Carrie Stuart Parks’ Summer Reading List

Summer is usually crazy busy for me. The ranch is a handful, my Great Pyrenees dogs shed like a winter storm, August 1 is the deadline for my next book (Portrait of Vengeance) and the launch date of my upcoming book: When Death Draws Near. Add to that forensic art classes, fine art classes, and even a movie with Frank Peretti producing being shot on the ranch and you have chaos. I do have—believe it or not—a list of books I’ve managed to just finish or will read in my “free” time. Ha!

Mermaid MoonMermaid Moon by Colleen Coble
Publication Date:  January 12, 2016
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson 

What’s it about:  Mallory’s mother died fifteen years ago. But her father’s last words on the phone were unmistakable: “Find . . . mother.”

Shame and confusion have kept Mallory Davis from her home for the last fifteen years, but when her dad mysteriously dies on his mail boat route, she doesn’t have any choice but to go back to Mermaid Point.

Mallory believes her father was murdered and childhood sweetheart Kevin O’Connor, game warden in Downeast Maine, confirms her suspicions. But Kevin is wary of helping Mallory in her search. She broke his heart and left—without a word—years ago.

When Mallory begins receiving threats on her own life—and her beloved teenage daughter, Haylie—their search intensifies. There’s a tangled web within the supposed murder, and it involves much more than what meets the eye.

As answers begin to fall into place, Mallory realizes her search is about more than finding her father’s killer—it is also about finding herself again . . . and possibly about healing what was broken so long ago with Kevin. She just has to stay alive long enough to put all the pieces together.

Carrie’s thoughts:  This was a fun read for me for several reasons: I LOVE Colleen both as a writer and as a person. She knows how to make you love her characters and really care about them. AND my own Gwen Marcey character shows up in this book!


If I RunIf I Run by Terri Blackstock
Publication Date:  February 16, 2016
Publisher:  Zondervan 

What’s it about:  Casey knows the truth. But it won’t set her free.

Casey Cox’s DNA is all over the crime scene. There’s no use talking to police; they’ve failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she’s arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn’t matter anymore.

But what is the truthThat’s the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren’t adding up.

Carrie’s thoughts:  Terri makes me green with envy on how she can write so well. This is a page-turning rush to the end to find out what happens next to Casey Cox. It was difficult to put the book down and turn off the light at night!


Sins of the PastSins of the Past by Dee Henderson, Dani Pettry, & Lynette Eason
Publication Date:  May 3, 2016
Publisher:  Bethany House 

What’s it about:  In Dee Henderson’s Missing, a Wyoming sheriff is called to Chicago when his elderly mother goes missing. Paired with a savvy Chicago cop, the two realize her disappearance is no accident, and a race against the clock begins.

Dani Pettrey returns to Alaska with Shadowed, introducing readers to the parents of her beloved McKenna clan. Adventure, romance, and danger collide when a young fisherman nets the body of an open-water swimming competitor who may actually be a possible Russian defector.

Lynette Eason’s Blackout delivers the story of a woman once implicated in a robbery gone wrong. The loot has never been found–but her memory of that night has always been unreliable. Can she remember enough to find her way to safety when the true culprit comes after her?

Carrie’s thoughts:  This series of three novellas spotlight the excellent writing of three contemporary suspense writers. I hadn’t read any of Dee’s books before, but I’m now a fan.  Dani knows how to write romantic suspense seeped with a rich dose of Alaska. Lynette is a wonderful suspense writer and a great person! I love both the writing and the author. Great read.


Hiding PlacesHiding Places by Erin Healy
Publication Date:  September 8, 2015
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson 

What’s it about:  The Harrison lodge is full of hiding places where young Kate can discover all the secrets no one wants her to know.

Eleven-year-old Kate keeps her knowledge to herself—one sister’s stash of marijuana, the other’s petty cash pilfering, her grandfather’s contraband candy bars. She protects her mother and Gran, too, screening out critical comments from the hotel suggestions box. But suddenly the stakes are raised; her grandfather’s best friend is murdered the day after Kate heard the two men arguing.

At the same time, far from the quiet mountain resort, a homeless man sees a robbery gone wrong . . . a gang member seeks revenge for the death of his son . . . and a boy chooses the worst time to wield spray paint on a store window. In a strange and spiraling sequence of events, their disparate worlds collide at Harrison Lodge.

Kate offers shelter to one of them, unaware of the terrible consequences to the family she loves. But people can hide in all kinds of ways, sometimes even in plain sight . . . and some secrets are just waiting to be exposed.

Carrie’s thoughts:  This is sitting on my bookshelf right now as the next book up for the summer. I’ve not read Erin’s books before, and I look forward to finding a new favorite author.


Bayou JusticeBayou Justice by Robin Caroll
Publication Date:  May 30, 2016
Publisher:  RC Productions 

What’s it about:  Alligator conservationist Coco LeBlanc knew real fear when she found a body in the clutches of her beloved beasts. Fear turned to horror when she saw that it was one of the Trahan clan—and he’d been shot in the back. Her ex-boyfriend, Luc Trahan, had dumped Coco two years ago when she refused to give up her family’s centuries-old voodoo traditions, and he didn’t know about her newfound faith. Now, as they and their families become prime suspects in the grisly crime, they’ll have to work together to clear their names before the Cajun killer strikes again.

Carrie’s thoughts:  I had a chance to meet Robin and find her a delightful person with my own philosophy of writing: when things get dull, kill someone. I’m eagerly looking forward to read her newly-released book. It sounds great!


Operation Zulu RedemptionOperation Zulu Redemption by Roni Kendig
Publication Date:  July 1, 2016
Publisher:  Shiloh Run Press 

What’s it about:  They never should’ve existed. Now they don’t.  

Zulu, the first all-female special ops team, was set up to take a devastating fall. Fearing for their lives, Zulu members vanished with new identities. Isolated and haunted by their past, they are terrified of being discovered.  Over the years, the brave women of Zulu have begun to hope they might be safe and the terrible tragedy forgotten.  Until two of them are murdered.

Carrie’s thoughts:  I love Roni and have enjoyed working with her on fun “signs of deception”materials. I can’t wait to tear into her newest release.


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