Do you subscribe to book deal email lists?

Bookish Question #72 | Do you subscribe to book deal email lists?

One of the big changes in book marketing over the last few years has been the introduction of book deal email lists, advertising free and cheap ebooks. Many were developed as a way of earning money from the Amazon affiliate scheme. This pays a commission of between 3% and 8% (I think) if anyone clicks through from the website to Amazon and makes a purchase.

Amazon soon caught onto this.

They introduced more rules about affiliate marketing, like the fact affiliates are not supposed to email affiliate links, and that a certain percentage of purchases have to be of paid purchases (not free ebooks) in order to earn affiliate commissions. (Yes, I’m also an Amazon affiliate. I don’t earn enough from the scheme to pay for the hosting on this blog, let alone turn it into a profitable business! But click here if you’d like to visit my Amazon shop and contribute a few cents to my book-buying habit.)

Bookbub is the biggest in the business.

They have the biggest email list, and Bookbub subscribers can choose which genres they want to receive emails about. They have 810,000 people on their US Christian fiction list. It advertises just two books most days—free, or heavily reduced (usually to 99 cents or $1.99). Authors and publishers pay hundreds of dollars for a spot in one of these daily newsletters, and most make their money back.

Other book deal email lists include BargainBooksy, eReader News Today, FreeBooksy, My Book Cave, and Riffle. I subscribe to all of them, and occasionally buy from them.

Occasionally. Why not more often?

Sometimes it’s because I’ve already read the book. Sometimes it’s because I already own the book. Sometimes it’s because I’m just not interested (Christian fiction is a wide genre, and there are some sub-genres I’m not interested in). Mostly I don’t buy because I already have too many books on my to-read and to-review pile, and I’m trying to get that number down. So I’ll buy maybe one book a month as a result of seeing it advertised in one of the emails, although I’m more likely to download or buy a free or 99 cent book than a more expensive book.

What about you? Do you subscribe to book deal email lists? How often do you buy a book from one of the emails?

Quote from Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll: Just because someone doesn't believe something doesn't make it less real.

Book Review | Darkwater Secrets by Robin Caroll

Adelaide Fontaine is the General Manager of the Darkwater Inn in New Orleans, but she might not be for much longer. Not if her boss has his way. She is—unknowingly—being pursued by two men: Beau, a police officer and longtime family friend, and Dimitri, the son of the hotel’s owner, who wants to be a chef rather than follow the management path his father has laid out for him.

As if that wasn’t complicated enough, life is about to get more complicated when a body is discovered in one of the hotel’s rooms … and the body has links to Adelaide’s hidden past.

Adelaide, Beau, and Dimitri are all great characters (and I usually loathe the love triangle plot).

There is plenty of action, plenty of secrets, and plenty of clues to consider as I wondered who-dun-it. What’s most interesting is that finding the culprit wasn’t the end of the story—it was almost as though the murder were the vehicle to explore some deeper personal issues …

There are elements of romance, suspense, mystery, plenty of secrets and even a little voodoo. Yes, voodoo in a Christian novel. As one of the characters says, the Bible wouldn’t need to warn us against demons and evil if they didn’t exist. All in all, an excellent novel, and I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel.

Thanks to Gilead Publishing for providing a free ebook for review.

About Robin Caroll

Robin Caroll grew up in Louisiana with her nose in a book. She still has the complete Trixie Belden series, and her love for mysteries and suspense has only increased with her age. Robin’s passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others and come alongside them on their faith journey—aspects Robin weaves into each of her published novels.

Best-selling author of thirty-plus novels, ROBIN CAROLL writes Southern stories of mystery and suspense, with a hint of romance to entertain readers. Her books have been recognized in several awards, including the Carol Award, HOLT Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, and more.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends quality time with her husband of nearly three decades, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home in the South. Robin serves the writing community as Executive/Conference Director for ACFW.

Find Robin Caroll online at:

WebsiteFacebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Twitter

About Darkwater Secrets

A murder investigation uncovers sordid secrets and haunting mistakes

The Darkwater Inn stands tall and proud in the French Quarter, the hub of New Orleans. Bourbon Street is bustling, and General Manager Adelaide Fountaine has her hands full with a hotel at capacity. She, along with everyone else, is shocked when a body is found: a hotel guest stabbed with a kitchen knife.

