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.

 

Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris

Dangerous Passage

Dangerous Passage features Atlanta homicide detective, Avery North, a widowed mother of a pre-teen daughter.

Avery juggles her responsibilities as a single parent as well as struggling to come to terms with the loss of both her husband and her brother during separate incidents. At the same time, she questions her ability to handle her new relationship with medical examiner Jackson Bryant.

The hero of the story, Jackson is trying to find the murderer of her brother while Avery herself has two Jane Does to investigate. The fact that both of these Asian girls have magnolia tattoos indicates a sinister crime ring.

While the book does have a strong element of romance, I enjoyed the gripping storyline with a number of subplots. The theme of human trafficking is horrific, and one we like to think of as happening in “far off foreign lands”. Yet the author brings to light that 27 million people around the world are trapped in some form of slavery. So not only is it a good story, it is an eye-opener we all need to read.

I also enjoyed the break from the usual scenario where the heroine initially dislikes the hero and the romance creeps in, to the surprise of the heroine (but never the reader). The relationship between Jackson and Avery had already commenced by the start of the book and was still continuing at the conclusion.

The book ends with a tantalizing glimpse of what I’m sure will appear in the next book, and I can’t wait for that to come out.

I encourage anyone that enjoys suspense books with a purpose to get this book. You will enjoy the read as well as the opportunity to Step Away from Ordinary! (Lisa’s well-earned tagline.)

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.

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

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.