Sunday, July 12, 2020

The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder

I read this book in my ongoing attempt to understand the current political situation in the United States. It took me a while to slog through it as Snyder gives a great deal of background information before getting to the contemporary political culture. When I finally read through chapter six (2016), it all came together. He reviews the influence from the east to the west, the return of totalitarian thought, the Russian assault on the European Union, the invasion of Ukraine, the spread of political fiction in Russia and Europe and America, and the election of Donald Trump.

I found Snyder's historical account sobering. I recognized the tactic of creating crises to distract from the real issues. I saw the origin of creating false realities through lies, leaders not constrained by facts. (161) I was reminded of the tactic of using the media to lie to promote government ideas (162) and of leaders mocking reporters. (163) During the invasion of Crimea, Putin, rather than the invasion, was the star of television. (164) False news was prevalent and highly promoted. (178) My understanding the actions of the current administration was greatly enlarged.

Snyder is bold in his assertions: “The Internet Research Agency [the dedicated Russian cyberwar center] worked alongside Russian secret services to move Trump into the Oval Office.” (226) The use of social media was huge and effective. Snyder is very clear about Trump's role in the Russian activities. (231) He also reports, “...Bannon agreed with Putin that the federal government of the United States (and the European Union, which he called 'a glorified protectorate') should be destroyed.” (236)

I encourage Americans to read this book. Snyder brings together all of the history and the events that made news at the time but are likely forgotten now. The evidence is overwhelming. We are vulnerable to Russian tactics. (244) The extent to which we have been manipulated is shocking. We had better wake up. “In the end,” Snyder writes, “freedom depends upon citizens who are able to make a distinction between what is true and what they want to hear.” (249) Our very freedom is at stake.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Timothy Snyder is the Richard C Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He is the author of a number of works of history. He lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

Tim Duggan Books, 368 pages.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, July 10, 2020

A Practical Guide for Praying Parents by Erwin W Lutzer

Lutzer starts out with a bold statement. “It is a sin for you to not pray for your children.” (11) So we know we must pray but how do we do it day after day? How do we pray knowing we pray God's will? How do we pray and not repeat the same requests over and over?

Lutzer says the prayers for his children changed when he began praying Scripture. He helps parents and grandparents pray scriptural prayers and remain faithful when it appears prayers are not being answered.

One aspect of the book I really appreciated was Lutzer's teaching on spiritual warfare and specifically curses. He is clear that for believers, any curses from previous generations are broken in Christ. Christ bore our curse. (59) That is such good news as many Christian parents have worried about possible generational curses plaguing their children.

Another insight I really appreciated was Lutzer's clarification, “Some of the prayers and promises in the Old Testament that refer to the material blessings of God for Israel do not apply directly to the church.” (63) Christians are not to use Old Testament Scriptures to demand God pour physical blessings upon their children. His plea is for believers to exercise discernment. (66)

This book is aimed at getting parents on the journey of a life of prayer. I really like his insights into what to pray for, such as the child's heart condition, their attitude toward sin and realizing their identity in Christ. I like how Lutzer shares his own weekly prayer practice as an example for readers. I like his sample prayers, more examples of praying Scripture. I like his chapter on praying beyond the family, for the nation.

This is a very good book to get parents and grandparents on a rewarding and effective prayer journey. I highly recommend it.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Erwin W Lutzer is pastor emeritus of The Moody Church in Chicago, where he served as the senior pastor for 36 years. He earned his BTh from Winnipeg Bible College, a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary, a MA in philosophy from Loyola University, and an honorary LLD from the Simon Greenleaf School of Law. He is an award-winning author and featured speaker on three radio programs heard on more than 1,000 outlets in the United States and around the world. He and his wife life in the Chicago area and have three grown children and eight grandchildren.

Moody Publishers, 112 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, July 9, 2020

The Finders by Jeffrey B Burton

I enjoyed this mystery. It has everything I like in one. First off, it was clean in that it had only a few objectionable words and those were appropriate. The mystery was well presented and I had no idea who the villain was until the author revealed the person. Burton's writing style is good as was the pace of the action.

I liked the characters and felt they were developed well. Mace, our hero, is recovering from a divorce but is getting ready to think about women again. I liked Kippy too. Coming out of a very painful end to a relationship, she is extremely hesitant to think about entering into another relationship. I really appreciate there was no token graphic romantic scene.

I like to learn a little something when I read a novel and was happy to read about dogs being trained for cadaver discovery. I really liked how Burton gave a rescue dog special abilities. While unusual, it seemed entirely plausible, especially given the discussion about human abilities. Once and a while an Einstein comes along and it may very well be the same in the world of dogs.

I recommend this mystery to readers who like one plotted well and with engaging characters. It would be especially appreciated by dog lovers. I'll be looking for the next in this series.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Jeffrey B Burton was born in Long Beach, California, grew up in At. Paul, Minnesota, received hi BA in Journalism at the University of Minnesota. He has written three previous novels and his short stories have appeared in dozens of magazines. He is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and the Horror Writers Association. He lives in St. Paul with his wife, a Pomeranian and a Beagle. You can find out more at https://jeffreybburton.com/index.html Photo: Cindy Archer-Burton.

St. Martins Press, 288 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Set the Stars Alight by Amanda Dykes

I have mixed feelings about this novel. Overall, I liked the story. The idea of friends in youth being separated for years and then reconnecting is a nice story, as is the solving of a centuries old mystery. I liked the characters, Lucy the spunky and tireless questioner and Dash, the heroic star gazer.

I felt the plot was way too complex. We readers deal with two time periods which is fine. Characters within each time period have memories and dreams, however, adding another time element to each of the two major time periods. (At least I think they were dreams. They were italicized.) I found the stories the watchmaker told were enigmatic and I had trouble making sense of them. Near the end of the book, Lucy thinks, “The pieces did not all fit neatly together.” (Loc 5519/5993) My thoughts too. I did feel the plot was too complex, with the story/riddles and the many “coincidences” that were required.

Dykes has a lyrical way of writing that made this novel entertaining even if it was hard to believe the whole concept was plausible.

