Deep Shadows-The Remnant Series-Book One by Vanetta Chaman(review by Cathy)

Deep Shadows book

 

Dystopian Christian Fiction

Deep Shadows is the first book in my upcoming Remnant Series. It’s a significant change from the Amish books I’ve previously published. Today I wanted to talk to you about Deep Shadows, dystopian fiction, and the appeal of this genre.

If you’re alive and reading on planet Earth, you recognize the crazy popularity of dystopian fiction and our preoccupation – even as people of faith – with end of the world scenarios.

I have been a fan for many years. When I read a dystopian book, I ask myself

  1. Would I be smart enough to think like the hero?
  2. Would I have the courage and strength to survive?
  3. Would my faith endure?

And faith is an important component of this genre, which caused me to wonder- where is God in dystopian fiction? How do we talk about God when the world is falling down around our ears? How do we NOT talk about Him in this scenario?

These are questions we ask ourselves as we read dystopian fiction. Unlike apocalyptic tales, which bring images of Revelation, four horsemen, messengers of God and last days, dystopian books represent a transition from a near-perfect work to a vastly imperfect one.

My passion for this genre is a result of my life experience.

  • I was born in the 2nd largest city in the U.S. (Los Angeles, CA)
  • I spent 35 years in the 8th largest city (Dallas, Texas)
  • I now live in a town of 6,000 (central Texas)

I’ve taught high school and college classes for 15 years, and during that time I’ve taught teenaged boys who could take apart and re-assemble a computer in a matter of hours. And I’ve taught teenaged girls who can shoot and field dress a deer.

Those teens, their parents, you and I sense that we’ve reached an over dependence on technology, a tipping of the scales, and we wonder what will happen if things dramatically shift the other way.

At its heart, that’s what a dystopian series is – a balance of the scales in the other direction, a what if scenario. It is always first and foremost a story about relationships and how they survive or crumble when what we’ve feared, as a society, occurs. And lastly, for me, it’s always a story of faith and hope.

 

About the book:

All It Takes Is One Night to Plunge the World into Darkness

Life in Abney, Texas, is predictable and safe–until the night a massive solar flare wipes out all modern technology.

Shelby Sparks, novelist and single mom, had one goal: to provide for her diabetic son. In the wake of this global disaster, her mission hasn’t changed. Only now, medication is a priceless commodity and the future resembles an apocalyptic nightmare.

Max Berkman and Shelby were once sweethearts, but he lost his chance at claiming her love years ago. When the abrupt loss of power ushers him into a leadership role, he rises to the occasion. But his highest priority–to keep Shelby and her son safe–could prove to be the biggest challenge of all.

As the brilliant northern lights give way to deep shadows, Max and Shelby’s faith will be tested like never before. Only one rule remains: Find a way to survive.

In this first book in an eerily plausible dystopian series, a memorable cast of characters must navigate a familiar world thrown into chaos.

 

 

About the Author:

vc author photo, DS [159451]

Vannetta Chapman writes inspirational fiction full of grace, including romantic suspense and Amish romance novels. She is the author of seventeen novels, including the Pebble Creek Amish series, The Shipshewana Amish Mystery series and Anna’s Healing, a 2016 Christy Award finalist. Vannetta is a Carol award winner and also received more than two dozen awards from Romance Writers of America chapter groups.  She was a teacher for 15 years and currently resides in the Texas hill country. For more information, visit her at www.VannettaChapman.com

Follow Vanetta on Social Media:

http://vannettachapman.com

https://twitter.com/VannettaChapman

https://www.facebook.com/VannettaChapmanBooks

Review:

This book is absolutely spellbinding!  I read it in two days.  I actually intended to stretch it out a bit longer, but I truly couldn’t.  I needed to find out what would happen in the town of Abney, Texas!

It didn’t take long for things to really start happening!

The solar flare wreaks havoc on the town and its residents.  The story focuses on Shelby, her son Carter, Max and their friends.  Life is about to get very difficult.  The things that they once took for granted are harder to find.  Running water, food, medical supplies, money, safety and the freedom to come and go as they please.

Shelby’s main concern is for Carter who is diabetic.  He needs medication, and healthy balanced meals.  With banks and stores closing, how resourceful will she and the community have to become?

