‘Crown of Souls’ by Ronie Kendig: A review and an interview

Crown of Souls

Ronie Kendig has done it again! If you were here last year for my review of ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ then you know that I loved the beginning of this series. Ronie keeps the excitement and suspense going in this new release and you will not want it to end!

“Six months after stopping a deadly plague, Cole “Tox” Russell and his team are enjoying a little rest. That peace is short-lived when a sniper shot hits Tox. The enemy is discovered to be one of their own, a rogue Special Forces team operator.

Alec King is perhaps the only person as skilled as Tox, and he’s out for justice. Furious with orders that got his men killed, he intends to make those responsible pay. And he insists Tox join him, believing they are the same breed of soldier. 

Afraid his old friend is right, Tox battles a growing darkness within himself as he and his team engage in another deadly encounter with antiquity. It appears Alec is cheating–he’s using a mysterious artifact, a crown that history has linked to some of the worst slaughters in humanity. Racing to stop Alec before his vengeance is unleashed, Tox must fight the monster without becoming one.”

Tox

I loved the first book and didn’t know how Ronie would top it, but she did an amazing job with ‘Crown of Souls’! (I highly recommend that you all read ‘Conspiracy of Silence’ first!) Not only was the team in top form in ‘Crown of Souls’ but there was also a hint of romance in this one. I love a good action adventure book with a hint of romance and Ronie does that balance so perfectly. For those of you who don’t like romance books, you don’t need to worry because it doesn’t detract from the action and suspense at all! Tox, Haven and the team are in a race. A race against a mad man bent on revenge. Add into the mix a mysterious artifact that is adding madness to the mix and you have an action-packed race across the world. Ronie is so good at crafting suspense that I often found myself holding my breath, reading desperately to find out what happened next. I was craving resolution and safety for the team, but I was also so sad when the book ended. Being an author myself, I know how much work goes into a novel but I wanted this one to be twice as long. I can’t wait for the next book in the series ‘Thirst of Steel’!

Cole ‘Tox’ Russell is an amazing hero. What I love about Ronie’s heroes is that they are so real. They have flaws, faults, fears and yet are willing to fight for what’s right. I think sometimes heroes are ‘too perfect’ that I can’t find them believable. Ronie’s heroes come fully-equipped with scars, imperfections and hair pulling moments. Just like real life. I was blessed to be able to ask Ronie a few questions on how she crafts such amazing heroes!

1) Ronie, you have an amazing knack at writing a great hero! What makes the perfect hero to you?
Wow! Thank you for that huge compliment. I think a great hero is a broken hero. He’s relatable because he’s not perfect and he knows it–but he also can’t let himself cross the line, though huge chunks of him probably want to for one reason or another. He’s flawed, makes mistakes, but at the end of the day, he gets it right. ​
2) Do you find it easy to write an amazing hero, after having written so many? Or do you still have to struggle to write them?
​I think the word “struggle” is inherent with any good hero, so yes–I struggle. How do I make this man’s struggle unique from the previous heroes I’ve written, yet make him a classic Ronie Kendig hero? But with the fact I have 17 published novels and six novellas enables me to know how to craft the hero persona.
3) Do you have any advice to offer to writers that would love to write a fantastic hero like Tox?
The heroes I write “come to me” as they are–I just have to get in the trenches with them and understand them, not unlike we do with the people we meet in life every day. So, I think my advice would be three fold: 1.dig deep–keep asking WHY?–and keep pushing yourself, 2.) DO NOT protect your hero (because that’s where you’ll fail your story), 3.) if you’ve gotten down and dirty in the trenches with your hero, trust those instincts about that hero. Sometimes, they don’t always tell you the truth.  ​For example, Griffin Riddell gave me three different backstories, and then one day he said, “Baby, I don’t care what you write; just stay out of my business.” Which told me so much about him, but had I stopped with those first few lies, I never would’ve found the crux of his true identity. Crazy, huh? 
4) What do you like most about Tox? What makes him most unique from your other heroes?
​I adore Tox’s loyalty and trust in his team. He doesn’t have to tell them to do every little thing because they operate as one. They know what needs to be done, and he leaves that up to them. He believes in them. He’d die for them.​
Thanks so much to Ronie for being willing to answer these for me. I appreciated hearing her say to not ‘protect your hero’. I believe that will help me in my own writing and will hopefully help in yours if you are a writer.
Pick yourself up a copy of ‘Crown of Souls‘ today! Also, get your hands on ‘Conspiracy of Silence‘ (Tox Files 1&2 here!) while you prepare for ‘Thirst of Steel’! You will not be disappointed. Ronie is a master story-teller and she doesn’t fail in writing a gripping, action-filled, tense and beautiful story in ‘Crown of Souls’!
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The Reckoning by MaryLu Tyndall ~ A Review

