Hidden Agenda ~ by Lisa Harris

Hidden Agenda

“Michael Hunt staggered from the impact of the blow.”

This is the opening sentence of Lisa Harris’s Hidden Agenda, and the tension escalates from that moment.  Michael, an undercover cop investigating a drug cartel, has had his cover blown and has only a few hours to live. He is rescued by Ivan and Olivia, the son and daughter of Antonio Valez, the head of the cartel.

The story is fast-paced and believable, as the trio makes their escape from a heavily-guarded island, only to discover that Michael is also wanted by the police for a number of serious crimes.

There is an emotional tug each time Olivia and Ivan discover key people from their past are not who they believed them to be.  This is a direct contrast to the united and caring Hunt family who don’t hesitate to drop everything and come alongside Michael and Olivia.

The plot line is clever and keeps you guessing while each character is well defined. As a refreshing change for this genre of book, the three main characters all share a strong faith while still being far from perfect.  Where Olivia has difficulty releasing a protective control over her younger, deaf brother, Michael too is overly protective of his family and later Olivia. Even the two main “bad guys” have their soft spots and you can’t help having a smidgeon of sympathy with them, despite their evil way of life.

Despite the seedy background of drug running, Lisa has managed to keep the language clean while not in any way watering down the vivid narrative.

I read this book in less than 24 hours, reading until late at night and sneaking in a reading time the following afternoon to finish it.  If you enjoy suspense stories with some  romance, you will enjoy this book. I don’t hesitate to give it a 5-star rating. Hidden Agenda can be purchased here.

Thank you to Revell Reads for giving me this book for an unbiased review.Lisa Harris(2)

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom, Christy Award winner forDangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011from Romantic Times.

She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over ten years living as missionaries in Africa where she homeschools, leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry

Deadly Safari by Lisa Harris

Deadly Safari

 

When Texas Ranger Alex Markham is sent to Africa to protect an ambassador’s daughter he has no idea what he is taking on. Meghan Jordan, a wildlife filmmaker, is an independent young woman determined to make her own way in life without any babysitting or guidance from over-protective males.

The location and scenery of the story are beautifully portrayed by Lisa Harris, which comes as no surprise as she lives in Africa and loves the country, its inhabitants, and its wildlife. The characters are well put together and believable, with one exception.

I happily recommend this book, especially if you enjoy a deeper look into the beautiful wild country of Africa. As always, Lisa has again earned her tagline as she invites you to “Step Away from the Ordinary.”Lisa Harris(2)

 

LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award finalist who has over twenty novels and novella collections in print.

She and her husband, Scott, along with their three children, live near the Indian Ocean in Mozambique as missionaries. As a homeschooling mom, life can get hectic, but she sees her writing as an extension of her ministry which also includes running a non-profit organization The ECHO Project.

To find out more about her books you can visit her website.

Dangerous Passage is a finalist for the 2014 Christy Award in the Romance/Suspense division.

 

Helsinki Sunrise, ~ by Marion Ueckermann Review & Interview

Passport to Romance Blog Tour Logo

This post is a combination close look into the background of Helsinki Sunrise, a Passport to Romance book, and an interview with author Marion Ueckermann.

Interview with Marion Ueckermann

 SC: Hi Marion. Great to have you visiting my blog. I have lots of questions for you so let’s get started.
SC: Where were you born?
MU: Firstly, thanks for hosting me today on your blog, Shirl. I was born in Mufulira, Zambia a handful of decades ago. My paternal grandfather was a pure Scot and this gave me the incredible privilege of holding a British passport—a great money, time and effort saver when travelling.

Countries Visited

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Heavenly Haven by Christine Lindsay

Heavenly Haven (1)Heavenly Haven is a beautifully-woven short story by Christine Lindsay.

It is Shaina and Jack’s tenth wedding anniversary, and Shaina has great plans for the evening. She is devastated when her husband announces he has to work, and their marriage turns as icy as the weather outside. In an attempt to deal with her disappointment, Shaina makes a foolhardy decision that puts her and her young children in deadly peril.

Christine’s gift with words comes to the fore as she describes the scenery in 3D–without for one minute slowing down the action. I could see the ice-encrusted trees and ski-slopes thick with heavy banks of snow. I could feel the terror of the climax and held my breath as I sped through the words, anxious to see how the story would end.

This is a Christmas story with a difference, and I recommend it for a cosy evening’s read.

I received this story in return for an honest review, and I didn’t hesitate to award it five stars on Amazon.

Christine Lindsay

 

Irish-born Christine Lindsay writes multi-award-winning inspirational historical novels. Her great-grandfather and grandfather both worked as riveters on the Titanic, so perhaps the excitement of her ancestors has encouraged her great way with words.

 

Stolen Identity by Lisa Harris

Stolen Identity

Stolen Identity is a story about a widowed mother who gets caught up in a dangerous game when her identity is stolen.

Danielle Corbit doesn’t understand why someone would want to steal her identity. A single mother running a small business—nothing special, right? But after discovering a dead body on the Oregon coastline, she’s attacked by a dangerous hacker who will stop at nothing to frame her. Only her former fiancé, Jason Ryan, is willing to help.

Years ago Danielle broke his heart, and Jason doesn’t want to get involved with her again. Yet he cannot walk away from a woman in need. He’ll do anything to protect her from their unseen adversary. But is there enough time to work together and untangle this twisted web of fraud and deception?

