Posts Tagged ‘suspense’

#TuesdayTea review of NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

Welcome to my #TuesdayTea review of author Laurie Wood’s debut…NORTHERN DECEPTION. In keeping with the setting for this book…the arctic area of Canada…glittering with white snow…I’m serving Sparkling White Chocolate Scones. Please help yourself to a couple of treats while I pour you a cup of Twinings Buttermint tea, perfect with these seasonal scones.

Sparkling White Chocolate Scones

A cute little polar bear cub visitor!

NOW LET’S CHAT ABOUT THE BOOK!

NORTHERN DECEPTION by Laurie Wood

Isn’t this a stunning cover? The pages inside are just as thrilling.

ABOUT THE BOOK 

Reunions can be deadly.

After a savage attack in university, Kira Summers fled to the safety of northern Canada and her work as a polar bear scientists. But when her whistleblower brother dies in a mysterious car crash, she must return home to bury him and pack his belongings. Unaware she’s carrying explosive evidence someone’s willing to kill for, she has no choice but to rely on the one person she never thought she’d see again.

Lukas Tanner, a widowed single father of a special needs toddler, moved to Churchill five years ago. As the proud owner of Guiding Star Enterprises, a wilderness tour company, he and his daughter lead a simple life. But when Kira comes back into his world, he realizes God has other plans. Now Lukas and Kira must confront a merciless killer as their past and present collide in a deadly race—a race they must win if they have any hope of a future together.

 

MY REVIEW OF NORTHERN DECEPTION 

A fast-paced story filled with exciting action as this couple’s safety is threatened…..and strong romantic feelings between them are rekindled!

When polar bear research scientist Kira Summers finds out her old boyfriend, arctic rover tour operator Lukas Tanner, lives in the same remote Canadian town, she finds her heart at risk again, as well as her life. Can Kira survive the threats and be given the second chance at love she wishes she could have?

NORTHERN DECEPTION is packed with heart-thrilling moments as Lukas tries to keep Kira safe. Author Laurie Wood knows how to create great suspense to keep us reading into the night. The tension escalated as I tried to figure out who was trying to harm Kira…and why. This book, with its interesting details, provided a fascinating virtual visit to the polar bear land of Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. I was shivering, not just from the freezing temperature, but also from fear of the huge northern bears. The characters were all believable, and I especially liked precious little Sophie. The romance between the couple is sweetly portrayed, with one of the absolutely cutest proposals I’ve ever read…..the perfect ending.

If you like romance with strong suspense elements and woven with threads of faith, I highly recommend NORTHERN DECEPTION. I’m counting on more great stories about Heroes of the Tundra from author Laurie Wood.

*I received a copy of this book with no requirement to write a review. I’m delighted to offer my honest opinion.

This little guy just makes me makes me smile.

To find out more about Laurie, to sign up for her newsletter, and to get information on ordering Northern Deception, visit Laurie Wood Author website.

RECIPE:SPARKLING WHITE CHOCOLATE SCONES

In a large bowl, cut together with a pastry cutter or fork until blended:
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup butter

Add and cut together until mixed:
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Stir in:
1 cup white chocolate baking chips

Whisk together then stir into dough:
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Turn onto a flour dusted board and knead slightly until dough sticks together. Add more milk if too dry. Form the dough into two balls, then pat into discs roughly 1-inch thick. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Sprinkle with white sparkling decorator sugar. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until slightly golden.These can be iced with powdered sugar glaze and more sprinkles added for decoration.

Thank you for joining me for #TuesdayTea and celebrating Laurie Wood’s debut book. I hope your week is filled with a bit of time for reading and with many sweet treats as we prepare for the Christmas season!

Blessings and prayers always,

Sherida

*Comments are appreciated and will appear after moderation. I apologize for delays.

#TuesdayTea-LOVE’S DREAM SONG with Sandra Leesmith

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

We’re having tea…or Chocolate Velvet coffee….today with author Sandra Leesmith as we talk about her amazing new book, Love’s Dream Song, a romantic suspense set in the Navajo area of northern Arizona.

