Monday, June 27, 2016

Deep Shadows by Vannetta Chapman

Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe—until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology.   Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn't changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare.

Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority—to keep Shelby and her son safe—could prove to be the biggest challenge of all.   As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby's faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive.

Isn’t it great when two great products combine to become one really super, duper thing?  What would Reese’s be if there wasn’t chocolate in my peanut butter, what would Twix be without that soft nugget and caramel?  In this same way, I’m so excited that Vannetta Chapman has finally penned a novel in the suspense genre!  I can finally read a book by Ms. Chapman and be able to find out what makes this author so exciting to everyone else.                                                                                                                                                                   

Seeing the Northern Lights should always be on a bucket list, but never as far south as Texas.  Shelby knows this is a sign of impending danger and the airplane falling out of the sky put an exclamation mark on that thought.  As Shelby, her neighbor Max and their friends make their way down the mountain, it becomes apparent that those beautiful colors in the sky are causing havoc everywhere.  As the sounds of additional explosions continue, the friends hastily make way for their small town.  All power is down, cell phones are silent and most of the cars are dead weights in the middle of the road.  Amateur CBers are finding out that this interruption of the power, etc. isn’t isolated to their small town, it’s happening around the globe.  The government and the townspeople begin strategizing on short and long term solutions to their current situation.  Within days, criminal elements are already looking for a way to exploit “The Flare” to their own gain.  Can they join together as a community and help each other out during this time or does every man begin to fend for himself?  If the power does every fail, you won’t be able to read this on a Kindle, so go to your local bookstore and BUY THIS BOOK!!!

This is the first in a new trilogy by Vannetta Chapman.  I tell you that so that you understand this book doesn’t provide you with a final resolution, it only gets you 1/3 of the way there.  The good news is that means you still have 2/3 of this series to long for, I know that I will.    Have you ever woke from a nap and had such a vivid nightmare during that nap that you feel you are still inside that nightmare?  That’s how I was reading this book.  No one was home so I had the TV off and only 1 lamp on in the house.  Whenever I’d stop and take a drink of water, my mind would be telling me to conserve that water since I wasn’t sure when the power would be back up and water would be flowing freely again.  Yes, I know that’s silly, but that’s how I felt while I was reading this book.  Ms. Chapman has developed characters and a small town that just beg to be helped and I for one am ready to offer my assistance!

Is this a "guy's book"?  Yes, Yes a thousand times YES!!!  Planes falling from the sky, police chases, political upheaval, gun fights, etc!  This book has it all and has such a great story flow that I was able to finish this in one afternoon.  I can’t believe I have to wait for the next book to come out and then even longer for the ending in book 3.  Either way, this is a definite MUST PURCHASE for any guy who loves these end of time stories.

About the Author:

The first thing you need to know about me is that I write Fiction full of GRACE.  Every plot is different. The characters change. Some of my books are mysteries, others are novellas, and some are romances. But they all are stories of light, hope, and truth. Stories that at least for a moment touch the deepest places in our heart.  Tales that whisper hope. That speak of family and community. That remind us of God and His love.

What do I write? If I had to reduce it to four words, I suppose I’d say I write Fiction full of GRACE.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Murder Comes By Mail by Ann Gabhart

Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane doesn't particularly enjoy being touted as the hero of Hidden Springs after pulling a suicidal man back from the edge of the Eagle River bridge in front of dozens of witnesses--a few of whom caught the breathtaking moments with their cameras. But the media hype doesn't last long as a new story pushes its way into the public consciousness of Hidden Springs' concerned citizens.

Photos of a dead girl arrive in the mail, and Michael becomes convinced she was murdered by the man he saved. With a killer one step ahead, things in Hidden Springs begin to unravel. Now Michael must protect the people he loves--because the killer could be targeting one of them next.
Imagine, if you will, sitting down with a hamburger made by Coke or watching a television manufactured by Ford.  While Coke and Ford excel in their perspective fields, don’t you ever wonder if they could translate that same type of success into another business venture?  Ann Gabhart has done that with this quirky series of books around Hidden Springs.  Ms. Gabhart is best known for her contemporary novels as well as her Shaker novels, but she sure has a hit on her hand here in the mystery and intrigue genre.

You see a man about to jump off a bridge, your natural instinct is to do everything you can to save him from ending his life.  That’s exactly what Deputy Sheriff Keane did and he may have just set in motion a chain of events that may cost him a life close to him.  The chilling last words from the jumper after Michael took him down come back to haunt him as pictures of dead bodies begin to arrive in the mail.  Are these pictures taken by the life of the jumper he just saved or is there someone more sinister lurking in their little town? As the pressure mounts and more photographs are received, Michael races against the clock to make sure the next picture isn’t of someone close to him.  So what are you waiting for??  Put down the camera and go BUY THIS BOOK!!!

I’ve read some novels that tend to take forever to get into and then pull you ever so slowly to the final resolution.  Those books can be as much fun as a root canal.  How nice it is that this book isn’t like that.  This is the second book in the Hidden Springs series, although it can technically be read without having to read the first book.  I will admit, though, that I did go out and buy the first book in the series and read it before I read this one and I wasn’t disappointed in the first book either.  Ms. Gabhart has created some believable characters and has definitely captured the essence of the small town.  Need to find the Sheriff, just go down to the diner, he should always be down there.  I loved the flow of the book, very light fare that allowed me to get whisked away in its simplicity.  I would liken this to a Mary Higgens Clark or an Agatha Christie novel, pure enjoyment with a great whodunit thrown in.

Is this a "guy's book"?  It’s light, it’s fluffy, but it’s definitely worth the time to read.  There are some tense moments, some police procedural items and plenty of “action” in this small town.  I think any guy would get some enjoyment by picking up this book, even both books in this series.

About The Author

Hi, glad you could stop by to get to know me better. I’m a country girl, born and raised on a farm in the Outer Bluegrass region of Kentucky. I know you’re thinking horse farm, but no, not out my way. Mostly cows on the farms around here. My grandfather did have a big old workhorse when I was a little girl. My family grew tobacco and corn. We had a few milk cows, some hogs and sheep, but mostly beef cattle. I grew up working on the farm and enjoying the woods and animals. My roots go deep in the land, and I now live on a farm just a mile away from the farmhouse where I was born and raised.

I started writing when I was ten and have been writing ever since. My first published writing (personal experience pieces, youth stories, and poems) was in church periodicals like Home Life. My first novel, A Forbidden Yearning, was published by Warner Books in 1978 and was a historical romance about the settling of Kentucky. Since then I’ve published over twenty-five other novels for adults and young adults. Some of the early titles are out of print now but still floating around out there as used books.

You can connect with Ann Gabhart at the following locations:
Web Site

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion, as part of their Book Review Blogger Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”