Detective Beau Savoie, Adelaide’s childhood friend, is on the case. As Beau digs into the victim’s past, he unearths a shocking connection between Adelaide and the murdered guest. Beau is hurt that his friend—the woman he’s quietly loved for years—kept the truth from him. To make matters worse, the stress of the investigation has sent Adelaide right into the comforting arms of her coworker Dimitri. But Beau can’t press Adelaide too hard . . . he’s keeping secrets of his own.

Can Adelaide and Beau afford to hide from the truth with a killer on the loose?

Find Darkwater Secrets online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to Darkwater Secrets below:

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 55 | Know You More by Jan Thompson

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from Know You More by Jan Thompson, the first book in her multicultural Savannah Secrets series. Here’s the first line:

"You can't be in grad school forever." Aidan Ming Wei flipped the salmon burger on his Weber grill.

Do you want to read more? If so, you’re in luck because Know You More is currently free on Kindle (until Sunday). Click here to download Know You More.

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About Know You More

He loves her… He loves her not…
She’s waiting for him to decide.
A young pastor of a growing church in a thriving community, Diego Flores has to come to grips with God’s will for his church and his personal life.

From USA Today bestselling author Jan Thompson come 10 clean and wholesome, sweet and inspirational contemporary Christian romances set on the beaches of Tybee Island and in the city of Savannah, Georgia, two of the most romantic coastal towns in the world.

Welcome to Savannah, Georgia, in the multicultural new south! Meet a group of multiracial and multiethnic churchgoing Christians who love the Lord, work hard in their careers, and seek God’s will for their love lives. Against a backdrop of ocean, sand, and sun, these inspirational romances showcase aspects of the human need for God and for one another.

These sweet and wholesome Christian beach romances begin with KNOW YOU MORE, the story of Diego Flores and Heidi Wei living in the city of Savannah and on the sunny beaches of Tybee Island.

Diego’s Disquiet…

Diego Flores has been interested in his best friend’s younger sister since their college days, but his calling to grow Riverside Chapel takes up most of his time.

When Heidi Wei becomes his strongest supporter in his church-planting ministry, how does Diego show his feelings for her without giving her the wrong idea?

Does she see him as potential husband material or just the pastor of their church?

You can find Know You More online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

Papa doesn't need buildings and potlucks and crowds. He just needs us and our ability to love on him.

#Throwback Thursday | Broken Like Glass by EJ McCay

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m resharing my review of Broken Like Glass by EJ McCay. This review was originally posted in May 2017.

There are not many novels that manage to grip me from the very first line, but this was one:

“Lillian. Lillian? Can you hear me, Lillian?” My therapist’s voice grates on my. I’d say like nails on a chalkboard, but that wouldn’t accurately describe just how much I hate her voice.

By the end of the first page, we know Lillian is in court-ordered therapy. By the end of the second page, we know why:

“Help me understand why you stabbed your dad with a knife in the middle of the grocery store, and then went home and smashed everything.”
“Some people deserve a little knifing every once in a while and his furniture was a hundred years past vintage. I’d say I did him a favor.”

So Lillian is stuck in her home town for six months until she can explain why … which isn’t so easy. As the novel progresses, we see more and more glimpses of Lillian’s broken past as she opens herself up to her teenage crush, to her therapist, and to Jesus—who she refers to as Papa. The title implies we’re going to see a broken person, and we do, but we also strength and character.

Lillian is a strong main character.

Some people won’t be able to related to the writing—first person present tense—but I thought it was the perfect choice. It gave us an insight into Lillian, and the present tense gave the story the necessary sense of immediacy.

Reading a first person story narrated by a character who has secrets and hides them from the reader can be frustrating. I always feel that if the character knows the truth about a matter, the reader should know that truth as well. And that’s why I think first person worked so well in Broken Like Glass, because Lillian didn’t know. Her secrets were so deep, she hid them from herself.

Broken Like Glass combined some of the freshest writing I’ve read in ages. The use of first person present tense was inspired. The plot was layered, complex, and never predictable (the couple of minor plot points I almost predicted were minor in comparison to the major twists I ever saw coming).

But the true triumph of Broken Like Glass is Lilly’s relationship with Papa, something her therapist, Chrissy, sees as Lilly’s strength:

“But this relationship you have. It’s so … tangible. I want that.”
“Then have it.”
Chrissy looks at me funny. “But how? How did you do it?”
“I clung to the only thing I could. He’s all I had. He’s all I ever had … my only friend was Papa.”