Since I have lived near the eastern edge of the Navajo Nation, it is especially fun to read a suspenseful adventure set in this beautiful desert country ….. along with the passionate romance story of Autumn and Jess. Sandra does settings so well…..you feel you are there! An example from the book:

Nature entertained them with a display of sunset color. Bright magenta deepened to red and then turned fluorescent orange. The jagged outline of cliffs was silhouetted like black sentinels against the vermillion brilliance.

This is a great romantic adventure with realistic heart-racing excitement.

Quote from LOVE'S DREAM SONG.

Quote from LOVE’S DREAM SONG.

A few more of my favorite lines from the book:

“Know your heart. Walk in the way of your dreams.”

“But I refuse to be bowed by the hatred. Real Tall Man taught me that when you let hatred affect your life, it then exists.”

“Being alone in the wilderness makes you face up to yourself. I’ve grown to love the desert country.”

This book releases October 17 and is available to pre-order. You can pre-order Love’s Dream Song HERE  .  So please have a piece of pumpkin bread as you read the blurb and my review of Love’s Dream Song. The giveaway form is near the end of this post.

BLURB

Autumn O’Neill came to Arizona on an archeological dig hoping to find out what happened to the ancient Anasazi tribes, but her true desire was to discover her own Navajo roots. It didn’t help that the dig was located on Jess Barron’s ranch and that the handsome rancher scorned his own native American heritage and believed Autumn was part of a drug ring operating on his land. When the dig is compromised and danger threatens their lives, Jess and Autumn can no longer fight their attraction for each other. They both come to understand that finding answers means listening to the voices of their ancestors and the longings of their hearts.

My review of Love’s Dream Song:

Love's Dream SongLove’s Dream Song by Sandra Leesmith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A blend of suspense and romance with an adventure in the Navajo cultural world…a great story!

I was completely engaged with this suspenseful book. Archeologist Autumn O’Neill is assisting with a trouble-plagued exploration of Anasazi ruins on the northern Arizona ranch of Jess Barron.

The suspense in this book is developed well, with many possible motives and suspects. I was definitely guessing until the end. The reunion romance between beautiful Autumn and undercover agent Jess is touching, yet complicated because of both their past relationship and their feelings about their Native American heritages. Both are interesting, complex characters.

The well-researched Navajo cultural elements added interesting flavor to the story, with tribal customs and bits of Navajo language included. Additionally, I liked this book because of its vivid and accurate depiction of the red rock country of Arizona….a uniquely stunning desert. Sandra Leesmith is an author who excels at bringing to life the settings of her books. You feel you are right there in the experience. I have lived near the Navajo country of Love’s Dream Song and find the sense of this amazing place is very realistically presented.

Author Sandra Leesmith has balanced suspense and passionate romance perfectly in Love’s Dream Song to bring readers a great adventure in the desert southwest. I highly recommend Love’s Dream Song!

*I was given an electronic review copy of this book. I’m delighted to post my honest thoughts about this story.

TREATS and the THREE SISTERS

Pumpkin Bread

Pumpkin Bread

The pumpkin bread ( PUMPKIN BREAD RECIPE from All Recipes ) seemed appropriate to serve as a treat while talking about this Navajo-inspired story because of the importance of squash to native people in this southwest region. The Three Sisters- squash, corn and beans- have been important food sources for the native people. The Three Sisters are crops which are mutually beneficial, so are planted together in mounds of dirt…the corn stalks provide a climbing trellis for the bean plants which provide the soil with nitrogen, enabling the squash plants to thrive and shade the base of the plants for water retention and to crowd out weeds. For more information, you can read about the Three Sisters here.

INTERVIEW:  If you didn’t read my interview with Sandra during the cover reveal post, you might enjoy learning about her research through the following questions.
SHERIDAHow did you get the idea for this story?

SANDRA:  My husband and I have traveled many times in Northern Arizona Color Country. We have explored many of the ancient Anasazi ruins in Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Being a writer with a vivid imagination, I’ve always been fascinated with the history of these people.

