Pastor or Black Ops? Action Reigns

Deb’s Dozen: Small town pastor or Black Ops Specialist?

Either can get you killed.

Andrew Huff started his Shepherd Suspense series with a great action/adventure yarn titled A Cross to Kill. John Cross serves as a small town pastor with a backstory–he “retired” from being in CIA black ops— until they call him back for a special extraction.

Christine Lewis, a journalist captured by terrorists, faces beheading. She’s the package John must extract. But everything goes wrong, and they race for their lives. Will they make the extraction point in time? A dicey escape, but success wins.

Christine wakes up in a hospital, but John is nowhere to be found. Acclaimed a heroine, interviews take up much of her time. But the story they told her—that a team got her out—was not her reality. Determined, she seeks to find the man she knows only as John.

John is back home. Back to his church. Back to his sermons. But thinking about Christine almost constantly. He doesn’t understand why the op turned so rotten but knows Christine thrives from watching her interviews. John simmers that they called him back in for this action, because when he became a Christian, he turned his back on his previous occupation, that of an assassin.

Christine thinks constantly about the mysterious John and calls in some markers to find him. In the pulpit one Sunday, John looks out and sees Christine. Then follows the shortest sermon ever. He agrees to talk with her, get it over with, get her out of his life.

But good intentions seldom work out for a man like John—especially when a woman like Christine entrances him. And we’re off and running on another mad chase, including one where John and his pursuer fight on the top of a moving train. Huff tells the battle in interminable, unprobable detail, excessive description being one of the few weaknesses in his writing. He spins a good yarn, though, especially if you like action/adventure. You’ll want to get this book—four stars.

Andrew Huff’s background intrigues me. Presently he holds the position of product director at Igniter Media, one of the largest church media companies in the US. He served as a youth pastor and a creative arts pastor. Now a new endeavor occupies some of his time–trying his hand at writing an action/adventure series.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion degree from Liberty University and a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. He and his wife presently live in Plano, Texas. Learn more at

Kregel Publications gave me a copy of A Cross to Kill, but I was in no way obligated to write a review. I am an Amazon Associate, so if you click on one of the links and purchase this book, I may get a small commission.

Suspense/Thriller–Power, Greed, and Ambition

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suspense/thrillerDeb’s Dozen: Ambitious Man, Supportive Trophy Wife, Scorned Mistress, and Secrets Lead to Murder

Another suspense/thriller from Irene Hannon,Dark Ambitions draws us into a world of blind ambition, unwavering loyalty, dark jealousy, and budding romance. Phoenix Inc, the PI firm featured in the last few novels in the Code of Honor series, takes front and center again. They’ve acquired a new employee, Heather Shields. Heather fits right in with her background as a cop and a detective.

About the Book

Christmas holidays and one of the principal’s vacation deplete their resources, so Heather draws the newest client, Rick Jordan. Rick found blood on the ice outside his home and senses someone intruded. He intuits the intruder might be a friend from the 160th Night Stalker Regiment, Jackson (Boomer) Dunn. The police don’t think the blood warrants a full-blown investigation, so he contracts with Phoenix Inc, and therefore, Heather.

Enter Brad Weston, successful businessman contemplating a run for governor of Missouri. His trophy wife, Lindsey, covets the position of first lady. But Brad hides two secrets–one from when he served in the military, and one who keeps popping up, his ex-mistress, Ellen Chambers. The suspense heightens when Brad tells Ellen running for governor dominates his future. She and his secret must both stay hidden.

And so the characters all people the stage, and the suspense/thriller begins. Solving the mystery before the story ends seems unlikely, but the journey stimulates our imaginations. You will love this novel–and the new member of Phoenix Inc. Five stars–buy Dark Ambitions now.

About Irene

Murder, Hidden PerilOne of my fave authors, Irene Hannon exemplifies the successful writer. After a successful career as a corporate communication manager, she left the fluorescent lights and cubbies to write. Winner of three RITA awards from Romance Writers of America and a member of their hall of fame, Irene also claims over fifty contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels to her credit. All of her suspense novels have been ECPA/CBA bestsellers. She and her husband live in Missouri and enjoy traveling, coffee shops, and each other. Find out more about Irene at

Revell, a division of Baker Books, gave me a complimentary copy of Dark Ambitions but in no way required me to write a review.

Murder in the Family or Murder the Family?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that I might be paid an advertising fee by Amazon, at no cost to you, if you use the links to Amazon below.

murder mysteryDeb’s Dozen: Chasing Hurricanes Is Nothing Compared to Murder and an Abandoned Dead Body

Ramona Richards gives us an intriguing murder mystery in Murder in the Family. The book, peopled with all sorts of fascinating characters from an antiquarian aunt to raucous relatives fascinated me. You will want to curl up in your chair with a hot cup of coffee or tea. Enjoy getting lost in the vagaries of house cleaning after a hoarder.

About the Book

Molly McClelland returns to her hometown to deal with an unanticipated legacy left her by her aunt. Molly suffers conflict from being forced to leave behind her hurricane-chasing partners. Her friend and partner Sarah suffered severe injuries during their last chase. And yet Aunt Elizabeth held an important place in her heart and life too.

As she arrives at the attorney, Russell Williams’ office, so do two of her feistiest relatives. His secretary urges her inside and locks the door. What on earth? Seems the relatives think they should have inherited. They determine to cause Molly nothing but trouble. She wants nothing to do with the inheritance but a letter from Aunt Liz convinces her to at least look at the house. And Molly doubts Aunt Liz just died—she thinks someone committed murder–either accidentally or on purpose.

After arriving in a caravan of the attorney, the relatives and her, the house and contents Aunt Liz left overwhelm Molly. But where to start? And what to do with the cantankerous relatives? Williams tells her he need to place a guard on the house to keep those relatives from walking off with all the contents. The discoveries begin. Why do the relatives seem bent on stripping the house? What smells so strongly?

Molly, some helpful neighbors, the sheriff, and the attorney begin the task of clearing the house of decades of junk and debris in order to find anything that may be valuable. All the while, the relatives squabble with the sheriff and with Molly.

I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns and surprises as Molly begins her task. If you like a good mystery with fascinating characters and a bit of romance, buy Murder in the Family—and thank the good Lord you don’t have Molly’s family. Five stars!

About Ramona

murder mysteryRamona Richards grew up entranced with Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Robin Kane—a lady after my own heart. Presently, she holds the position of Associate Publisher for Iron Stream Media and lives near Birmingham, Alabama. But Ramona still creates new ways of murder and mayhem to thrill her fans.

The author gifted me with a copy of Murder In the Family but did not obligate me to write a review.