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.”

Raven’s Ladder, by Jefferey Overstreet

Raven’s Ladder, by Jefferey Overstreet is the third book in his Auralia’s Thread series.

Cal-Raven leads the exodus of his people as they search for a land of legend in which to build their new home.  This sounds like a well-known Bible story so I expected to be in very familiar territory.  I was pleasantly surprised to find myself elsewhere.  Cal-Raven’s story has some parallels to the book of Exodus, but I would not consider it an allegory.

Raven’s Ladder is extremely well-written.  The author’s attention to detail is notable.  He writes vividly and crisply.  Because of this, I have ordered the first two books in what I believe will be an outstanding series.  However, I cannot recommend Raven’s Ladder as a stand-alone read.  While reading I was often pulled out of the story by references to previous happenings I was not privy to since I had not read the first two books.

I feel confident in recommending this book to my readers on the strength of the quality of the writing, but with the caveat that they begin the series with book one, which has been twice-nominated for a Christy Award.  You can read more about Jefferey Overstreet and order this series from Random House.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Press. 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.”

Lady Charliss and the Waters of Moorue, by Chuck Black

Book 4 of the Knights of Arrethtrae: Lady Charliss, Knight of the Prince, has a choice to make. Does she save the man she loves, or does she save a village? She cannot do both. While she struggles to decide, her friendship is betrayed and her own life is placed in mortal peril.

This is an edge of your seat read. In Lady Charliss and the Waters of Moorue, Chuck Black, former fighter pilot and communications engineer, has written an outstanding allegory for youth of any age. I loved this book. I didn’t care it that was smack in the middle of a series from which I’d read nothing else. It was a complete story on it’s own from beginning to end.

If you like fantasy, coming of age, and/or quest novels, you will like this book. The vocabulary is best suited for 9-12 year-olds, but the story will span all ages. The story includes action, friendship, loyalty, betrayal, and a tiny touch of romance. It is also packed full of Christian principals and models wise decision-making skills, yet it does not come across as sappy or preachy.

The back of the book contains discussion questions for every chapter. These questions help one think about what one is reading in the story and relate it to Biblical precepts. There is also a music score in the back of the book titled, Journey to Moorue.  It was written by Emily Elizabeth Black.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Multnomah Press. 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.”

Deep Harbor, Lisa Tawn Bergen

The Book: They came to America together and set out to make their own lives, but personal tragedy and circumstance brings Tora, Elsa, Kaatje, and Karl back together again.  Since Tora brought her tragedy on herself, and in some way harmed each of the others as well, is there anyway for them all to work together as a unit and reforge their lives?

My Thoughts:  I live in the Pacific Northwest and was quite anxious to read Deep Harbor, by Lisa Tawn Bergen because I am familiar with the coastline, history and culture of the area. Deep Harbor, by Lisa Tawn Bergen did not disappoint me. This is book two in a series, but it was quite easily read as a stand alone.  The characters were engaging from the very first and I couldn’t quit turning the pages.  This book kept me from doing the dishes and robbed me of some sleep, but it was worth it!  I will definitely pick up the first book in the series and am anxious for the next one as well.

I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book for review.

Yesterday’s Promise, by Linda Lee Chaikin

The story: Rogan Chantry, an heir to the diamond mining British South Africa Company, does not care for the way his uncle is running the business and fears his uncle’s ambitions will someday take him too far.  Chantry declares his independence from the family — something his uncle does not take lightly — and begins his own pursuit for gold using a mysterious map which Chantry believes, is what the murderer sought the night his Uncle Henry died.  And, as if the family tension wasn’t enough, there are also brewing tensions between the native tribesmen, the missionaries, and the colonists.  Meanwhile, the murderer, unaware Chantry has the map, is still searching for it and critically injures Evy Varley, the missionary girl Chantry loves.

My thoughts: I didn’t realize, as I started to read Yesterday’s Promise, that it was book two in a series. I was quite frustrated by the scope of the story.  It seemed too big for just one book and I felt like I was dropped smack dab in the middle.  Once I realized that is exactly what happened, I felt much better about what I had read.  The writing is excellent.  The characters are intriguing.  I puzzled over the “who dunnit” and quite enjoyed the suspense.  I recommend this book as a very good read, but I think you’ll enjoy it most if you begin with book #1.

I would like to thank WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing me with a copy of this book for review.