Lilly is the perfect embodiment of the Christian faith as a relationship with Jesus.

The scenes where Papa talks and Lilly listens remind me of God speaking in The Atonement Child by Francine Rivers. The themes and writing reminded me of Christa Allen and Varina Denman and Amy Matayo, and other newer writers in Christian fiction. But the most important thing is that Broken Like Glass makes me want to know Papa in the way Lilly does. And shouldn’t that be the aim of Christian fiction?

Recommended.

Thanks to the author for providing a free ebook for review.

About EJ McCay

EJ McCay grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and currently resides in Lubbock, Texas. She lives with her husband, two girls, and four cats.

Writing wasn’t always her dream. That came about when she was in her mid-twenties. Since then, it’s become more than a passion, it’s become part of what makes her tick. She writes in multiple genres from YA to Adult Romance.

When not writing, she’s a nerd-herding lover of Chuck, and enjoyer of good coffee. Some of her favorite books include Ender’s Game, The Percy Jackson Series, and the Alex Van Helsing trilogy–just to mention a few.

Find EJ McCay online at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

About Broken Like Glass

How is Papa supposed to set me free when I don’t even know what I need to be freed from?

Lillian Louis James tried to live a good life but her father had a knack for bringing out the worst in her. When a quick weekend visit with him turned violent she found herself on the wrong end of the law. Stuck in the small town she would rather forget Lillian was forced to attend therapy and try to figure out where it all went wrong. Her high school crush showing up on the scene didn’t help either as unresolved feelings bubbled to the surface. Will Lillian let Jesus heal her broken past before her chance at love is gone?

Find Broken Like Glass online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Read the introduction to Broken Like Glass below:

Have you purchased books recommended by friends?

Bookish Question #71 | Have You Purchased Books Recommended by Friends?

Yes!

When it comes to books from the major publishers, I tend to be the friend recommending books to others because I get a lot of advance review copies (ebooks. Even the biggest publishers don’t want to post me paperbacks because I live in New Zealand).

But when it comes to books from smaller publishers, or self-published authors, I often rely on recommendations from friends.

For example, I bought and read The Last Summer by Brandy Bruce after Narelle Atkins recommended it. Now I’m anxiously waiting for the sequel (and would love a review copy, hint hint). I was introduced to the brilliant Amy Matayo by Catherine Hudson, while Andrea Grigg told me I *had * to read Bria Quinlan (she was right). Most recently, Christine Dillon recommended Criss Cross by CC Warrens, and I ended up buying and reading the whole trilogy on one wet weekend.

I also get recommendations from fellow book bloggers. One of the best-worst parts of my week is reading the First Line Friday posts. I usually read them on Saturday, because time zones mean most people post after I’ve gone to sleep on Friday night. Anyway, it’s rare that I’m able to make the rounds of my fellow First Line Friday bloggers without downloading at least one Kindle sample, or buying the book because it’s on a limited-time sale.

What about you? Have you purchased books recommended by friends? Which books or authors?

From Lone Witness by Rachel Dylan: Guilty. That's the only possible verdict.

Book Review | Lone Witness (Atlanta Justice #2) by Rachel Dylan

Sophie Dawson is a prosecutor in the White Collar Crime Unit, working on financial fraud cases. It should be less dangerous than criminal prosecutions, and it is … until she witnesses a robbery that leaves two people dead, and identifies the perpetrator as the brother of one of the city’s gang leaders. And she’s the lone witness.

I really enjoyed Deadly Proof, the first book in Rachel Dylan’s Atlanta Justice series.

But I didn’t enjoy Lone Witness as much. I enjoyed the legal aspect from Sophie’s viewpoint, but did find the number of point of view characters distracting as it wasn’t obvious why I was seeing their side of the story.

And I wasn’t altogether convinced by the romance subplot—it all felt a little too contrived, rather than reading like a natural development. It wasn’t bad. It just wasn’t the standard I’d expected after reading Deadly Proof. I think that was partly the fault of the dialogue, which seemed a little too formal, too wooden, for characters who were supposed to be falling in love.

The legal thriller/suspense element to Lone Witness was well done.