Was this just happening to them or is it global?  It’s difficult to get information when communication is limited.

Ms. Chapman has penned a thought provoking book that I consider a must read and has made me a fan of Dystopian Fiction.  I am eagerly anticipating the next book in this series.

The characters are wonderful!  The story is fast paced!  The perfect combination of an exciting and hard to put down book.

I received a copy of this book from the author. I have given my honest opinion.

Giveaway!

Vanetta is offering one copy of this book to one lucky winner.  To enter just leave a comment letting us know if you are a fan of Dystopian Fiction or if this is a new to you genre and if you would like an e-copy or print copy.  Winner will be announced on July 5th.

Links to purchase Deep Shadows:

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Shadows-Remnant-Vannetta-Chapman/dp/0736966536/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

B&N

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/deep-shadows-vannetta-chapman/1123225022?ean=9780736966535

CBD

http://www.christianbook.com/1-deep-shadows-vannetta-chapman/9780736966535/pd/966535?event=ESRCN

 

 

 

 

 

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Seek and Find(Rookie K-9 Unit #3) by Dana Mentink (review by Cathy)

Seek and Find

 

About the book:

Reporter Madison Coles wants to write an exposé on the crime spree rocking Desert Valley, Arizona—but the small town’s residents and police are tight-lipped. Even when Madison herself is attacked, the only help she can get is protection from rookie K-9 officer James Harrison and his trusty bloodhound.

Suspicious of the reporter’s motives, the handsome cop keeps her at arm’s length. But the more Madison’s life is threatened, the more focused she is on finding the truth—and the closer she gets to James.

Can he help her find the story without them both ending up in the obituary pages? Rookie K-9 Unit: These lawmen solve the toughest cases with the help of their brave canine partners.

 

Review:

Dana Mentink blends suspense and humor perfectly in Seek and Find. I know those two things don’t normally go well together, but with this author they do!

Reporter Madison Coles is covering a crime spree in Desert Valley. Someone doesn’t want her poking around and this is where it gets suspenseful. After Madison is attacked, she gets protection from K-9 officer James Harrison and his dog, Hawk. This is where the humor comes into play. Hawk really does try to behave and learn, but he’s easily sidetracked.

The story moves along at a fast pace and there several twists and turns. Madison and James both have things in their past that have hindered their ability to trust and move forward in some aspects in their lives.

This one had me guessing right up until the end as to who was behind the attacks and what was going on in Desert Valley.

A truly wonderful read.

I received a copy of this book from the author for an honest opinion.

 

Loving a Lawman by Amy Lillard (review by Kristi)

Loving a Lawman.jpg

 

About the book:   As cowboys, the Langston brothers of Cattle Creek, Texas, know it can hurt like hell to fall off a horse. But it can hurt even more to fall in love. . . .
 
Sheriff Seth Langston is head over heels for local wild child Jessie McAllen and has been for years. The trouble is she has eyes only for Seth’s rodeo star brother, Chase. Even though he considers Jessie his girl, Chase is an incorrigible ladies’ man with a wandering eye and no chance of settling down soon.

Jessie is ready to move away from Cattle Creek to put her feelings for Chase behind her, but after she shares a white-hot kiss with Seth, things get a little complicated. Jessie realizes her heart should have been his all along. And in the face of sudden tragedy, they’ll discover if their newfound passion will tear the Langston men apart or make the family stronger than ever. . . .

Paperback, 304 pages         Expected publication: July 5, 2016 by Signet

My review:   When I started reading this book I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. The story seemed your typical run of the mill romance and I like a bit more depth to the stories I read. However, Amy Lillard did a fantastic job of turning this run of the mill romance into a sweet romantic story that I enjoyed.

I love the way Amy brought the small town atmosphere to life. She conveys perfectly living in a small town. I felt like this made the story more authentic. It was easy to imagine myself in the small Texas town of Cattle Creek. The characters alternated between making me laugh and being frustrated. All part of small town living!

As far as characters go Seth is my favorite. I felt more of a connection to him than I did Jessie. I thought it was really sweet the way he treated her and even though he’s the sheriff he didn’t come across as extremely macho or overbearing. He would easily be any girl’s perfect guy.