I loved every minute of this story. The suspense was enough to keep me reading and even wanting to pray for those involved, without keeping me awake at night. I loved the tense situations without the violence and gore we often read in modern novels. I enjoyed being able to like both the hero and heroine while realising that there was a tension between them that I didn’t understand until later in the story.

I found the characters well developed and the story line good even though somewhat alarming when I realised how easily the situation can happen. It surely serves as a warning to us all to safeguard our identity as far as we can.

I bought this book after interviewing Lisa Harris on my website. The story sounded so good that I had to buy the book and read it. I wasn’t disappointed. Thank you Lisa for a great read!

Lisa Harris(2)
LISA HARRIS is a Christy Award-nominated author who has over twenty novels and novella collections in print.

She and her husband, Scott, along with their three children, live near the Indian Ocean in Mozambique as missionaries. As a homeschooling mom, life can get hectic, but she sees her writing as an extension of her ministry which also includes running a non-profit organization The ECHO Project.

To find out more about her books you can visit her website.

Safe House by Kathi Macias

Safe House

I offered to read and review this historical short story and looked forward in eager anticipation to getting into the story. I was instantly hooked by the main character, 11-year-old Nathaniel Johnson. The story takes place during June 1863 when school is out on holiday. He misses his father who signed up to fight in the Civil War the previous autumn and has not been heard of since.

Nathaniel lives with his mother and grandfather who share opposite views on the issue of slaves. His grandfather and Nathaniel’s missing father are both strong abolitionists, while his mother believes Christians should obey the law and not be involved in abetting legally-owned slaves to find freedom.

The youngster is torn in his feelings, wanting to believe his mother is correct and yet horrified by some of the stories fed to him by his grandfather. Things come to a head when Nathaniel discovered a young slave couple hiding in the family barn with their hours-old infant. His grandfather is old and frail, his father is missing, and the raiding party is on its way to find and recapture slaves on the run. The boy faces a decision which could carry horrific consequences and thrust him into a manhood he is scarcely ready for.

The characters are strong and well-portrayed, and the story line gripped me from the first paragraph. The author has used her ability to create atmosphere well, and as a reader I could see Nathaniel’s favorite spot, “nearly hidden away in a sheltered cove on the banks of the Ohio River” and feel the cool water lapping around his bare feet. I felt the boy’s pain and fear at the loss of his father, and the emotional turmoil over the opposing points of view in the issue of slaves.

When the story reaches its climax, with the knowledge that a raiding party of slave catchers are on their way, the tension becomes tangible and I couldn’t put the book down until I learned what Nathaniel was going to do.

My only complaint is that the book stopped too soon! I wanted to read on and learn how Nathaniel’s decision affects his future and that of his family. Despite this, I strongly recommend this short book and give it a five-star review.

Purchase the book here.

I have not been compensated in any way for this review, and these are my honest opinions.Kathi Macias

 

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored nearly 40 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. She is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences.

She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) and was the 2011 Author of the Year from BooksandAuthors.net. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.

 

Free Books in Exchange for Reviews by Narelle Atkins

Today I want to welcome Narelle Atkins to this blog. I have asked her to tell us how a book alliance can benefit us all.

Narelle Atkins - ICFWNarelle: The digital age of publishing has provided new opportunities for authors to publish their books. No longer constrained by limited shelf space, online booksellers have the ability to list an ever expanding number of books, both print and electronic, in their online catalogues.

Readers can visit their local book stores and browse the shelves, looking for their favorite authors or a new author to read. They can purchase online and are encouraged by book sellers eg. Amazon, to post online book reviews. They can join groups eg. Goodreads, or The Book Club Network, and share information about books online with other book lovers. Online and in-person book clubs provide more opportunities for readers to discover new authors.

The increasing range of available books is good news for readers. The challenge for authors and publishers is how to make their books stand out in the marketplace. What marketing and promotion strategies can they utilize to reach the target audience for their books?

Authors and publishers provide free review copies of new releases to help promote their books. Reviewers can sign up with publishers to receive advance reader copies of upcoming releases. Authors often have ‘Influencers’ who receive a review copy of their book on the understanding they will help promote their book in a positive way.

Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool. We tend to listen to our friends when they talk about books they like and dislike. Their opinions can sway our book purchasing decisions.

A blog alliance is another way authors and publishers can promote their books.

Bloggers who are interested in reviewing books can join a blog alliance. Depending on the rules of the blog alliance and their geographic location, blog alliance members can request books to review in either print or electronic format. Blog alliance members choose the books they are interested in reviewing, and post a review on their personal blog during the book tour week.

Last year I co-founded the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance with avid reader Jenny Blake. We tour fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, and we welcome international members. We are looking forward to touring Shirley Corder’s non-fiction book, Strength Renewed, on April 15th – 19th.

Readers now play a bigger role in spreading the word about books. They have opportunities to receive free books in exchange for sharing their opinions online. They have the ability to tell the world about their favorite authors and books they love. I encourage readers to consider how they can become involved in the exciting new world of book marketing and promotion.

Shirley, thank you for hosting me on your blog today.

 

NARELLE ATKINS writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She recently sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin’s Heartsong Presents line in a six-book contract. Her first book, Running to Love, will be a February 2014 release.
She has published Bible Studies on Smashwords and blogs regularly at http://30MinuteBibleStudies.wordpress.com

Narelle is a co-founder of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA) http://www.acrba.blogspot.com
To learn more about Narelle, please visit her website.