You can read an excerpt here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Amanda Dykes is a former English teacher and author of Whose Waves These Are , a Booklist 2019 Top Ten Romance debut, as well as three novellas. You can find out more at www.amandadykes.com. Photo credit: Michael Pettrey.

Bethany House, 368 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Make Me Like Jesus by Michael Phillips

This book is not for everyone. It's not for every Christian. Phillips makes it clear at the beginning that one should NOT read this book if you have not made substantial progress toward Christian maturity, if your church involvement is your primary emphasis, or if you are seeking blessings from God.

However, if you are seeking to know God more intimately and live in His presence, if you realize God's primary purpose is for you to be conformed to the image of Christ, then this book is for you. Phillips invites readers to an inward journey of the soul and to a life long process. He also gives a warning. There will be a heavy cost involved. The journey is not for the faint of heart.

I really appreciate Phillip's sharing his own journey with us. He reveals the prayers he prayed, starting with, “God, make me like Jesus.” He tells us of his struggles, of the years involved, of the hard lessons learned, of the state of joy gained.

The most insightful part of the book for me was a practical lesson gleaned from the life of Christ, that “God may appear to remove his hand from us.” (82) God gives us the opportunity to follow him when the heavens seem silent. (83) Phillips says this is the highest form of faith, exercising it when there is no experience, no feeling, no overwhelming assurance. (83)

I highly recommend this book to Christians but only if you have a hunger for a greater walk with Christ and are willing to accept the cost involved. Phillips' book is a joy to read as he presents his own journey. He is encouraging. He is also very honest about the reality of the high cost to the high call of becoming like Christ.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Michel Phillips is a best-selling fiction author who has also written many devotional and theological titles. He helped bring George MacDonald's books to a new audience in the 1980s.

Wise Path Books, 141 pages.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Anarchy of the Mice Blog Tour and Giveaway

Anarchy of the Mice

by Jeff Bond

on Tour July 1 - August 31, 2020

Synopsis:


From Jeff Bond, author of Blackquest 40 and The Pinebox Vendetta, comes Anarchy of the Mice, book one in an epic new series starring Quaid Rafferty, Durwood Oak Jones, and Molly McGill: the trio of freelance operatives known collectively as Third Chance Enterprises.

How far could society fall without data? Account balances, property lines, government ID records — if it all vanished, if everyone’s scorecard reset to zero, how might the world look?

The Blind Mice are going to show us.

Molly McGill is fighting it. Her teenage son has come downstairs in a T-shirt from these “hacktivists” dominating the news. Her daughter’s bus is canceled — too many stoplights out — and school is in the opposite direction of the temp job she’s supposed to be starting this morning. She is twice-divorced; her P.I. business, McGill Investigators, is on the rocks; what kind of life is this for a woman a mere twelve credit-hours shy of her PhD?

Then the doorbell rings.

It’s Quaid Rafferty, the charming — but disgraced — former governor of Massachusetts, and his plainspoken partner, Durwood Oak Jones. The guys have an assignment for Molly. It sounds risky, but the pay sure beats switchboard work.

They need her to infiltrate the Blind Mice.

Danger, romance, intrigue, action for miles — whatever you read, Anarchy of the Mice is coming for you.


My Review:


Starting a Bond book is like getting a grab bag, wondering what's going to be inside. This novel is a venture into the unknown. I felt like it had a cast of thousands. It went from tunnels to helicopters and from New Jersey to Paris. There were more explosions than I could count. There was technology galore from 3D images to software erasing everything about a business, including its money, to weaponized vegetation. The characters managed to get out of more impossible situations than I thought could be included in a novel. Bond certainly does have an imagination.

There are some aspects of the novel that caused me to like it less than I might have. I did not find the characters engaging nor well developed. The plot centered on tons of action and much less on creating characters catching my interest. They just were not likable. And then the changes in point of view. Some chapters are first person from Molly's viewpoint. Other chapters featuring Quaid and Durwood were from the universal viewpoint. Except the odd chapters 69, universal, 70, first person Molly, then 71, universal but with Molly in it. Just a bit too strange for me.

This is a good book for readers who like a long book with lots of action, many impossible situations, lots of technology, a multitude of characters and settings, and not much of a character arc.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Action-Adventure
Published by: Jeff Bond books
Publication Date: June 15, 2020
Number of Pages: 445
ISBN: 173225527X (978-1732255272)
Series: Third Chance Enterprises, #1
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