It has always been a mystery as to what happened to the very advanced and flourishing Anasazi people. They are the native Americans who lived in the ancient cliff dwellings found in the Southwest. Hundreds of years ago, they suddenly disappeared and archeologists are not certain as to why. I used one of the less popular, but more intriguing speculations as part of the premise in Love’s Dream Song.

The summer I started this story, my hubby and I were hiking around a lot of the Anasazi ruins so the story evolved from the interesting facts we were learning about the ancient culture.

SHERIDA:  What is your connection to the setting?

SANDRA:  I have lived in Arizona most of my adult life. Most weekends and holidays were spent hiking and exploring the beautiful deserts in this colorful state. I love the variety and color, so describing the setting and bringing it alive is easy for me. I love sharing the beauty with others.

The cover is a photo of Monument Valley. It is one of the most popular areas. But all of Color Country is gorgeous. My husband is a scientist and very knowledgeable about the geology. In Color Country, which is a term that refers to the red rock areas of Northern Arizona, Southern Utah and Norwestern New Mexico, you can see so much of the geological features in vivid colors.

SHERIDA:  How did you research the topics covered in Love’s Dream Song?

SANDRA:  As mentioned above, my hubby is a scientist so we whenever we travel to an area, we study the geology and explore the historical aspects of the locale. Consequently, I am very familiar with the geological and historical elements presented within the story.

Being a teacher in Arizona, I was required to know the anthropological history as well. I love studying about ancient cultures. I love learning about different cultures.

When I finished writing this novel, I happened to be invited (through my work with ASU) to the Navajo nation to present educational workshops to the teachers on the reservation. Several women I met helped me with many aspects of the culture of Dineh (The People).

Author Sandra Leesmith

Author Sandra Leesmith

ABOUT AUTHOR SANDRA LEESMITH

Sandra Leesmith writes romance designed to warm the heart and make you smile. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. A retired teacher, she lives in Arizona with her husband. During the hot summers she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome, where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project.

You can connect with Sandra through her website, Sandra Leesmith website.

Her books are available through Amazon:  Sandra’s books.

GIVEAWAY:

Sandra has generously offered a copy to a reader. Thank you, Sandra! Please fill out the Rafflecopter entry form below to enter. Be sure to make a comment in the blog comments with your thoughts about Love’s Dream Song and whether you want an ebook or print version if you win.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

We’d love to hear your thoughts about Love’s Dream Song. Do you enjoy romantic suspense? Do you like to learn about diverse cultures through reading stories? Have you traveled to the desert Southwest?

Thank you so much for having teatime with us today! May your days be blessed with God’s abundant treasures!

TUESDAY TEA with May the K9 Spy and KC Frantzen

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

 

 

Strawberry and Blueberry Vanilla Parfait

Strawberry and Blueberry Vanilla Parfait

I’m excited to have May the K9 Spy and KC Frantzen with us today for tea. We’re at the dog-friendly Tea Terrace overlooking Doggie Park. May and KC volunteer at Joni and Friends Wounded Warrior Getaways, so in honor of their contributions to this organization, I’m serving a patriotic Strawberry and Blueberry Vanilla Parfait with blueberry tea. Help yourself to iced tea if you prefer. It is HOT out there! For our canine guests, we have refreshing water and special “Pooch Dog Peanut Butter Treats” from Joshua’s Pet Treat Bakery.

Take a look at May’s two books (and note the dates each will be available FREE for Kindle!) Then please join us as we chat with May and KC and enjoy our treats. (And be very sure to check below about the blog tour information and giveaway…sleuthing involved!)

My thoughts:  I just finished May’s first book, May On The Way, and loved it. I laughed, I cried, I fell in love with sweet May, and I completely enjoyed her tale about how she became a K9 Spy. I love suspense, and this book has suspense along with May’s interesting point of view—a dog’s point of view! A fun read for pet lovers from ages eight and up. This would be a paw-fect book for your family to read together during the summer. I’m looking forward to reading book 2, May Finds a Way about her adventure in Paris. It is good to know that May and KC are busy writing a third book.