The Reckoning

When Morgan Shaw crept into the hold of an old pirate ship replica at San Diego’s Annual Tall Ship Festival, her only intention was to avoid the guy who had just dumped her and who was now boarding the ship with two women on his arm. What she didn’t expect was to wake up aboard a real pirate ship three-hundred years in the past. But of course, it wasn’t real. Her wealthy father had obviously staged it all in an effort to get her mind off her upcoming chemo. Or had he?

Pirate Rowan Dutton seeks enough treasure to repay a debt to his sister and reinstate the Dutton name among British Jamaican Society. He is but one major haul away from accomplishing his goal when a strange woman appears on his ship and causes him to lose his prey. Despite his anger, he is enthralled with the little minx, her strange clothing, odd speech, and her insistence that they are all actors playing a charade paid for by her father.

Yet when the brazen little lady divulges Rowan’s secret to a longtime nemesis, events are triggered that could cost them both their lives and change the course of history forever.

I went into this book expecting a full and adventurous read. What I got was so much more.

Morgan has a problem. Cancer. As everything seems to fall down around her and she isn’t sure she could feel more alone, everything fades away and she finds herself in an even more unpredictable situation. Anxiety soars as the world grows more unknown. She faces down an unruly pirate captain and his crew, while trying to hold herself and her world together. When she’s not sure she could possibly face another moment, when a simple breath is beyond her, she has a decision to make. Face the rest of the unknowns alone… or put her life in the hands of the One she doesn’t think cares.

Rowan is a mighty Captain and one tough pirate. Known for his cunning and ruthlessness, he meets his match in Morgan. He can’t figure her out and she seems to not care for his charm, which usually sends the ladies swooning. Morgan is not swooning. In fact, she seems to be immune to him… but is he immune to her?

As a person who fights anxiety, this heroine spoke to me. MaryLu draws the emotions of anxiety out and I could nearly feel Morgan’s panic. I also love how MaryLu dealt with anxiety and the other trials that Morgan had to face. Numerous times I wiped tears from my eyes as truths were spoken that even spoke into my life.

Not only is this a wonderful read if you struggle with anxiety, it’s a fantastic adventure for anyone. MaryLu knows how to write a fantastic pirate story. She knows her ships, pirates and adventures and knows how to grab a reader and yank them into the story. It was really hard to put this book down and yet, when it ended, I was sad to read the final page.

This will definitely be a book I will re-read many times. I loved it!

*I received this book from MaryLu Tyndall in exchange for my honest review. I didn’t have to love it, but I sure did!*

You can find MaryLu on her website, facebook, twitter, and goodreads.

M.L. Tyndall (MaryLu) grew up on the shores of Southern Florida dreaming of romance and adventure upon the sea. She now lives with her husband, six children, and four cats in Northern California where she writes inspirational adventure romance novels. MaryLu’s novels have been praised for their fast-paced action, strong inspirational messages, and incredibly vivid settings. Her first novel, The Redemption was nominated for the prestigious Christy Award for Best Christian Fiction.

 

~Sarah

FALCON by Ronie Kendig ~ A Review

FALCON Blog tour 1

Special Forces operator Salvatore “Falcon” Russo vowed to never again speak to or trust Lieutenant Cassandra Walker after a tragedy four years ago. But as Raptor closes in on the cyber terrorists responsible for killing two of their own, Sal must put his life—and the lives of his teammates—in her hands. Despite his anger, Cassie is ill-prepared for his resistance and the fallout when she must protect the one asset who can end the attacks. As allies become enemies and hostiles become unlikely partners, Raptor fights for its very existence.

FALCON cover 1

I have long been a fan of Ronie Kendig and her amazing writing style. I knew that FALCON would be no exception. What I didn’t expect was the mind-blowing twists and turns in FALCON. Following RAPTOR 6 and HAWK, FALCON is the fast paced conclusion to this amazing trilogy!