CHAPTER ONE
The first I ever heard of the Blind Mice was from my fourteen-year-old son, Zach. I was scrambling to get him and his sister ready for school, stepping over dolls and skater magazines, thinking ahead to the temp job I was starting in about an hour, when Zach came slumping downstairs in a suspiciously plain T-shirt.
“Turn around,” I said. “Let’s see the back.”
He scowled but did comply. The clothing check was mandatory after that vomiting-skull sweatshirt he’d slipped out the door in last month.
Okay. No drugs, profanity, or bodily fluids being expelled.
But there was something. An abstract computer-ish symbol. A mouse? Possibly the nose, eyes, and whiskers of a mouse?
Printed underneath was, Nibble, nibble. Until the whole sick scam rots through.
I checked the clock: 7:38. Seven minutes before we absolutely had to be out the door, and I still hadn’t cleaned up the grape juice spill, dealt with my Frizz City hair, or checked the furnace. For twenty minutes, I’d been hearing ker-klacks, which my heart said was construction outside but my head worried could be the failing heater.
How bad did I want to let Zach’s shirt slide?
Bad.
“Is that supposed to be a mouse?” I said. “Like an angry mouse?”
“The Blind Mice,” my son replied. “Maybe you’ve heard, they’re overthrowing the corporatocracy?”
His eyes bulged teen sarcasm underneath those bangs he refuses to get cut.
“Wait,” I said, “that group that’s attacking big companies’ websites and factories?”
“Government too.” He drew his face back ominously. “Anyone who’s part of the scam.”
“And you’re wearing their shirt?”
He shrugged.
I would’ve dearly loved to engage Zach in a serious discussion of socioeconomic justice—I did my master’s thesis on the psychology of labor devaluation in communities—except we needed to go. In five minutes.
“What if Principal Broadhead sees that?” I said. “Go change.”
“No.”
“Zach McGill, that shirt promotes domestic terrorism. You’ll get kicked out of school.”
“Like half my friends wear it, Mom.” He thrust his hands into his pockets.
Ugh. I had stepped in parenting quicksand. I’d issued a rash order and Zach had refused, and now I could either make him change, starting a blow-out fight and virtually guaranteeing I’d be late my first day on the job at First Mutual, or back down and erode my authority.
“Wear a jacket,” I said—a poor attempt to limit the erosion, but the best I could do. “And don’t let your great-grandmother see that shirt.”
Speaking of, I could hear Granny’s slippers padding around upstairs. She was into her morning routine, and would shortly—at the denture-rinsing phase—be shouting down that her sink was draining slow again; why hadn’t the damn plumber come yet?
Because I hadn’t paid one. McGill Investigators, the PI business of which I was the founder and sole employee (yes, I realized the plural name was misleading), had just gone belly-up. Hence the temp job.
Karen, my six-year-old, was seated cheerily beside her doll in front of orange juice and an Eggo Waffle.
“Mommy!” she announced. “I get to ride to school with you today!”
The doll’s lips looked sticky—OJ?—and the cat was eyeing Karen’s waffle across the table.
“Honey, weren’t you going to ride the bus today?” I asked, shooing the cat, wiping the doll with a dishrag.
Karen shook her head. “Bus isn’t running. I get to ride in the Prius, in Mommy’s Prius!”
I felt simultaneous joy that Karen loved our new car—well, new to us: 120K miles as a rental, but it was a hybrid—and despair because I really couldn’t take her. School was in the complete opposite direction of New Jersey Transit. Even if I took the turnpike, which I loathed, I would miss my train.
Fighting to address Karen calmly in a time crunch, I said, “Are you sure the bus isn’t running?”
She nodded.
I asked how she knew.
“Bus driver said, ‘If the stoplights are blinking again in the morning, I ain’t taking you.’” She walked to the window and pointed. “See?”
I joined her at the window, ignoring the driver’s grammatical example for the moment. Up and down my street, traffic lights flashed yellow.
“Blind Mice, playa!” Zach puffed his chest. “Nibble, nibble.
The lights had gone out every morning this week at rush hour. On Monday, the news had reported a bald eagle flew into a substation. On Tuesday, they’d said the outages were lingering for unknown reasons. I hadn’t seen the news yesterday.
Did Zach know the Blind Mice were involved? Or was he just being obnoxious?
“Great,” I muttered. “Bus won’t run because stoplights are out, but I’m free to risk our lives driving to school.”
Karen gazed up at me, her eyes green like mine and trembling. A mirror of my stress.
Pull it together, Molly.
“Don’t worry,” I corrected myself. “I’ll take you. I will. Let me just figure a few things out.”
Trying not to visualize myself walking into First Mutual forty-five minutes late, I took a breath. I patted through my purse for keys, sifting through rumpled Kleenex and receipts and granola-bar halves. Granny had made her way downstairs and was reading aloud from a bill-collection notice. Zach was texting, undoubtedly to friends about his lame mom. I felt air on my toes and looked down: a hole in my hose.
Fantastic.
I’d picked out my cutest work sandals, but somehow I doubted the look would hold up with toes poking out like mini-wieners.
I wished I could shut my eyes, whisper some spell, and wake up in a different universe.
Then the doorbell rang.
CHAPTER TWO
Quaid Rafferty waited on the McGills’ front porch with a winning smile. It had been ten months since he’d seen Molly, and he was eager to reconnect.
Inside, there sounded a crash (pulled-over coatrack?), a smack (skateboard hitting wall?), and muffled cross-voices.
Quaid fixed the lay of his sport coat lapels and kept waiting. His partner, Durwood Oak Jones, stood two paces back with his dog. Durwood wasn’t saying anything, but Quaid could feel the West Virginian’s disapproval—it pulsed from his blue jeans and cowboy hat.
Quaid twisted from the door. “School morning, right? I’m sure she’ll be out shortly.”
Durwood remained silent. He was on record saying they’d be better off with a more accomplished operative like Kitty Ravensdale or Sigrada the Serpent, but Quaid believed in Molly. He’d argued that McGill, a relative amateur, was just what they needed: a fresh-faced idealist.
Now he focused on the door—and was pleased to hear the dead bolt turn within. He was less pleased when he saw the face that appeared in the door glass.
The grandmother.
“Why, color me damned!” began the septuagenarian, yanking open the screen door. “The louse returns. Whorehouses all kick you out?”
Quaid strained to keep smiling. “How are you this fine morning, Eunice?”
Her face stormed over. “What’re you here for?”
“We’re hoping for a word with Molly if she’s around.” He opened his shoulders to give her a full view of his party, which included Durwood and Sue-Ann, his aged bluetick coonhound.
They made for an admittedly odd sight. Quaid and Durwood shared the same vital stats, six one and 180-something pounds, but God himself couldn’t have created two more different molds. Quaid in a sport coat with suntanned wrists and mussed-just-so blond hair. Durwood removing his hat and casting steel-colored eyes humbly about, jeans pulled down over his boots’ piping. And Sue with her mottled coat, rasping like any breath could be her last.
Eunice stabbed a finger toward Durwood. “He can come in—him I respect. But you need to turn right around. My granddaughter wants nothing to do with cads like you.”
Behind her, a voice called, “Granny, I can handle this.
Eunice ignored this. “You’re a no-good man. I know it, my granddaughter knows it.” Veins showed through the chicken-y skin of her neck. “Go on, hop a flight back to Vegas and all your whores!”
Before Quaid could counter these aspersions, Molly appeared.
His heart chirped in his chest. Molly was a little discombobulated, bending to put on a sandal, a kid’s jacket tucked under one elbow—but those dimples, that curvy body...even in the worst domestic throes, she could’ve charmed slime off a senator.
He said, “Can’t you beat a seventy-four-year-old woman to the door?”
Molly slipped on the second sandal. “Can we please just not? It’s been a crazy morning.”