The suspense is enhanced as the reader soon understands what Sophie and Cooper don’t know: that Sophie had two separate sets of enemies … and that the attacks on her life weren’t coming from where she and Cooper thought. There was a neat twist at the end of the story that I didn’t see coming, so that was well done.

I also enjoyed the legal aspects, which showcased the author’s own legal experience in Grisham-worthy courtroom scenes. Overall, I’m sure legal suspense fans will enjoy Lone Witness.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Rachel Dylan

Author Photo - Rachel Dylan

Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of the nation’s most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband.

Find Rachel Dylan online at:

Website | Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter | Goodreads

About Lone Witness

Prosecutor Sophie Dawson’s first job in the White Collar division of the Fulton County D.A.’s office is to build a case against a local bank employee who may be cheating clients. But when circumstances beyond her control leave her as the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang, her world is turned upside down.

Former Atlanta police officer turned private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to ensure that Sophie is kept safe. But as threats escalate, they don’t know who they can trust.

Sophie is determined not to back down, but her bank case gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying. Sophie wants to take a stand for what’s right–but can Cooper, who is determined not to be distracted by their growing attraction, keep her safe so that she can finish her pursuit for justice?

You can find Lone Witness online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

Read the introduction to Lone Witness below:

First Line Friday

First Line Friday | Week 54 | Grace in the Shadows by Christine Dillon

It’s First Line Friday! That means it’s time to pick up the nearest book and quote the first line. Today I’m sharing from Grace in the Shadows by Australian author Christine Dillon. It’s the sequel to Grace in Strange Disguise, and I think it’s even better! Here’s the first line:

First line from Grace in the Shadows by Christine Dillon: It was love at first sight.

What’s the book nearest you, and what’s the first line?

About Grace in the Shadows

Physiotherapist Esther has survived cancer, but wounds within her family remain unhealed. Is her revived faith the reason for the rift or could a simmering secret be the root cause?

Cosmetics consultant Rachel buried her past – and her father’s God – but the past refuses to stay buried. Will she continue to run or is confronting her pain the way to freedom?

Two women. Two different lives.

One collision course with truth.

Can God’s grace shine even in the darkest of shadows?

You can find Grace in the Shadows online at:

Amazon | Goodreads

Click the button to check out what my fabulous fellow FirstLineFriday bloggers are sharing today:

You can then click the link which will take you to the master page of all this week’s #FirstLineFriday posts.

And you can click here to check out my previous FirstLineFriday posts.

Share your first line in the comments, and happy reading!

#ThrowbackThursday | A Song Unheard by Roseanna M White

It’s Throwback Thursday! Today I’m sharing my review of A Song Unheard, the second book in Roseanna M White’s brilliant Shadows Over England series. It follows A Name Unknown, and An Hour Unspent, the third book in the series, releases in September (and I’ll review it then).

My Review

Violin virtuoso Lukas De Wilde has escaped war-torn Belgium with his life and his Stradivarius, but without his family. He has to find Mamman and Margot and get them safely to England before the Germans find them … and the valuable cypher key.

Willa Forsythe is one of London’s best thieves, and her latest assignment from the mysterious Mr V is to befriend Lukas De Wilde and find the cypher key. Which means a trip to Wales and playing best friends with the wealthy Davies sisters, benefactors to De Wilde and his fellow musicians.

It soon becomes apparent that Willa and V aren’t the only people interested in the cypher key … and that finding it isn’t going to be as easy as Willa first thought. Especially when Lukas begins to express his interest in her as a fellow musician, and romantically.

A Song Unheard is a brilliant combination of romance and suspense in a unique historical setting.

It is set in London and Aberystwyth. I lived in London for ten years, so I love reading books set there (perhaps this is why I like Regency romance, because most are set in and around central London). I haven’t read any other books set in Aberystwyth, which is where I was born (although I’ve never lived there). It was great to see the city through the eyes of Willa and Lukas.

I was especially impressed by the research. I’d never heard of the Davies sisters and their World War One Belgian orchestra, so this was a fascinating plot device (yes, they were a real thing. I wonder if any of my Welsh relatives attended their concerts?). I’ve always been fascinated by codes and cyphers, so this element intrigued me, especially the connection with mathematics. And who knew that Mozart encoded messages into his music with cyphers?

Overall, A Song Unheard was brilliant—Roseanna M White’s best book yet.