 

May On The Way

 

May on the Way: How I Become a K9 Spy

Sometimes I start with a well-thought out plan, and sometimes, me being me, things just happen. In my imagination I’m on my way, heading anywhere. Because anywhere’s better than here.

Which is why I’m staring at this latch. I’m going to escape today. I’ve been watching closely to see how they work it, though no one’s noticed.

Humans… So unaware…

Available in Kindle format for $2.99 on Amazon.com.

FREE for Kindle: July 16-20, 2013

May Finds A Way

 

May Finds a Way: Peril in Paris

An enterprising escape, a perilous mission…
After going astray during K9 Spy boot camp, May tries to find a way to the American Embassy in Paris.

Join her and Léonce, a feral cat, as they sniff out an evil plot leading from Benjamin Franklin’s park through the historic Passy Cemetery to The Pantheon…including a journey under the city!

Available in Kindle format for $3.99 on Amazon.com.

FREE for Kindle: July 23-27, 2013

Now for our conversation with May and KC!

SHERIDA: How did you get the glimmers of your ideas for May on the Way and May Finds a Way?

KC: It was a combo for May on the Way. Rescued from abuse, May could be a snippy little dog, but no! She assumes everyone will love her, greeting each with enthusiasm. The more we enjoyed her, the more we thought others could benefit from her story. We watched her “work” on some die-hard cat people. May insisted they offer her a pat or quick game of toss-and-fetch.

A flicker.
When May was about six, a friend came by, with a friend who worked in law enforcement. After meeting May and getting a good throwing arm workout, she remarked (paraphrased), “May would make an excellent bomb-sniffing dog. She is focused and small enough to go where others cannot.”

A gleam.

About the same time, I was about ¾ through the Christian Writers Guild Apprentice Course and was encouraged to do more with one of the lessons by my mentor, the pawmazing, Sandra Byrd.

The gleam passed from glimmer to glow and I got to work. About 5 years later, the first book became a reality.

And writers may find this humorous… I fully intended to have the Christian Writers Guild scene in the first book, and it was, but as the Sneak Peek bonus chapter for book 2! It became the basis of how May is dognapped in May Finds a Way, but really, who’d a thunk she’d have ended up in Paris?

I enjoy history and how God weaves His story throughout, so I strive to make our books full of interesting tidbits where all details are accurate. Research is So. Much. Fun!! (Yes, there was a 28 hour visit to Paris for book 2.) Plus it’s pawmazing to see how seemingly disparate events, places, actions come together as a unified whole.

Adults seem to enjoy them as much as the kids. This is why we’ve changed the series description. We used to say they are for “Middle-grade, readers 8-12 years old,” now its “Enjoyed by animal lovers 8 and up!”

SHERIDA: Oooo! Research in Paris would be fascinating! What do you do to keep your sparkle while you are writing?

KC: It depends on which phase of the writing process…

As a history major, I ADORE research. This writing gig lets me do that full-time! For example, at a recent craft fair I remarked on a gentleman’s military submarine cap and said we have a nuclear submarine in our third book. He then put me in touch with a fellow, not too far away, who was gracious enough to spend an hour and a half sharing ideas and experiences. Can’t get much better than this.

Editing and rewriting is a joy for me too, mostly… Once words are on the page, you can tinker. Blank pages are fairly difficult for me. I’ve morphed into a “planster” – a hybrid of pantster (writing by seat of the pants) and a plotter (plotting each scene). I’m just on book 3 so my style is still developing.

But the sparkle in any project has to be May herself. She is always near as I write and occasionally reminds me to take a break and toss the ball, even though she just celebrated her 13th barkday on June 13, 2013!  🙂

SHERIDA: Yes, I can just see from May’s website photos and her pawmazing adventures, that she is a sparkle girl! A treasure! Beyond family, friends and your writing career, what jewel of a moment has God placed in your path during your life’s journey that you would like to share with us?