“I know the type.” Quaid smacked his hands together. “So hey, we have a job for you.”
“You’re a little late—McGill Investigators went out of business. I have a real job starting in less than an hour.”
“What kind?”
“Reception,” she said. “Three months with First Mutual.”
“Temp work?” Quaid asked.
“I was supposed to start with the board of psychological examiners, but the position fell through.”
“How come?”
“Funding ran out. The governor disbanded the board.”
“So First Mutual...?”
Molly’s eyes, big and leprechaun green, fell. “It’s temp work, yeah.”
“You’re criminally overqualified for that, McGill,” Quaid said. “Hear us out. Please.”
She snapped her arms over her chest but didn’t stop Quaid as he breezed into the living room followed by Durwood and Sue-Ann, who wore no leash but kept a perfect twenty-inch heel by her master.
Two kids poked their heads around the kitchen doorframe. Quaid waggled his fingers playfully at the girl.
Molly said, “Zach, Karen—please wait upstairs. I’m speaking with these men.”
The boy argued he should be able to stay; upstairs sucked; wasn’t she the one who said they had to leave, like, immedia—
“This is not a negotiation,” Molly said in a new tone.
They went upstairs.
She sighed. “Now they’ll be late for school. I’m officially the worst mother ever.”
Quaid glanced around the living room. The floor was clutter free, but toys jammed the shelves of the coffee table. Stray fibers stuck up from the carpet, which had faded beige from its original yellow or ivory.
“No, you’re an excellent mother,” Quaid said. “You do what you believe is best for your children, which is why you’re going to accept our proposition.”
The most effective means of winning a person over, Quaid had learned as governor of Massachusetts and in prior political capacities, was to identify their objective and articulate how your proposal brought it closer. Part two was always trickier.
He continued, “American Dynamics is the client, and they have deep pockets. If you help us pull this off, all your money troubles go poof.”
A glint pierced Molly’s skepticism. “Okay. I’m listening.”
“You’ve heard of the Blind Mice, these anarchist hackers?”
“I—well, yes, a little. Zach has their T-shirt.”
Quaid, having met the boy on a few occasions, wasn’t shocked by the information. “Here’s the deal. We need someone to infiltrate them.”
Molly blinked twice.
Durwood spoke up, “You’d be great, Moll. You’re young. Personable. People trust you.”
Molly’s eyes were grapefruits. “What did you call them, ‘anarchist hackers’? How would I infiltrate them? I just started paying bills online.”
“No tech knowledge required,” Quaid said. “We have a plan.”
He gave her the nickel summary. The Blind Mice had singled out twelve corporate targets, “the Despicable Dozen,” and American Dynamics topped the list. In recent months, AmDye had seen its websites crashed, its factories slowed by computer glitches, internal documents leaked, the CEO’s home
egged repeatedly. Government agencies from the FBI to NYPD were pursuing the Mice, but the company was troubled by the lack of progress and so had hired Third Chance Enterprises to take them down.
“Now if I accept,” Molly said, narrowing her eyes, “does that mean I’m officially part of Third Chance Enterprises?”
Quaid exhaled at length. Durwood shook his head with an irked air—he hated the name, and considered Quaid’s branding efforts foolish.
“Oh, Durwood and I have been at this freelance operative thing awhile.” Quaid smoothed his sport coat lapels. “Most cases we can handle between the two of us.”
“But not this one.”
“Right. Durwood’s a whiz with prosthetics, but even he can’t bring this”—Quaid indicated his own ruggedly handsome but undeniably middle-aged face—“back to twenty-five.”
Molly’s eyes turned inward. Quaid’s instincts told him she was thinking of her children.
She said, “Sounds dangerous.”
“Nah.” He spread his arms, wide and forthright. “You’re working with the best here: the top small-force, private-arms outfit in the Western world. Very minimal danger.”
Like the politician he’d once been, Quaid delivered this line of questionable veracity with full sincerity.
Then he turned to his partner. “Right, Wood? She won’t have a thing to worry about. We’d limit her involvement to safe situations.”
Durwood thinned his lips. “Do the best we could.”
This response, typical of the soldier he’d once been, was unhelpful.
Molly said, “Who takes care of my kids if something happens, if the Blind Mice sniff me out? Would I have to commit actual crimes?”
“Unlikely.”
Unlikely? I’ll tell you what’s unlikely, getting hired someplace, anyplace, with a felony conviction on your application...”
As she thundered away, Quaid wondered if Durwood might not have been right in preferring a pro. The few times they’d used Molly McGill before had been secondary: posing as a gate agent during the foiled Delta hijacking, later as an archivist for the American embassy in Rome. They’d only pulled her into Rome because of her language skills—she spoke six fluently.
“...also, I have to say,” she continued, and from the edge in her voice, Quaid knew just where they were headed, “I find it curious that I don’t hear from you for ten months, and then you need my help, and all of a sudden, I matter. All of a sudden, you’re on my doorstep.”
“I apologize,” Quaid said. “The Dubai job ran long, then that Guadeloupean resort got hit by a second hurricane. We got busy. I should’ve called.”
Molly’s face cooled a shade, and Quaid saw that he hadn’t lost her.
Yet.
Before either could say more, a heavy ker-klack sounded outside.
“What’s the racket?” Quaid asked. He peeked out the window at his and Durwood’s Vanagon, which looked no more beat-up than usual.
“It’s been going on all morning,” Molly said. “I figured it was construction.”
Quaid said, “Construction in this economy?”
He looked to Durwood.
“I’ll check ’er out.” The ex-soldier turned for the door. Sue-Ann, heaving herself laboriously off the carpet, scuffled after.
Alone now with Molly, Quaid walked several paces in. He doubled his sport coat over his forearm and passed a hand through his hair, using a foyer mirror to confirm the curlicues that graced his temples on his best days.
This was where it had to happen. Quaid’s behavior toward Molly had been less than gallant, and that was an issue. Still, there were sound arguments at his disposal. He could play the money angle. He could talk about making the world safer for Molly’s children. He could point out that she was meant for greater things, appealing to her sense of adventure, framing the job as an escape from the hamster wheel and entrĂ©e to a bright world of heroes and villains.
He believed in the job. Now he just needed her to believe too.
CHAPTER THREE
Durwood walked north. Sue-Ann gimped along after, favoring her bum hip. Paws echoed bootheels like sparrows answering blackbirds. They found their noise at the sixth house on the left.
A crew of three men was working outside a small home. Two-story like Molly’s. The owner had tacked an addition onto one side, prefab sunroom. The men were working where the sunroom met the main structure. Dislodging nails, jackhammering between fiberglass and brick.
Tossing panels onto a stack.
“Pardon,” Durwood called. “Who you boys working for?”
One man pointed to his earmuffs. The others paid Durwood no mind whatsoever. Heavyset men. Big stomachs and muscles.
Durwood walked closer. “Those corner boards’re getting beat up. Y’all got a permit I could see?”
The three continued to ignore him.
The addition was poorly done to begin with, the cornice already sagging. Shoddy craftsmanship. That didn’t mean the owners deserved to have it stolen for scrap.
The jackhammer was plugged into an outside GFI. Durwood caught its cord with his bootheel.
“The hell?” said the operator as his juice cut.
Durwood said, “You’re thieves. You’re stealing fiberglass.”
The men denied nothing.
One said, “Call the cops. See if they come.”
Sue-Ann bared her gums.
Durwood said, “I don’t believe we need to involve law enforcement,” and turned back south for the Vanagon.
Crime like this—callous, brash—was a sign of the times.  People were sore about this “new economy,” how well the rich were making out. Groups like the Blind Mice thought it gave them a right to practice lawlessness.