Salvatore “Falcon” Russo is a tough guy. Special Ops kind of tough. Raptor is an exclusive and secretive team. Only for the best in the world. Rator is sent reeling and fighting on their own turf after an attack leaves them on the defensive. Sal does not like being on the defensive, almost as much as he hates having Cassandra Walker anywhere near. Sal is determined to end the attacks and send Cassandra packing, but the cyber terrorists aren’t going down without a fight. Sal is also hiding a secret. One that is affecting him and the team more than he realizes. Sal is one of Ronie’s best, very-human, heroes. (Canyon still holds my reader heart!)

Cassandra Walker is strong. Even though she doesn’t see it. She struggles with Sal’s animosity but still has a mission to complete. She doesn’t realize how invested she is going to get as the mission begins to go sideways and she is thrown into a decision that she never expected she’d have to make. Cassandra is also harboring her own secrets.

Together, Sal and Cassandra are oil and water. Explosive conversations are had and both are fighting each other as they fight a common enemy. Will the secrets tear them further apart, or break down fortified walls?

Threatening to tear the team apart, and seeking destruction, are both inside and outside forces.

Ronie outdid herself on this book. All of her books are page-turners but this one had me flying through at break neck speed in order to find out if any of the characters would make it through the book alive. The twists in this book were more shocking than The Sixth Sense movie. So many times I found myself picking my jaw off the floor. Countless times I exclaimed ‘WHAT?!’ Enough times that my husband inquired if I should maybe take a break from the book. To which I replied with a sort of distant look and then moved on to the next sentence. He just laughed at me. This book was so unpredictable. Never did I expect I would be reading a Ronie Kendig book and find myself in tears. This was the book that did it.

If you are a fan of Ronie, then you NEED to read this book. If you haven’t ever read a Ronie Kendig book… let me tell you that you’re missing out. Ronie writes a kick-butt, military action book. Her characters are so real that they become friends. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

Once you Go RFF

MAKE SURE TO STAY TUNED! On May 27th I will have an interview with Ronie Kendig and a GIVEAWAY!

*Thanks to the author for a copy to review!*

Ronie Kendig

Find Ronie on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and her website!

Find FALCON here: Amazon, Chapters, Barnes & Noble, and Christian Book.

See my other reviews on Raptor’s team: RAPTOR 6 and HAWK

‘HAWK’ by Ronie Kendig ~ A Review

HAWK large

Raptor’s communications expert, Staff Sergeant Brian “Hawk” Bledsoe is struggling with his inner demons, leaving him on the verge of an “other than honorable” discharge. Plagued with corrupted intel, Raptor team continues to track down the terrorist playing chess with their lives. Afghan pilot Fekiria Haidary is devastated when a systems glitch on her aircraft forces a weapons launch on a safe target. And when the deadly bombing separates Brian from the team, he must make an impossible choice: save his brothers-in-arms, or save the woman and children depending on him to survive a brutal snowstorm.

Go RFF

I made this graphic not long ago, but I’ve felt this way since I first delved into Ronie’s military-suspense world! Hawk is possibly the most rapid-fire ever. I could not catch my breath and, once I started reading, did not want to put it down until I finally hit the last page.

Brian ‘Hawk’ Bledsoe has, in the past, been my least favourite of Ronie’s heroes. Though he only played a supporting role, I didn’t like his attitude. Numerous times I felt he deserved a good punch in the face. I wondered at Ronie’s choice to make Hawk front and center in this book. Well, as usual, I should not have doubted her. This was not only a fantastic thrill ride, I really enjoyed learning more about Hawk. This was another good reminder that I can’t judge a character by his cover. I need to learn where the character comes from to make a judgement. I came out of this book with a deep respect, and possibly a kinship, with Hawk. He is all passion and heart. While he doesn’t always direct that passion well, he learns a lot in this book and is a much richer character at the end.

Fekiria is a fabulous character. I love the depth of her right from the beginning. The struggles she faces and the danger she lives each day make you root for her from the beginning. Her chemistry with Hawk is amusing. I won’t say much more since I don’t want to wreck it for you. Fekiria is brave, bold and confident in herself. She doesn’t think that she needs help until her world starts crashing down around her.

HAWK is a one-two punch of adrenalin. Each chapter will leave you guessing and dying to dig into the next. Raptor is facing a huge threat so it’s AHOD (all hands on deck). Strap on your combat boots, grab your ruck and join the team as they track down the threat!

