By Deborah Raney
Published by Steeple Hill
Who killed her boss?
Local police had tagged single mom Becky Dennison as their prime suspect. But she'd only been in the wrong place at the wrong time...admittedly, with her boss's lifeless body. Sure, it looked bad, but Becky had no motive for killing the man -- even if she had opportunity.
Then, Scott Lewis, handsome assistant manager of a nearby horse farm, entered Becky's life. Soon the amateur detectives were hot on the trail of the murderer...even as their feelings for each other deepened. And for Becky and Scott, this race on the Kentucky tracks had the greatest stakes of all: life or death.
Virginia Smith writes a nice little mystery in Bluegrass Peril. I didn't pick up on the killer until near the end and her red herrings were iffy in a good way. I'm amazed at the amount of story she managed to pull off in the limitations of the word count. Not only is there an intruiging mystery, Smith weaves in information regarding a worthy charity/cause, the drama of single motherhood with a financial pinch tossed in for good measure, a new love interest and a past that reaches out and muddies everything. All ended neatly organized.
Though romance isn't a favorite genre, I'll keep my eye on Virginia Smith.
Click here to read an interview with Christa (11-30-07)
"Ty Buchanan is a rising star in his L.A. law firm, until the suspicious death of his fiancee forces him into the underbelly of the city to discover the truth behind her death. He soon has more than his career on the line, as he finds himself tangled up with a mysterious group of former gang members, and becomes the target of a killer."
Reviewed by Gina Holmes
Amazing characterization, engaging plot, and impeccable writing--James Scott Bell's Try Dying is an excellent novel, well suited for the big screen. The super-short, action-packed chapters serve the story well and make for a riveting page-turner.
The plot is an intriguing one, reminiscent of The Fugitive, with an innocent man, good yet fallible, trying to prove his innocence while tracking down the real killer.
The characters are well fleshed, unique and engaging. The path Bell takes his protagonist on is not just one seeking to clear his name, but an inner journey which changes him in a most unexpected way. After closing Try Dying, readers will be left asking bigger questions of their own lives. Is it all about the pursuit of BMW's and Starbucks or is there something more, something bigger?
Try Dying-the title sums up the spiritual theme perfectly. This is not an overtly Christian book, but is a perfect gift to get anyone thinking on the bigger picture.
Can't wait for the movie, Jim!
Kelly's Review:Full of opinion on Hollywood happenings and trapped in a nomadic edge-of-Hollywood lifestyle by her mother, Scotty really has no other outlet than to secretly blog her insider facts and opinions. Self-schooled and mature enough to be the adult when her mom can't hack it, Scotty spends her days turning activities into units and projects for higher learning and her nights wondering if she will be awakened at three a.m. and told that they are moving on.
Jeffrey Overstreet, author of the non-fiction book, Through a Screen Darkly, makes an incredible fiction debut with Auralia’s Colors. Perhaps it is his knowledge as a movie critic that allows Overstreet to create such a magical and imaginative world. In the tradition of J.R.R. Tolkien, readers will be swept up in a vast landscape filled with people and magical creatures that surprise and entertain.
Auralia’s Colors is filled with convincing heroes and is one of those stories that inspires greatness. It is truly a tale that one can get lost in where the fight for good reigns supreme, but Overstreet also surprises the reader with thieves capable of great integrity and queens and kings capable of massive thievery.
While it’s easy to get caught up in the imagination of Auralia’s Colors, it is essentially Overstreet’s writing skill that ties the epic story together. Not many writers today are as gifted at the tricky omniscient point of view that abounds in the novel as Overstreet is.
More discerning readers will note the compelling religious symbolism and imagery in this book where God is never mentioned, but His presence prevails. This wildly creative and intelligent tale will thrill lovers of fantasy, as well as readers who crave excellent storytelling and exceptional writing.
Reviewed by: Tina Ann Forkner
Review #2:From the first chapter, Auralia's Colors reached out and grabbed my imagination. As I read it I felt, smelled, heard and saw Auralia's world. Overstreet writes with poetry, weaving senses in and out, twisting and wrapping details around the art of classic storytelling. I don't know that I've read a book with more beautiful and unique descriptions.