Saturday, July 28, 2012

Abducted by Janice Cantore

After solving the mayor’s murder and exposing corruption among the top brass in Las Playas, Carly Edwards is happy to be back on patrol with her partner, Joe, putting bad guys behind bars. For once, everything in life seems to be going right.

But then everything starts to go wrong. Slow to recover from an injury, her ex-husband, Nick, begins pulling away just as they were starting to get close again. Meanwhile, when Joe’s wife lands in the hospital with a mysterious illness, their baby is kidnapped. As Carly chases down every lead in a search to find the baby, her faith is pushed to its limits.

This is the second book in the "Pacific Coast Justice" series by Janice Cantore.  I had already read the first book, "Accused" and hounded Ms. Cantore to let me read "Abducted" and post a review about it.  Since I'm such a great reviewer ( a legend in my own mind), she graciously accepted my request.

Carly is back and still getting the feel for her new christian body that she put on in the last book.  Her relationship with Nick is improving, but there is still some friction between them.  Carly is out patroling with her partner when they get a call to head to the hospital.  They find out that her partner's wife and 4-month old baby have been taken to the hospital and his wife is unconscious.  While they are tending to his wife, his son is taken upstairs for precaution.  Overnight, the unthinkable happens.  His son is kidnapped right out of the hospital.  Thus begins a never ending search to find her partner's son, all the while tending to her relationship with Nick.  Along the way, Carly stumbles upon an FBI surveillance on a person of interest in the baby kidnapping case.    Nick begins pushing her away and reporter Alex is beginning to lend a supportive ear to her friendship.  Her roommate is suspended for her role in the kidnapping, and now she's moving out on Carly.  Do they find the baby?  Will Andrea really move out? What's going on with Nick? What is Alex's angle in this?  How in the world does ICE get involved? Where is the God that she has so recently been placing all of her faith in? WHEW!  If that's not enough to get you interested in this series, you have some serious problems!

Ms. Cantore does a great job with her character of Carly.  For Carly to be such a young Christian, she sure puts her faith in action.  I love that Carly has such intimate discussions with God as she attempts to make sense of the things that are happening around her.  I also enjoyed seeing how she molded the relationship between Carly and Nick throughout this book.  Their relationship was definitely on a roller coaster as he struggled to deal with his injury and what it means for his future.  The police procedures are so realistic, I appreciate it when an author does all of the extra research that gives me a little bit of knowledge and learning, all while I'm enjoying a book.  The dilemmas that the characters get themselves into are all settled in believable ways.  For example, the simple fact that she had the character of Joe shown as struggling between being out there looking for his son and being at the hospital to care for his wife was very believable.  She gave him the solution of staying with his wife and trusting that his friends on the force would find his son.  That's a great character trait that should be followed!

Is this a "guy's book"?  There's no question about it.  This book has police chases, arson, car wrecks, FBI, human trafficking, etc.  If you would ever want adventure and intrigue, this book and series is definitely for you!


A retired Long Beach California police officer of 22 years (16 in uniform and 6 as a non-career officer), Janice Cantore worked a variety of assignments, patrol, administration, juvenile investigations and training. During the course of her career in uniform Janice found that faith was indispensable to every aspect of the job and published articles on faith at work, one for a quarterly newspaper called “Cop and Christ”, and another for the monthly magazine “Today’s Christian Woman”.

With retirement Janice began to write longer pieces and several novels were born. She has a two book suspense series in print she calls Brinna’s Heart Series, The Kevlar Heart and A Heart of Justice (Oaktara Publishing). Janice is excited and honored to now be a part of the Tyndale Publishing House family. Accused, the first installment in her new suspense offering, The Pacific Coast Justice Series, is set to be released February 1, 2012 and will kick off a brand new chapter in her writing career. In addition to suspense and action, her books feature strong female leads. Janice writes suspense novels designed to keep you engrossed and leave you inspired.

Janice has bachelor’s degrees in Biology (University of California at Irvine) and Physical Education (California State University at Long Beach).  She also completed graduate coursework in Criminal Justice (University of Southern California) and is currently a member of American Christian Fiction Writer’s and Sisters in Crime.  She attends Crescenta Valley Community Church in La Crescenta California and while a few years ago she retired to a house in the mountains of Southern California, she currently resides in Glendale California in order to help care for her aging parents. Janice is single and has three Labrador Retrievers, Jake, Maggie and Abbie. Janice’s hobbies are reading, cross-stitching, kayaking, hiking, walking the dogs and trying to stay fit.

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Anasazi Intrigue by Linda Weaver Clarke

Stolen artifacts, a nosy newspaper reporter, and mysterious events begin to unfold in this mystery adventure novel. When a devastating flood takes out several homes in a small town, they are shocked by the news of also a possible poison spill that kills many of the fish and neighbor's pets. The town doesn't know what to think or do, until Julia, the town's newest reporter, jumps into action and begins her investigation. Quickly though, Julia realizes the story and investigation are much bigger and more dangerous than she thought! Julia and her husband find themselves on the run trying to save their lives while finishing the story and helping out their small town! She never realized that being a reporter could be so dangerous. With artifacts, dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants, John and Julia have their hands full.

As you may recall, I did a review a little while back of the 4th book in this series.  I enjoyed that book so much, that I asked the author, Linda Weaver Clarke, if I could read the first in the series and do a review of that book as well.  Linda said she would be glad to do it, and I definitely was glad to read it.