Well done, Ronie! Can’t wait for FALCON! (Due out in May 2015)

P.S. Only downside: I miss Candyman on the team.

HAWK quote

Find RONIE on Facebook, on her website, on Twitter and on Goodreads!

Ronie Kendig

Get your copy of HAWK here:

Amazon

Chapters

Christianbook

Barnes and Noble

~Sarah

 

 

Prelude for a Lord by Camille Elliot ~ A Review

Prelude for a Lord

An awkward young woman. A haunted young man. A forbidden instrument. Can the love of music bring them together . . . or will it tear them apart?
Bath, England—1810
At twenty-eight, Alethea Sutherton is past her prime for courtship; but social mores have never been her forté. She might be a lady, but she is first and foremost a musician.
In Regency England, however, the violin is considered an inappropriate instrument for a lady. Ostracized by society for her passion, Alethea practices in secret and waits for her chance to flee to the Continent, where she can play without scandal.
But when a thief’s interest in her violin endangers her and her family, Alethea is determined to discover the enigmatic origins of her instrument . . . with the help of the dark, brooding Lord Dommick.
Scarred by war, Dommick finds solace only in playing his violin. He is persuaded to help Alethea, and discovers an entirely new yearning in his soul.
Alethea finds her reluctant heart drawn to Dommick in the sweetest of duets . . . just as the thief’s desperation builds to a tragic crescendo . . .

When I heard that Camile Elliot was putting out a Regency Romance, I was thrilled! I’ve read several awesome books by her in the past and I knew that I was in for a treat! I’m a newbie to Regency Romance books, but I love Camille’s (aka Camy Tang) ‘Sushi’ series and her ‘Protection for Hire’ series. Camille knows how to write a wonderful, captivating story. She also excels at creating strong yet vulnerable female lead characters, and she achieved both in this fantastic book!

Alethea is a strong woman. She’s had to be. Betrayed by those she loves time and again, she’s come to expect bitter disappointment. Her one solace is her music, even though it only serves to drive people away.

Dommick is not stranger to disappointment, yet he is determined to make life perfect for his family. He accepts that he will never have the life he longs for, but he won’t allow anything to damage the future happiness of his sister. The only thing that he has been able to keep for himself is his music.

When they are forced together, Alethea’s stubborness and her lack of interest in societies demands, cause fireworks. Dommick has burnt her before and she doesn’t give trust easily. Dommick can’t afford to have anyone associated with him that might negatively affect his image. Image is everything in his circles and Alethea appears to not care that she is looked on as odd and contrary.

Brought together by the one passion they share, can they see past societies pressures – and the walls they’ve built – to bring harmony to each others worlds?

I really enjoyed this book. Not only were the main characters engaging, I found myself wishing to know more about the secondary characters as well. (I may, or may not have, heard that Camille is considering writing the story of one or more of them.) It was fast-paced and yet nothing was sacrificed in the storyline to keep the readers attention! This is a book that I will re-read many times!

4.5/5 stars!

I received this book from Zondervan in exchange for my honest review. I didn’t HAVE to like it, but I sure did!!

You can get this great book here:

AMAZON CHAPTERS CHRISTIAN BOOK B&N DEEPER SHOPPING

BOOKS A MILLION

Camille Elliot (aka Camy Tang) can be found here:

CAMILLE ELLIOT WEBSITE FACEBOOK TWITTER STORY SENSEI

Camy Tang

Camy writes Christian romantic suspense with Love Inspired Suspense as Camy Tang and Regency romance with Zondervan under her pen name, Camille Elliot. She grew up in Hawaii but now lives in northern California with her engineer husband and rambunctious dog. She graduated from Stanford University in psychology with a focus on biology, but for nine years she worked as a biologist researcher. Then God guided her path in a completely different direction and now she’s writing full time, using her original psychology degree as she creates the characters in her novels. In her free time, she’s a staff worker for her church youth group and leads one of her church’s Sunday worship teams. She also loves to knit, spin wool into yarn, and is training to (very slowly) run a marathon

Operation Zulu: Overkill by Ronie Kendig ~ A Review

Zulu Tagline 1

They hoped it would never happen and now it has.  The call has come in.  They are desperate to save the rest of the team, but can they make it on time?  What prompted the new attacks after such a time of quiet?  How can they get in front of this threat and prevent another disaster?

