Forget Me Not, by Vicki Hinze

Book Review & Giveaway

The Book Blurb:

Their elusive enemies took everything.  Now they want more.

Crossroads Crisis Center owner Benjamin Brandt was a content man—in his faith, his work, and his family.  Then in a flash, everything he loved was snatched away.  His wife and son were murdered, and grief-stricken Ben lost faith.  Determination to find their killers keeps him going, but after three years of dead ends and torment, his hope is dying too.  Why had he survived?  He’d failed to protect his family.

Now, a mysterious woman appears at Crossroads seeking answers and help—a victim who eerily resembles Ben’s deceased wife, Susan.  A woman robbed of her identity, her life, of everything except her faith—and Susan’s necklace.

The connections between the two women mount, exceeding coincidence, and to keep the truth hidden, someone is willing to kill.  Finding out who and why turns Ben and the mystery woman’s situation from dangerous to deadly.  Their only hope for survival is to work together, trust each other, and face whatever they discover head on, no matter how painful. But will that be enough to save their lives and heal their tattered hearts?

The Author:
Vicki Hinze is an award-winning author of twenty-three novels, three nonfiction books, and hundreds of articles. Selected for Who’s Who in America in 2004 as a writer and educator, Hinze is active in Romance Writers of America and serves as a Vice President on the International Thriller Writers Board of Directors. Vicki lives in Florida with her artist husband, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Visit www.vickihinze.com to learn more about Vicki’s books, blogs, and writing programs.

My Thoughts:
Excellent read.  Suspense, intrigue, interesting and complex bad guys.  Good guys who are real people with real life problems.  Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze caught and kept my attention from beginning to end.  The plot is tangled in twists and turns — this is a “pay attention” kind of read.  One of the characters warns us right off that things aren’t always what they seem.  Even keeping that in mind I got a few surprises.

I did have one minor nit to pick with the story.  The bad guys are very, very, bad — with a few redeeming features that make them understandable and one I even kind of liked — but I never really got a good handle on the why of the crime syndicate.

The Giveaway:
I have one copy of Forget Me Not, by Vicki Hinze to give to one lucky blogger.  All you have to do to win a copy is leave a comment right here on this post telling me you’d like to be considered.  Comments close Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 9 a.m.  A winner will be drawn by Random Number Generator.

The book I am giving away is brand new and has never been read, but due to some unforeseen mishap in mailing, both of my copies of this novel came to me with a bit of a hitch in the bottom right back corner.  It is nothing that will disturb your reading enjoyment.

Disclosure of Material Connection:
I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. 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.”

Naked Embarassment

A bunch of us had just survived our very first round of mid-terms. We gathered in the Student Union Building to gripe about them. I don’t know what prompted the confession, one minute we were all bemoaning our grades, and the next thing I knew, I was admitting that I’d never seen a naked man. Gina just about fell off her chair laughing. She shrieked, “You’ve never seen a naked man!?” I swear the cafeteria went silent and everyone in the room turned to stare at me. I could have died.

I slid down in my chair, my face fiery red, and told her to shut her frigging mouth. “Oh, are you embarrassed?” she sing-songed.

Marsha interrupted, “Stuff it, Gina. So she’s not a slut like some people,” and Gina wanted to know what the hell that was supposed to mean and they started arguing, which left me blessedly alone.  Still, I should have known that wasn’t the end.

Saturday night we were at Linda McKay’s. She and her boyfriend, Craig, had the biggest apartment so we were having our post-midterms bash there. I was in the kitchen loading beer into the fridge when Gina called from the living room,  “Rachel, there’s someone at the door for you.”  The sugary tone of her voice should have warned me that something was up, but I was totally clueless.

I walked into the living room and looked at the front door. It was closed.  My four closest friends, along with a half-dozen other people, were standing in a semi circle around it, but they were all facing me.   “What?” I said.

Linda nodded her head toward the door.   “Somebody wants to see you.”

I heard a few snickers.  There were a lot of silly grins in the crowd.  I knew something was up, but I had no clue what.  I looked at Marsha.  We’d been best friends since 5th grade.  I trusted her.  She ginned at me and winked.  Whatever was going on, Marsha wasn’t trying to stop it so I figured it couldn’t be too bad.  I walked across the room and opened the door.

Tony Walthers, Gina’s boyfriend, was standing in the hallway — buck-ass naked.   I froze — just stood there with my mouth open staring like an idiot.  I wanted to move.  I wanted to look at something besides his penis poking up at me from a bush of blond hair, but my muscles locked and my eyes refused to budge.

“Uhm, hey, it’s kind of breezy out here,” Tony said and everybody in the room busted out laughing.   “How about inviting me in or something?”

I just sort of backed up, still holding on to the door and said something really smooth, like, “Ugh, uh, yeah, in.” My lungs seemed to be short on oxygen.

My friends were all laughing and whistling and cheering. One of the guys yelled, “Touch it! Touch it!” Some one else yelled, “That all you got, Tone?” I wanted to laugh and act cool, but my knees had locked, my brain wasn’t working, and my gaze stayed riveted on Tony’s pecker.

Marsha came over and put her hand on my shoulder.  She tossed a towel at Tony and told him to “cover it up,” but the rest of the gang started chanting, “To-ny! To-ny! To-ny!”

Tony caught the towel, grinned, then slung it around his neck, doing nothing to cover up the main attraction, but somehow it broke the spell I was under.  I turned around, looked at Marsha and shook my head.

Gina sidled up to me and said,  “College is all about education and new experiences.   So, how’d you like your first naked man?”

I looked at her, and at Tony, and swept my gaze over the rest of the crowd. Everybody was waiting for my answer. Tony leaned back against the arm of the couch and struck a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” kind of pose. I turned back to Gina with a smirk on my face and said, “Man? I don’t know.  I’ll tell you when I see one.”

~*~

Since I have been absent of late, I thought I’d entertain you with a humorous short story.  I wrote this as a test piece for a ghost writing gig, but I guess the guy didn’t like it since he never responded — not even to say, “Thank you for your time.”   He told me he didn’t want erotica, but I think he really did, in which case he was wasting my time.  Smut might sell, but not to me.