when he answers the phone. I have not heard it used like this before – yes a minor issue I know, but being English, I just wondered.

This book can be read alone and indeed I haven’t read the first two but not knowing the history of the other characters didn’t actually matter.

Some teasers

In the final analysis what will happen to this impossible love between Priscilla and Donnie? Who are the villains? And what does a pansy have to do with anything? For the answers, you will need to read the book.

What would I rate it?

I did enjoy the book and would like to give it four stars.

Thank you, Victori Pitts Caine for writing it.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Click here to purchase your copy! And don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the end of this post. Thanks for reading.

About the Book

TheTemperingAgent_Cover_medBook Title: The Tempering Agent

Author: Victoria Pitts Caine

Release Date: February 14, 2014

 

 

Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself thrown back into the murder investigation of her fiancé, Trey Whittington. While she was a suspect three years ago, she’s now working with the police to find the murderer, Egyptian artifact trafficker, Zarka El-Din. During a sting operation in Siwa, she and Agent Donnie Barnes are drawn to each other but Priscilla, overcome by personal ghosts from her past, decides a relationship isn’t possible. Priscilla realizes she’s the bait in the ruse and uncovers others involved with El-Din. Will she and Donnie reconcile and unravel the reason behind Trey’s death before El-Din kills her, too?

About the Author

Victoria Pitts Caine Head ShotVictoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.

The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from: Enduring Romance top 10 picks for 2008, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, Holt International Children’s Services Magazine, and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel was published in 2007 followed by two more as well as novellas and short stories in anthologies.

Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Now retired from the work force, Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies”.

Guest post from Vicki Caine

Since childhood, I have been interested in genealogy and ancient Egypt. Two of my prior novels, Alvarado Gold and Cairo, let me follow my fantasies into those two areas. Donnie the hero in The Tempering Agent is also in the other two books, and it was his turn to find his own romance. When archaeologist Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself drawn back into the murder investigation of her fiancé and the missing breast plate of the high priest, Agent Donnie Barnes, is just the man to help her out, even if she doesn’t think so.

Traveling along with Priscilla and Donnie, I discovered some interesting facts about ancient Egypt, from the ruins in the Siwa Desert to the mystery of the Valley of the Kings. The genealogy factor in my novels is Donnie is loosely based on my cousin. Alvarado Gold tells the story of my family while Cairo and The Tempering Agent fueled my inquisitiveness about Egypt.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, March 20

Kaylee’s Kind Of Writes, March 20

Reflections From My Bookshelves, March 21

proud to be an autism mom, March 21

Blogging With Carol, March 22

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 22

Multifarious, March 23

All-of-a-kind Mom, March 23

Bibliophile Reviews, March 24

History, Mystery & Faith, March 25

Bigreadersite, March 25

A Greater Yes, March 26

Just the Write Escape, March 26

A Baker’s Perspective, March 27

Margaret Kazmierczak, March 28

Janices book reviews, March 28

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 29

Carpe Diem, March 29

Pause for Tales, March 30

Red Headed Book Lady, March 30

Mary Hake, March 31

Simple Harvest Reads, March 31 (Guest post from Mindy)

Tell Tale Book Reviews, April 1

Two Points of Interest, April 1

Among the Reads, April 2

Pursuing Stacie, April 2

Giveaway

071d4b4c-8756-4146-9ee1-c8704ce96dfbTo celebrate her tour, Victoria is giving away:

Grand prize: Murano type heart necklace with lampwork bracelet and $25.00 Amazon gift certificate

1st Place: Green and white lampwork pendant and earrings

2nd Place: Set of three lampwork earrings

3rd place: Set of three holiday-themed earrings

4th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card

5th place: One ten $10 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c9e1

How many victims can a book have?

Have we become de-sensitive to victims?

There’s no end to the victims in this world; you just have to turn the news on to be accosted by scenes of violence to back up that fact. All too often it is the vulnerable that suffer. Images of bulging bellies from malnutrition to cities destroyed by bombs due to war. Our senses bombarded with desperation can lead to paralysed and hard hearts, that is a crying shame. We’re in danger of becoming desensitised to the victims who stare out at us from behind the lens.

What has this to do with Storms in Serenity written by Fay Lamb? Read my review below to find out.