KC: The Lord has graced me with an entire box of jewels. We do a fair amount of traveling and one of the highlights has to have been visiting Salto Angel (pronounced SALTo  anHEL), also known as Angel Falls in Venezuela. I’d wanted to see it since World Geography in elementary school. Had to wait until my 40’s but it was worth it on soooo many levels. You haven’t lived until you spend a wedding anniversary under a pole tent in hammocks with about 30 others. When one shifts, all hammocks on your pole swing. What an experience…

Seriously, it was an amazing adventure into La Gran Sabana. Once you fly into the small airport, you board large canoes (with motors) and go upriver for hours. Incidentally, the river is the color of root beer, no animal sounds… But the flora is spectacular. Upon arrival at base camp, you offload luggage and follow the guide, scrambling up the side of the tepui for several hours. Just a couple of minutes before we got to the observation area, the Heavens opened and we were absolutely drenched.

We managed to retrieve only one photo. My husband snapped it of me standing on a rock holding a red anniversary rose, mists of Angel Falls in the background. That has to rank right on up there!

SHERIDA:  Wow! What an experience! My husband was born in Venezuela, but left when he was six-weeks old. He’d like to visit sometime, and we’ll put Salto Angel on our to-do-list of adventures. And now to ask May a question! What jewel of a moment in your spy adventures would you like to tell us about?

MAY THE K9 SPY:  Miss Sherida ~ I’m wiggling my whole self! You saved best for last! BOL!

There are so many things I could mention but then, they’re classified.

The best thing I can say is, no matter how dark things look, there is always hope. Opportunity is on the way, and usually when and where you least expect it. Like when Dad and Mom rescued me from the evil Rukan. In real life, it happened pretty much the way we tell it in my first book. Things were bleak but the Creator had a plan that I was unaware of. I thought He’d forgotten about me but not at all. He’d already set into motion events that took me away from that awful caged existence, into a pawmazing home and now… I’m a K9 Spy and author of a series of books! (I try to humor Mom and say she’s the author but… she’s just the transcriptionist. She has to type, since I have no thumbs.)

Thank you for your thoughtfulness to include me and my FURiends with the dee-licious fresh water and pawmazing pet treats. Yummo!

And now, hint-hint – it’s past time for toss and fetch, don’t you agree? *prance prance* Here’s my ball! Let’s go play!

I adore answering questions, and Mom does too. We’ll be at the ready to chat whenever you like.

Thank you again for asking us to be with you and your readers today!

SHERIDA: It’s been so interesting to hear about your rescue with the reminder that God has a plan for us all. Thank you so much for joining us for tea and water.  Now May and I will head to the doggie park with her ball for a bit of exercise. Be sure to find out about May the K9 Spy’s Scavenger Hunt with the information given below and check out the link for Joshua’s Pet Treats for your FURiends!

Giveaway Information:

Check out the rules and join May the K9 Spy’s Scavenger Hunt at May’s Blog Tour HQ!

May also has a “Lucky 7 Rewards for Reviewers” drawing happening this month! Grab a copy of the book(s), submit your review(s) on Amazon.com, and enter to win super cool prizes. Details can be found in May’s latest newsletter, or contact May’s publicist at amberstokes@editingthroughtheseasons.com.

KC and May

About the Author:

KC Frantzen learned to speak critter at a young age. She and her husband volunteer with a variety of projects, including the Joni & Friends Wounded Warrior Getaway. They enjoy traveling just about anywhere, which helps formulate ideas for May the K9 Spy. The family lives in the country hills of middle Tennessee with two Arabian horses and several rescue dogs, including the real May.

 

Learn more about KC and May at www.maythek9spy.com, and connect with May on her Facebook page.

Learn about Joni and Friends Wounded Warrior Getaways at www.joniandfriends.org.

Learn about the special doggie treats at www.Joshuaspettreatbakery.com.

A FINAL NOTE: I fell in love with suspense and mystery novels when my sixth grade teacher let me read her treasured Nancy Drew books. That is when I wrote my first story, Mystery of the Diamond Mountain Men, filled with romance and treasures! What mystery novels do you enjoy? Please leave a comment! Thanks for joining May, KC and me for TUESDAY TEA!

May working on edits.

May working on edits.