Lawlessness, Durwood knew, was like a plague. Left unchecked, it spread. Even now, besides this sunroom dismantling, Durwood saw a half dozen offenses in plain sight. Low-stakes gambling on a porch. Coaxials looped across half the neighborhood roofs: cable splicing. A Rottweiler roaming off leash.
Each stuck in Durwood’s craw.
He walked a half block to the Vanagon. He hunted around inside, boots clattering the bare metal floor. Pushed aside Stinger missiles in titanium casings. Squinted past crates of frag grenades in the bulkhead he’d jiggered himself from ponderosa pine.
Here she was—a pressurized tin of black ops epoxy. Set quick enough to repel a flash air strike, strong enough to hold a bridge. Durwood had purchased it for the Dubai job. According to his supplier, Yakov, the stuff smelled like cinnamon when it dried. Something to do with chemistry.
Durwood removed the tin from its box and brushed off the pink Styrofoam packing Yakov favored. Then allowed Sue a moment to ease herself down to the curb before they started back north.
Passing Molly’s house, Durwood glimpsed her through the living room window. She was listening to Quaid, fingers pressed to her forehead.
Quaid was lying. Which was nothing new, Quaid stretching the truth to a woman. But these lies involved Molly’s safety. Fact was, they knew very little of the Blind Mice. Their capabilities, their willingness to harm innocents. The leader, Josiah, was a reckless troublemaker. He spewed his nonsense on Twitter, announcing targets ahead of time, talking about his own penis.
The heavyset men were back at it. One on the roof. The other two around back of the sunroom, digging up the slab.
Durwood set down the epoxy. The men glanced over but kept jackhammering. They would not be the first, nor last, to underestimate this son of an Appalachian coal miner.
The air compressor was set up on the lawn. Durwood found the main pressure valve and cranked its throat full open.
The man on the roof had his ratchet come roaring out of his hands. He slid down the grade, nose rubbing vinyl shingles, and landed in petunias.
Back on his feet, the man swore.
“Mind your language,” Durwood said. “There’s families in the neighborhood.”
The other two hustled over, shovels at their shoulders. The widest of the three circled to Durwood’s backside.
Sue-Ann coiled her old bones to strike. Ugliness roiled Durwood’s gut.
Big Man punched first. Durwood caught his fist, torqued his arm behind his back. The next man swung his shovel. Durwood charged underneath and speared his chest. The man wheezed sharply, his lung likely punctured.
The third man got hold of Durwood’s bootheel, smashed his elbow into the hollow of Durwood’s knee. Durwood scissored the opposite leg across the man’s throat. He gritted his teeth and clenched. He felt the man’s Adam’s apple wriggling between his legs. A black core in Durwood yearned to squeeze.
He resisted.
The hostiles came again, and Durwood whipped them again. Automatically, in a series of beats as natural to him as chirping to a katydid. The men’s faces changed from angry to scared to incredulous. Finally, they stayed down.
“Now y’all are helping fix that sunroom.” Durwood nodded to the epoxy tin. “Mix six to one, then paste ’er on quick.”
Luckily, he’d caught the thieves early, and the repair was uncomplicated. Clamp, glue, drill. The epoxy should increase the R-value on the sunroom ten, fifteen, units. Good for a few bucks off the gas bill in winter, anyhow.
Durwood did much of the work himself. He enjoyed the panels’ weight, the strength of a well-formed joint. His muscles felt free and easy as if he were home ridding the sorghum fields of johnsongrass.
Done, he let the thieves go.
He turned back south toward Molly’s house. Sue-Ann scrabbled alongside.
“Well, ole girl?” he said. “Let’s see how Quaid made out.”
CHAPTER FOUR
I stood on my front porch watching the Vanagon rumble down Sycamore. My toes tingled, my heart was tossing itself against the walls of my chest, and I was pretty sure my nose had gone berserk. How else could I be smelling cinnamon?
Quaid Rafferty’s last words played over and over in my head: We need you.
For twenty minutes, after Durwood had taken his dog to investigate ker-klacks, Quaid had given me the hard sell. The money would be big-time. I had the perfect skills for the assignment: guts, grace under fire, that youthful je ne sais quoi. Wasn’t I always saying I ought to be putting my psychology skills to better use? Well, here it was: understanding these young people’s outrage would be a major component of the job.
Some people will anticipate your words and mumble along. Quaid did something similar but with feelings, cringing at my credit issues, brightening with whole-face joy at Karen’s reading progress—which I was afraid would suffer if I got busy and didn’t keep up her nightly practice.
He was pitching me, yes. But he genuinely cared what was happening in my life.
I didn’t know how to think about Quaid, how to even fix him in my brain. He and Durwood were so far outside any normal frame of reference. Were they even real? Did I imagine them?
Their biographies were epic. Quaid the twice-elected (once-impeached) governor of Massachusetts who now battled villains across the globe and lived at Caesars Palace. Durwood a legend of the Marine Corps, discharged after defying his commanding officer and wiping out an entire Qaeda cell to avenge the death of his wife.
I’d met them during my own unreal adventure—the end of my second marriage, which had unraveled in tragedy in the backwoods of West Virginia.
They’d recruited me for three missions since. Each was like a huge, brilliant dream—the kind that’s so vital and packed with life that you hang on after you wake up, clutching backward into sleep to stay inside.
Granny said, “That man’s trouble. If you have any sense in that stubborn head of yours, you’ll steer clear.”
I stepped back into the living room, the Vanagon long gone, and allowed my eyes to close. Granny didn’t know the half of it. She had huffed off to watch her judge shows on TV before the guys had even mentioned the Blind Mice.
No, she meant a more conventional trouble.
“I’ve learned,” I said. “If I take this job, it won’t be for romance. I’d be doing it for me. For the family.”
As if cued by the word “family,” a peal of laughter sounded upstairs.
Children!
My eyes zoomed to the clock. It was 8:20. Zach would be lucky to make first hour, let alone homeroom. In a single swipe, I scooped up the Prius keys and both jackets. My purse whorled off my shoulder like some supermom prop.
“Leaving now!” I called up the stairwell. “Here we go, kids—laces tied, backpacks zipped.”
Zach trudged down, leaning his weight into the rail. Karen followed with sunny-careful steps. I sped through the last items on my list—tossed a towel over the grape juice, sloshed water onto the roast, considered my appearance in the microwave door, and just frowned, beyond caring.
Halfway across the porch, Granny’s fingers closed around my wrist.
“Promise me,” she said, “that you will not associate with Quaid Rafferty. Promise me you won’t have one single thing to do with that lowlife.”
I looked past her to the kitchen, where the cat was kinking herself to retch Eggo Waffle onto the linoleum.
“I’m sorry, Granny.” I patted her hand, freeing myself. “It’s something I have to do.”
***
Excerpt from Anarchy of the Mice by Jeff Bond. Copyright 2020 by Jeff Bond. Reproduced with permission from Jeff Bond. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:


Jeff Bond is an American author of popular fiction. His books have been featured in The New York Review of Books, and his 2020 release, The Pinebox Vendetta, received the gold medal (top prize) in the 2020 Independent Publisher Book Awards. A Kansas native and Yale graduate, he now lives in Michigan with his wife and two daughters.

Catch Up With Jeff Bond On:
JeffBondBooks.com
BookBub
Goodreads
Instagram
Twitter
Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to view the Anarchy Of The Mice by Jeff Bond Participants.


Enter To Win!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jeff Bond. There will be 2 winners of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card each. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2020 and runs through September 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.
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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

 

I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Friday, July 3, 2020

Love Riot Blog Tour and Giveaway


About the Book


Book:  Love Riot
Author: Sara Barratt
Genre: Christian non-fiction
Release Date: May 5, 2020

Have you ever thought about walking away from the church? Have you already left it in your heart?

Does it seem like it’s not relevant to your life?

It’s time for a revolution. A holy uprising. A love riot.

Not content with safe religion that demands nothing of us, Sara Barratt is calling you to stop giving in to the status quo and devote yourself fully to Christ, following Him no matter what your friends do or the culture around you promotes. Sara challenges you to hand everything over–your comfort zones, your time, your loyalty, your pride–and invites you to embark on a radical journey of passionate love for Christ. Because once you experience His love, it will transform your life.

Love Riot is a battle cry from one teen to another to embrace a life of wholehearted commitment and relentless abandon for Christ . . . no matter the cost.

“Sara Barratt wants to start a riot. An uproar. A disturbance for Jesus. Unlike some teenagers who want to disrupt and destroy, she wants to bravely build.”–Kyle Idleman, author of Not a Fan and Don’t Give Up and senior pastor of Southeast Christian Church

“God is at work among my generation. There’s no denying that, especially after reading Love Riot. This book will challenge you, encourage you, and ignite your pursuit of Christ. I highly recommend it!”–Jaquelle Crowe Ferris, author of This Changes Everything

Love Riot will challenge your idea of what it means to be a teen who truly follows Christ. Sara Barratt raises the bar and calls her peers to a higher standard. This book has the power to change lives!”–Kristen Clark and Bethany Beal, authors of Sex, Purity, and the Longings of a Girl’s Heart and cofounders of GirlDefined Ministries.


Click here to get your copy!

My Review

Barratt has wisdom well beyond her years. She has a vision to see this generation rising up as the most devoted, most committed, most passionate generation for Jesus. She has practical teaching and great insights into what it means to be such a passionate follower of Jesus, including the cost it may mean in activities and even friends.

This is a great book for teens. It is well written and captivating. It is a challenge to live sold out for Jesus, to follow Him beyond your comfort zone, and to use your sphere of influence. There are good questions at the end of each chapter so this would be a good book for a teen reading group or a youth group study.

Food for thought: “...there's no such thing as a complacent follower of Christ. … You're either living for yourself or living for God.” (Loc 1110/2998)

My rating: 5/5 stars.

About the Author


Sara Barratt is an author, speaker, avid reader, chocolate lover, and lead editor for TheRebelution.com. Her passion is challenging and encouraging teens to live sold out and set apart for Jesus. Come hang out with her on Facebook, Instagram, and at her website, sarabarratt.com.

