Category Archives: Action & Adventure

An adventure story is about a protagonist who journeys to epic or distant places to accomplish something. The protagonist has a mission and faces obstacles to get to his destination. An action story is similar to Adventure, but the protagonist usually takes a risky turn, which leads to desperate situations. Includes spy novels, westerns, superheroes, etc, like James Bond, Dirk Pitt, Indiana Jones, and most stories that include explosions, fight scenes, daring escapes, etc.

Pursuit of Justice by DiAnn Mills

In her third installment in the Call of Dusty series, DiAnn Mills introduces us to Special Agent Bella Jordan.  Bella has traveled from Houston to West Texas to investigate the murders of three treasure hunters.   To perform this investigation, Bella must return to the home she fled fourteen years earlier and the memories held there.

The murders occurred at a ranch owned by Carr Sullivan, a man who had escaped his own troubled past in Dallas.  This makes Carr the prime suspect, a position that he is none-too-happy about.  Carr has given his lift to Christ and has moved to West Texas to try to start fresh.

Together, Bella and Carr must work together to find the killer (or killers) and will also find redemption in each other.

I will be honest, this is the first book of Mills’ that I have read.  I had not read the other books in her series.  However, the books have more of a common theme (law enforcement as the background) as opposed to a connection to one another, so this book was able to stand alone.

There are many things that I liked about this novel.  First, it really did keep me guessing until the end.  I am not the type of person who tries to work out the details.  I like to follow where the author takes me and watch the story unfold.  Mills does an amazing job of keeping the story in place while giving just enough in the area of twists and turns to keep you guessing.

Secondly, with regards to the faith aspect, Mills doesn’t make life perfect for the Christians and difficult for those who have not yet followed Christ.  She realistically depicts the struggles that come both as a person is seeking Christ and those that can occur even after a person comes to a saving knowledge of Him.  She gives the reader characters to whom a person can relate.

Which brings me to the third thing I liked about this novel:  a strong lead female character.  Sometimes, women in Christian novels are seen in situations where they are almost whithering under pressure and stress.  Not in Mills’ novel.  Bella is a character who is strong and determined (and a little stubborn).  She and Carr work through their feelings for one another the way it really happens:  slowly, methodically.

The only issue I can really say I have with the novel is that it does drag along at some points.  There is a lot of back story and action going on throughout the novel.  Once the peak of the novel hits, the novel runs out of steam.  There are 339 pages until the pieces fall into place, and then the novel ends at 368.  That is essentially just under 30 pages to tie up all of the loose ends that are inevitably created in a novel like this one.

All in all, though, I really did enjoy reading this novel.  I am certainly going to see about getting the first two, so that I can enjoy more of DiAnn Mills’ writing.  I would certainly recommend taking the time out to read this novel.  You won’t be disappointed.

This book was provided free of charge as a review copy. The publisher had no editorial rights or claims over the content or the conclusions made in this review. No payment was provided in return for this review. 

Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson

This is an amazing book – a delightful interesting read. Sixteen women leave St, Louis, Missouri en route to the Nebraska Territory. They are Drake’s Ladies Emigration Society. The ladies have been promised free government land in their own name, the only stipulation – they must homestead the land and live on it for five years. Mr. Harold Drake is really an unscrupulous con artist who has an entirely different agenda that the one presented to the ladies.

Upon arriving in Plum Grove, Nebraska they learn Drake’s true purpose in bring them to Nebraska. They are to be brides for the men in Cayote. Eleven of the woman decide to take Drake’s offer and go to Cayote. Five stayed in Plum Grove. The book is five womenfolk’s story in one – Sally, Caroline. Ellie, Hattie and Ruth. They would obtain the promise land and make a home for themselves. They would unite and develop five parcels as one large homestead. Their story is one of courage – women who risked everything for the dream of owning land and finding love on the prairies of Nebraska. These five are among the hundreds of single women who successfully homesteaded in the west and conquered the vast wilderness.

Ms. Whitson is an excellent writer. She holds your interest page after page. You will laugh, cry, feel their pain. but above all you will share their dreams and hopes as they leave their past behind and embark on a better. brighter future.

Highly recommended.


Mary Asher, the Golden Reviewer, is a founding book blogger for BookGateway.com and has generously provided this review. She describes herself as “An 80 year old avid reader reviews the newest in Christian fiction and non-fiction with a sprinkle of the secular on top.” Her former blog was at http://GoldenReviewer.blogspot.com.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.

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The Clouds Roll Away by Sibella Giroello

The third in series about a forensic geologist turned FBI agent, The Clouds Roll Away finds Raleigh Harmon making her way back to her hometown of Richmond, Virginia after a forced assignment in Washington.   Soon after her arrival home, Raleigh begins to investigate an apparent hate crime with ties to the KKK.  She quickly (in my opinion) gets in over her head.  As with most mystery/crime novels, not all is as it seems and problems arise.  
I have to preface that I prefer to read crime novels through and let the story play itself out.  I do not spend any time as I read trying to figure out the “whodunit.”  I like to see where the author takes me.  I allow the author to take me on the journey of twists and turns, lead me astray, only to be caught off guard by the actual culprit.  There should be an ultimate AH-HA moment.  The ultimate twist should catch you by surprise.  The twist in this novel was not quite so dramatic.  I think the AH-HA moment was a little bit of a stretch, and it didn’t leave me with a desire to go back and read to see where I missed it. Also, there are parts of the novel that are more like a history or geography book as opposed to a novel.  Some of these passages are very helpful in making connections.  Others are not.  They seem to be inserted because they were learned during the research of the novel.
Having not read the first two books in the series, I will tell you that I am a little lost.  While the story itself regarding Raleigh’s investigation could stand alone, the interaction between the characters left me a little in the dark.  I needed to know more about the history between Raleigh and the other characters in the book, from her boss, to her mother, to her sister, and then her boyfriend.  There is apparently behind these relationships than you get in this book.  And, as a lead character, Raleigh isn’t particularly dynamic.  She seems to fall into most of what happens to her (good or bad). I will still give the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe I am missing something by not having read the first two installments.  
All in all, The Clouds Roll Away is an okay read.  There’s not much in the way of character development, but I am assuming that a lot of this is done in the first two novels.  Even so, I have picked up other novels that were not the first in a series and was so drawn into the story line that I absolutely HAD to read the first installments.  Such is not the case with this one.  I might go back and pick up the first two but doing so is not really a priority.  
This book was provided free of charge by the publisher as a review copy. The publisher had no editorial rights or claims over the content or the conclusions made in this review. Visit www.thomasnelson.com for more information on this book. No payment was provided in return for this review.