This is the first of the Cattle Creek series and I can’t wait for the next. This is a sweet romance and the perfect summertime read.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.

 

 

Purchase on Amazon

About the author:  I’m a wife, mother, and bona fide Southern belle. Published author, expert corn bread maker, and Squirrel Princess.

I live in Tulsa, though I was born in Mississippi. I moved to the Sooner State when I was seventeen and met my soul mate and best friend not long after. I’ve retained a little of my Mississippi accent though most people think I’m from Texas. (?) Rob and I have been married for over twenty years and have a son–a mom proclaimed prodigy, of course!

I love homemade tacos, nail polish, and romance novels–not necessarily in that order. I’m a big fan of country music, a staunch proponent of saving the Oxford comma, and I’m shamefully obsessed with all things Harry Potter.

I believe that God is love. I guess that’s why I adore romances.

I have always been intrigued with the Amish culture, their gentle ways, and slower-paced lifestyle. (And I love, love, love the fact that they stay married for their lifetime.) But until recently I never thought to blend this interest with my penchant for romance. Okay, okay, I’m a bit old-fashioned and even enjoy the gender roles that are present in this culture. I love to cook and take care of my family. Yes, that’s me June Cleaver with a laptop.

I dislike people trying to convince me to read the Twilight series (I’ll get to it or I won’t, either way I’m good with it), gratuitous violence, and strawberry ice cream. (I know I’m alone on this last one, and again, I’m good with it.)

Favorite movies–(besides HP) French Kiss, Maid of Honor, A Lot Like Love, Just Married, and Sweet Home Alabama. Oh, and Miss Congeniality, Sabrina (both versions) and a 1940’s movie called Dear Ruth. If you haven’t seen it, you should! A-dorable. Anything with Doris Day and most all of Marilyn’s and Audrey’s.

Connect with Amy:       Website            Facebook             Twitter          Pinterest

Message in a Bottle by Beth Wiseman( review by Kristi)

Messgae In a Bottle

About the book: Morgan Calhoun and her parents are whisked away in the middle of the night, something Morgan always knew was a possibility because of her father’s job. But she’d always thought that if such a scenario played out that she would have time to say goodbye to those she loved–particularly her boyfriend, Kyle. Adding to her unbearable situation, several weeks after the move, Morgan finds out that she’s pregnant.

Kyle Brossmann doesn’t even get a break-up letter from Morgan. She’s just gone, along with her entire family. His heart broken, Kyle continues on with his plans, graduates from high school, and then attends college. Five years later, two men visit Kyle and encourage him to travel to an undisclosed location to meet his five year-old daughter. Rocked by the news that he has a child, Kyle learns he is the only person who might be able to save his daughter’s life.

Will Kyle give up his fiancé, a great job, and his family to be with his first love and his daughter? Or will he return to the life he had before?

79 pages     Published June 17, 2016

 

My review:  Apparently Beth Wiseman hasn’t heard that things are bigger in Texas. She sure knows how to pack a punch with her novellas. Not a fan of novellas as I like a more in depth novel, Beth is slowly changing my mind.

Message In A Bottle has everything you would expect from a full-length book: developed characters, interesting storyline, and twists and turns galore. I was immediately engrossed in this story and stayed engaged in the story until the very end. I never once felt like the story was rushed or anything was missing.

Beth Wiseman has done a wonderful job of writing a complete and interesting story. This novella is so well-written and the story is so interesting that it is the perfect afternoon or evening read.

I received a free copy of this novella from the author in exchange for my honest opinion which I have given.

 

Purchase on Amazon

About the author:  Beth is the best-selling and award-winning author of the Daughters of the Promise series – Plain Perfect, Plain Pursuit, Plain Promise, Plain Paradise, and Plain Proposal. She is contracted with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Her other series–the Land of Canaan Novels–begins with Seek Me With All Your Heart, then The Wonder of Your Love and now, His Love Endures Forever. Seek Me With All Your Heart is the first Amish fiction book selected as a Women of Faith novel in 2011. Beth has also written three contemporary Christian fiction novels, Need You Now published in 2012 and The House That Love Built in 2013. In The Promise, (2014) Beth jumps way outside the box. This story takes readers far away from Amish Country and small Texas towns to a dangerous place on the other side of the world. Inspired by a true story, Beth believes this is the book she’s been working toward for a long time. 2015 brings Beth back to the Pennsylvania Amish with her new series, Amish Secrets. She is currently working on book #2 following much success with book #1, Her Brother’s Keeper.