Storms in Serenity FB Banner copy

My Penny’s worth

How can one man create a domino effect from his actions causing a wave of victims to rise out of his mistake? Just how many victims can a book have?

When a disaster happens, the world often knows about it instantly due to 24 hours of news shown through the media. Secrets, however, don’t get this type of coverage. It is usually many years later that the effects of the sin emerge. The victims that stare out at us today from our screens are the result of man’s campaign to rule the earth. To be god’s of their world, with no compassion for the victims that are left in their wake.

Secrets

David New knows he needs to speak up about his past because he is sensitive to the hurt that his secret has caused. He is a victim just as much as his family if he allows the past to rule his present and future.

I found that it was hard to put this book down as so many lives were affected because of David New. Each character became important to me as they fought with their victim status. Could they rise above the sin, would they? The book made me think, what would I do in the circumstances, how would I react, could I forgive? There is just so much to ponder on with the different relationships.

Were there too many victims?

Personally, I think this book dealt with the issues compassionately and showed how many people get hurt when a person deviates from God’s path and commands. The storms were thick and left a devastating trail behind with the characters having to pick up their lives and reassess how they could survive. In this case, there were not too many victims as the story moved from one relationship to another. It showed how much we need God in our lives as we are all vulnerable.

I can say without a doubt this book is one of hope. It might not make headline material, but it does provide the reader with an opportunity to assess their degree of compassion and mercy. Something that this world needs to combat the desensitisation we may have towards others.

Thank you, Fay Lamb, for writing this book.

I would like to give this book 4 stars.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

Fay Lamb has a great free giveaway, see the end of this post for details.

Let me know in the comments if this book review was useful. Many thanks – Margaret 🙂

About the Book

0 Front Draft 2Book Title: Storms in Serenity

Author: Fay Lamb

Release Date: February 2018

Genre: Romance, Mystery

 

 

How can one man save the town he loves when he’s the reason for the destruction?

Serenity Key, Florida, has seen its share of hurricanes, but this time, one foul weather system is about to collide with another storm, and this one has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure.

David New has guarded his secrets for years, but when two brothers, John and Andy Ryan, arrive in town and he gets news that the daughter he’s never told anyone about has disappeared, possibly the victim of a heinous crime, and the lives of many of the town residents begin to unravel in the gale force consequences of Jake’s past, he has nowhere else to turn.

God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can David and the good folks of Serenity Key survive until He does?

A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path.

Click here to purchase your copy!

About the Author

FLamb 16Fay Lamb writes emotionally charged stories with a Romans 8:28 attitude, reminding readers that God is always in the details. Fay donates 100% of her royalties to Christian charities.

Storms in Serenity is the first book in Fay’s Serenity Key series. Fay’s other series include Amazing Grace and her novels, Stalking WillowBetter than RevengeEverybody’s Brokenand Frozen Notes. The Ties that Bind Series includes Charisse, Libby, and Hope. Delilah is coming soon.

Fay’s is also the author of The Art of Characterization: How to Use the Elements of Storytelling to Connect Readers to an Unforgettable Cast.

Guest Post from Fay Lamb

ONCE UPON A STORM

I’m one of those people who love storms. I revel in the lightning that streaks across the sky, the rumble of thunder as it rolls over the air, and I dance to the eerie sound of the wind coming through a crack in the window. Storms don’t frighten me. I’m an East Coast Floridian. I’ve lived through many a tempest.

However, so that you won’t think me completely insane, I have also fled a few hurricanes. In our house, a Cat III storm is something to debate as we watch to see how low the millibars fall at the storm’s center. A Cat IV means gather the important documents, place them into plastic bags and tuck them into plastic tubs, batten down the hatches, and depending upon its projected proximity, hunker down or flee. A Cat V is a no-brainer. Run!

If only the storms in our lives had categories so that we know when to stand and face the winds of life or to debate the direction, or to decide when to flee. Sometimes, the storms of life come at us without warning, with no stirring up of the waters by our own hands. Other times, the storms can be abated by the stance we take, the decisions we make, and by failing to move out of harm’s way, perhaps in an opposite direction.

That’s what my first novel in The Serenity Key series is about: one man stirred up a storm many years prior. The destructive force of that storm amassed because he didn’t take a stand, he failed to make crucial decisions, and he choose to run from a situation that God would not allow him to outrun. Storms in Serenity is a modern-day retelling of the Biblical truths of the aftermath of David’s sin with Bathsheba and the destruction the storms of life that blew apart not only David’s family but also those he called friends.