That’s saying something, because A Name Unknown, the first book in this Shadows Over England series, was excellent, as were her earlier books (especially The Culper Ring series). Recommended for fans of Edwardian romance, and romantic suspense.

Thanks to Bethany House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.

About Roseanna M White

Roseanna M. White pens her novels beneath her Betsy Ross flag, with her Jane Austen action figure watching over her. When not writing fiction, she’s homeschooling her two children, editing and designing, and pretending her house will clean itself. Roseanna has a slew of historical novels available, ranging from biblical fiction to American-set romances to her new British series. She lives with her family in West Virginia.

Find Roseanna M White online at:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube 

About A Song Unheard

Willa Forsythe is both a violin prodigy and top-notch thief, which makes her the perfect choice for a crucial task at the outset of World War I—to steal a cypher from a famous violinist currently in Wales.

Lukas De Wilde has enjoyed the life of fame he’s won–until now, when being recognized nearly gets him killed. Everyone wants the key to his father’s work as a cryptologist. And Lukas fears that his mother and sister, who have vanished in the wake of the German invasion of Belgium, will pay the price. The only light he finds is meeting the intriguing Willa Forsythe.

But danger presses in from every side, and Willa knows what Lukas doesn’t–that she must betray him and find that cypher, or her own family will pay the price as surely as his has.

Find A Song Unheard online at:

Amazon | ChristianBook | Goodreads | Koorong

You can read the introduction to A Song Unheard below:

And here’s the description of An Hour Unspent:

Once London’s top thief, Barclay Pearce has turned his back on his life of crime and now uses his skills for a nation at war. But not until he rescues a clockmaker’s daughter from a mugging does he begin to wonder what his future might hold.

Evelina Manning has constantly fought for independence, but she certainly never meant for it to inspire her fiancé to end the engagement and enlist in the army. When the intriguing man who saved her returns to the Manning residence to study clockwork repair with her father, she can’t help being interested. But she soon learns that nothing with Barclay Pearce is as simple as it seems.

As 1915 England plunges ever deeper into war, the work of an ingenious clockmaker may give England an unbeatable military edge–and Germany realizes it as well. Evelina’s father soon finds his whole family in danger–and it may just take a reformed thief to steal the time they need to escape.

New Releases in Christian Ficiton via ACFW Fiction Finder

New Releases in Christian Fiction | August 2018

It’s August already, which means it’s time to share the new releases in Christian fiction. More in-depth descriptions of these books can be found on the ACFW Fiction Finder website.

Contemporary Romance


Out of Their Element by Angela Breidenbach, Robin Lee Hatcher, Vickie McDonough, and Deborah Raney — They are totally out of their element! Four mismatched couples find unexpected romance. (Contemporary Romance, Independently Published)

The Redemption Road by Christa MacDonald — As Alex awaits retribution, he means to keep Annie safe at any cost, but she knows it’s redemption he needs and she’ll pay any price for him to find it. (Contemporary Romance from Mountain Brook Ink)

Scarlet Tears by Laura Hervey — Caught in a romantic triangle with her brother’s best friend and a charming pastor, former call girl Carly Lawrence struggles to start a new life. (Contemporary Romance from Alabaster Box Press)

Historical Romance

Rebecca’s Legacy by Betty Thomason Owens — After a threat against her family, a spoiled heiress is sent to the country to work on her aunt’s produce farm and finds love. (Historical Romance from Write Integrity Press)

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse — Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country? (Historical Romance from Barbour Publishing)

Cozy Mystery

Deadly Harvest by Marissa Shrock — Georgia’s biggest challenge in the farming town of Wildcat Springs, Indiana, is figuring out how to win Evan Beckworth’s heart. Until the day she discovers the body of a former student in the woods. When she starts to suspect this wasn’t an accident, memories stir of her father’s murder nine years earlier. A murder never solved. As Georgia works with the sheriff’s department’s newest detective, Cal Perkins, she finds her heart slipping into his hands. But her head is pummeled with conflicting evidence and anonymous threats of severe consequences if she digs any deeper. In the end, Georgia faces a paralyzing choice. Ignore the dark secrets inside the family and friends who surround her or be willing to risk her own life to uncover the truth. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)

Unknown Enemy by Janet Sketchley — A young woman with a traumatic past must discover the truth about who’s playing mind games with the Green Dory Inn’s owner. (Cozy Mystery, Independently Published)

I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing Unknown Enemy!