Connect with Beth Wiseman:             Website          Facebook              Twitter

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill (review by Cathy)

Sister Dear

 

About the book:

 

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start.  But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever? Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows. But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family. As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom

Review:

What a fantastic book!  Beautiful settings, strong characters and a storyline that was engaging from the very beginning.

Allie was a character that I was immediately drawn to. Her sister Emma? Not so much! Admittedly, I was a bit curious about her actions and behavior.

The author kept the story moving at a fast pace and kept me guessing why Emma would betray her sister. Moving back and forth between 2006 and 2016 we find out more about each sister and what led up to Allie’s incarceration.

My heart went out to Caroline and her feelings towards her mother. I found her reaction to Allie quite plausible given the circumstances. The friendship between Caroline and a sweet young guy named Russell is touching and adds another layer to the story.

A definite must read.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and have given my honest opinion.

 

 

 

 

A Haven on Orchard Lane by Lawana Blackwell(review by Cathy)

A Haven on Orchard Lane

About the book:

In difficult circumstances, Charlotte Ward, once a famed stage actress, tries to restart her career–only to experience disaster. Against her better judgment, her estranged daughter, Rosalind, comes to her mother’s rescue and moves her to a quiet English coastal village.

Charlotte is grateful to get to know Rosalind after years apart. As one who has regrets about her own romantic past, it’s a joy for Charlotte to see love blossom for her daughter. For Rosalind, however, it’s time away from teaching–and now she must care for the mother who wasn’t there for her. And what could be more complicated than romance?

Together, mother and daughter discover that healing is best accomplished when they focus less on themselves and more on the needs of others.

Review:

The story of Charlotte and Rosalind is one that I’ll remember for a long time. This is the first book that I’ve read by Lawana Blackwell and I’m very happy that I decided to read it. I loved the cover and the setting as soon as I saw it.

Once I started reading, I was immersed in Charlotte’s story. I kept reading so that I could learn more about her. Then once Rosalind came into the picture, I was completely hooked.

I loved Danny and Albert and my heart ached for them as their stepmother was so cruel to them. I shared in their joy as Charlotte and Rosalind offered them love and encouragement. The author had me feeling what her characters were feeling and took me to a quiet English Village. Ms. Blackwell has made me fan of her work.

If you enjoy well written Christian Fiction, then I highly recommend this one.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and have given my honest opinion.

 

Message In A Bottle: A Surf’s Up Novella by Beth Wiseman(review by Cathy)

Messgae In a Bottle

 

About the book:

Morgan Calhoun and her parents are whisked away in the middle of the night, something Morgan always knew was a possibility because of her father’s job. But she’d always thought that if such a scenario played out that she would have time to say goodbye to those she loved–particularly her boyfriend, Kyle.

Adding to her unbearable situation, several weeks after the move, Morgan finds out that she’s pregnant. Kyle Brossmann doesn’t even get a break-up letter from Morgan. She’s just gone, along with her entire family. His heart broken, Kyle continues on with his plans, graduates from high school, and then attends college.

Five years later, two men visit Kyle and encourage him to travel to an undisclosed location to meet his five year-old daughter. Rocked by the news that he has a child, Kyle learns he is the only person who might be able to save his daughter’s life. Will Kyle give up his fiancé, a great job, and his family to be with his first love and his daughter? Or will he return to the life he had before?
Review:

Message in a Bottle may be short in length, but there’s definitely no shortage of a great story.

I enjoyed the story of faith, and love. This novella was easy to follow and held my interest throughout. The characters were well defined and pertinent to the storyline.   The added touch of Kyle finding answers to questions he’s had for so long were very interesting and unexpected.

A fast and enjoyable read for an afternoon of sitting outside on a sunny day.

I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest opinion