This is the introduction to the characters of John and Julia Evans, though for some reason, Julia is referred to as "Julia Roberts" in the beginning of this book.  John is professional knife maker and Julia is a newspaper journalist.  John is working with a man, Paul, who is in the midst of uncovering artifacts of the Anasazi Indians.  It seems that there are individuals who are out to steal the treasure and Paul will do whatever he needs to keep the treasure safe and the heritage of the Anasazi Indians alive.  At the same time, Julia has uncovered a case of cyanide poisoning of fish and some other animals around the river area. This will be the first real break for her writing career if she's right on the cause of the poisoning, but is she right?  What kind of danger has she put herself in as she investigates this story?  Can John and Paul work together to keep the treasure safe?  All great questions, and ones that will be answered when you BUY THE BOOK!

This was another great and easy read by Linda Weaver Clarke.  I believe the last book I compared to "Murder She Wrote", but I think I might have been off base.  She mentions in the start of this book that this is more like the TV Show, "Hart To Hart", and I believe she is spot on with the analogy.  I love the information that she shares with us through the course of the story about the Anasazi Indians.  This to me is the best way to learn about something new, all in the course of doing something that I enjoy, READING!  Her characters are so life-like in their banter with each other, and the descriptions of what they see and do are very vivid.

Is this a "guy's book"?  My answer would be yes.  As in the other book that I reviewed, this book is filled with intrigue and adventure, two things that will keep any guy coming back for more.

I received this book from the author for my honest opinion.


I was raised on a farm surrounded by the rolling hills of southern Idaho and have made my home in southern Utah among the beautiful red mountains and desert heat. I have been happily married for 36 years and am the mother of six daughters and have four wonderful grandchildren .

After my family began to leave the nest, I decided it was time to finish what I had started long ago. I decided to go back to college and get a degree. It had been 30 years since I had been to college and it was one of the most frightening things I had ever done. I had to learn how to study and take tests all over again. The first day of college, I was a nervous wreck and wondered if I could do this, but with the support of my husband and children I was able to graduate. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and Music at Southern Utah University and received the Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award for the College of Performing Arts in 2002. During the meantime, I cut a CD named "Romantic Love Songs of Sigmund Romberg and Victor Herbert."

I have enjoyed writing short stories and novels for several years but it took a lot of courage to begin submitting them. After "Melinda and the Wild West" was published, I entered it in the Reader Views Literary Contest and my book was chosen as a Semi-Finalist in the "Reviewers Choice Awards 2007." It was one of the top ten out of hundreds of other entries.

Linda is graciously offering an ebook of "Anasazi Intrigue" to a random someone leaving a comment on this review.  So leave a comment and contact information in case you are the winner!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Harvest of Grace by Cindy Woodsmall

When Sylvia Fischer turned down her beau's offer of marriage, she expected him to give her the time and space she'd requested, believing they would eventually wed. .Instead he married her sister. When she learns that his betrayal was her father's idea--a proposition made to save the farm--she knows she'll never trust another man.

Despite the secrets hiding in Aaron Blank's youth, he thinks he's ready to face his future. As he sets out to make up for the wrongs he's done to his family, he meets Sylvia, the new farmhand from a nearby district. She doesn't want him around, seems to have his father's heart in the palm of her hand--and what she knows could ruin his future.

I'm trying to do two things with my review of this book:
      1) Broaden my scope of reading material
       2) Do more reviews for actual publishers

I know that I'm becoming successful at my 2nd objective, but I'm not sure that I am with with my first after reading this book.

This is the 3rd book in the "Ada's House Series" by Cindy Woodsmall.  As you can imagine, I have not at this point read the first two books in the series.  I will say, though, that even without reading the first two books, I wasn't as lost as I expected myself to be.  There is enough of a back story, plus almost new characters to lend this book to almost being a stand alone title.

Sylvia Fisher is not an ordinary Amish woman. Being the oldest of all girls with no brothers her father has let her run the herd but not have a lot of say in the farming.  This has caused her to seek out duties such as tending to her family's dairy herd and milking cows to normal duties of tending children and managing a household.  Having scorned a suitable Amish suitor, she is forced by guilt to leave her home and beloved family farm and seek refuge with another couple, the Banks'.  The Banks are a couple that have been devastated by the of their daughter a year ago and a son that is away at rehab for alcohol abuse.
Upon Aaron's return, his plan is to persuade his parents into selling the farm and moving with him into town.  Although Sylvia has become attached to the couple and to their farm, she must join with Aaron and his plan in order to see her own dreams fulfilled.  Will they sell the farm?  Do Sylvia and Aaron give in to their mutual attraction?  BUY THE BOOK!!!

I will say that the book was very well written, just not really my genre of reading.  The characters were well defined, the story was paced appropriately and the plot was believable.

Is this a "Man's Book"?  Not really.  While I can say that the book was well written, I can also say that I can't imagine too many men reading this book.  Doesn't mean that it wasn't a good book, just not really for men.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion.


Cindy Woodsmall is a New York Times best-selling author who has written six novels, three novellas, and Plain Wisdom, a work of nonfiction coauthored with her dearest Old Order Amish friend, Miriam Flaud. She’s been featured on ABC Nightline and the front page of the Wall Street Journal, and has worked with National Geographic on a documentary concerning Amish life.

She is also a veteran homeschool mom who no longer holds that position. As her children progressed in age, her desire to write grew stronger. After working through reservations whether this desire was something she should pursue, she began her writing journey. Her husband was her staunchest supporter as she aimed for what seemed impossible.
She’s won Fiction Book of the Year, Reviewer’s Choice Awards, Inspirational Reader’s Choice Contest, as well as one of Crossings’ Best Books of the Year. She’s been a finalist for the prestigious Christy, Rita, and Carol Awards, Christian Book of the Year, and Christian Retailers Choice Awards.

We Have A Winner!

Sorry that it took so long to pull a winner from the list of those that left a comment on the review of "Rare Earth" by Davis Bunn, but here's our winner .........  Patrick Cox!!

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, I'll contact Patrick directly so that he can get his copy of "Rare Earth".