Smoke Screen

Nate Beckett has spent his life fighting wildfires instead of the lies and rumors that drove him from his Colorado hometown. His mother begs him to come back now that his father has been released from prison, but it isn’t until he’s sidelined by an injury that he’s forced to return and face his past. But that means facing Brenna too.

Fourteen years ago, Nate was in love with the preacher’s daughter. When Pastor Strickland discovered Brenna defied him to sneak out with Nate, the fight between Strickland and Nate’s drunken dad was loud—and very public. Strickland was found murdered later that night, and everyone accused Roy Beckett. When the church burned down not long after, people assumed Nate set the fire to get even for his father’s conviction. He let the rumors fly and left town without looking back.

Brenna is stunned to learn that the man convicted of murdering her father has been pardoned. The events of that night set her life on a bad course, and now she’s fighting a brutal custody battle with her ex and his new wife where he’s using lies and his family’s money to sway the judge. Brenna is barely hanging on, and she’s turned to alcohol to cope. Shame and fear consume her.

As Nate and Brenna deal with the present—including new information about that fateful night and a wildfire that’s threatening their town—the past keeps igniting. Nate is the steady force Brenna has so desperately needed. But she’ll have to learn to trust him again first.

Author: Terri Blackstock

Directed Verdict

In Saudi Arabia, two American missionaries are targeted by the infamous religious police—Muttawa. The man is tortured and killed; his wife arrested on trumped-up charges before being deported to the United States. Compelled by the injustice of her plight, young attorney Brad Carlson files an unprecedented civil rights suit against Saudi Arabia and the ruthless head of the Muttawa. But the suit unleashes powerful forces that will stop at nothing to vindicate the Arabian kingdom. Witnesses are intimidated and some disappear; jurors are bribed; and a member of Brad’s own team may be attempting to sabotage the case. As Brad navigates a maze of treachery and deception, he must gamble his case, his career, and the lives of those he loves on his ability to bring justice to one family, challenge the religious intolerance of a nation, and alter the course of international law.

Author: Randy Singer

Angel’s Flight (Trials of Kit Shannon Book #2)

Nothing had prepared her for the hostility of a city gripped by prejudice . . .

With her first trial a dramatic success, Kit Shannon steps out from the protective and guiding hand of her mentor and begins her own law practice. When she is drawn to the defense of a man accused of a crime that crosses racial lines, Kit is unprepared for the prejudice and hatred that is hurled in her direction. A loyal supporter of the law, Kit struggles with the secret role of the very officers who claim to represent justice.
When a new suitor enters her life, Kit finds her heart longing to embrace the love he offers. His gentle care for her provides the support she needs as she faces opposition that continually grows more threatening. Could this be God’s leading hand?

Author: James Scott Bell, Tracie Peterson

City of Angels (Trials of Kit Shannon Book #1)

The courtrooms of 1903 Los Angeles are a man’s world––until Kit Shannon arrives

With shoulders squared and dreams set high, Kit Shannon arrives in Los Angeles feeling a special calling to the law. Yet under the care of her socialite aunt, Kit quickly comes to realize that few understand her burning desire to seek justice and practice a profession known only to men. When her aunt adamantly refuses to support her unconventional career aspirations, Kit questions whether she is truly following God’s will. And when her growing love for a man pledged to another threatens scandal, Kit knows her days might be numbered in Los Angeles.

A chance meeting with Earl Rogers, the city’s most prominent criminal lawyer, garners Kit an apprentice position. And work on a notorious murder case. Someone has been killing prostitutes in Los Angeles, but Kit is certain it is not Rogers’ client. Determined to find the truth, Kit runs full on into forces that want to stop her, forces that stretch all the way to the citadels of power in the City of Angels.

Author: James Scott Bell, Tracie Peterson

Prophet

John Barrett, popular anchorman, finds himself suddenly lost in the comfortable world he thought he understood. His producer seems to be hiding something big and lying to cover her tracks. His father’s “accidental” death isn’t looking quite so accidental, and his estranged son has returned in search for truth. Prophet has all the hallmarks of Peretti’s fast-paced blockbuster fiction, and his clear understanding of the vast spiritual struggle over moral authority marks every page.

