Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Firewall by DiAnn Mills

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they’re both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn’t who he appears to be.

Agent Grayson Hall’s number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day’s act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naiveté just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?

With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

What do you get when you mix a best-selling author of over 25 fiction and non-fiction books with a terrific plot and an unforgettable cast of characters?  Why, you get the “Firewall” by DiAnn Mills.  And let me tell you, you won’t want to pass this one up! 

There’s nothing more exciting than getting ready to board an airplane for your honeymoon.  Sometimes, during that excitement, nature takes over and a restroom break is needed.  In this instance, nature was the only thing that kept Taryn from being one of those killed in the deadly explosion at the airport.  After she comes to, not only is she trying to figure out what happened, she’s trying to find what happened to her new husband.  Agent Grayson Hall finds all of the evidence against Taryn and her husband to be a slam-dunk to solving this heinous crime.  His instincts, though, tell him something different.  As Taryn begins to uncover clues that may point to her husband being a completely different person then she thought she had married, she must turn to Agent Hall and hope that they can work together to solve this mystery.  Did her husband have something to do with the explosion? Can Taryn and Agent Hall work together or will he find evidence against her as well?  Is Taryn safe or is someone still after her?  Put away your fertilizer and go BUY THIS BOOK!!

I guess the thing that keeps me interested in a good book is one that is very fast paced.  “Firewall” is one that has that kind of a pace.  Starting you with the airport explosion and then weaving you through plot twist after plot twist, this book never gives you a chance to catch your breath.  Although there is some minor romance in this book, it is more of a passing part of the story, not enough to give a second look or to worry about.  I loved the character of Taryn and the tenaciousness that she showed as she tried to get to the bottom of the mystery.  The turmoil of Agent Grayson as he reconciled his job and the evidence with his gut instincts was interesting.  I enjoyed the witty banter that the author threw in between the characters.  It not only showed a human side of them but provided some much needed comic relief and a chance to catch my own breath every once in a while.

Is this a "guy's book"?  Yes, Yes and YES!!  Explosions, gun-fire, hidden identities and more will keep you turning the pages of this book well into the night.  I hope that you start this book when you don’t have anything planned for the next couple of hours, because you are sure to be glued to the chair until you finish.

About The Author

DiAnn Mills is a best-selling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She currently has more than fifty-five books published.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won placements through the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Carol Awards and Inspirational Reader’s Choice awards. DiAnn won the Christy Award in 2010 and 2011.

DiAnn is a founding board member for American Christian Fiction Writers and a member of Inspirational Writers Alive, Romance Writers of America, and Advanced Writers and Speakers Association. She speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. DiAnn is also the Craftsman mentor for the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild and is the 2014 president of RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love chapter.

She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

You can connect with Ms. Mills at the following locations:

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

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fatal Exchange by Lisa Harris

 Emily Hunt might come from a family of cops, but she never goes looking for an adrenaline rush. She lives the quiet--well, relatively quiet--life of a teacher and thrives on making a difference in the lives of her students. But she'll have to draw on a well of strength and savvy she didn't know she had as student Rafael Cerda takes her class hostage for ransom money to save his brother's life.

     Undercover cop Mason Taylor has been working with Rafael to find his brother and bring the cartel thugs who hold him to justice. Can he talk Rafael down from his impulsive actions? And is there something more sinister at work here than he realizes?

     Don’t you just LOVE finding a new author?  Lisa Harris, while maybe not a NEW author, is definitely a new one to me.  With over 25 published books to her credit, counting anthologies and her own novels, this is going to be fun picking out my next title by her.  “Fatal Exchange” is book 2 in the Southern Crimes series, with book 1 being “Dangerous Passage”.  I would strongly suggest you read the books in order so that you are aware of how the characters are connected.

     Mason Taylor, an undercover policeman, has been working diligently to keep his streets safe as well as providing needed mentoring to Rafael to keep him from going down the same path that so many in the neighborhood end up.  Emily Hunt loves her nice, safe life as a teacher.  She’ll gladly leave the adrenaline-filled life to that of her family members.  And when it comes to dating, she makes sure that is simple and organized too.  Yes, the simple life may not be for everyone, but it certainly is for Emily.  All of that changes when they are thrust together due to a hostage situation.  Rafael’s brother has been kidnapped and he’s reached out to Mason for help.  Before Mason can help, though, Rafael shows up at his classroom, Emily’s room, with a gun demanding 2 million dollars in cash.  As the situation goes from bad to worse, Mason and Emily have to work together to diffuse this explosive situation.  Afterward, just when they think it’s all over, there’s another kidnapping.  This time, though, it’s personal.  They’ve grabbed Emily’s niece and the time is running out.  What happened to Rafael?  Is Emily the next target? Can Mason keep all of them safe?  Don’t wait for the bell to ring, go BUY THIS BOOK!!!

     As a man, a little romance is more than enough sometimes.  Ms. Harris is labeled as Romantic Suspense, a title that doesn’t scare me off at first glance.  Not having read her other books yet, I would put this book more in the Suspense rather than Romantic Suspense, but who am I to quibble.  Ms. Harris provides you with plenty of depth to her characters, showing you flaws and concerns as the story progresses.  She gives you enough of the backstory as you go through the book that you never seem overwhelmed with trying to remember all of the story at once.  The plot line is believable with enough of a twist every so often to keep you reading well into the night.  The story is wrapped up tightly all the while leaving you with hopes of a new book in the series.

     Is this a "guy's book"?  Putting aside any remnants of romance, this book would definitely be the kind of book that any guy needs to read.  Kidnapping, hostages, gun battles and more, this story has all of the makings of a perfect book for any guy.

Lisa gave us a couple of minutes of her valuable time to respond to a couple of questions:

What is your favorite bible verse and why?

My favorite verse changes with seasons of my life. Currently I’ve been thinking a lot about persevering no matter what, like Paul talks about in Philippians 3:12-14. “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. . . Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your books and why?

I want my stories to not just entertain, but to inspire. I want my readers to enjoy the journey, and for that journey to spark a discovery within them about who they are, or maybe who they want to be. And I want it to be a way as well to make them think about God and people around them differently.

Besides writing, what are some of your favorite hobbies? 

I love trying out new recipes and taking photos in the African bush!

What advice would you give to a beginning writer?

Never give up! I learned early on that writing isn’t for the faint of hard. It’s a journey, a long-term commitment full of highs and lows. There will be days you won’t feel inspired. Write anyway. There will be days you get one of those not-so-fun rejections letter. Keep writing anyway. And when it does get tough, try and rediscover your love for writing. Remember what inspired you to start. Remember the joy of creating characters and stories and emotions on the page. And then keep writing!

Favorite memory from childhood?

Sitting high up in a tree in our back yard and reading. I think I always had my nose in a book!

Favorite comfort food?

Homemade tapioca pudding!

About The Author

I’m a wife, mom,  teacher, author, dreamer, photographer, but most importantly a follower of Christ Jesus.

I currently live with my husband, Scott, near the Indian Ocean in Mozambique as church-planting missionaries. Two of our three children are attending a missionary boarding school, while I homeschool our daughter.
As a homeschooling mom, life is never dull, but I see my writing as an extension of my ministry which also includes running a non-profit organization. 

The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for us to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

When I’m not working l love hanging out with my family at the beach,  playing games, cooking different ethnic dishes, and heading into the African bush on safari. 

I received this book from the publisher in partnership with the Book Fun Network in exchange for my honest opinion.