Mostly, though, Storms in Serenity, is a novel that proves that when it comes to sin, truly, no man is an island.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile Reviews, March 13

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, March 13

A Greater Yes, March 14

Bigreadersite, March 14

proud to be an autism mom, March 15

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, March 15

Multifarious, March 16

Christian Author, J.E.Grace, March 17

History, Mystery & Faith, March 18

A Baker’s Perspective, March 19

Simple Harvest Reads, March 20

MargaretKazmierczak, March 21

Texas Book-aholic, March 22

Carpe Diem, March 23

Pursuing Stacie, March 24

Janices book reviews, March 24

Jeanette’s Thoughts, March 25

Red Headed Book Lady, March 25

Daysong Reflections, March 26

Among the Reads, March 26

Giveaway

 

502668e9-98f3-4c44-8865-f56ad827f304To celebrate her tour, Fay is giving away a grand prize of an Echo Spot!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/ca75

Holly Ivy and Intrigue 3 stories for Christmas to enjoy

Holly Ivy and Intrigue

Holly Ivy and Intrigue are three novellas to wet your appetite for Christmas. Only days away from this grand celebration and all mayhem lets lose as the characters in these books face misunderstanding, murder and deceit. So just another day at the office in my world!

I hope you enjoy my review of this collection.

holly ivy intrigue fb banner copy

My penny’s worth

Holly Ivy and Intrigue – A Christmas collection
Christmas Murder Mix-Up by Joanie Bruce

Christmas Murder Mix-Up is a novella about a couple in love. However, Connor’s wife Paige misunderstands a telephone conversation which leads her to doubt his intentions. This couple is definitely not singing from the same hymn sheet. Now throw in a couple of villains, snow and a Christmas present, and you have an intriguing suspense story.  Can Paige trust her husband and will she find God this Christmas?

A lovely short read that kept me turning the pages.

Holiday Pursuit by Alexa Verde

Brianna Rockwell, the main character is a strong lady ready to help her brother no matter what he has done due to their inseparable bond – even when murder is suspected.

Is there no end to her love?

This story tests sibling love, friendship love and falling in love. Brianne is certainly challenged!

A good read for the Christmas season.

A Holiday Intruder by Denise Weimer

Kelsey Jordan is an everyday young woman trying to make a living for herself using the skills God has given her. I like the fact that she is ordinary and struggling just like many of us.

Denise carefully scripts this story and in my opinion, pulls off an intriguing plot. The characters are likeable which makes the ending unexpected.

A Holiday Intruder is a great short read.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Book

Holly Ivy and Intrige-high res

Title: Holly Ivy & Intrigue

Author: Joanie Bruce, Alexa Verde, Denise Weimer

Genre: Mystery/suspense, Christmas

Release Date: November 13, 2017

Christmas Murder Mix-Up

“I have to get rid of her now.”

After four months of a blissful marriage, Paige is devastated to overhear her husband, Cooper, say those words to his best friend. Because of a suspicious Christmas gift, a gas leak, and a home invasion, Paige’s love for Cooper is tested to the limit. Will their marriage survive the Christmas Murder Mix-up?

Holiday Pursuit
When Brianna Rockwell’s brother finds himself in danger and disappears three days before Christmas, she does everything to rescue him. Brianna dodges bullets, escapes fire, and even turns to her longtime crush for help. But the closer she gets to solving the mystery and finding her only sibling, the more desperate someone gets to silence her forever…
 A Holiday Intruder

Kelsey Jordan prefers upcycling junk and refinishing antiques for her store in a Georgia mountains town to being the center of attention. When a robbery and an unknown benefactor shove her in the middle of a decades-old mystery, and a real estate developer and a former baseball star compete for her attention, Kelsey isn’t sure who to trust.

Click here to purchase your copy.

About the Authors

ESP_9231 (2)Joanie Bruce

As an avid reader, Joanie Bruce welcomed the transition from reading to writing and considered it a wonderful new experience to please others with her words. She has three published Christian suspense novels, and enjoys writing from her home in the country. Thankful that God has given her the ability to write, draw and paint, Joanie strives to use them to encourage others and to honor Him in all her accomplishments.