I love the dynamics of Ronie Kendig’s new team.  They are still haunted by the past, yet trying to move on.  Someone doesn’t want them moving on.  Someone wants them dead.  Each of the characters has an amazing story to tell and I can’t wait to hear them all!  There are some interesting dynamics floating around and I love how Ronie is building the mystery while still revealing so much.

Desperation and panic drip from the pages.  In the first instalment of this five part serialization, Ronie will pull you in with heart-stopping action and pulse-pounding twists.  It will leave you not wanting to put this episode down and dying for the next!!

I can’t wait for the next episode!

You can get this episode FREE!!  Go HERE!!

RFFTODGR

Ronie Kendig

Here’s a few places you can find Ronie!

 

Rapid-Fire Fiction website.

Follow her on Twitter.

Like her on FaceBook. (and everywhere else, because she’s great!)

Check out her Pinterest.

~Sarah

 

‘Raptor 6’ by Ronie Kendig ~ A Review and a Giveaway

Raptor 6 approved

“Captain Dean Watters keeps his mission and his team in the forefront of his laser-like focus. So when Dean’s mission and team are threatened, his Special Forces training kicks into high gear. Failing to stop hackers from stealing national security secrets from the military’s secure computers and networks isn’t an option. Zahrah Zarrick is a missionary teacher to Afghan children in Mazar-e Sharif. And a target. When Zahrah is captured because of her expertise in quantum cryptology, compromising the US military, Dean is forced to crack the lockbox around his heart-a move that might come at the highest cost.”

As usual I went into this book expecting excellence.  As usual, I was not disappointed.

Raptor 6 his hard hitting from the very first chapter and does not let up until the final page.  I admit that I’d had a soft spot for Dean ‘Watterboy’ Watters from the ‘Military War Dog’ series.  I was so excited for his story and it was worthy excitement.

Dean is a tough guy with a soft-spot, though he tries to fight it.  Zahrah is a soft-spot all over, though she fights that as well.  She wants nothing more than to do what she believes God is calling her to.  In the environment she is in though, that is a really difficult mission.  She’s determined to do what she must to fulfill her calling, but he’s determined to do what he must to keep her safe.  The two do not agree on the best methods for either of these desires.  Poor Watterboy has met his match in this fiery school-teacher.

I loved the dynamics between them.  Dean is so clearly used to getting his way and Zarah is focused on Gods way, oblivious to the position it puts Watterboy in.  They are both desperate to help the people they are surrounded by, but not all the people want their help.  Some people would like nothing than to see them both dead.

When Dean must face his worst fear to prevent his worst fear, he’s only got one person he can trust in… and it isn’t himself.

I also have to mention the beautiful, yet emotional, love story that is intertwined in this book.  I laughed and… yes, I admit, I cried.  Multiple times.

This is an action-packed, emotion-filled MRAP ride through the desert.  I could nearly feel the sweat rolling down my back and the intense desert heat.  My heart stopped when shots were fired at the team, tears for the pain that was felt, desperation warring with hope, triumph and agony.  Ronie is a master storyteller and Raptor 6 is amazing!

How can you resist the cover?  😉  Isn’t it awesome?

5/5

*Full Disclosure: I was given this book by Barbour Publishing for my honest review.  I did not have to love it, but I sure did!*

You can get your copy of Raptor 6 at:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Chapters

Kobo

Christian Book

Paperback, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2014 by Shiloh Run Press
ISBN: 1616260408
(ISBN13: 9781616260408)

Ronie Kendig

About Ronie Kendig

Ronie Kendig is an award-winning, bestselling author who grew up an Army brat. She married her own hunky hero, who’s an Army veteran. After twenty-plus years of marriage, she and her husband have a full life with four children and two dogs. Ronie’s degree in psychology has helped her pen novels of raw, broken characters. Since launching onto the publishing scene, Ronie’s Rapid-Fire Fiction has hit the CBA Bestseller List, won the prestigious Christy Award, finaled in numerous contests and reader awards, including ACFW Carol Awards, RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards, Christian Retailing’s Readers’ Choice Awards, INSPY Award, The Christian Manifesto Lime Awards, and FamilyFiction’s Readers’ Choice Choice Awards. Ronie loves people and helping other writers through speaking, workshops, and/or mentoring. Find Ronie at www.roniekendig.com, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/rapidfirefiction) , Twitter (@roniekendig), and GoodReads!

Raptor 6 Collage