Ava Jackson has lived a lie since she learned her father’s secret at the age of fifteen. She left her chosen career in the military when her mother took ill, but now she finds herself in the sights of a serial killer.
I am currently re-writing a novel that I first wrote eighteen years ago! At that time, it was my first attempt at a full-length story, and my plot was weak. This, of course, resulted in a story which, although I think it is entertaining in parts, waffles somewhat aimlessly in most places, and arrives at the end with little sense of resolution.
So now I’m rewriting. This time, I am excited about the storyline. It involves a family in ministry (based on the teaching I had at the popular idea – “Write what you know!”). They are nothing like our family, but it was fun developing the characters. I started my rewrite during NaNoWriMo, the annual writing challenge where you tackle a 50,000 word book in a month. You do not have to finish the book–just write 50,000 words. I completed the challenge, but I still have a way to go.
I have just signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo in April. For this virtual camp, you set your own goal, and it can be a new work or an editing task. I aim to complete the novel’s draft during this period. You also get to “share a tent” with your friends or writing companions. How about you? Are you interested in joining me in my tent this April?
|Marcia, a gifted artist who marries a man who is a student for the ministry, looks forward to being in ministry with him, as long as she can continue to paint. During their first years of marriage, Marcia is a stay-at-home mom of her growing brood. Whenever she has the chance, she dabbles with her pencil, looking forward to the day when the children are old enough, and she can devote herself to her art once more.
Then comes a move that changes everything. The new congregation has a clear role mapped out for their new pastor’s wife—a role she has no desire to fill. The problem is Owen, the minister, has his own ideas. And Marcia doesn’t like them. Not one bit. Eventually, matters came to a head, and Marcia takes off on an unannounced sabbatical, leaving Owen with the children and the congregation to figure out what has gone wrong.
Will Marcia be able to return to her pastor husband? Does their marriage, and the ministry stand a chance? You’ll have to read the novel to find out. (And I need to write it!)
Over the next few weeks, I’m planning to share some insight into the various characters in this light-hearted story with some underlying lessons for us all. The Runaway Minister’s Wife is a temporary title. I’d love your suggestions.
What would be a great title for this novel?
Please leave your suggestion in the comment box. If you come up with the winning title, I will send you a free copy of one of my Out of the Shadow books – your choice. Don’t suggest The Runaway Pastor’s Wife, which I absolutely love, and it’s perfect for the story. Sadly, it’s already taken!
If you don’t have any suggestions, please comment on the story outline. Do you have any questions for me?
This was the first time I had read any of this series. As a South African, I do not normally jump at military or politically-motivated stories as they don’t necessarily tie in with experiences in my own country. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this incredibly gripping and baffling story produced by Susan May Waren. It is her final (third) adventure in the Global Search and Rescue Book series.
When two murders rock the city of Houston, the big question is, “Is there a serial killer at large, or are these copy-cat murders?” Special Agent Bethany Sanchez partners with Special Agent Thatcher Graves in their first case as a fascinating team. Bethany, the junior partner, works by the book, while Thatcher likes to run with his instinct—a clear recipe for friction.
I enjoyed how both the heroine and the hero are far from perfect. Bethany not only comes from a dysfunctional family and suspects her brother’s involvement in the crimes, she also has to deal with diabetes. Thatcher has a reputation for being a ladies’ man who had a strained relationship with his now-deceased father. They are both Christians, but we find Bethany struggling with why God allows so much hardship in the world, while Thatcher is trying to find his way with his new-found faith.
This exciting Christian suspense novel has just enough romance to keep the story interesting without turning into a love story. It is the third and final book in the FBI: Houston series, but although I have not yet read either of the other two, this did not present a problem for me. Deadlock stands alone, although I would love to read the other two novels.
“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 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
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 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!
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.
What a delightful read! I hated to put it down, even to eat.
By using a young woman and her two children as the main characters, Kathi Macias immediately draws her reader into their desperate situation. I ached for them to have a warm meal, or a proper bed to sleep in. I felt quite cross with Josie at times when she turned down offers of shelter, even though I understood her point of view. I don’t think I could have been that brave. The idea of this young woman and her children curled up in her little “spot behind the cleaners” terrified me, especially with the approaching winter.
I ached for them to have a warm meal, or a proper bed to sleep in. I felt quite cross with Josie at times when she turned down offers of shelter, even though I understood her point of view. I don’t think I could have been that brave. The idea of this young woman and her children curled up in her little “spot behind the cleaners” terrified me, especially with the approaching winter.
Despite it having a Christmassy title, this is a book for all year round. As I followed the story, I became increasingly aware of the tragedy and despair of homelessness. Josie had done nothing to deserve this, and it made me realise how often this is probably the case. I will never look at a homeless person in quite the same way again.
It also made me aware of the even more helpless situation for the homeless person in South Africa, where we do not have the regular soup kitchens and shelters that are described in this book. Oh, that Unexpected Christmas Hero will come to our country so I can encourage people here to buy it. Maybe someone somewhere will catch a vision and start a new work.
The real-life miracle that occurred at the same time as the book’s release was so very exciting, and made to an even more thrilling read. For those who don’t know, the man the publishers chose for the book cover was indeed homeless. As a result of this book’s promotional material, friends of the family recognised him, and today he is reunited with his own family. This book has already brought change and transformation into the lives of many, and I believe it will continue to do so.
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.
Navy is a young woman who has never known her family. But what could be a wonderful opportunity is met with jealousy and apprehension from her cousin Brooke and her aunt Connie, especially with handsome Aidan around. Each must look past their struggles and find forgiveness and trust and perhaps even love.
This absorbing family drama, set in South Australia’s beautiful McLaren Vale wine region, is written by four of Australia’s outstanding Christian fiction authors who have brought you best-selling and award-winning novels.
This is an unusual book for two reasons. It has been written by four authors, and it has four main characters. Each character is written by one of the authors, and the four stories are brought together in a skilful way. The story is clever and clearly shows the impact one foolish decision can have on future generations. A harsh, judgemental father triggers turmoil that disrupts the lives of four women and their families. The story reveals the hardship and bitterness than can occur as a result of unforgiveness and family secrets.
It is almost like reading four novellas interwoven to make one story. I found this book difficult to get into as the story jumped back and forward between the characters, and I battled to figure out who the characters were and how they related to one another. Once I discovered the Character List at the end of the book, I found it easier to follow. As the characters developed in my mind, I began to relax and enjoy the story. Being from South Africa, I appreciated the Australian descriptions and context, and I wondered how often the same story occurs undiscovered in our own country.
I would definitely recommend this book for an intriguing read although I would like readers to know about the Character List before they started reading. Thank you, ladies, for a brave idea cleverly implemented.