Deb’s Dozen: Each needing cash, Landry and Nicolai take an assignment fraught with danger.

Weaver’s Needle was an interesting book. Part adventure, part whodunit, part romance, the book leads the reader down a somewhat predictable path. The story starts slowly, with Landry and Nicolai needing money for different reasons—Landry to rescue her business; Nicolai to restore his sister to normal life.

Enter a murder and a widow determined to recover the property stolen from her dead husband. Landry and Nicolai both run property recovery businesses and Mrs. Winslet has decided to pit them against each other with the successful person earning a $50,000 fee. The property to be recovered? An ancient map to the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine.

And they’re off! Landry to Apache Junction, Arizona, with Stan Hauge, Mrs. Winslet’s representative, and Nicolai to research the murder trying to get info from his former partner, Chris. Of course, the trail leads him to Apache Junction as well.

I found the story very slow at the beginning—so slow I almost stopped reading the book, but I’m glad I continued. The character of Nicolai was more believable to me than Landry’s. I also found Stan Hauge well drawn. Landry is the Christian in the story, praying before every meal. Nicolai is the sceptic—how could God have allowed the death of his parents and the hospitalization of his sister? The Christian elements were more of a diversion than an asset to the plot.

Even with the sketchy character development and the distraction of the Christian elements, Caroll draws you into the story and makes you want to know the outcome. Add in the Apache Thundergod mystique and you’re entrapped—enticed to read the book to the ending. Three-plus stars.

Robin Caroll says she “loves to keep you on the edge of your seat with her Southern-style, romantic mysteries/suspense.” Her passion is storytelling and presenting the faith element to her readers. She’s married with three daughters, two grandsons, and a menagerie of pets. You can find out more at RobinCaroll.com.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.

Healing of the Heart Leads to Romance

Deb’s Dozen: Ruby Works to Repay Father’s Debts—Sheriff
Truett is Suspicious—Enter Romance.

Loree Lough has written another lovely romance. How she manages to come up with new and different characters and situations continually amazes me. Healing of the Heart is a delightful story of regret, reparations, and romance.

Ruby McCoy and her mother are new to Fairplay and immediately move into the newly renovated, biggest mansion in town. No one knows anything about them except their advance man has arranged for all the work and furnishings they require. Ruby knows she’s there to repay the debts her outlaw father incurred and to right the wrongs he did when he and his gang ravaged the town. Her mother, who fancies herself a society lady, still does not understand what drives Ruby to these actions. They both are relieved Fairplay is the last town they’ll have to visit/live in to fulfill their mission.

Sheriff Rex Truett is suspicious of the new folks in town. Since there is little information about the ladies, he is insatiably curious as to their background and reasons for moving to Fairplay. He is puzzled by Ruby. Why does a woman who can afford the biggest mansion in town do much of the work around the house? How does a society lady know how to get stains out of clothing for example, much less how to stack wood?

These two characters are fairly believable, but the most delightful character is Ruby’s mother, Cordelia. She’s so prim and proper, yet amusingly droll. To keep her in line, Ruby pays her an allowance so she can buy ribbons and hats and other fripperies. You can guess the ending at the beginning, but how things come about is an interesting read—not your usual romance. The book itself is attractive, with a glossy cover and lovely cream paper. I’d give Healing of the Heart 4 stars.

Healing of the HeartLoree Lough is an ultra-prolific writer with “nearly five million 4-and 5-star books in circulation.” Healing of the Heart is the third in the Secrets on Sterling Street series. Loree lives in Baltimore and enjoys her “grandorables” along with the rest of her family, She is as personable as her characters or more so, and she loves interacting with her fans on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. She also answers every email sent to Loree@LoreeLough.com personally.

Loree and Whitaker House gave me a copy of Healing of the Heart, but I was in no way obligated to write a review. If you click on the link and purchase this book, I receive a small fee.

Mystery & Suspense of the Highest Caliber

Deb’s Dozen: DiAnn Mills’ Deep Extraction is Mystery & Suspense of the Highest Caliber

Mystery & Suspense is one of my fave genres, and DiAnn Mills one of my fave authors in that genre. Deep Extraction is DiAnn’s latest in the FBI Task Force series.

You’d think a pacemaker would save someone’s life—in Nathan Moore’s case, one killed him. Special Agent Tori Templeton has a dilemma—she’s the agent on call when the death is discovered, but she is also a very good friend of Sally Moore, the victim’s wife and prime suspect. Tori and Max Dublin, her crusty partner, respond to the scene.

Tori is disturbed to learn Sally’s first call was to Cole Jeffers, the Moore’s landscaper, instead of to her. Max immediately assumes Sally and Cole are having an affair—a standard solution to an age-old situation. Add to the mix two teenage sons: one an angel and the other depressed and defiant.

So starts the trail of twists and turns and twists upon turns as Tori and Max attempt to solve the murder—the first twist is the Cole Jeffers has reactivated as a Federal Marshall and is assigned to the case.

You will not be able to put down the book as every chapter brings a new development not anticipated (at least by me) in the previous chapter. The characters become very real—they each have problems they’re trying to overcome and I found myself rooting for them to do so. Tori, Max, and Cole are especially believable, as is Nathan, the Moore’s son. The pace is fast, but steady. One thing for sure—you’ll never be bored nor will you guess the conclusion. Five stars again, DiAnn.

Mystery & SuspenseDiAnn Mills is a multi-published, multi-awarded author—her books have appeared on the Christian Booksellers Association and Evangelical Christian Publishers Association bestseller lists. She’s won two Christy Awards. DiAnn is a co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, teaches, and does research at the FBI Citizens Academy. She and her husband live in Houston, Texas.

DiAnn Mills and Tyndale House gave me a copy of Deep Extraction, but I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review.