Alexa Verde

New Author PortraitAlexa Verde penned her first literary masterpiece, a rhymed poem, at the ripe age of eight. Since then she has had 200 short stories, articles, and poems published in the five languages that she speaks. She has a bachelor degree in Spanish, and a master’s in Russian. Alexa enjoys writing about characters with diverse cultures. She’s worn the hats of reporter, teacher, translator, model (even one day counts!), caretaker, and secretary. However, she thinks that the writer’s hat suits her the best. After travelling the world and living in both hemispheres, she calls a small town in south Texas home. The latter is an inspiration for the fictional setting of her series Rios Azules Christmas and Secrets of Rios Azules.

Denise Weimer

2016headshotDenise Weimer holds a journalism degree with a minor in history from Asbury University. An associate editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Denise is the author of The Restoration Trilogy, The Georgia Gold Series, romantic novella REDEEMING GRACE, and ACROSS THREE AUTUMNS: A Novella of The Backcountry Brides Collection through Barbour Publishing (May 2018). This wife and swim mom of two daughters always pauses for coffee, chocolate, old houses, and to write any story God lays on her heart.

Blog Stops

Texas Book-aholic, December 3

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, December 3

Reflections From My Bookshelves, December 4

History, Mystery & Faith, December 4

Zerina Blossom’s Books, December 5

proud to be an autism mom, December 5

Mommynificent, December 6

Inklings and notions, December 6

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, December 6

Allofakindmom, December 7

Blogging With Carol, December 7

Blossoms and Blessings, December 8

Have A Wonderful Day, December 8

Janices book reviewsDecember 9

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, December 9

Carpe Diem, December 10

Mary Hake, December 10

A Baker’s Perspective, December 11

Daysong ReflectionsDecember 12

Avid Reader Book ReviewsDecember 12

Reading Is My SuperPower, December 13

Remembrancy, December 13

Multifarious, December 14

Margaret Kazmierczak, December 14

D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, December 15

Pursuing StacieDecember 15

Vicky Sluiter, December 16

Bigreadersite, December 16

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate the tour of Holy Ivy and Intrigue, Celebrate Lit Publishing is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c515 – This promotion is now closed.

Secret Agent paradox how to cry out to God

Secret Agent

Have you ever wanted to be a secret agent or superhero? I grew up with Thunderbirds (yes they were puppets in 1965 – but who cared) and The Hood, the most feared villain and the world’s most dangerous man. Enthralled by the storyline and willing the Tracy brothers to overcome the evil plots that the Hood conquered up, I imagined myself as part of the team fighting for good. Move over Lady Penelope with your pink car! I wanted to be the secret agent with a motorbike decked in leathers speeding to save Scott Tracey – yes I had a crush on a puppet, but then I was only seven!

I had a strong sense of right and wrong and the Tracy family mirrored that quality. The plots were not complicated, and usually, the episodes lasted one sitting. But the dastardly Hood seemed always to get away.

Set in 2060 with their futuristic technology they either rescue or need saving themselves!

In some ways, Jes Drew’s book The Bachelor Missions is similar to Thunderbirds. You have the goodies and the baddies, the intrigue, the rescuer needing to be rescued and a boss man who is keen on disposing of the good guy (or organisation in Thunderbirds case). I wonder if you were a secret agent if you could figure out the various plots that Kristian Clark the main character in the book is embroiled in?

Let me introduce you to The Bachelor Missions – you will find my review below.

The Bachelor Mission FB Banner copy

My penny’s worth

A new Secret Agent

Kristian Clark, the main character is a new breed of Secret Agent, well at least to me! He is a man on a mission who doesn’t realise he needs rescuing.

Jess Drew

What can I say about The Bachelor Missions?  Well, it’s full of twists and turns that also incorporates Christian elements too, and Jess Drew draws you into her world of writing right from the start.  I wanted to know who the Boss Man was, what he wanted and why. I didn’t like him.

The main character

Enter Kristian Clark, a spy with morals and a past. A thoroughly good guy, like a superhero without the underwear over his tights! He is lovable but a bit slow on the relationship front. So will he get the girl in the end?

Sorry, who is who?

The plot and subplots were for me a bit confusing – maybe I am getting old – like a comic book detective talking his way through the scene, suddenly changing to the bad guy and his antics to bring down the hero. It might have helped if I read the book in one sitting, but my family expected attention and nourishment at intervals.