Romantic Suspense

Hiding in Plain Sight by Mary Ellis — When a Charleston PI rents a room above an Italian restaurant owned by a handsome chef, she lands in the middle of a family feud with robbery, arson and murder for the daily specials. (Romantic Suspense from Severn House Publishers LTD)

Wildfire by Gayla K. Hiss — A female wildfire scientist and a firefighter team up to solve the mystery behind the outbreak of wildfires in the Rockies and find themselves at the center of a firestorm. (Romantic Suspense from Mountain Brook Ink)

Amish Country Ambush by Dana R. Lynn — A police officer and a dispatcher travel deep into Amish country to rescue her nephew and to escape a killer. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])


Imperfect Promises by Elizabeth Noyes — When a homegrown terrorist threatens the woman he loves, former Special Forces soldier Jonas Cameron calls on old friends to help him eliminate the danger. (Romantic Suspense from Write Integrity Press)

Cold Fear by Susan Sleeman — When a sniper’s ex-girlfriend, a musician, is framed for murder during her summer tour, he jumps to defend her from an imminent arrest and a killer’s deadly rage. But the evidence against her stacks higher as three bodies are found with her name tattooed on their wrist. (Romantic Suspense from Edge of Your Seat Books, Inc.)

Cold Case Cover-Up by Virginia Vaughan — The first thrilling Covert Operatives tale An infant is believed to have been murdered thirty years ago—but investigative journalist Dana Lang is convinced she’s that baby. Now someone’s willing to kill to stop her investigation. And only secretive deputy Quinn Dawson, whose grandfather may have faked Dana’s death to protect her, can keep her safe. But a killer’s dead set on burying the past—and them—for good. (Romantic Suspense from Love Inspired [Harlequin])

Thriller/Suspense

Pretense by John Di Frances — A dark cloud hangs over Europe after the brutal murders of two heads of state just days apart. A diabolical plot appears to stretch westward to the United States, implicating the CIA. But do the facts reflect reality or is there a sinister force working behind the scenes to destabilize Europe and NATO? The team of investigators led by Interpol’s Marek Frakas, ‘The Wolf,’ moves quickly to track the perpetrators and uncover the identity of the unseen mastermind behind the conspiracy. This cadre includes the lovely Adrianna, a young forensic weapons expert who can hold her own on the male-dominated international team of investigators. Together they seek to understand reality versus the shattered mirror-like reflections meant to obfuscate the truth and shroud the mastermind’s identity and ultimate purpose. (Political Thriller from Reliance Books Publishing, LLC)

Thirst of Steel by Ronie Kendig — Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies’ blood. Cole “Tox” Russell wants only to put the dangers of his past behind him and begin his new life with Haven Cortes. First, though, he’s called to complete a final mission: retrieve the sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order. The AFO, however, is determined to reunite the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the artifact is tied to a string of unsolved serial murders. Tox and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to target the true enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must destroy the AFO . . . or join them in the flames. (Military Suspense from Bethany House [Baker])

What are you looking forward to reading in August?

Do you read seasonal-themed books?

Bookish Question #70 | Do You Read Seasonal Themed Books?

Lots of books have seasonal themes. Christmas-themed books (and movies) are probably the most popular, but I’ve come across others.

Summer-themed books seem more popular than winter-themed books.

But that could be because Christmas comes in the middle of winter in the northern hemisphere, so Christmas books are winter books. Or vice versa. I’m not a big reader of either summer or winter books, and I think that’s because I live in New Zealand. I see summer book advertisements when I’m cuddled up by the roaring winter fire, so a “beach read” isn’t exactly a selling point. Equally, when I’m looking for a summer beach read, all the books show snow scenes and big red mugs of hot chocolate. Yeah, no.

I’ve also seen romance novels with a Valentine’s Day theme, but I have to admit I’m not a big Valentine’s Day fan. It wasn’t a big part of the Kiwi culture when I was growing up, and not it seems mostly commercial. Anyway, it always strikes me that we don’t have to wait for a specific day to buy flowers or chocolates for the ones we love. Any day the shops are open is a good day to buy flowers and chocolate. And books.

What about you? Do you read seasonal-themed books? Does your answer have anything to do with where you live?

Join the conversation below.