More from Sara


Why are teens leaving the church?
Why are my friends drifting away from God?
What does it look like to be a teen who wholeheartedly follows Jesus?
In my early teens, I began wrestling with these questions. God was working on my own heart, shaking me out of my complacency, and leading me to a deeper walk with Him. Yet I knew I wasn’t the only teen battling apathy and the low expectations of our culture.
Everywhere I looked, I saw the evidence.
Friends drifting away from God. Compromise slipping in. Peer pressure strengthening.
It broke my heart to see these teens struggling. Because I’d walked in their struggles as well.
Teens like eighteen-year-old Brayden who said, “I’ve never pursued a passionate relationship with Christ, because I’ve never had anyone to share it with. No one else I know takes God seriously.”
Or like sixteen-year-old Trevor who realized something was missing. “I know God is real. I’ve seen Him work in other people’s lives, but I can’t find the strength to change, so I’ve just put God on the back burner.”
These are the words from real teens, battling in the trenches of an apathetic, post-truth, anti-Christian culture. We’re wrestling through questions and doubts about God and Christianity as our peers, the media, and the culture around us feed us a myriad of messages, trying to influence our hearts. Some stand strong. Most give in.
Something needs to change.
Is it possible for teens to reject apathy and live sold out for Jesus? Is it possible to turn our backs to the culture and choose to follow Christ? Is it possible, that instead of a generation leaving the church, we could become a generation building the church, living for the glory of God?
My journey of writing Love Riot began with these questions, but ended with this answer.
Yes.
God has not given up on this generation. On the contrary, I believe He has more in store for us than we can imagine. The power which rose Jesus Christ from the dead can raise up the spiritually dying remains of this generation and spark a passion in teenager’s souls for His name.
The world, and even the church, doesn’t automatically think of teenagers as passionate followers of Christ—but I’m out to change that.
In this new generation arising, it’s my heart-cry to see a remnant living out the message of the gospel, embracing our commission to go out and make disciples.
It’s not an easy journey. It requires risk. Sacrifice. Surrender. But as Jesus said, the life of a follower isn’t safe. It’s not just a call to pray a prayer and be saved. It’s a call to lay down your life and be transformed. Luke 9:23 counts the cost, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”
For every teen, for every adult, for everyone who desires to follow Jesus, it’s time to pick up our cross, and in the words of Elisabeth Elliot, “live a life of reckless abandon for the Lord, putting all [our] energy and strength into it.”
It’s time for a love riot.

Blog Stops

Artistic Nobody, July 4 (Author Interview)
Remembrancy, July 6
Simple Harvest Reads, July 7 (Author Interview)
Emily Yager, July 8
Mary Hake, July 13
SODBUSTERLIVING, July 14
Through the Fire Blogs, July 15 (Author Interview)

Giveaway


To celebrate her tour, Sara is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book and a $25 Amazon gift card!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.


I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Crushing Depths Blog Tour and Giveaway

The Crushing Depths

by Dani Pettrey

on Tour July 1-31, 2020

Synopsis:


When an accident claims the life of an oil-rig worker on the first drilling platform off the North Carolina coast, Coast Guard investigators Rissi Dawson and Mason Rogers are sent to take the case. Tensions surrounding the oil rig are high and the death has everyone on edge. Environmental activists are threatening to do whatever it takes to stop the structure from being completed, while rumors are being whispered about ancient curses surrounding this part of the ocean.

Mounting evidence shows the death may not have been an accident at all. Was he killed by one of the activists or, perhaps more frighteningly, a member of his own crew? Rissi and Mason have to sort through not only a plethora of suspects, but also their own past and attraction to each other.

Just as the case seems like it'll break open, worse news arrives. A tropical storm has turned their way and soon they're cut off from any rescue–and right where the killer wants them. It's a race to discover his identity before he eliminates the threat they pose.


My Review:


Pettrey has crafted another entertaining novel centered on Coast Guard investigators. I liked the setting of an off shore oil rig although I wish we could have learned more about its operation. The sabotage of the rig operation by an environmental group is certainly believable.

I liked the budding romance between Rissi and Mason. I like that Pettery kept them focused on their work and did not let their emotions rule during the investigation. I also liked how both of the characters rose above their shared painful youth experiences, independently became Christians, and found renewed love as adults.

I did not like Brooke's side story and found it very distracting. It did not add to the main plot story and almost seemed like just filler to make page count. The main plot would have been sufficient to provide an entertaining read with additional background on oil rig function. I also found the fights by a couple of the men on the rig to be nonessential to the plot and a bit puzzling as to their inclusion.

This is an entertaining novel with a little bit of information about off shore oil rigs and protesters. I do not think it is the best Pettrey has written. I do like her work though and will be looking for her next book.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Book Details:

Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Published by: Bethany House
Publication Date: June 30th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 0764230859 (ISBN13: 9780764230851)
Series: Coastal Guardians #2
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | ChristianBook | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

Late September
Thirty-eight miles off North Carolina’s coast
Greg Barnes clinked along the grated metal steps, his boot heels rasping with each shuffle as he headed topside for a much-needed breath of smoke.
Thrusting the door open with a resounding creak, he stepped out into the night air.
A litany of protestors’ chants mimicked the shrill whining of cicadas.
He glanced at his watch. 1930. Didn’t those eco-nuts ever give it a rest?
As if the cursed rig wasn’t enough—they had the dang relentless protestors going practically day and night.
Exhaling, he rubbed his thumb along the smooth surface of the tarnished gold lighter in his pocket. His tight muscles seized, making his movements stiff. He shook his head. Those people needed to get a life.
Edging around the far corner of the main separator facility, he pressed his back against the structure’s cool outer wall. Generators whirred across from him, finally drowning out the clatter. He scanned his surroundings and exhaled in relief. Finally, alone.
His leg twitched. Just one drag . . . maybe two. It’d been an awful day, and that was the gentleman’s way of putting it.
With unsteady hands, he pulled the plastic-wrapped pack from his shirt pocket.
It crinkled beneath his hold and the sweet scent of tobacco wafted beneath his nose. He tamped the cigarette in his palm and slid it between his cracked lips. Just one drag.
Tugging the lighter from his pocket, he flipped it open, then rolled the pad of his thumb across the ignitor.
A spark flashed and fire roared, hissing over him in a sizzling cascade of torment.