Can you have spies without violence?

There were scenes of violence, some seemed to stretch the imagination, and I wondered how certain movements were possible – however, I am not an expert in spy training.

Moments of humour

I enjoyed Jess Drew’s humour in the characters she carved out and could picture the somewhat crazy world of subterfuge. Did I see some pink hair streak by?

The dark side

A lot seemed to happen in the book with the most action centred on the final mission. It did creep me out a bit as I wasn’t expecting such dark happenings, but then there are nasty forces at play in this world. The Hood (from Thunderbirds) was tame in comparison.

Who would like this book?

Reading The Bachelor Missions has been an interesting experience. If you are looking for a different type of book for New Adults as Jess Drew coins it, that has a Christian bias in the spy fiction genre; then you may like this one.

Thank you, Jess Drew, for writing this book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Book:

 

Name of book: The Bachelor MissionsBachelor Missions

Author: Jes Drew

Genre: Christian speculative spy fiction

Release Date: February 18, 2017

The good-guys, the bad-guys, and the wild card- it’s the ultimate game of cloak and dagger…

Kristian Clark, private eye, thought his days as a special agent were behind him, but when he’s drafted into action, he finds himself reunited with his old team- and painful memories of why they broke up in the first place. But as he plunges into mission after mission- from a ‘holy heist’ to babysitting a young hacker to going undercover in a cult- Kristian find that everything he tried to leave behind is coming back to haunt him with a vengeance, and then some. First, there’s the mysterious woman who knows more about Kristian- and his past- than makes sense while using science fiction weapons that don’t make sense period. Then there are the shady powers-that-be who are responsible for drafting him back into this world to satisfy their own nefarious agendas. It’s all Kristian can do to keep from being pulled into their games as he tries to figure out who to trust and what to fight for, even as the trap put in place to destroy him is set with a ticking clock.
When did espionage get so complicated?
 Click here to purchase your copy!

 About the Author:

IMG_0231Jes Drew lives with her mom, dad, younger sister (the illustrious Nicki Chapelway), four younger brothers (yes, four), and two dogs. She is the author of both the Ninja and Hunter trilogy and the Howling Twenty trilogy. Besides writing, she enjoys reading, daydreaming, and her day job. There is also a possibility that she may or may not be a secret agent, but that’s classified. Still, you can contact her at http://pausefortales.blogspot.com/

Guest Post from Jes Drew

I began writing at a very young age. I don’t think I even started school yet when I came out with my first children’s titles. The Swan Princess and Flamingo Queen was followed by a sequel The Duck Prince and Unicorn King (because I thought it was unfair that only the mom and sister had to go through transformations), and Julian and Juliette had many reprints- all carefully printed and illustrated by myself before moving to their final destination: safekeeping in my mom’s possession.

Years later, I resumed my writing craft near the end of elementary school with two series of chapter books I wrote and then read aloud to my family. However, it was not until I watched Marvel’s Avengers that I found my true muse (Captain America, obviously). The story was so enthralling, I could do nothing but pick up the pen and compose my first published trilogy: The Ninja and Hunter Series published when I was sixteen. This was followed by the tree books of The Howling Twenties two years later.

But, no longer a ‘young adult’ I’ve moved on beyond that genre to the next age group: New Adult. That genre infamously known for its many vices and sins. However, we as Christians are called to “Take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b), and a genre targeted toward twenty-somethings should be no exception.

So this is my first release in the New Adult genre. Kristian Clark might be a secret-agent-turned-private-investigator-turned-secret-agent again, but he still deals with the same problems all twenty-somethings face: adapting to a career, longing for a soul mate, and searching for deeper meaning in all the noise. With a little intrigue and cool gadgets on the side because, well, he is a secret-agent-turned-private-investigator-turned-secret-agent after all.

