Tag Archive | secrets

Spatzle Speaks: A Shattered Image (Book Review)

I’ll admit I’m a sucker for a good romantic suspense because Mom cuddles up to me more as she reads them. This debut novel, Through a Shattered Image by Linda Widrick is a winner in that category.

First of all let’s just put a young woman, Karina into a Witness Protection program under a new name, Leah. She’s never met her handler and they only talk on the phone. She doesn’t realize that the job she chose puts him in the precarious position of also being her employer. But what a better way for a US Marshal to keep his charge safe?

Phillip didn’t anticipate the complication of falling in love with his employee, as she confesses to him her attraction for her boss when they talk on the phone, about her loneliness and the challenges of adapting to living a life that’s a lie. And she doesn’t know the truth about him or her boss… who are one and the same person also living a lie.

Add to the mix some criminals and an unknown twin who is searching for her sister, a plane crash, and a kidnapping of Phillips young child, and you have a multi-layered story filled with love, passion, frustration, and new dreams for a future for all the main characters.

I strongly recommend this novel as it has everything a good read requires to keep you riveted to the page and waiting to see if Leah and Phillip could possibly overcome their obstacles to reach a happily-ever-after. I give this book five bones, because I’m a dog and I don’t have thumbs. 

Spatzle Baganz, book reviewer for the silygoos blog because that’s how we roll.

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A Secret Life (Book Review)

ASecretLife_ecoverWorld War II novels are popular but A Secret Life, by Lee Carver, stands apart in the world of fiction. 

As war breaks out around them, Karl Von Steuben, fears for his family’s safety. With dual American/German citizenship and a secret Jewish heritage on his mother’s side, the Christian family finds their faith and lives in danger. Kidnapped and forced into the German army rips Karl away from his privileged life and any hope of escape. He could never shoot an American and looks for an opportunity to cross the lines of war, risking being caught as an enemy. When the opportunity arises, he assumes a dead American soldier’s identity and crawls to the Siegfried Line carrying with him the secret hiding place of gold ingots melted from the jewelry of death camp prisoners. A battle injury robs him for a time of his memory, real name and history.
Eventually he gains awareness of the horrible truth but more secrets have to stay buried lest he be branded a war criminal in spite of the valuable aid he provides to the American side of the war effort. Eventually he is discharged and shipped to America under his assumed name. Alone in a foreign land, he rediscovers the faith of his past and the truth of God’s unmerited favor in a beautiful Atlanta nurse, Grace. The only problem is, Karl’s real name, identity and family fortune lies oversees in post-war Germany. Claiming them and owning the truth of who he is could give him the life he longs for with his new wife, but at the same time jeopardizes their marriage. Would Grace, and his adopted country, ever forgive him?
The twists and turns of this complex tale also covers the story of Karl’s family and their struggle during the war. Historically grounded and well researched the characters and their struggles come to life on the page. The heart-rending truth of the horrors of war and the choices that have to be made are well told without being gory. It’s a beautifully told tale of love, faith and difficult choices.

 

 

Secrets (Poem)


Secrets dwell in the dark.
They crept up on her
Not from under the bed
Or out of a closet
But from her own heart.

Terrifying fears buried
Erupted to bloom
Explosions not of bright happy colors
But muddy cloudy ones
Filled with shadows from her mind.

Turning on the light was as frightening
As staying in the dark
Could reality be worse than the fear?
Would she survive the truth?
Did she have the courage?

She peeled back the lies
The ones that others have told her
Like cobwebs they stuck and clung
But she shook them off in disgust
Creepy spiders from the past

She stepped on them as they scattered
She squashed them one by one
As the view cleared she saw
Sunshine and flowers
And smelled the fresh cut grass.

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Made To Last (Book Review)

made to lastI love the cover of Melissa tagg’s novel, Made to Last. The smirk o the mans face and the happy smile on hers made me want to jump in and read. (Great job with that Bethany House!).

Miranda is in a tight spot. She hosts a building show and really knows her stuff, but one lie told early on is snowballing and instead of dealing with the memory of one lost love, she as three very real men, includng the lost one, vying for her attention.

Unfortunately the one who grabs her heart is the nosy, yet handsome reporter, Matthew who has his own secrets to hide even as he tries to unearth hers.