Chapter Two

Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina
Rissi Dawson sat at the long table on Dockside’s waterfront deck, gaping at Mason Rogers. He turned to look at her, his green eyes illuminated in the bright pole lights lining the wooden structural beams. She averted her eyes as heat rushed up her throat, spreading across her cheeks. He’d caught her staring again. Embarrassment drenched her. It’d been three days since his arrival, and she still couldn’t wrap her mind around the fact he was actually sitting next to her.
The boy she’d had the biggest crush on as a teen was back in her life. And on her Coast Guard Investigative Service team.
He handed her the basket of hush puppies the restaurant served instead of bread to start everyone off. His hand brushed hers with the movement, and her heart fluttered. “Thanks,” she said, keeping her gaze fixed on the red basket as she pulled two balls of fried cornmeal from it. She plopped the still-warm puppies onto the round plate to the right of her Coke. Get it together, girl!
The whir of a boat’s motor dropping to an idle sounded over the deck’s edge. A teen jumped out of the white outboard and onto the pier, tying her up to the cleat. Rissi loved living in a place with a boat drive-thru.
Noah raised his glass of iced tea. “Everyone . . .” The team lifted their glasses in response to their boss’s prompting.
Noah dipped his chin. “Welcome, Mason. Happy to have you on board.”
The team clinked their glasses together, even Caleb who sat brooding to her left. Observant as he was, there was no chance he missed the way she looked at Mason. In recent months, he’d developed feelings for her, so it wasn’t surprising he’d bristled at Mason’s arrival—especially after learning she and Mason shared a past, though he didn’t know the half of it. Only that they spent time in a children’s home together for a handful of months as teens.
The opening riff of “Sweet Home Alabama” emanated from Noah’s jean pocket. He hitched up as he extracted his phone. “Rowley,” he answered. “Yes?” Standing, he headed down the ramp toward the restaurant’s pier.
“Rockfish tacos,” the waitress said, placing the plate in front of Rissi. The sweet, tropical scent of the mango slaw swirled in the air.
The waitress handed out plate after plate to each of them, setting Noah’s burger at his spot while he continued to pace the pier.
Caleb bit into his Carolina BBQ pork sandwich, the scent of vinegar wafting in the night’s gentle breeze.
Finn Walker did the same with his crab cake sandwich. He and Noah, who was from Maryland, had argued for months over which state had the best crab cake. Finn had been convinced it was North Carolina, right up until Noah had crab cakes flown in fresh from Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Baltimore. It took two bites for Finn to concede the win.
“Sorry about that, folks,” Noah said, retaking his seat.
“Everything okay?” Emmy Thorton asked. Rissi looked forward to seeing the quirky angel every day at the station.
“Rissi, Mason.” Noah lifted his chin in their direction. “I’ve got an assignment for you.”
Her and Mason? They’d worked a case his first day on the team, but Finn had joined them for most of the investigation. This would be the two of them . . . alone. A mixture of elation and fear sifted through her.
“Great.” Mason set down his lemonade.
“We’ve got a death out on the Dauntless.”
“The offshore oil platform?” Mason asked, swiping a drop of lemonade from his bottom lip.
Stop staring, girl. So he’s jaw-dropping gorgeous. So you share a past. Still, staring is plain rude. Despite not having a mother to teach her, Rissi knew or, at least had come to learn, her manners.
Noah laid his napkin across his lap. “You two need to determine if the death was an accident or if foul play was involved. Helo is leaving from Textra Oil’s copter hub in forty-five. I need you both on it.”
Mason pushed back from the table. “No problem.”
“Great,” Noah said. “You’ll be joining the head of operations, a commercial diver, and the deceased’s replacement on the company copter.”
Rissi took one last bite of her taco before setting it down. She dabbed the corner of her lips with a napkin. “They aren’t wasting any time in replacing the deceased.”
“The deceased’s name is Greg Barnes. I talked to the head of operations, Bob Stanton, and he said they needed to replace him ASAP.”
“Must be an important position.” She reached for her glass and took a final sip.
“You’d think,” Noah said. “But Bob said the main reason they need to replace him fast is they’ve been working with a skeleton crew.”
Mason’s brows pinched as he stood. “Why?”
“Several guys didn’t show up for their three-week rotation transport out,” Noah said, popping a fry in his mouth.
“I know why they didn’t show up for that copter ride out there.” Tom Murphy leaned toward them from his table situated to their right.
“Why?” Mason asked, moving around to the back of Rissi’s chair. He held it out for her as she stood.
She glanced over her shoulder at him and smiled. “Thanks.”
He nodded.
Tom, one of Wrightsville’s most colorful fishermen, crooked his index finger, drawing them in. “That rig’s cursed.”
“Cursed?” Caleb chuckled. “You can’t be serious?”
Tom waggled his finger. “It’s no laughing matter, young man.”
“I’m sure it’s a good story, Tom,” Rissi said. No reason not to be polite. “But I’m afraid we’ve got to catch a copter ride.”
Tom shrugged and turned back to his food. “It’s your lives at stake.”
“What do you mean?” she asked before they passed his table, unable to stem her curiosity.
“You’ll see.” He smiled, his right incisor missing. “Henry’s curse is real.”
“Henry?” Why was she letting herself get sucked into this?
Tom let out a high-pitched chuckle. “Oh, you’ll learn all about Henry.”
“Shall we?” Mason said, gesturing to the wooden ramp leading down to the gravel parking lot.
Excusing themselves, they moved down the ramp. Mason leaned in. He smelled of the ocean and warm spice. He whispered, “Did that guy seriously just cackle?”
She nodded, strangely curious about the old man’s ghost story.
“I thought people only did that on Scooby-Doo.”
She let out a slip of laughter.
“I wouldn’t be laughing,” Tom called after them as they rounded the ramp on his side of the deck. “You two be careful out there, you hear? It’s a dangerous place to be. Just ask the men on board.”
***
Excerpt from The Crushing Depths by Dani Pettrey. Copyright 2020 by Dani Pettrey. Reproduced with permission from Dani Pettrey. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:


Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as "a name to look for in romantic suspense," Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance.
Her novels stand out for their "wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters" (Publishers Weekly), "gripping storyline[s]," (RT Book Reviews), and "sizzling undercurrent of romance" (USA Today).
Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and have appeared on the CBA, ECPA, Publisher’s Weekly, and Amazon #1 bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers' Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing's Best Award.

Catch Up With Dani Pettrey:
DaniPettrey.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!


Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Click here to view the The Crushing Depths by Dani Petrey Participants.


Enter To Win!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Dani Pettrey. There will be 4 winners. Two (2) winners will each receive an Amazon.com Gift Card and Two (2) winners will each win THE CRUSHING DEPTHS by Dani Pettrey (Print ~ Open to U.S. addresses only). The giveaway begins on July 1, 2020 and runs through August 2, 2020. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours


I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)