Blog Stops

Bibliophile ReviewsNovember 2

Book Reviews From an Avid Reader, November 2

A Baker’s Perspective, November 3

BigreadersiteNovember 3

Fiction Aficionado, November 4

History, Mystery & Faith, November 5

Aryn the Libraryan, November 6

Reflections From My Bookshelf, November 7

Blogging With Carol, November 8

Multifarious, November 9

Carpe Diem, November 10

A Reader’s Brain, November 11

Karen Sue HadleyNovember 11

Neverending Stories, November 12

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, November 12

margaretkazmierczak, November 13

Mary Hake, November 13

Daysong ReflectionsNovember 14

Ashley’s BookshelfNovember 15

Giveaway

e5f4939d-cd96-45de-b748-8fb15bc1a0afTo celebrate her tour, Jes is giving away a

Grand Prize of the Howling Twenties trilogy, signed, and a fifteen dollar Amazon gift card

and a
1st Place Prize of The Time I Saved the Day, also signed, and a ten dollar Amazon gift card!!

Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/c31a

Love demands enormous faith, daring, courage and trust

Have you ever been in a love triangle? Over fifty years ago I loved two boys, one with freckles and glasses and a couple of inches smaller than myself, the other tall dark and handsome. My dilemma – which one should have my spare lollipop?

Book review for Out of Darkness by Erynn Newman

A tough decision, Davy had been my first love, solid and faithful but Ben, new on the scene, had charisma. At eight years old friendships meant everything, and I didn’t want to lose either of them.

Pondering over the solution, it dawned on me that the best answer lay in a competition. I turned my back and threw the lollipop over my head…. (scroll down to the bottom of the post to find out who ended up with my lolly!)

Now on with the book review.

First light FB Banner copy

To purchase your copy, click here.

My penny’s worthBook Review Out of Darkness

What I liked

Out of Darkness is a fast-moving story carefully crafted by the author. The main characters drew me into the book immediately, and I had a hard time putting it down. I loved them from the first page and could feel their pain as events unfolded very quickly.

Drew, Elisabeth and Gabe, a love triangle that weaves in and out of the pages. Elisabeth caught in the middle through no fault of her own. Grappling with the love of her heart this courageous woman calls on God to help her make the right decisions. I could feel her pain.

The key to success

The wonderful golden thread of faith underpins this great book, an element that is often lacking in other thrillers where so often it is left out and ignored. But this made it for me, spies with faith.

An excellent book

I love spy thrillers, so I looked forward to reading this book, and it didn’t let me down. Page after page the action ran along with me in tow. I needed to know what happened next and it kept me awake long past my bedtime. Yes, in my opinion, it was that good.

Would I recommend it

I have no hesitation in recommending this page-turner; it has it all, suspense, love and heartbreak, mystery, danger and turmoil, courage, trust, daring and a good ending. It simply is the best read I have had in this genre. I would also recommend reading the prequel “First Light.”

Thank you Erynn for writing this book.

*I received this book for free. No compensation was received, and all opinions are my own.*

About the Book

 

Book title: Out of Darkness

Author: Erynn NewmanOut of Darkness by Erynn Newman

Release date: May 18, 2017

Genre: Romantic Suspense

 

Elisabeth Allen gave her heart to Jesus as a little girl and to Drew Marek as a teenager. When their wedding day finally arrives, it’s the happiest day of her life–until a car bomb transforms her dream come true into a living nightmare.

 

As Best Man at the wedding, Gabriel Di Salvo promises Drew–his best friend and CIA partner–he’ll look after Elisabeth, but he never dreams it will become necessary so soon. As Elisabeth struggles to put the pieces of her life back together without Drew, Gabe becomes her rock, and as they share their grief and begin to heal, their friendship gradually deepens into something more.

Three years later, Gabe and Elisabeth are planning a future together when he receives a shocking call from the one man who can upend his happiness: Drew. Suspecting someone at the CIA is behind his abduction, Drew refuses to come home. Instead, he asks Gabe to bring Elisabeth to him. Now Gabe just has to figure out how to let her go.

Drew and Elisabeth race across Europe, dodging international arms dealers and attempting to reclaim what was stolen from them. But years of captivity and torture have left their mark on Drew. He is no longer the same boy Elisabeth fell in love with, but he is still her husband, and she’s determined to build something new and leave her relationship with Gabe in the past if her heart will get the memo.

When their enemies close in and the threat of a terrorist attack escalates, Gabe may be the only person they can trust. Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe are thrown into a fight for their lives–one that will test their loyalties to God, country . . . and each other.