But as far as Matthew and the public knows, Miranda is married. That means she is off limits.

Miranda has to decide if she’s willing to strip away the lies and rest in her value for who God created her to be, and maybe as she potentially loses everything, she’ll find the one thing she’s longed for the most. Real love.

This was a sweet novel filled with twists and turns that kept me wondering even till the end. If you like romance you may just want to snag Melissa’s book. It was definitely one I enjoyed and an author I hope to read more from.

Secrets (Book Review)

secretsIt’s probably appropriate that I publish this review on a Friday the 13th given the dark undertones to Kristin Heitzmann’s novel, Secrets.  Well, that’s if you are in any way superstitious.

Lance Michelli is a young man burdened with a big heart and impulsive, passionate nature that sometimes gets him in trouble, in spite of his best intentions.  In trying to live up to his deceased brother’s memory, he embarks on a quest to discover the secrets his grandmother cannot tell.  What has her so agitated? Will he uncover the answers that will soothe her soul as she recovers from a stroke? Or will he be too late.

His quest takes him from the East Coast to Italy and now to Sonoma where his cooking skills win him a place in the home that might legally belong to his grandmother. The new owner, Rese Barret is fighting her own demons as she remodels this home into a bed and breakfast. Lance agrees to cook, clean and fix up part of the property but never tells this young, tightly wound woman, the real reason he is there. How could he, when he doesn’t even know himself?

Attraction builds as secrets are uncovered for both Lance and Rese. Lance tries to share his faith with Rese but she refuses to believe in a God she can’t see.  Having a mother who had a boyfriend she couldn’t see has made her wary of anything spiritual. Understanding more about schizophrenia though and the truth about her mother, is enough to push her over the edge – to madness- or to faith. Will Lance be there to catch her when she falls?

Complex character with an organic faith line woven in, Kristen slowly peels back the mystery of the secrets in both her main characters lives as they are drawn to each other. A fascinating tale and the subject of mental illness is handled with great care and realism.  This is only the second book of Kristen Heitzmann’s that I’ve read, but I will gladly pick up another by this gifted author.

Full Disclosure (Book Review)

I finally got a hold of Dee Henderson’s latest romantic suspense novel, Full Disclosure, snagging a copy at the library. At over 400 pages it’s a longer book and different from her previous ones and in the back of my mind raised a lot of questions about Dee Henderson herself.

First – the story. Ann Silver works as a MHI (Midwest Homicide Investigator)  position one is voted into. At age 40, she has her secrets and enjoys the solitude of the single life. However, after she drops one of her cases on the desk of Paul Falcon with the FBI in Chicago, things change.

Paul is intrigued by the case Ann drops in his lap – one that could solve 30 cold murder cases. More than that he is intrigued by the woman who never boasted or bragged about her position or  contacts.  A detective who likes mysteries finds that the cute cop who walked into his life was someone he would like to know better, in spite of his previous vow to never date a cop.

full disclosureBut homicide investigations are hard and time consuming for both Paul and Ann and a relationship takes effort. Paul is outgoing and a lark while Ann desperately needs alone time and is a night owl. Paul willingly bears his past but Ann holds hers close, hesitant to trust. Through perseverance and tapping into the wisdom of friends and his faith in God, Paul pursues Ann with a specified intent at romance.

The road is rocky as two investigations come to a head and Ann’s past is going to burst into the public. Paul vows to protect her and keep her safe.

This book is a sweet and unconventional love story.  Dee Henderson cleverly weaves in characters from many of her previous novels into this story with Ann being the one who has written The O’Malley’s and Uncommon Heros series of books based on real life loves (being an author is her fun thing to do). This added a fun dimension to the book as you get to revisit and see where those characters are at now (some, not all).

This book lacks the intensity of some of her other books but it still has a lot of detail and was fun to read. Sometimes the dialogue felt a bit long and repetitive but this is a relatively minor complaint against the backdrop of the story at large. Complex and tightly woven, it is a wonderful journey to see where Ann and Paul end up. The ending made me smile after all the twists and turns of their relationship.

If you like Dee Henderson’s books, you will most likely enjoy this one too but it is not the same as the rest. Dee has flexed her writing muscles to tell a different kind of story, but one that is fun for all that.