Author: Frank Peretti

Straight of Hormuz – Marc Royce #3

If you (like me) are a fan of Davis Bunn’s action character, Marc Royce, then get ready for a treat. What started in Lion of Babylon and it’s sequel, Rare Earth, continues in Bunn’s latest novel, Straight of Hormuz.

Part three has more action, more plot twists, and even more problems to overcome. Seemingly isolated from his government, in conflict in his personal relationships, and facing a foe that is both intelligent and tricky, what’s a spy to do?

The threat of an Iranian blockade of the narrow Strait of Hormuz is escalating global tensions. Sanctions against Tehran have begun to bite, and it seeks to retaliate by cutting off vital shipping routes for crude oil. The specter of a preemptive Israeli strike has US officials on edge as they struggle to keep the world from plunging into the abyss.

Stymied in its efforts to uncover the sources of funding that bolster the Iranian nuclear program, the State Department calls on Marc Royce to investigate. With little to go on, he’ll have to rely on an old ally. Kitra Korban has ties to people with the means to get things done, so long as no questions are asked. But Iran is on the brink of nuclear capability, and time is running out.

Author: Davis Bunn

Silenced: The Wrath of God Descends (Underground Zealot #2)

Enter the continuing story of double agent Paul Stepola as he works to protect his fellow believers from the government that is trying to eliminate them. The underground church is in mortal peril following the apocalyptic events in Los Angeles, which have only cast further suspicion upon Christians. Meanwhile, Paul struggles with how to tell his family about his newfound faith without raising the suspicions of his ruthless father-in-law. A gripping futuristic thriller that will keep you glued to the page.

Author: Jerry Jenkins

silenced

Distortion (Moonlighters Series #2)

A husband’s lies can have deadly consequences.

When Juliet Cole’s husband of fifteen years is murdered before her eyes, she thinks it was a random shooting. Devastated and traumatized, she answers hours of questioning, then returns home to break the tragic news to her sons. But a threatening voicemail escalates this from a random shooting to a planned, deliberate attack.

Juliet realizes that she and her children are in danger too―unless she meets the killers’ demands. But as she and her sisters untangle the clues, her husband’s dark secrets come to light. The more she learns, the more her life is dismantled. Was her husband an innocent victim or a hardened criminal?

Author: Terri Blackstock

distort

The Return (Mars Hill Classified #3)

The Return picks up six years after the events of book 2 in the series, with John Wells leading another Mars mission. In the opening chapters, John discovers two things: first, there has been another manned Mars mission on the planet simultaneously with John’s, launched by Rex Edwards’s Delta-V Corporation as an advance colony. And second, he discovers the wreckage of a couple of the “alien spiders” from the first books in the series.
Meanwhile, people very close to John are living in captivity in Raines’s complex in Slovenia. On Mars, the astronauts’ Earth Return Vehicle, in orbit, is apparently hit by meteorites and ruined. They begin to move their entire base, on wheels, to the site of the colony. Kerry and the FBI monitor, through secret surveillance, Raines’s compound in Slovenia
In preparation for impregnating the hundreds of teenage clone girls who first showed up in book 2, Raines moves them all to China; Monique escapes and stays behind, then plots with the FBI on how to apprehend and stop Raines. On Mars, John figures out who was behind everything.

Author: Austin Boyd

return

Southern Storm (Cape Refuge #2)

First a dead stranger. Now a missing Police Chief. Did Chief Cade run off to elope . . . or has he met with foul play? The body in the morgue had no ID. No one knew who he was or where he came from when he walked out in front of Cade’s car. And when Cade learns he had a gunshot wound before he was struck, finding his identity becomes even more urgent. Then Cade vanishes. Authorities discover the victim’s name, and the woman Cade was last seen with turns out to have been the dead man’s wife. Speculation abounds about Cade’s relationship to the woman and his part in the victim’s death. His disappearance makes him look even more suspicious. But Blair Owens doesn’t believe the rumors. Something has happened to Cade, and she’s determined to find him. Saving Cade’s life will take faith in a God whom Blair has always doubted—but he may be her only hope.

Author: Terri Blackstock

southern