Gabe

About the Author

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Erynn Newman is a pastor’s kid, raised in churches all over the Eastern Seaboard. Since earning her degree in Christian Studies, she has travelled the world and served as a missionary, a counsellor, an ESL teacher, and a nanny. Though she has never worked with the CIA, her DVR contains a veritable Who’s Who of international spies. She is a Carolina girl, a wife, and Mama to a very busy little boy, two cats, and a gaggle of characters that live inside her head.

20 Facts About Out of Darkness

  1. I write novels while the rest of the house sleeps. That’s also when I do most of my editing work and social media stalking. During the day, I get to hang out with an awesome 4-year-old who is the reason I get up in the morning (both because he’s my heart and because he’s staring into my soul asking me to make pancakes).
  2. I don’t like wine or coffee. My writer fuel is partially frozen Cherry Pepsi.
  3. It took me a long time to realize I was a writer. I thought that everyone made up imaginary people and back stories for them and imagined the lives they lived and sometimes talked to them in traffic. Turns out no. Fortunately, other writers found me and helped me figure it out.
  4. My greatest nemeses are also my greatest inspirations. Facebook and Netflix. Finding the balance of hanging out with other writers and readers and being inspired by great story telling and actually doing the work is the hardest thing for me.
  5. I am obsessed with casting characters. Finding the perfect actor/actress or model who embodies my characters is one of my favorite parts of the process. I also do this for every single book I read.
  6. So, of course, now you want to know who I chose for Drew, Elisabeth, and Gabe. I’m glad you asked.
    • Drew is based on Matt Bomer’s portrayal of Bryce Larkin in the show Chuck (there are quite a few nods to this show hidden throughout Out of Darkness).
    • Elisabeth is partially based on a character from a show I watched when I was in college (also a waitress and artist), but she looks like this model.
    • Gabe is based not that loosely on (young) Anthony DiNozzo from NCIS.
  7. Our house has a really great office with a nice desk and comfortable chair that looks out on our wooded back yard. But I work almost exclusively while sitting on the couch with my laptop propped up on the back of it. My uniform is yoga pants and an old t-shirt. The author life is G.L.A.M.O.R.O.U.S.
  8. I got my start writing fan fiction. Most of it has been obliterated from the interwebs, but there may still be a few Star Wars stories floating around out there (I owe this to my love for Ewan MacGregor and my hatred of Annakin Skywalker). Fan fiction is also the way I found my very first critique group. And our leader, Susan Kaye Quinn, best-selling author and real life rocket scientist, helped me realize I could be a real author. And later she taught me how to publish. I want to be her when I grow up.
  9. Speaking of fan fiction, the original idea for Out of Darkness was a fan fiction based on that character from that show I talked about above. The waitress/artist who lost her first love and then fell for someone else. And then when her love returned, he was… recast. And terrible. And she forgot who she was and made every wrong decision. And everyone was miserable ever after.
    And I was like, what even IS this show?!?! So I started writing my version of how it should have gone.
    But then a surprising thing happened. My characters took on lives of their own, and I fell in love with ALL of them, and I knew I had to tell their story. So I started creating a different back story for them (and I introduced them to Jesus), and then they became their own characters and started telling me what to do. And I’m a little insane now, but I’m not even mad because I love what this story has turned into (and turned ME into).
  10. I started writing Out of Darkness in its earliest form in 2006. I stopped and restarted several times. I wrote other things that may or may not ever see the light of day. I learned that I was writing all wrong, and I ripped it apart, started over and stitched it back together piece by piece. In fact, my original chapter one is now chapter FOURTEEN. And all of that is after the first fifty pages that now comprise First Light, the prequel novelette that tells the story of how Drew and Elisabeth met and fell in love.
  11. Of all the exotic locations mentioned in Out of Darkness: Venice, Italy; Paris, France; Cordoba, Spain; Trim, Ireland; and even Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland, I have been to two—Baltimore and Paris.
    Google Maps Street View and Wikipedia are an author’s best friends.
  12. Music inspires me to write, but I can’t write to music. I often hear a song that makes me think of a scene or helps me get the emotion right. And I add those to my play list, but when I write, I prefer quiet (or instrumental music).
  13. I want the Gospel to be front and center in every story I write (including my own), but there were two scenes in particular that I really felt like the Holy Spirit guided me in writing. One is when Drew finds his Bible in the backpack Gabe packed for them, and the other is Gabe’s argument with God when he decides to let Elisabeth go. In both instances, I feel like God really led me to the right Scriptures and gave me the words in a way I didn’t experience with any other scenes.
  14. The hardest scenes were all of the ones with Drew and the gas. Both because I don’t like to torture my characters (contrary to what you may believe) and because the science behind the weapon is way above my head. I worked with a couple of microbiologists to get it at least to plausible/possible, but I’m sure there are still some issues with my science there.
  15. I cried several times while writing this book. Elisabeth and I grieve much the same way, so I saw a lot of myself in her moments crying out to God—especially in the ones where she just wanted to feel Him and couldn’t. I cried when Drew fell apart reading his Bible, and I cried at the end when I wasn’t sure who would live or die.
  16. Gabe was the biggest surprise of the writing process. He was supposed to be out of the picture after chapter sixteen. He was just supposed to be a supporting character in the first half of the book, but at every turn, he was tapping me on the shoulder and telling me, “there’s so much more to my story.”
  17. A few scenes didn’t make it into the final book. Two of them are in the outtakes section of my website but don’t read those until after you’ve read the book. Seriously.
  18. After being told by one agent that Out of Darkness would never sell because it didn’t fit neatly into a genre category, I signed with my current agent in 2012, and we submitted it to several publishers. I received lots of compliments on my writing, but ultimately, people didn’t seem to like the fact that both of my leading men were good guys, and there was no one to root against. One even suggested that I make Gabe complicit in Drew’s abduction. And one suggested I kill Drew (again!) so Elisabeth and Gabe could end up together. Both interesting ideas, but neither were the story I wanted to tell. In the end, I decided to indie publish, which has been really challenging, but I’m so happy with the way everything turned out. We all got the ending we were supposed to have.
  19. Speaking of endings, the one in the final version is very different from the original. I’ll try not to be too spoilery, but let’s just say that the original ending was far less happy, but I felt like it was the only way out. One of my characters made a choice that I couldn’t see any way around. And I thought that a happy ending would be too fake. I didn’t want to tie everything up with a pretty pink bow and say “they all lived happily ever after,” because, after everything they’d been through, that wouldn’t be real life. But a very good friend of mine convinced me that I could instead tie everything up with a frayed knot. It’s still messy and difficult and a little raw, but I think it’s real… and full of hope and possibility.
  20. So what’s next, you ask? There’s more to explore here perhaps, but I honestly don’t know what comes next for these characters. That’s something I’m still thinking about.
    The story I’m working on right now also begins in D.C. but takes place mostly in the Pacific Northwest. It’s the story of an ex Army Ranger who has to protect his three little brothers when the youngest witnesses their parents’ murder. And there may also be a girl involved.

