What a Tangled Web We Weave

Deb’s Dozen: An adopted child, a son in need—two mothers in sacred bond

The Plans We Made by Kathryn Cushman and Lauren Beccue is a wonderful story of loss and love and forgiveness. I must admit I had my doubts as I started to read, but the captivating characters and the situations soon had me in their grasp. I found I could not put down the book until the denouement was reached.

Caroline Chapman, offered the job of her dreams, must choose. Does she follow her fiancé and his dreams, or does she stand up for herself and follow her own. She chooses dreams.

Lauren Riley faced a choice many years ago. Her dream shattered, she chose the only path she felt was right. Now, many years later, that choice comes back to haunt her, but also to give her hope.

Faced with the imminent death of her son, Lauren must make another choice—to perhaps destroy the life she enjoys now to save her son. And possibly to destroy the life of another, innocent, person. “Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when we first practice to deceive…” as Sir Walter Scott wrote so many years ago.

You will find yourself fascinated with the stories of Caroline and Lauren, and you will root for them both to find happiness. Five stars!

Kathryn Cushman, a former pharmacist, now writes award-nominated books. The Plans We Made is her tenth novel. Lauren Beccue lives in Santa Barbara with her family after graduating with a BA in English from Holy Cross. Both write about faith and family.M/p>

The Plans We Made came to me from participating in a blog tour. I was in no way obligated to write a favorable review. And as an Amazon associate, I may make a small commission for any products you purchase as a result of a link in this post.

HOPE Is a Dangerous Place–True Statement!

Deb’s Dozen: HOPE’s not a typical small town–dangerous secrets, fire, and murder transpire.

Jim Baton creates interesting characters, a fascinating environment, and lots of suspense in the first book, HOPE is a Dangerous Place, of his new trilogy, HOPE. So much interest and suspense I read the book in one sitting–could not put it down. Although categorized as an adult novel, the characters most in on the action are three teens along with their journalism teacher, so the book should interest young adults as well.

Close friends Kelsey and Harmonie along with a reluctant Miguel receive the assignment of researching the origin of the town’s name, HOPE, from their journalism teacher, Ms. Montez. Challenging them to go deep, she suggests they interview the oldest people in town whose memories may include the time the name was changed from Purgatory. They discover that seventy-five years ago, fifteen-year-old Hope McCormick disappeared, and to remember her, the town fathers named the newly incorporated town HOPE.

However, as they conduct their research, someone(s) determine to stop them. The secrets behind Hope lie deep. The adventures of the kids on this assignment make for interesting reading, thrilling reading. I loved Kelsey, the daughter of one of the town’s preachers, who suffers enough angst himself for another whole book, and her best friend, Harmonie, whose grandmother’s journals lead them to significant discoveries. Add in the somewhat abrasive Ms. Montez, the drunken newspaper editor, and some of the town’s founding, but also nastiest, citizens, and the potpourri of events comes to the boiling–and exploding–point. Along the way, the girls’ faith sustains them as they face adversity at every turn. Five stars. I am anxious to read the next two installments of the HOPE Trilogy.

Jim Baton works with both Christians and Muslims in Indonesia and the US to transform their communities. Investing more than twenty-five years in those endeavors, he awaits a visa to return to Indonesia to continue his work there. Check JimBaton.com for more information.

The author supplied a copy of his book to me, but I was in no way obligated to write a review.

Persian Betrayal a Betrayal Indeed

Deb’s Dozen: Middle East Action Heats Up. Will the Prophecy Reach Safety? Evil Afoot.

Persian Betrayal is Terry Brennan’s second book in the Empires of Armageddon series. We teach all our writers to start off with an exciting first sentence and paragraph and chapter. Brennan does this well but then the book bogs down in back story and history. That readers will start the series with this book is doubtful, so he could have done away with much of the redundancy from the first book. I almost quit reading several times because, quite frankly, I was bored. The characters from the first book didn’t seem as real or as engaging. Brian Mullaney, the main character, was a shadow of the character drawn in the first book. The action does pick up in the second half of the book but many people won’t reach that point.

The story commences just after the bombing of the Hurva Synagogue as Rabbi Yavod races back to the scene he just left to get the car. He hopes against hope the others will still be alive, but alas, all is destruction and death. He does rescue the box and the prophecy—without touching the container of course. As he leaves, he is seen by two of the bad guys who follow him in an attempt to secure the box. So starts the continuation of the saga. Mullaney and the Israelis arrive in the nick of time to save the box, but Yavod accidentally touches it in an attempt to save it from falling. The usual chases and gun fights ensue. We learn more about the evil behind the efforts to prevent the prophecy from being revealed to the world. I’ll read the third book only to find out what happens, but if Brennan adds the back story to that one too, he’ll have lost a reader. Almost four stars.

Terry Brennan won awards for The Jerusalem Prophecies series and has also led a Pulitzer Prize-winning team of journalists. He received the Balley Forge Award for editorial writing from the Freedoms Foundation.

Audra Jennings PR gave me a copy of Persian Betrayal, but I was in no way obligated to write a review. As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission for any book purchased from this page.