Blog Stops

August 17: A Baker’s Perspective

August17: Genesis 5020

August18: Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

August 18: Reading Is My SuperPower

August 19: Fiction Aficionado

August 19:Inklings and notions

August 20: Reflections from my Bookshelves

August 20: Blossoms and Blessings

August 21: History, Mystery & Faith

August 21: Blogging With Carol

August 22: Faithfully Bookish

August 22: Mommynificent

August 23: Just the Write Escape

August 23: Moments Dipped in Ink

August 24: Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting

August 24: 100 pages per hour

August 25: Carpe Diem

August 25: Christian Bookaholic

August 26: J.E. Grace Bog

August 26: Karen Sue Hadley

August 27: God’s Little Bookworm

August 27: Back Porch Reads

August 27: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations

August 28: Margaret Kazmierczak

August 28: Daysong Reflections

August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection

August 29: The Important Things in Life: God, Books, & Chocolate

August 29: Remembrancy

August 30: Avid Reader Book Reviews

August 30: Henry Happens

Giveaway

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To celebrate her tour, Erynn is giving away a grand prize of a signed copy of Out of Darkness, a signed copy of First Light, The Joy Eternal~A Sweet and Bitter Providence CD, a $10 Starbucks gift card, and Italian Chocolate Hazelnut Creme Cookies.!! Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries! https://promosimple.com/ps/beac

And the answer to who got the lolly?

The two boys jumped to catch the lolly, but then the fighting started. Davy lost his glasses in the scuffle and Ben took his chance to steal the sweet. He immediately began to unwrap his prize, and Davy conceded defeat, retorting “You can have the lolly, but I get the gal!”

Hope you enjoyed my review.